Scott Lorenz

    • Member Type(s): Communications Professional
    • Title:President
    • Organization:Westwind Communications
    • Area of Expertise:Book Marketing, Medical and iPhone App
    • Member:ProfNet

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    The Incredible Story Behind the Movie THE ELEPHANT MAN

    Monday, October 2, 2017, 12:41 PM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Remember- All Movies Start with the Written Word -

    All of Them


    By Scott Lorenz
    Westwind Book Marketing


    Movies, like books, sometimes have humble beginnings.

    Remember the movie The Elephant Man? It was a true story about a nineteenth century sideshow freak who was saved by a doctor portrayed in the movie by Anthony Hopkins. 

    THE ELEPHANT MAN, portrayed by the late John Hurt, continues to be a gold standard for artful cinematic creativity today. The movie is from Academy Award winning film producer Jonathan Sanger.

    How did this movie come about? Was it an agent’s pitch? No.

    Was it an award winning script? No.

    Did experienced screenwriters create this masterpiece? No.

    Was it adopted from a book? No.

    I recently met up with Jonathan Sanger in Hollywood when my firm Westwind Book Marketing arranged a book signing and special big screen showing of The Elephant Man at the Egyptian Theatre. Mr. Sanger introduced the movie to several hundred people where he retold the incredible story of how this movie came about.

    Where did the script come from?

    His babysitter handed it to him to read! That’s right, his babysitter. Sanger took the script and said he’d read it and promptly set it aside… for about a year. Then one day he came back from a trip opened his desk drawer and there it was… staring at him like an obligation.

    What did he do? He read it - and he loved it!

    His book “Making the Elephant Man: A Producer’s Memoir” gives us an insider’s look at the creation of one of the first ever indie films and a box-office smash, as well as a peek into the early careers of movie greats David Lynch, Mel Brooks and Anthony Hopkins.

    MAKING THE ELEPHANT MAN – A PRODUCER’S MEMOIR, in Paperback and Kindle is available on Amazon or on the author’s website  View the book trailer here:


    Few members of a film audience appreciate the intricacies of the myriad aspects of making a film. Sanger takes his experience as the producer of THE ELEPHANT MAN and opens a powerful discussion on the evolution of cinema, how he ‘discovered’ a script written by ‘unknowns’ Christopher DeVore and Eric Bergren finding “it was exactly the kind of story I would want to make, a historical biography about a wretched soul who had nonetheless lived an extraordinary life” - the true story of 19th century grossly deformed John Merrick, known as the Elephant Man working in a sideshow in London who was treated by a kind Dr. Treves.


    “When I wrote this, I was teaching a course in independent film and using my experience with this film to teach,” says Sanger. “I realized that it would be great to get these stories down and put them in a book.” For every movie he makes, Sanger keeps a notebook about the crew, the schedules, what they ordered for lunch, and other details. He was able to tap into notes from 30 years ago that brought the whole process up fresh in his mind, including the strong emotions that gripped him upon first reading the script..

    “Human stories have always moved me,” says Sanger. “I like movies about people who are outliers, who are not in the mainstream for one reason or another, even if they are famous. It’s not something I’m actually seeking, it’s just a trend I’ve noticed over the years, about myself as a producer.”

    Sanger’s latest two movies, both follow similar themes. In Chapter and Verse, a reformed gang leader returns to Harlem where he gets a job delivering meals.  Marshall is based on a true incident in the life of Thurgood Marshall, when he was a young lawyer, long before his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Written with passion, Sanger’s memoir takes us with elegant prose and many black and white photographs through the presentation to Mel Brooks who helped propel the young Sanger’s project into the hands of neophyte director David Lynch, the details of finding the proper crew, the cast (John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, Sir John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Anne Bancroft), the location, the anxieties of meeting deadlines, the technical hurdles of creating a film about such a character – facing struggles at every turn. Even the final showing of the completed film to an audience of professionals, whose silence terrified Jonathan, until he learned the silence was due to the emotional impact of the story – an unspoken Bravo!

    Brooklyn born Jonathan Sanger is a highly respected producer and director of major films, television series, and theatrical productions, having earned twenty Academy Award nominations, and winning three.


    In 1976, Sanger moved to Los Angeles, where he worked for Lorimar Television on network television series The Blue Knight and Eight Is Enough. In 1978 he was Mel Brooks' Assistant Director on High Anxiety, which led to a long professional association. For Brooks' wife, Anne Bancroft's feature directorial debut film Fatso, Sanger served as Associate Producer. During this period Sanger had acquired the rights to the script of The Elephant Man – his first production which led to a successful career in both producing and directing films – films such as Frances, Without Limits, Vanilla Sky, Flight of the Navigator, The Producers, and Code Name: Emerald.


    The Bottom Line: A good story well written delivered to the right person can be the ticket to incredible success. Remember- all movies start with the written word. All of them.


    About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

    Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

    Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at or contact Lorenz at or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

    Authors: How to Sign a Top Literary Agent

    Monday, October 2, 2017, 12:35 PM [General]
    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    By Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications

    Landing an agent for many authors is the most sought after goal. Why? It’s been long considered the fastest and most profitable path to publishing success. If that is your goal then you’ll want to check out these tips, techniques and resources to help you land the quality literary agent you are seeking.

