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James Russell Publishing

  1. Rafini profile image81
    Rafiniposted 6 years ago

    Just curious - does anyone have any experience with James Russell Publishing?  I did a search to gain information on selling a screenplay, and JRP came up.  They publish screenplays in book form, and say it's a good way to get recognition for a first time screenwriter - that its a good way to ensure selling a screenplay after its been published.

    I'm not too sure, though.  They say if the book doesn't sell, they'll take it out of print and the writer can then sell it elsewhere, but they refuse to publish anything that's already been published somewhere.

    What do you guys think?  Thanks. smile

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image85
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Never heard...

    2. KKalmes profile image60
      KKalmesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Hello Rafini, you are talking to the best mind in hub world for information on publishing, agent searching, and a great story reviewer with Website Examiner.

      I have worked for a few years with a very reputable Screenwriting Consultant...

      Extreme Screenwriting's objective is to assist screenwriters with mastering the commercial screenplay. Writing a screenplay with literary value and commercial value will greatly increase a screenwriter’s chances for a sale in the fiercely competitive spec screenplay market.

      Extreme Screenwriting's founder, Barb Doyon is a Professional Script Consultant with over ten years experience working in the entertainment industry providing script coverage to production companies (many with studio deals), actors/actresses, directors, producers and screenwriters.

      Her fees are very reasonable and her script coverage is in-depth and the best criticism you could ever get to help make your scripts better.

      She and I have worked on a specific script for the past few months and she has given it a "recommend" this past month... it is ready to hand off to any opportunity that comes along... hopefully a friend of a friend to Ron Howard.

      Good luck in your writing endeavors and I would (have) start with advice from WE... you can't go wrong.


      1. Rafini profile image81
        Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks Kevin for your advice.  Just a question or two - since screenwriting consultants charge, when do they get paid?  Like an agent with a percentage?  And, lol, would a consultant be the same as an agent or an editor, a combination, kinda?

  2. 0
    Website Examinerposted 6 years ago

    I'd read the contract carefully and consider getting professional advice. Also, you may want to contact Writers Beware to hear of any information they have on this publisher, which is a free service.

    1. Rafini profile image81
      Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you, WE, that's a good idea.  By professional advice, do you mean an attorney?  In my hometown?  I'll look up Writers Beware - I'm assuming you meant online...

      edit:  I did a search on their site and it came up with: no posts found. 

      Thanks again, WE.

  3. 0
    Website Examinerposted 6 years ago

    I suggest that you start with the Writers Beware website, where they provide a link to email them and even encourage writers to make contact prior to signing with publishers.

    What I meant by seeking professional advice is that you might be surprised to know how publishing contracts tend to be tilted against the author, and most authors are unable to spot the pitfalls. Anyone with experience in reviewing contracts, preferably publishing contracts, should be able to do it - including literary agents.

    The service to which I was referring is described here:

    http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2007/02/h … eware.html

    Here is the link to Writers Beware, where there is an explanation and an email address to submit contracts and such:


    1. Rafini profile image81
      Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you, you're very helpful. smile

  4. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago

    It doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Productuon companies want to acquire the full rights to a screenplay--which means it should not be previously published.

    If their approach is so successful, did they give you a list of movies that were discovered via their books?  Do they charge a fee?

    1. Rafini profile image81
      Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you!  What you say, production companies want full rights, makes sense to me and was what I was thinking and why I asked.  I didn't know if it would matter or not.  Other than that, I'd have to look them up again, I don't remember if they provided a list of movies and I don't think they charged a fee.

      1. psycheskinner profile image83
        psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I posted about this at the absolute write forums--more expert wirters than I might chime in there (see: bewares and background checks area).  Seems like a good publishers, but not necessarily the right choice all the same.

        1. Rafini profile image81
          Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Thanks!  I'll check it out. smile

          edit:  Okay, I'm back - Thank you sooo much!  I think I'll stick away from them.  They don't sound very reputable.  Thanks again. smile

  5. miss_jkim profile image82
    miss_jkimposted 6 years ago

    Here are two sites to check out before you submit or commit to anything.

         Preditors and Editors http://www.pred-ed.com/pubagent.htm

         Writer Beware http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware

      Be safe and good luck!

    1. Rafini profile image81
      Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks!  smile  I'm going to bookmark this page!

  6. 0
    Website Examinerposted 6 years ago

    I did read their website, but withheld comment on that until now because I did not want to interfere with the OP's decision. Here is what I noted:

    (1) The publisher offered really strange advice on editing rates and ghostwriters. They claimed that editing rates above $3-5 per page are excessive, and should only be paid for using "ghostwriting services," which they claim that authors commonly use. They linked to a $1/page editing service.

    I had some problems with that:
    - Reputable publishers usually do not frown upon expensive editing. Editing at $5/page, double-spaced is a competitive rate in my opinion, and it can cost a lot more than that. I thought it very strange that a reputable publisher would recommend its authors to use a $1/page editing service, even saying that clients should demand that rate for single-spaced pages. Usually, rates are set by word / double-spaced pages, so that would be an extremely low rate;
    - This may indicate a kickback scheme between the publisher and the editing service. Certainly, it indicates that the publisher is not too serious about the quality of the finished product.

