Time for Undead Burrito Prods to Weigh In – @brisownworld

NOTE FROM LB: One picture is worth a thousand words, and this is one VERY BIG picture. So appreciate that you only have to read a few words. Thanks, Ms. Castellini.

MUNCHER’S NOTE: Hahahahahahahaha…. Bri said “Bris.”

NOTE FROM LB: >sigh<

by Bri Castellini

BrainsWebseries.com is, at long last, no more. It hasn’t made sense to have a website dedicated to a web series we haven’t created more content for since 2016, so we traded that URL for UndeadBurritoProductions.com, a new central spot for all things we make and all things to come. Check it out!

In a similar vein, I also redesigned my personal portfolio site in a similar style, to streamline my previous work experiences and highlight the skills I actually want to be known for. You can find it here.

All Undead Burrito Projects

Buy In | Short Film (2019) (coming soon!)
Sam and Pat Are Depressed | Web Series (2017-)
Ace and Anxious | Short Film (2017)
Brains | Web Series (2015-2016)
Relativity | Web Series (2016)
dusk of the dead | Mini Series (2017)
Apocalypse Yesterday | Short Film (2016)

Bri Castellini is an indie filmmaker and Film Community Manager for Seed&Spark, a film crowdfunding platform, as well as an adjunct professor for two MFA programs. Watch the remarkable Ms. Castellini’s award-winning web series, Brains, HERE. See Sam And Pat Are Depressed HERE.

Herbie J Pilato Tells Us How to Write a Nonfiction Book that Sells – Part 2

EDITOR’S NOTE: TVWriter™’s legendary Contributing Editor Emeritus Herbie J Pilato shares the key to his nonfiction writing success. Yesterday we brought you the “Teaser.” Time now to enjoy the specifics of the adventure!

by Herbie J Pilato

  • The Introduction

The information in this section may sometimes mimic the cover letter that you or your agent may submit to the editor/publisher with the proposal. Here, the author offers a general summary of not only their idea but a summary of the proposal itself — all in not more than two pages (if that).

  • The Overview

This section takes the proposal a step further, delving deeper into the subject matter of the proposal while offering more technical details of the intended length of the book (how many pages, words), whatever licensing fees may be involved (if, per se, the book is a companion guide to a particular TV show or feature film), and the number of illustrations and photographs (which might also have to be licensed, depending on the subject of the book).

  • The Market

Facts and figures matter most here. Who do you see reading your book and why? Which interests groups, on or off social media? Delve into the market figures. Find out, record and display it all in the Market section of the proposal. A list of competing titles for your proposed book is also a good idea to list in this Market section.

  • Chapter Outlines

Two or three sentences should be presented in each chapter, in future-tense. That is to say, each Chapter Outline should begin as such:

This chapter will be about, as opposed to: This chapter is about. Save the present tense for the Sample Chapters section.

  • Sample Chapters

It’s best to prepare at least two or three full sample chapters, written in the present tense. This is where the author has to prove their writing weight in gold. Don’t try to fool anyone in any part of the book proposal, and definitely don’t try to fool anyone in the Sample Chapters section.

  • About the Author

Keep it simple, and not longer than two paragraphs. Explain who you are, and why you are the best person to write the book you have in mind. But again…keep it brief.

In general, when writing your book proposal, clarity is the most important factor to remember. Watch those typos. Agents and editors are looking for reasons to say no to your idea. Be smart, professional, clear, and factual, and give them every reason to say yes — even if it takes a 100+ rejections to find the right partnership to get your nonfiction book sold.

And one other thing:

Don’t give up.

Writer/producer Herbie J Pilato is the host of classic TV talk show THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, now streaming on Amazon Prime, Founder and Executive Director of The Classic TV Preservation Society, and author of several classic TV companion books. He has been part of TVWriter™ for 20 years and is Contributing Editor Emeritus. Learn more about Herbie J HERE. This article first appeared in Medium.


by Bob Tinsley

Why should you as a visitor to TVWriter™ be interested in making audio fiction? Why should you be interested in making podcasts? Discoverability, that’s why.

