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Old 04-05-2013, 12:56 PM   #1
Gary Dragan Milin
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Default Black List vs Spec Scout

Thought I'd start this thread for people to share their experiences with these two services to see how they measure up.

I've tried both, but it's still too early for my to seriously compare. But maybe some of you have more to share?

Here's my early experience so far:

I submitted my script THE TIME MACHINE to The Black List two weeks ago and paid for 3 reviews. Got one back so far and it was an 8/10. Got 54 impressions and 24 downloads as a result. One manager contacted me and wanted to read some more of my stuff. Still waiting for my other 2 reviews. So far I'm very happy with the service.

And I just got my Spec Scout report back today. I made it onto their Top Unrepped List with two considers and a recommend and a composite score of 72.8 (with 60 being the average score for pro specs).

Not really sure what to expect when my script goes live on their site. SS doesn't have nearly as much buzz as the BL. Plus their scores look less impressive, so I think that might be a factor. The "top list" cutoff on BL is 8/10, but only 68/100 for SS.

On the plus side, far less scripts have made the cutoff on SS. There's only 10 scripts listed on their Top Unrepped List, so any script that makes the grade will stand out more. Whereas up to 20 scripts make the cutoff each week on the BL. And the total number must be in the hundreds.

Another thing I like about SS is that they don't have scripts uploaded on the site, so anyone who wants to read it has to contact the writer. This way you know who's reading your script. But this also means less people will probably request it.

The SS report, however, is really long and detailed. And although that's great for the writer, I don't know if it's a good thing for pros who are browsing for scripts. I can't really see them reading through the whole thing. It's pages long! With the BL the comments are short and to the point, and it's very easy to read through multiple reviews without getting eye strain.

But really, I think the most important factor is how many pros use the service. It's pretty clear there's a lot of pros on the BL. Several of them even post on DD. But I have no idea what the situation is for SS.

Does anyone have any experience with getting script requests from their SS placement?

Are any of the pros on this board members of SS?

Have any pros requested a script through SS?

Have any pros even heard of Spec Scout?


Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Black List vs Spec Scout

Great numbers all around, Gary. Congrats.

I'm a little surprised you got that many downloads off an 8 rating. Is that typical? Not that an 8 isn't praise-worthy!

Regardless, glad to see your work is generating interest.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Black List vs Spec Scout

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Originally Posted by dojo View Post
I'm a little surprised you got that many downloads off an 8 rating. Is that typical? Not that an 8 isn't praise-worthy!
It's not as if the script is named "8" and the logline reads "This script scored an 8." The downloads mean it must sound like a great idea and the 8 just means it's well-executed and more likely than a 5 to be worth the time of the pro on the other end. If it's not a great idea then the 8 is pretty useless. Too many people overlooking this aspect IMO.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:29 PM   #4
Gary Dragan Milin
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Default Re: Black List vs Spec Scout

I'd actually be really curious to know how many downloads an 8 review gets on the average. And obviously, similar stats for a 9 and 10.

But I agree with Wait, I think the concept is an important factor. Especially now that the novelty value of high scores has worn off somewhat.

I believe someone noted on the other thread that one recommend newsletter had 20 scripts. In that sort of situation, I think the concept would be a major factor in how many downloads you get.

But here's what really interests me:

I paid for 3 reviews and still have 2 more coming. So if I get a second 8, how many more downloads will I get?

More? Less? About the same? Just a few?

I have no idea what to expect. I think it all depends on how many pros are actively following the BL. And whether it's the same pros each week who are doing the downloading.

Hopefully, we'll find out the answer soon.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Black List vs Spec Scout

Congratz on the 8 and 72.8 Gary!

As a sci-fi writer myself -- and a slav/Torontonian -- I'd love to read THE TIME MACHINE.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:30 AM   #6
Gary Dragan Milin
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Default Re: Black List vs Spec Scout

What? There's two sci fi writing slavs in Toronto?!

Dammit!!!

I thought I was unique.

Oh well, at least I still have my webbed feet and superfluous nipple.


And if anyone wants to read my script, then just shoot me an email:

gdmilin@yahoo.com
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Black List vs Spec Scout

Of course. I'm sure Gary has a killer logline. I'm not overlooking that. (I assumed it.)

But I wasn't aware that scores were not sent out in the weekly emails along with the title/loglines etc. so thanks for the clarification, Wait!

And thanks for sharing the details of your experience here, Gary.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: Black List vs Spec Scout

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dragan Milin View Post
I'd actually be really curious to know how many downloads an 8 review gets on the average.
To date, I've received 31 downloads for my 8-rated script on BL.

Just to play devil's advocate, I'm not certain purchasing three reads right away is an optimal use of funds. Once you hit 8 or above, enjoy the heat, return those calls and e-mails, and only purchase another read should things turn cold. Just my two cents from personal experience.

Congrats on the great numbers across the board.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:22 AM   #9
Gary Dragan Milin
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Default Re: Black List vs Spec Scout

If I remember correctly, I believe someone said that the 8s and 9s were all lumped together in the newsletter, but that the 10s were featured seperately. Is that right?

And for the record, here's the logline I have up on BL:

While demonstrating a new form of energy to his niece and nephew, a quirky absent-minded professor accidentally sends his entire house 65 million years back in time.

He then embarks on a perilous journey, jumping through various time periods, in a search for clues that will help him plot a course back to the present, in a time machine he can't fully control, with a pair of kids who can't quite get along.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:27 AM   #10
Gary Dragan Milin
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Default Re: Black List vs Spec Scout

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainhaystack View Post
To date, I've received 31 downloads for my 8-rated script on BL.

Just to play devil's advocate, I'm not certain purchasing three reads right away is an optimal use of funds. Once you hit 8 or above, enjoy the heat, return those calls and e-mails, and only purchase another read should things turn cold. Just my two cents from personal experience.

Congrats on the great numbers across the board.
Nice! You must have a killer log! Did the 31 happen quickly over the course of a few days, or slowly accumulate over a longer period?

And it looks like I'm unintentionally following your advice.

I got my first review back in only 3 days, and was featured in the newsletter on the same day. Most of my downloads came in before my first week was up. Now I'm at the two week mark and my downloads have pretty much stopped. I got one yesterday, but I suspect that's one of my two remaining readers.

So now is the perfect time to get another review.
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