Friday, January 07, 2011

Wish I Would Have Thought Of That

I never come up with any good Get Rich Quick schemes - mine are always the ones that take a lot of hard work.

A friend of mine came up with a scheme to sell stuff that was made by other people - he'd just be the middle man. I thought this was a dumb idea, as customers could buy the products from the manufacturer for *less* than he sold them for. But his theory was that if you put a bunch of connected products from different sources on the same website, people would buy from you rather than go all over the place online - even if you would save money doing that. And he was right. I was wrong. He makes a living with a website that sells other people's stuff... and now I wish I'd have done that.

So when I was e-mailed by the writers of this proposed screenwriting book, I felt like an idiot again. Great idea! Why didn't I think of that? They had professional screenwriters and screenwriting teachers each write a chapter of their book... and they wrote the introduction! (okay, they had to plan and edit the book, too.) So you get a bunch of name writers each doing a chapter - like an all star movie.

Meanwhile, I am writing my own damned books - doing all of the writing myself! And I don't have an all star line up of writers - just me.

I wish I would have thought of this book!

- Bill


Atlanta said...

From a twitter a few months ago, "Stat from BEA: 7% of books published generate 87% of book sales. And 93% of all published books sell less than 1,000 copies each."

Damn discouraging data, and also means you shouldn't feel bad about this new book thing. Your book is selling for $400 from Amazon. You win. (Please publish more Secrets Of Action Screenwriting!) Now the reseller site thing, yeah, you mighta missed a boat there. But I don't know anyone who hasn't missed a boat or two or three. (My most calculable miss was $20K in options I could have sold right away, smarter folk than I did, but god forbid I don't believe in my employer, so hung on to them... that worked out.) And other folks I know have grander stories (few months ago one developer blew a $250K windfall within 36 hours, in Vegas, back to normal life by Monday).

You make shit. Cool shit. That matters. Now make some more cool shit. And I hope 2011 is the year you direct, I want to see that film.

Richard J. McKenzie said...

A long while ago I was told a story by a co-worker:

My dad was looking for an investment for $25k he had available. He saw an ad in the paper, with an investment opportunity.
He called the guy, listened to the spiel, and then said "Well, that sounds interesting, Mr. Wozniak, but I don't think that people will want their own computers. I'll pass"

Bill, you may not be doing all that you might be doing, but those of us reading your words are damn glad that you do what you do.

I'm looking forward to more about your filmic endeavor in the Bay Area (if you need anything in the South Bay, give a holler. I got Cupertino roots).

Say, Cupertino is where Apple started.
What goes around, something something.

Unknown said...

Do you ever offer your blue books as pdf files?
You've got some great tips so thanks for all you write.

wcmartell said...

On the massive To Do List, near the bottom, is: set up Blue Books as PDFs. It will happen sometime.

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