Welcome back, Don Massenzio! It’s good to have you here again. Let’s talk about your new business and how it is part of the writing world.
1. With your blog you are helping so many aspiring authors. What made you decide to do more than that?
There were a few factors. I wanted to be sure that I enjoyed editing and formatting the work of author authors. I’ve worked with a few authors and find that I still enjoy helping them bring their work to life. Another factor was the stigma (perceived or actual) that independently published authors face. Traditional publishing purists will tell you that our work is substandard due to the lack of professionalism and quality. I wanted to help the independent author community, as a whole, improve the quality of their work with professional editing and formatting at a price that won’t break the bank. If we can bring each other up, it will improve the entire community. Finally, I have always thought about launching this type of business as a retirement thing, but I lost my day job a few months ago and I accelerated the launch as a way to bring in some income.
2. Did you always plan on offering author services or did this idea just occur?
My author blog started about three years ago. I was very prolific with posts designed to help indie authors improve their quality. After a year or so of doing this, I collected them all into a book. (You can now get that book for free if you sign up for my newsletter). These author services are a way to help authors with the things they typically shouldn’t do for themselves.
3. Does your service include more than just editing?
Beyond proofreading and line editing, I offer developmental editing which encompasses looking for things like redundancies, continuity errors and other elements of writing that are apart from just making sure spelling, punctuation and grammar are correct. Additionally, I offer supplemental and complete ghost writing for writers that have an idea or an outline that they just can’t complete as a finished work. I’ve done some ghost writing in the past and it is gratifying to help someone realize their vision. I also offer formatting services for both print and eBook. The two formats are very different and it’s important to devote some time to formatting so that a book can look as professional and polished as possible.
4. How do you work cooperatively with authors?
Once I begin the editing process, I like to work closely with the author. I will edit their manuscript using Microsoft Word in twenty-page increments. This way, I can give and get feedback during the process and not wait until an entire book has been edited to uncover a problem. For instance, one book that I’ve edited recently involved characters that were from another time. It took a bit of back and forth with the author to land on exactly how old-fashioned spelling and phrases would be handled in a way that wouldn’t confuse or put off readers. Once we established the ground rules, it went very smoothly.
5. How does your editing process work exactly?
As I mentioned, I start by editing the manuscript in 20-page increments. Within the manuscript I use the ‘track changes’ feature in word and suggest edits, word substitutions and other modifications based on the level of editing desired. I then supply a ‘marked up’ copy showing every change and comment and a ‘clean’ copy with all the edits applied. The author can then make the choice of assessing each edit suggestion individually, but they can also read the manuscript from the clean copy with all the edits applied.
Once the manuscript is completely edited and the changes have been approved by the author, I will format the manuscript for print and/or eBook if that is desired. I provide discounts to authors that wish to have both editing and formatting services.
6. Who can contact you for your services?
While I am targeting my services for independent authors, any author that needs these services is welcome to reach out to me.
7. Do you have a website for your services?
I do. You can find it at https://dsm-publications.com/
8. Is there anything else you want to tell us about your work?
The indie author community is full of wonderful writers with great stories to tell. My goal is to help those storytellers produce work with the best possible quality so that they can have their work stand toe-to-toe with traditionally published authors.
Thank you so much for this interview! Please come back any time!