    Where to begin?

    Get up to speed with the latest information with books and resources on the topic. According to Jeff Herman, book agent and author of Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents, authors should assess potential agents on the following points before sealing a deal:

    1. The list of books the agent has sold to publishers, including the publishers’ and authors’ names.
    2. The agent’s reputation online.
    3. Why s/he likes your book and how s/he plans to market your book, with reference to a timeline and how much you’ll potentially earn.

    Note that real agents do not:


    1. Charge upfront fees
    2. Offer to edit for a fee
    3. Sell adjunct services to their clients
    4. Submit books to vanity or non-advance paying publishers


    The critical step in the process is to research agents before you submit to them. Avoid agents who charge fees other than the standard 15 percent commission they receive on everything you get paid (your advance and royalties).

    Narrow Your Search

    Publishers Marketplace is one of the best places to research literary agents. Buy a subscription for $25 and access a wealth of information about publishing. With hundreds of agents hosting web pages, Publishers Marketplace is arguably the largest and most comprehensive repository to find info on top literary agencies. In fact, Publishers Marketplace claims to have “more e-mail and other contact information on more agents than any other source, updated daily.”

    Member authors can create their own Publishers Marketplace web page and indicate they are seeking an agent, which advertises you to agent and publishers.

    An added bonus to is the deals database, which includes the actual dollar figure of the advances paid to authors for many books. The daily updates provide essential information and searches reveal editors' buying patterns and more. The site also hosts a contact database that tracks editors on the move. Find out more here:

    Other resources to consider include:

    1. Manuscript Wish List visit:
    5. Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents 2017

    Social media is also a powerful tool to locate agents. Search social media for associations of agents— there are plenty. Michael Larsen, literary agent, suggests authors check out the Association of Authors' Representatives (AAR) as an outlet for finding quality agents. According to Larsen, “The 450 agents in AAR are the best source of experienced, reputable agents. Members are required to follow the AAR's code of ethics.”

    Another resource for finding agents is simply the acknowledgements section in books similar to what you envision your own book to be. Read the acknowledgements and collect the names of those agents mentioned and contact them directly.

    Don’t be shy— Have a presence.

    Share your personal brand with the world, both online and in person. It’s wise to create professional social media accounts, an online work portfolio or blog. According to Michael Larsen, “Let agents find you- be visible online and off, get published and give talks, publicize your work and yourself. When you're visible enough, agents will find you.”  This strategy worked for Andy Weir, author of The Martian. After selling 35,000 ebooks for $.99 and topping Amazon’s Sci-Fi Bestseller List, an agent contacted Weir and he was soon represented by Random House for a book deal. On top of that FOX contacted him for the film rights of his novel. The rest is history.

    A popular networking strategy is to attend writers’ conferences. Particularly for first-time authors, there’s no better way to get to an agent than at a conference. Agents typically won’t sign authors on the spot, but accept their advice and remember that networking is pivotal to a successful career. According to Chip MacGregor, literary agent and author of Ask the Agent, “I love writers’ conferences. Don’t go thinking you’re going to land an agent; just plan to meet people and learn a lot.”  Where are the best conferences? Here’s a list I’ve compiled of upcoming writer’s conferences.

    Make It Perfect. Practice Proper Etiquette

    “Nothing detracts from good writing like bad editing,” says Debra Englander an experienced non-fiction editor and writer. “Submit your best work. Have it copy edited and proofread by a professional. Don’t ruin a potential relationship with an agent because of mistakes.”  Englander served as editorial director at John Wiley Publishing for nearly 17 years and was on the receiving end of thousands of pitches from agents and authors. She currently works with authors on creating winning book proposals and editing manuscripts.

    Also, research an agent before you submit to them and check the agent’s guidelines before packaging and submitting your work. Before you commit to an agent, settle any unfinished business with others still considering your work. Just make it clear that you have an offer that requires an immediate decision.

    If you think you’re ready to be placed with an agent, consider the direction your writing career is headed. According to Chuck Sambuchino, author of the Guide to Literary Agents, “Most agents say they’re looking to represent careers, not books.”

    Bottom Line: Agents can land you the deal you could never obtain yourself. But the pursuit of an agent can take months and years. If you still want an agent then study up and do it now!

    About Scott Lorenz
    Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with individuals and entrepreneurs to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz has handled public relations and marketing for numerous startups, iPhone app developers, authors, doctors, lawyers, inventors and entrepreneurs. As a book marketing expert Lorenz is called upon by top execs and bestselling authors to promote their books. Visit: 






    How Authors Can Utilize ProfNet to Promote Their Books

    Thursday, June 2, 2016, 10:53 AM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    As a book publicist, I am always on the lookout for effective ways to reach book buyers and the media. One way is to utilize a service called ProfNet. As one of its first users, I’ve seen ProfNet become one of the most important ways of reaching the media in a non-intrusive way.