    (2) The publisher recently, and without providing any explanation, stopped accepting submissions for book manuscripts. They say they may resume it in the future. This could be an indication that they are not doing too well.

    (3) From the Google landing page, a .biz domain (which is often considered less than elegant), the publisher provided a link to their "home page," a site in the .com domain. However, clicking on that just led back to the very same page - so we cannot see if they even own the .com domain in question.

    I only spent about 15 minutes reading their site, and can only wonder what further research might have revealed.

    1. Rafini profile image81
      Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Wow, you got all that in 15 minutes?  I can do alright when checking out websites, but now when I'm looking into a totally new area I have no clue what to look for!

      Please tell me there's a way for me to learn without falling for a scam first!  lol

      1. 0
        Website Examinerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        There is a way. You have to understand their business model, then they are no longer opaque. Like how can they make a profit? Here are some of the possibilities:

        (1) Mainstream publisher making money off their best authors (you usually need an agent for those);

        (2) Subsidy and vanity publishers that clearly require money upfront (beware hidden fees and charges as the publication process progresses);

        (3) Back-end vanity publishers, which claim that they are not vanity publishers - these make money by requiring or pressuring their authors to buy books from them at a discount, essentially making authors their primary customers, often with the publisher having a minimal marketing budget. They may also get editing fees etc. out of their authors (reputable publishers usually do not);

        (4) Shallow publishers, whose real intention it is to acquire as many rights as possible, not to agressively publish and market the book. Here, they will profit from the few successful titles, dumping the rest after 1-2 years. This they can do at little expense, since they use print-on-demand and pay no advance royalties to the author.

        Surely, there are other combinations and telltale signs. The organizations we've discussed know them all.

        1. Rafini profile image81
          Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Sorry, I don't understand how this would teach me what you found in 15 minutes.  hmm  Unless, it's an extreme money, money, money setup?  All they want is money, everything out of their mouths leads to a sales pitch, they talk about excellent 'author rewards'.

          I think I would get it in person, but I'm not too sure about online.  I'm looking for an agent, now, and then I'll let them do the job of looking for a publisher.  big_smile  Right?  big_smile  I just hope I don't fall for any scams. hmm

  7. 0
    Website Examinerposted 6 years ago

    Rafini, I wish you luck finding a reputable agent with a proven record of selling books to reputable publishers.

    1. Rafini profile image81
      Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      big_smile  I hope that isn't sarcasm I hear...big_smile

      1. 0
        Website Examinerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        If I had wanted to be sarcastic, I would have wished you good luck finding a disreputable agent with a proven record of selling books to disreputable publishers. That kind of luck is a lot easier to find, I have to admit. But in that case you really wouldn't need an agent.

        1. Rafini profile image81
          Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          big_smile  (looks like I forgot the JK  big_smile)

          Thank you.  I'm gonna try.

          1. 0
            Website Examinerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            If you like, you are welcome to send me a synopsis or some information about your projects. Then if I come across any good agents or publishers for that, I will get back in touch with you.

            1. Rafini profile image81
              Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              My screenplay, that I published two hubs of this weekend, is one.  My life story hub, that I published back in February, is the book I'm working on.  The screenplay is finished (except for final type stuff, like a Title and character names. lol), the book is going to take a while.

  8. 0
    Website Examinerposted 6 years ago

    Thanks, it's growing on me already. Take care!

    1. 0
      ShadowKing!posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      So many people focus on writing a screenplay or teleplay or play. This field is bombarded with material good and bad. The competition is tight. Unless you live in Hollywood, NYC or Vegas the chances of your screenplay coming to screen is very, very slim. A part of the market that isn't packed is the area of script writing most novice writers ignore. The story (aka the Treatment).
      One could get her foot in the door a lot quicker by writing the Treatment to the movie or show. It's much easier than writing an industry standard formatted script. Besides directors and producers usually want a treatment accompanying the script.

      Anyone willing to take up a project like this:

      1. learn how to write professional treatments
      2. create 6-8 story lines beginning with a single sentence that conveys each one's theme.
      3. write a 4-10 page story on each story line. Use:
        a. full character names, b. short, punchy dialogue, c. motivation, d. setbacks, e. accomplishments, f. the 3 Act format, g. a cliffhanger ending or complete resolution ending, and h. make sure it flows but you don't have to FULLY DESCRIBE every aspect of the story. Some gray parts are good, since directors WILL "add" their ideas to the story.
      4. write a 1-page synoptic description of each treatment in the form of a letter to a "director/producer/agent" (Query Letter/Cover Letter).
      5. Obtain "Non-disclosure Contracts" to accompany each query letter. (By them signing the contract, before seeing your story legally PREVENTS them from using your story with your permission or paying you.)
      6. find the proper markets and submit your query letters to the agents.

      Final note: understand that your original story (even a screenplay) WILL NOT be produced on screen exactly like you wrote it. Some characters may have their names, race, gender, and words changed. Parts of your story may be sliced out. Beautiful country scenes might be changed to "in ghetto" shots. All these things go for "Based on a True Story" also.

      This is for anyone desiring to write screenplays for a living. Try starting out writing the treatments...that usually become the full script.