The meaning of the word podcast is evolving to include any episodic, audio-only production whether nonfiction or fiction. Agents and major studios have started trawling through podcasts and their creators for new content and talent. 

So here’s the latest news to help you and your podcast get discovered: 

Music from https://filmmusic.io
“The Builder” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Hunted Writer Jeffrey Baker On How He Crafted The Dick Wolf Audio Drama.

This is an excellent article on the differences and similarities between writing for TV and writing for audio. Jeffrey Baker, one of the writers on Law & Order: SVU, knows whereof he speaks. It turns out there are more similarities than differences. On how he liked writing for audio Baker said: “I would just say I’m super excited that this kind of storytelling’s come back and audiences are into audio fiction.”



Podcaster Kenneth Vigue On Chad: A Fallout 76 Story.

If Forbes Magazine isn’t the Big Time, I don’t know what is. Forbes has been following podcasts and audio fiction for a while now, even publishing a regular column by the wonderful Sarah Rhea Werner, podcaster and creator/showrunner of the Girl in Space audio fiction show. Alex Kane interviews Vigue about how he turned fanfic for the video game, Fallout 76, into a full-blown audio fiction show with up to 18 voice actors and pro quality sound design. If he can, you can.




All of 2019’s Audio Drama/Fiction Podcast Debut Releases.

A list fromThe Cambridge Geek detailing all 660+ audio fiction, RPG, audio fiction shows that released a debut episode in 2019, separated by genre. One hell of a list. Thanks to The Cambridge Geek for this epic work.



How To Podcast For Free (Or As Little Money As Possible).

You can spend a lot of money producing and hosting an audio fiction show. Or you can do it for nothing out of pocket. Matthew McClean, one of the creators of A Scottish Podcast, gives you the skinny on how to do it in this short but informative article. Read it.



How To Grow Your Podcast With Facebook Ads.

This article from Gavin Bell at The Podcast Host tells you why and how to make Facebook ads that will increase your audience. The best thing about Facebook ads is that you can target your specific audience. Some people aren’t thrilled with the performance of FB ads, but this article tells you how to do it economically.



Extra, Extra: The Power Of Supplementary Material For Podcasts.

Wil Williams strikes again! If you want to attract, maintain, and even increase your listening audience, providing supplemental material relating to your show is one proven way to do it. In spite of the fact that your main content is audio, the more text and images you have on your website the better your Google-fu will be. Think about posting your scripts, production logs, even fan art and fan fic from your listeners. As Jean-Luc Pickard would say: Engage!



Moonbase Theta, Out.

Created by D. J. Sylvis this show follows the skeleton crew of five people tasked with shutting down the last moonbase. The first season follows the crew through the reports of Communications Officer Roger Bragado-Fischer to the management team on Earth. Season 1 consists of 20 episodes that average about 5 minutes each, so it’s easy, and fun, to binge the whole thing in a couple of sessions. Season 2, which just concluded, consists of the personal logs of the five crew members as they experience the events covered in Season 1. 

From the website: “Join the crew of Moonbase Theta, as well as Roger’s husband Alex from back on Earth, as they reach out to share the beauty, the isolation and frustration, the love and enmity, the humour, and the tragedy, as they all count down to the operation’s end.” Listen and enjoy!.


Until next week, same Pod-time, same Pod-channel, keep listening and keep creating.

Herbie J Pilato On How to Write a Nonfiction Book that Sells – Part 1

EDITOR’S NOTE: TVWriter™’s legendary Contributing Editor Emeritus Herbie J Pilato shares the key to his nonfiction writing success. Thanks for paying it forward, old friend!

by Herbie J Pilato

It All Begins With The Book Proposal.

The publishing industry is not what it used to be.

Today, there are maybe six or seven (if that) main publishing houses, whereas at one time there were several more. Whether it all changed due to the hands of time or fate, or somewhere or some other reason in between, the plain and simple truth is it’s a different literary world out there.

