13 Common Weaknesses of Screenplays Submitted for Representation

1) Your format’s not professional, which is a blatant mark of amateurism--because proper format is easily found on the internet. There are even free programs available that will format your screenplay (Celtx).

2) You haven’t bothered to proofread your work. It’s filled with spelling errors, typos, and repetitions.

3) Your script is filled with clich├ęs and on-the-nose expository dialogue and narrative.

4) It’s never clear who the protagonist is. You don’t know whose story you’re reading.

5) If the protagonist is clear, you often don’t know what his dramatic problem is, and you don’t feel involved with him; you don’t know why you should care about his story. This problem is often left without clarification by the time the script ends.

6) The obstacles your protagonist faces aren’t strong enough, clear enough, or interesting enough to propel the story and captivate an audience.

7 ) Your protagonist doesn’t grow from the beginning of the story to the end.

8) Your antagonist isn’t clearly defined or singular enough to pinpoint.

9) Your protagonist and antagonist aren’t written with stars in mind. Hollywood always wants to know: What great actor or actress will desperately want to play this role?

10) Your story lacks credibility. Characters don’t realistically behave the way they’re supposed to in the situations you’ve created.

11) Your script isn’t written visually; what’s on the page is difficult to interpret for the screen. Similarly, the story is often too internalized; plot isn’t sufficiently outwardly expressed.

12) The climax and conclusion of your script aren’t strong enough, positive enough, and/or satisfying enough to warrant the investment of the reader/audience’s time.

13) Market research hasn’t been done, resulting in subject matter that isn’t sellable in today’s market; the stories aren’t written with any particular audience, market, or platform in mind. Forget about, “just write from the heart.” Write from the heart about things that matter to us all!

Direct vs Traditional Publishing: Another Good News Story

JOE KONRATH is a phenomenal testimony to the move from traditional publishing to direct publishing. Since 2004, he sold 126,366 of his 8 legacy novels, earning him $130,916 (before his agent’s 15%).

Since 2009, he sold 632,501 self-published books, earning him $912,138 (before deductions for collaborators).

Six of his novels—The List, Origin, Disturb, Shot of Tequila, Endurance, and Trapped—have sold 362,783 copies for $600,501 in earnings. All were rejected by traditional publishers!

Then Amazon became Konrath’s publisher and sold more ebook copies of Shaken and Stirred in three years than his eight legacy titles sold in ebooks in eight years.

All stats from “A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Konrath’s Sales”

Traditional Publishing vs. Direct Publishing

Q. What are the relative pros and cons of traditional publishing vs direct publishing via Story Merchant Books:


Traditional Publishing:

3-12 months response time.

All publishing rights to publisher in perpetuity.

You retain dramatic rights.

Print and ebook.

1-2 year time lag between start and publication.

0-Low advance, unless 4-5 publishers are bidding.

All marketing dependent on you.

You lose control of cover design.

You have no control over you book's epage.

No ability to revise or alter once published.

No control of retail pricing.

After 2 years, royalties reported/paid every 6 months.

No interaction between you & publisher on marketing.

You need to work through a publicist to market.

Direct Publishing from Story Merchant Books:

1 month maximum response time.

You retain all publishing rights.

You retain dramatic rights.

Print and ebook.

1-4 month time lag between start and publication.

No advance.

All marketing dependent on you (with SM advice).

You retain control of cover design.

SM's special relationship with the estores allows us to add enhancements to your page.

Full ability to rise or alter once published.

Full control of retail pricing.

After 90 days, royalties reported/paid every three months and update on request.

SM advises you on marketing.

SM Book Marketing Service eliminate the need for a publicist.

Ken Atchity Author and Story Merchant with Host Yi Tian on ActorsE Chat

Ken Atchity Author and Story Merchant with Host Yi Tian on ActorsE Chat

The Messiah Matrix Website

ActorsE Chat is a Live Chat Show on Actors Entertainment, a channel on the Actors Podcast Network, a Pepper Jay Production

Book Trailer Experts

BOOK TRAILER EXPERTS is a talented group of award winning producers, television studio executives, and marketing pros that create terrific book trailers.

Clients tell me now and them, “I’m disappointed” in this or that. What a waste of time and energy! Don’t invest your spirit in disappointment. It’s simply counterproductive. I “send out” so many things—books, notes, emails,  proposals, faxes, calls—and invest all my energy in DOING. Sooner or later the sheer momentum of this approach creates days in which all kinds of wonderful things happen that I’d even forgotten I’d started (and had no time to think or feel about). Thinking is bad. Feeling is bad. Being in the moment—and DOING--is all. “Action,” said Shakespeare, “is eloquence.” Or, Sinatra: DO BE DO BE DO….Read and Review MESSIAH MATRIX!