Fellow screenwriter Ashley Scott Meyers contacted me recently, asking if I’d do a review of his new screenwriting website SellingYourScreenplay.com. He said I could give the site a positive or negative review...just as long as I helped him get the word out that the site is up and running. Sure, I’m always happy to help a fellow scribe...
So I gave the website a whirl.
Now, as we all know (or should know), there aren’t necessarily any easy answers in the screenwriting arena. There is no true “best” way to do any of it. So I’m always a bit dubious of any book or website that even vaguely proclaims, "This is how you sell your script." I’m not saying that Mr. Meyers’ website is proclaiming any easy pathways or any surefire methods to selling a screenplay, but with a site name such as "Selling Your Screenplay,” well...
OK, so just who is this Ashley Scott Meyers?
Well, he’s the author of—yup, you guessed it— Selling Your Screenplay (which I have not read), and the writer or co-writer of three movies: Man Overboard (2008), Reunion (2005), and Dish Dog (2000). It seems only the latter is available via Netflix and Amazon.
But honestly, do we really need another screenwriting website regurgitating all the usual information? How many times can we read topics such as, “How to Write a Query Letter,” or ““Who Do You Address Your Query Letter To?” or “Should I Put My WGA Registration Number on My Screenplay?” or “How to Get an Agent”? Um, come to think of it, with the endless stream of people diving into the screenwriting pool on a daily basis, people looking for any crumb of information (and face it, most do tend to ask the same monotonous questions over and over again), perhaps one more “how-to” site can’t hurt. With that in mind, if SellingYourScreenplay.com happens to be one of the first screenwriting website you land on, you could probably do far worse.
You’ll find a modicum of solid advice on the site. Mr. Meyers comes across as earnest, likeable, and truly seems to have a sincere desire to help the neophyte screenwriter. I found no trace of an over-inflated ego or “DO-IT-THIS-WAY” dogma. Though a handful of topics/subjects are “the same ol’, same ol,” I found at least one entry, “How I Optioned and Sold My First Screenplay,” particularly valuable.
My chief complaint: aside from the aforementioned entry (and a few others), there’s nothing truly unique being imparted on the site. Virtually all the information can be found on a hundred or so other screenwriting sites, my own included. (I should point out that SellingYourScreenplay.com has only been in existence a relatively short time. As of this moment, June 2009, there isn’t what I’d call a wealth of information posted. I’m confident it will be far more comprehensive six months or a year from now. At least we can hope so.)
Another complaint—a minor one, really—is the plethora of Google ads positioned throughout. I noticed one or two for a notorious “scam” lit agency. I know this isn’t the fault of Mr. Meyers (those ads are automatically placed by Google)...I just think that sort of thing tends to drop a site’s legitimacy a notch or two.
So, do I think this site is a waste of time? No, absolutely not. If you’ve been around the block once or twice in the ol’ screenwriting game, you probably won’t discover too much that’s new and exciting. However...I’m confident that novice and intermediate scribes alike will find a few valuable nuggets that will aid them in their journey through the Hollywood maze. That, along with Mr. Meyers’ seemingly genuine desire to aid the budding screenwriter, certainly makes a visit to SellingYourScreenplay.com worthy of your time.
APRIL 2015 ANNOUNCEMENT: My debut novel, Luigi's Chinese Delicatessen, is now available in paperback from Amazon.com and Kindle e-book! (You're gonna love it cuz it's all about Hollywood and screenwriting!)