By the same token, considering the access and increase various forms of extended and evolved communication of recent, there’s probably never been an easier time in publishing history (if that’s a thing) to write and sell a book, despite the genre, category, or whether of a nonfiction or fiction nature.

There are several ways to have a book published beyond the traditional method, including the ever-expanding self-publishing path. But in either case, the best way to begin the journey is with the book proposal, specifically when it comes to nonfiction, and even more specifically when it comes to first-time-published nonfiction books.

The world of fiction, novels, novellas, etc., is a different animal altogether, especially if it’s an initial book. Here, the best chance is to have the manuscript completed before approaching an agent or publisher, while the nonfiction book, be it an inaugural work or otherwise, has the best chance of being sold by way of a proposal.

At its core, the book proposal is essentially a 20 to 40-page outline of the proposed idea, but as explained in books like How To Write A Book Proposal by Michael Larson, the proposal has to read more like a mini-version of the intended book than an outline.

However, once the book proposal is completed, realistic expectations must be in place. Many passionate writers, particularly passionate aspiring writers of any age, believe that every editor and publisher who reads their work will automatically and absolutely adore their literary idea/book proposal upon first perusal and call immediately to make an offer of purchase.

But that’s not how it works. Trust me. I’ve been there.

Even an established author like myself, who has had more than 12 nonfiction books about popular culture published over a twenty-year period still cannot assume an immediate industry-wide acceptance of any new book idea, presented either in the proposal or completed form.

The selling of my first publication, The Bewitched Book, which Dell Publishing released in the fall of 1992, transpired only after the book, in proposal or then completed manuscript form, was initially rejected over 100 times; purchased, canceled, purchased again, canceled again; finally published; canceled; revised for a new edition, which was rejected over 100 additional times; sold, canceled, and then sold again.

Remember how I said publishing is not what it used to be?

The marketing process of my first book occurred when the world of publishing was in a more welcoming state if welcoming is the right word — and it’s really kinda’-sorta’ not. It’s always been tough to get a book published, while it has become relatively less-tough today.

Multiply the amount of stress, pressure, and work connected with what I went through to have my Bewitched Book published, combine that total with the increasing competition in today’s environment of everyone seeking to be, believing and envisioning themselves as best-selling authors, and you have the summative atmosphere of the modern literary world.

Even if you have completed what you may deem the perfect or near-perfect proposal for your nonfiction book, or finished that great American novel that you’ve been envisioning since first grade, you still have to find the agent, editor and/or publisher who believes in your book/idea as much as you do.

Finding that like-minded professional in the publishing arena is half the battle. To ultimately sell and have your book see the light of day on display in bookstores around the world and everywhere books are sold online is a warhorse of a different color.

Before your literary idea becomes a full-blown published book, that perfect proposal you’re working on or completed has to be approved by a number of colleagues connected with the representing agent and/or editor-in-question.

And if even one of those colleagues doesn’t “get it” about your book, or even if they’re having a bad hair or coffee day, your book will not get sold.

It’s sad to think that way, but that’s part of the reality of the way things work in publishing, archaic as that may be.

Many books get published for all the right and wrong reasons.

Some great books may never get published because the author/agent simply could not convince the potential buying-crowd of editors at a particular house because of the negative “gut” feelings of those decision-makers in power, no matter how many facts the author has presented for the book’s intended market.

At the same time, some really not so-wonderful books get published by the author because he or she was best friends with the deciding editor’s Aunt Tilly years ago in Pacoima.

And again, sorry and sad to say, that’s just the way it some times works.

But let’s remain positive and start to tackle what it initially takes to create a proposal for a nonfiction book that will sell against all odds.

You know why? Because I’ve done it. Just keep remembering those multiple rejections and cancellations I had before I finally published my first book.

So, onward to the shaping of the proposal, which basically has five or six different core sections: The Introduction/Overview, the MarketChapter OutlinesSample Chapters, and About the Author.

