For the past couple of years, streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. have been gobbling up literary properties to make into films and TV series. So I guess it was inevitable that scammers would find a way to exploit the phenomenon.
Here’s a 2019 article from Publishers Weekly about the Netflix “book feeding frenzy”
If you were a scammer, how could you resist? All you have to do is get a list of indie authors and their phone numbers (thanks, Facebook!) Then pick up the phone and start calling. “Hey there, author. I’m a film scout for Netflix and this is your lucky day. For (a hefty fee) I’ll get your book in front of some Netflix honchos and…”
You can fill in the rest. It’s all flim-flam. The scammers don’t know any Netflix honchos. And the author who falls for their lies is out scads of money.
The real Netflix deals are negotiated by the author’s agent. If you don’t have an agent, the chances of real film scouts contacting you are pretty slim.
But we always dream, don’t we? We’re sure ours will be the book that breaks the barrier and emerges as an Emmy-winning series. Sigh. Writers always dream — and that’s why these Hollywood book-to-film scams have been around since the dawn of the Kindle revolution. The “feeding frenzy” of streaming services during the Covid lockdown days gave the scammers a whole new batch of material to make their lies more convincing.