…Authors… Giveaways, Freebies and Promos are all a matter of balance…

This blog post, written by Seumas Gallacher teaches about giveaways, freebies and promos and how they are all a matter of balance.
Thanks so much for this educating and interesting blog post, Seumas!

Seumas Gallacher

…as a writer, I’m often asked, ‘why give yer stuff away for free?’… this ol’ Jurassic Scots scribbler can be as charitable as the next man… but, with a nod to my Caledonian heritage, and to quote a famous writer of the past, “…his generosity knows bounds!…”…delving into the wunnerful WURLD of self-publishing ten years ago, heralded an entire raft of nuances and ‘tricks of the trade’on Auntie Amazon’s Kindle… all in the quest of finding the sweet spot for broadening my readership, and seeing the sales and downloads graphs head skyward… experimentation was the order of the day, mixing and matching the various methods of tempting subscribers… Free Promo spells… auction bids… then Goodreads Giveaways, throwing as many as five or ten copies of books at a time at lucky draw winners… Facebook readers’ groups, much more satisfying, because at least the author gets to…

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DSM Publications – With Don Massenzio


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!

Happy Mother’s Day 2018

How Wonderful! Once again we all celebrate our Moms! ALL Moms!

Young Moms, older Moms, Grandmas, Mommys and every level of Mom in between.

Moms are a unique species. Heartwarming, caring, protective, selfless, supportive, nursing, sometimes hard to understand species!

Thank you Moms!!

Moms of human and other kids! YOU ROCK!!

Picture courtesy of: http://www.google.com

Picture courtesy of: http://www.google.com

Picture courtesy of: http://www.google.com

Character Names – Worth A Research?


Lately, I met an Irish woman whose first name I simply love: Mairead. She told me it’s the Irish version of the name Margaret. I was fascinated. Margaret is a great name, but to my ear, Mairead sounds mysterious and a bit magic.

After a little bit of research, I found out that it’s believed the meaning of the name is ‘pearl.’ I’m convinced in one of my books a character called Mariead will show up.

That coincidence is one of the very few occasions so far that I met a person whose name I plan to use in one of my books.

Most of the time I have a ‘rough plan’ about a particular new character in my head already. Before the ‘fine tuning’ I most of the time need a name. In my head, I can only imagine a character as a person if he or she has a name.

XY is often in a fit of violent temper.
XY is well trained in controlling himself and playing a peaceful and prudent man.
XY occasionally twirls his beard when…

and so on. These things don’t work for me if I cannot address the person properly.

Erik is often in a fit of violent temper.
Wilbur Carstairs is well trained in controlling himself and playing a peaceful and prudent man.
Grandpa Ben occasionally twirls his beard when…

That’s much better. My head has a picture of Erik, Wilbur and Grandpa Ben now.

____________________________________________

Imagine now I created a beautiful Irish woman with light skin, black hair and bright blue eyes. She’s filigree, but no matter how tender she looks, her magic makes her strong. Nobody knows what powers slumber inside of her.

Before going deeper into her character, find out her flaws, build her in detail, I want to be able to think about her as a person, not merely a ‘picture’ or a ‘draft.’ I have a good basic idea of how she will be. What I need now is her name. A name that in my opinion, matches her looks as well as her character (and what I have hidden inside of her).

My research will look like this. First names on the left, last names on the right. I researched the names and the meanings.

After taking notes of the basics, I’ll leave the paper for a while and later on I’m trying to figure out what I like about the names, how they match. I keep scribbling onto the note until it looks like this. (And of course my favorite is red).

And here we go: Welcome to my book, Aideen Brady.

Do you think this is too complicated? What is your process to find your character’s names? Are names really worth such efforts? Let me hear your thoughts, please.

The Grammatically Correct Way To Commit Suicide

A bit over a week ago I chatted with a friend of mine who I was going to have dinner with the same night. We’re always having a lot of fun. The lady is as smart as a tree full of owls and I’m proud to have her as a friend. She’s a librarian and a teacher and occasionally I’m very happy she can give me some advice.

This afternoon we had following conversation, starting harmless, just as women talk sometimes:

(M=me – F=Friend)

M: “We still need to get ready.”

F: “I’m just in my work clothes.”

M: “Yeah, but you’re always chic.”

F: “Not today. Comfy. I’m wearing a moo moo. Just kidding!”

M: “In that case I’ll be overdressed.”

F: “Just wearing black pants and black shirt. I look like I’m going to a funeral.”

M: “Yes… my hope died.”

F: “LOL.”

M: “Maybe my hope hanged itself. Oops… is it hung? Wait! I’m a writer, I can do this!”

F: “Hanged is for humans.”

M: “My hope committed suicide.”

F: “Hope is being personified. So hanged is correct.”

M: “Wow. I’m proud of myself.”

F: “You had a 50/50 shot.”

M: “I should take this conversation and blog about it.”

F: “LOL”

And here it is. Let’s say, a ‘makes-no-sense-at-all’ conversation and still I learned something. I admit, sometimes life is amazing. And I’m once again realizing how grateful I am to have friends who support my writing, even in small things like this.

Thank you, my dear friend. (Does that conversation sound familiar to you?)

As for my hope: It is very much alive. If this wasn’t the case, I would not exist anymore.

Image result for hope

A Lost Friendship?

Years ago I found a friend

funny, caring, faithful and true.

I love her a lot and still she’s gone.

I wish I knew where I have failed you.

**

Doesn’t friendship mean ‘together’,

no matter how hard the times may come?

Friends may laugh and they may cry,

they even argue, when it’s troublesome.

**

But the love should carry them together

through friendship, life; through thick and thin.

Your friendship means the world to me

no matter where I was, I will be, or I’ve ever been.

**

Should I have hurt you, then I’m sorry.

You know me well, this I would never do!

As my friend, can you forgive me

and let me get it right for you?

**

One of the bases in the past years

was our friendship in my heart.

You have just left and yet I miss you.

My safe haven broke apart.

**

Your wisdom and your humor,

the way you laugh and talk with me

this is what I miss so much now

I’d hug you, on the count of three!

**

In case what I have done now

cannot be fixed, it is too bad…

I’ll still remember you with my love

helpless, clueless, and unbelievably sad.

*****

(Copyright Aurora Jean Alexander, May 2018)

Picture courtesy of http://www.google.com

1000 Posts On WordPress


Last month WordPress told me that I had published my 1,000th blog post on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest.’ 

Another achievement in my blogging life has been accomplished.

I don’t deny I’m quite proud of this one. 1,000 blog posts over roughly three years are something. But then, I have to say:

Part of these blog posts aren’t mine – they are YOURS!

I built ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ as a writer’s blog, and that’s how it grew. With your help, it became what it is now, and I hope, of course, it will further grow. But without your help, this wouldn’t have been working out.

The Author Spotlights, the re-blogs, the guest posts, the blog tours, the promotions, that wasn’t my work, it was yours!

Thanks so much for your work, for permitting me to re-blog, to pingback, to promote, to interview you! Thanks for making my blog a wonderful experience. Thank you for your help!