Each section has to thoroughly prove just how well you know your subject and market, and just how talented a writer you are without displaying even the smallest measure of ego. (Crazy, right?)

TOMORROW: The Deets! Be here.

Writer/producer Herbie J Pilato is the host of classic TV talk show THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, now streaming on Amazon Prime, Founder and Executive Director of The Classic TV Preservation Society, and author of several classic TV companion books. He has been part of TVWriter™ for 20 years and is Contributing Editor Emeritus. Learn more about Herbie J HERE. This article first appeared in Medium.

Hank Isaac on Cultural Confusion – Or Is It…Time Travel?

by Hank Isaac

Is It Possible to be a Time Traveler and Not Know It?

I find what people say and how they say it both generally fascinating and discouraging.

And I wonder why, as I get older, things make less and less sense when they should really be making more and more sense. I suspect when I finally expire, I will be totally clueless.


  • I call my health care provider (name made up for, well, you know) and this is the recording I get:

“Welcome to Bayside Healthcare Associates. Bayside is here twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to provide the best health care services available. Our doctors represent some of the finest medical professionals available and our staff is ready and willing to provide you with timely and excellent services. Please listen carefully to the following options, as our menu has recently been updated. If this is a medical emergency, please hang up and dial 911. Bayside Healthcare Associates does not offer emergency room services…”

Hold it!

Like thirty seconds into the message and NOW you tell me to dial 911?

Why aren’t those the first words out of the mouth of the professionally-recorded voice answering thingy?

  • The film permit office in the town where I’ve done some filming is essentially a one-person city department. They do have a complete permitting process and forms to fill out. Which I do. Then I hand them in.

One time, I called to check on the permit’s status. I was told, “There has been a problem with the permit.” So now my mind is racing. I have only a few days to find a new city or change the story completely and I have rented equipment which is now in the air from the other side of the country and it’s landing here tomorrow and…

So I ask, “Do we get the permit?”

And the response is, “The problem involves the use of the alley behind Nathan’s at three in the morning…”

So I ask again, “But will we get the permit by next Friday?”

“I’m trying to tell you. The alley behind Nathan’s…

This exchange continues for about a dozen more rounds. And it gets heated with me saying things like, “Can’t you just tell me if we got the permit or not?”

And the person on the other end of the call saying things like, “If you’ll stop interrupting and just let me finish…”

Bottom line: We got the permit. WE’D ALWAYS HAD the permit. It’s just that the permit person for some reason couldn’t say, “You’ve got your permit but let me tell you what we had to go through to get it.”

THEN I would be listening.

The person HAD to lay out the history in chronological order, not even considering what having or not having the permit would mean to the person who was requesting it.

  • Which would you rather hear if this happened to you (it’s made up–didn’t happen to me):

The phone rings. You answer.

“Hello, is this Mr. Jones?”


“Mr. Jones, this is Officer Melbourne from the Dayton police. Your daughter has been in a accident…,” etc.


“Mr. Jones, this is Officer Melbourne from the Dayton police. Your daughter is fine. Completely fine. She was in an accident, but…,” etc.

My point is that when a speaker buries the lead, it’s great for filmed stories but pretty bad for real life. Can generate unnecessary concern. Even panic. And for no reason.

  • Twice now in my lifetime–oddly only within the past ten years or so–I’ve come up against this sort of recorded phone answering message:

“Hi! You’ve reached Mary Smith. I can’t take your call right now but if you leave your name and number and a brief message, I’ll get back to you at my earliest convenience.”

What about my convenience? Anybody see the problem here?

It’s becoming a world where everyone seems to know the right words, just not where or when to use them.

Who do we thank for this? Parents? Schools? The Internet?

And I don’t care — I’m gonna keep using a double space after periods. I’m reading a book now where I keep overrunning the ends of sentences ’cause the first word of the next sentence is way too close to its predecessor.

Anyone know what day it is?

Hank Isaac is an award-winning indie film writer/producer/director who collects awards as easily as dogs collect fleas. TVWriter™ is always happy to see his unique contributions.