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!

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In Memoriam – A Fantastic Helpful And Wonderful Woman – Kelley Lynn Crandall

This post was written and prepared to be published March 1, 2018. But due to the news I got on this very sad day I was editing and publishing it today.


A few years back I had an extremely hard time in my life. It was a phase where nothing turned out the way it was supposed to be according to my plan.

During this time there were so many of my friends standing by my side; not only my friends and family who had been with me for a long time, nearly all my life but also FB friends. Friends I’ve never met in my life, but only met on FB, on other social media, people I could count on and who became real trustworthy connections in the meantime. (I will get back to them in another post!)

One of these people was Katie Jenkins of Magical Designs. Through Katie, I met another amazing woman: Kelley L. Crandall, a writer, and Marketing Specialist.

They both helped me significantly through this time, were in contact with me nearly daily, supported me and gave me advice, suggestions, help, and encouragement.

Since then, Katie became the Mom of beautiful twins, congratulations, Katie! Of course, she concentrates on her family now. But whenever we’re in contact again, I’m still grateful to know her. She’s such a wonderful person!

When I started feeling better, I had been talking on the phone to Kelley, and we talked and talked like women do sometimes. At one point I told her: “I wish I had an editor for my stories, and I wish so much it could be you.” And wonderful, amazing, gold-hearted Kelley said: “I wish that too!”

That is now how I got my editor. Kelley understood the problems I was fighting with – and she understood me. She searched her way through my work, and she even liked my books, which is, in my opinion, a very important thing. (I mean, how can a person edit something if the story isn’t liked?)

Kelley was patient, encouraging and supportive; she was helpful, humorous and an amazing friend! She became a part of my heart!

Today I got the Information that Kelley has passed away. To say I’m sad would be too mild… I’m heartbroken.

Only last week we chatted and today she is no more.

I am thinking of Kelley’s husband David and her children. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

I know, this blog post isn’t particularly long – but today I wanted to thank my friend from the bottom of my heart:

THANK YOU, KELLEY L. CRANDALL!

For everything you did, for your work, your heart, your understanding, and your friendship! You mean a lot to me!

I will never ever forget you, Kelley. You left your love in my Soul. I don’t want to say Goodbye… I want to say: SEE YOU!! You will be sorely missed!!

My Writing Progress – 4

In my last ‘Writing Progress’ post, I wrote about finishing the draft of my second book in the series which I just had drafted by then. In the meantime, I had typed it in, edited it and sent it to my editor. It, in fact, turned out to be a novel, not a novella, like the other two books, number one and three in the series.

Shortly before I went on vacation, I had finished drafting the fourth book in the series. I posted this in my newsletter, and I’m still very proud of it.

I took the fifth and sixth book of the series with me on vacation. I had started both but wasn’t too far yet. But my friend’s backyard and pool were extremely calming and relaxing and tickled my fantasy. It’s November, and even though I’m not a participant in the NaNoWriMo, I still finished the fifth book of the series and continued the sixth one.

I’m very surprised, but then I shouldn’t be. I love writing this series and create these characters in each book and meet the existing ones again is such an adventure for me.

I hope very much you will meet some of them soon.

At this point, I do feel a bit worried about my editor being ‘overflowed’ with my manuscripts. And I have to type in two more novellas as quickly as possible.

Wish me luck.

 

 

 

Picture courtesy of google.com

THE DEFINITIVE SELF-PUBLISHING CHECKLIST ~ For People Who Aren’t Very Organised and are absolute beginners.

Thank you very much, Evie Gaughan, for publishing the ultimate self-publishing checklist! We really appreciate it! (In particular a beginner like me!)

Evie Gaughan

The definitive

You just hit publish, right?  That’s what all the articles say.  Any idiot can upload a book in minutes.  And yes, I suppose any idiot can, but it takes a very informed, dedicated, professional and talented individual to upload a book that people will want to read.  A recent Facebook post from a first-time author seeking advice made me realise how long I’ve been doing this self-publishing thang and how I’ve kind of taken for granted that everyone has ‘the knowledge’.  There are so many blogs, articles and how-to books on the subject, and yet authors can still struggle with the basics.  The first author asked what she should be doing in the run up to her launch and another suggested that while there is a lot of information out there, it’s almost overwhelming.  Where do you start?  Where does it end??  So in an effort to share said knowledge, I’m writing…

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I’m Having a Love Affair With ‘Had’!

Jan R. provides us with an amazing post about a ‘love affair with “had”‘. Thank you very much!

Writing your first novel-Things you should know

aid174983-v4-728px-Stop-Saying-the-Word-_Like_-Step-4-Version-2On more than one occasion I have declared my love affair with the word ‘had’. When you use a word so many times it jumps off the page, you have a problem. It doesn’t matter if the word is used correctly or not. You need to find another way to write the sentence without using ‘the word’. In my case that word is ‘had’.

What’s wrong with using the word ‘had’ over and over, besides making it an awkward read?

  • If you are using ‘had’ a lot, odds are you have a lot of backstory/info dump, because it specifically details things that happened before the current action. In some circumstances, that can seem dull, or like the focus is in the wrong place. Why spend so much time on something that’s not happening right now?
  • Using ‘had’ too much can also indicate you are telling vs. showing.
  • ‘Had’ is also rather formal…

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Finding the Best Freelance Fiction Editor

Steven Capps has published an interesting and helpful blog post about editors and how to find them. Thanks so much Steven. This helps many of us.

Steven Capps

Welcome back to the blog! Before we begin, I want to highlight a few things that are not quite relevant to today’s post, which will be focused on how to hire a goodfreelance editor. If you are only here for that info, go ahead and scroll down. If you enjoy the content, I would love for you to hit the follow button just below the comment section. No pressure, and if this is the worst thing you’ve ever read, I’ll go sit in the corner of shame.

For everyone still reading this intro, I am assuming that you are one of the regulars, so thank you again for all your support. A few weeks ago, I posted a few episodes of a podcast, though it pittered out because in the subsequent interviews there was a super annoying static that I only recently fixed. Obviously, I couldn’t post these because…

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Top Publishers of 2016

The Write Nook

A few weeks ago, Publisher’s Weekly came out with a ranking of America’s top 20 publishing houses for 2016. It’s no surprise who the top 5 were, but what’s really important is what came after.

The sixth and seventh publisher were both that of children’s books- Scholastic and Disney came in right under the ‘Big Five.’ It’s quite a refreshing thing to see. Children’s literature has always been a tough genre to crack because the audience is smaller, the interests change rapidly, and the surge of technology has threatened to turn some children away from reading and the love of books. Nevertheless, books sales for 2016 has proved that there is still so much to love about children’s publishing. For Disney, Star Wars and Rick Riordan books led the way.

tops publishers

Houghton and Workman come in next, showing us that non-fiction titles still have a big impact on our consumption market as…

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