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  • Stop Querying the Wrong Way

    December 19th, 2011

    I don’t like to bad mouth other companies or services too much – at least not in a public forum – but there is a not-so-new type of service out there that has grown in popularity and I’d like to stop all of your from being duped into wasting your money on it.

    It’s the automated query letter services that promise to help you “BREAK IN” by sending your query letter to THOUSANDS of execs, agents and managers and getting your script read. They want to open up their Hollywood rolodex to YOU… 

    What a load of complete and utter bullshit!!  These services – who are usually anonymous and do not tell you who even RUNS the company – are complete RIPOFFS! All they have done is re-typed the Hollywood Creative Directory or IMDB Pro into an email database full of email addresses that look like INFO@RANDOMCOMPANY.COM and they charge you anywhere from $50-$300 to “fix” your query letter and blanket the town with it.

    And even for those companies who have their own more specific list of email addresses of real execs, I promise you – those companies and execs and agents are not waiting by the fax machine for the newest random query letter from these companies. You know why – because no one uses a fucking fax machine anymore. 

    The letters they send are not personalized (to your project or to the specific company), they are not referrals, they are not recommendations, and they generally DO NOT GET READ! They are a constant annoyance to executives who go through hundreds of REAL query letters sent by referrals, reputable companies and writers every month.

    These companies – and there are plenty out there including Scriptblaster, Sellingyourscreenplay.com, Equerydirect, Screenplay Writers Connection, etc – are based solely on the fact that you’re a lazy fucking idiot and incredibly desperate.

    They are betting on the fact that you’re too clueless and stupid to figure out how to get in contact with anyone in Hollywood and they have convinced you that they have connections. They don’t. And if they did, they no longer do because those contacts are pissed that they have to deal with a constant onslaught of UNSOLICITED queries from these companies. That’s right, the letters they send out – are UNSOLICITED.

    I was talking about this with my friend Zac Sanford from Suntaur Entertainment (and Scriptchat) the other day and he told me he had “unsubscribed” from at least two of these services, yet he keeps getting these query letters – which go right in the trash! That’s $50 you’re literally throwing out.

    There are so many problems with using these services, the biggest of which may be that there is no quality control. They will send ANYONE’S letter out no matter how stupid, shitty, poorly written or just plain retarded your idea, story, writing, or letter is. Which means even if your query letter and project is FANTASTIC, the execs won’t read it because they’ve gotten SO much shit from that e-blast company already that they know the odds of it being good are slim to none. 

    These services are NOT referrals. They are just leaches trying to take your desperate-writer money and making a promise to you that is impossible to keep. Now, is it possible that out of the 500 companies they send your query letter to, that 1 or 2 will actually request the script? Sure. Perhaps an intern got bored or an assistant was in a good mood that day. But the other 498 companies now think you’re a stupid, desperate amateur.

    Now, there are sites that are different than these query letter blast sites that actually can be worthwhile. Sites like InkTip and Virtual Pitchfest for example are not query letter BLAST sites. These are sites that execs have actually signed up for and have agreed to read your query letter on (or synopsis on InkTip). They are not unsolicited or random query emails or faxes.

    Through my No Bull Hollywood Connection Program, any script that gets a “recommend” from me has its logline and query letter sent out to over 40 companies (not 4,000) that have AGREED to read them. And it’s a personalized email from ME to one of my actual contacts that I know personally. And, I can count on two hands how many recommends I’ve given, so execs are not being bombarded every week with dozens of emails. Oh right – and it’s FREE!!

    There are other consultants and companies out there that do similar services, some charge and some don’t, but at least they are making personalized direct contact with someone they actually know. Someone that might actually do something with your script. These query blast sites – are not.

    You know what using these bullshit query letter services tell executives – that you’re lazy and you don’t know anything about Hollywood. It says you’re so far removed from Hollywood, that you don’t even know when you’re getting screwed by Hollywood. 

    Breaking in and getting read isn’t easy and it’s not free either. But there’s no shortcut to getting read by 1,000 companies. These e-blast script marketing companies are just taking advantage of you, your project, and your wallet. Don’t be fooled by any company that says they can market your screenplay and get it in the hands of 500 companies at once. They can’t. They can only get their emails deleted by 500 companies at once – and then cash your check.

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