    Here’s how it works: A reporter, freelance writer or television producer is assigned a story. Unless they know someone who is an expert on that topic, they’ll need to find someone to interview, so the reporter will place a query on ProfNet requesting an expert with certain qualifications and who can speak to a certain issue they are writing about. They’ll include a deadline, contact information and their media outlet.

    These queries are compiled by ProfNet and are emailed out to thousands of publicists, experts, authors and other subscribers multiple times a day. I personally read just about every set of queries, as they could contain a big media opportunity for my clients. On any given day, there could be queries from the New York Times, "Good Morning America," Woman’s World, NPR and just about anybody you could think of.

    I’ve landed clients in all the above mentioned outlets and hundreds of others as well. One reason it works so well is that the media is looking for the expert rather than you or me (the publicist) pushing my client on them. In this case, they actually have a story they’re working on and need an expert.

    Who in the media uses ProfNet? Meet freelance writer Lisa Iannucci. Lisa has written many articles for consumer and trade publications, including Weight Watchers, Muscle & Fitness, Parenting, Shape, ePregnancy, SkyGuide Go (American Express), American Health, USA Weekend,  Parenting, New York Magazine and more. She has also written for New England Condominium, The Cooperator, Business Travel News, DDIFO (a Dunkin’ Donuts trade journal), Sports Travel and more. She is constantly on the lookout for interesting experts and authors to interview for her various freelance assignments.

    Authors are perfect for ProfNet because of their built-in credibility, since they wrote about the subject matter covered in their book. The media likes people who are have credentials and are authorities and experts.

    Here are key tips to remember when responding:

    1. Note the deadline. Get your response in well ahead of it.
    2. Answer the question or query directly. Keep your email short and to the point. Nobody has time to read a dissertation.
    3. Google the reporter or the publication if you are not aware of them. Get every edge you can, as you’ll be competing against others who want the coverage too.
    4. Remember: Radio likes “sounds.” Television likes a “visual.” Online services like "links." Print likes everything! So cater to the medium in your response.
    5. Put “ProfNet Query” in the subject line when responding.

    Continue reading this article on PR Toolkit: How Authors Can Utilize ProfNet to Promote Their Books.

    4 Budget-Friendly Ways to Promote Your Book

    Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 9:09 AM [General]
    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    There are an infinite number of ways for authors to promote their books. Since most authors cannot afford a full page ad in the New York Times Book Review, it is imperative to make dollars stretch as far as one can.

    As a book publicist I am always on the lookout for effective, inexpensive ways to reach book buyers and the media. Here are four budget-friendly ways to promote your book:

    1. Facebook offers advertising to special interest groups. Let’s say you’d like to put your book in front of readers who like to read James Patterson books. You can do that now with paid ads on Facebook. The audience for these ads used to be based upon age, interests, place of work, gender etc. Now you can zero in on readers of specific books by what appears to be an endless list of authors and books. You can list numerous authors in your targeted audience group, including Tom Clancy, John Grisham and many more. Facebook helps you create the ad online and it’s served up only to those who are fans of the authors you select. Is it effective? Ever wonder how some of the ads you see on Facebook seem to hit you at a perfect time about a perfect item? This is how they do it. Try it. It may work for you.

    2. Tap into the power of Goodreads by using Listopia lists. How? Listopia is a free tool through Goodreads that helps readers discover new books to read. They can search for genres, topics of interest, favorite authors etc. Authors can list their own book on their list along with other books in the same genre to gain from their popularity and association. For example, if you have a book similar to "The Martian," then listing that book along with your book and other similar books, your book can benefit directly on Goodreads and as a bonus, it may show up on Google, Bing and Amazon searches.

    Continue reading this article on PR Toolkit: 4 Budget-Friendly Ways to Promote Your Book.

    How Authors Can Use NetGalley to Promote Their Book

    Thursday, October 29, 2015, 11:23 AM [General]
    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Word of mouth sells books. Unfortunately, one of the most difficult things to do is to get people to read and review your book to help get the buzz going.

    As an author, how would you like to get your book into the eager hands of reviewers, bloggers, members of the media, librarians, booksellers, and educators before it was published? Ever wonder how some books have 50 reviews the day of publishing? Want to know the tricks of the trade? One way is through NetGalley and their 300,000 readers.

    NetGalley is a service that allows authors and publishers to get reviews of their work before and after it is published. Members gets galleys before others, read books digitally, share feedback, and become part of a reading community. There are also built-in benefits beyond the review, including advance promotion.

    Corrin Foster of Greenleaf Book Group says that their publishing firm uses NetGalley for nearly every title that they publish as a way to reach active and influential reviewers.

    “The NetGalley community is fair and transparent with their reviews, responsive to collaboration, and an invaluable resource for generating early reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, blogs, and social media which carry a lot of weight with general consumers. We value our relationship with NetGalley and their members very highly,” says Foster.

    “What an author will get from NetGalley, but may not always welcome, are reviews that are about as truly independent as can be,” said Tom Barry, author of "Saving Jay" and "When the Siren Calls."

    Continue reading this article on PR Toolkit: How Authors Can Use NetGalley to Promote Their Book.

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