DSM Publications – News From Don Massenzio & a Free Book Offer

LogoAn Exciting New Venture

Services for Indie Authors

(NOTE: So happy to share this news from Don Massenzio, introducing his new editing and formatting business. Hope you’ll all keep him in mind for your editing needs, and will share this news with your friends. Thanks!)

DSM Publications offers Editing and Formatting services to Indie Authors with advice and networking with other authors.

As Indie Authors, we are all in this together. Every day we make gains on the traditional publishing market.

One of the ways that we can accomplish even more is by making sure that the work we produce is of the highest quality possible to help alleviate the stigma that has been cast upon us by the traditional publishing world.

It has been my mission to help other indie authors realize a high level of quality while alleviating the tedious tasks of editing and formatting by sharing the experience I have picked up along the way. I’ve done this, for the past three years, through informative posts on my blog, promotion of author books and over 200 author interviews. I will continue to do these things on my author web site, but now I’m taking it one step further.

I am so excited to launch this new venture. Throughout my career, I have enjoyed editing documents and making them look professional. I have been working with word processing programs since the old Xerox XPS WYSIWYG system of the 1980s through Multimate, Word Perfect and Microsoft Word.

The thrill of seeing a document come together and look like something professional never gets old for me. Whether it’s my own book or one that I help another author finalize, I take a great deal of pride in producing that finished product.

That is why I’m so excited to officially launch DSM Publications as a service provider for authors. I know the struggles and challenges that Independently Published authors face because I am one. With 10 published books, so far, I’ve made nearly every mistake as I’ve learned the steps necessary to create a final product that I’m proud of.

I’ve collected all of this experience, along with my decades of editing business publications, into a process that is repeatable and efficient.

I want to help my fellow authors reach a level of quality that will make them proud of their work and put it on equal footing with the product coming from the traditional publishing path.

I hope some of you will consider joining me as I launch this venture. I’ve been editing books for others as I prepare for fully committing to this business. I feel like I’m ready to jump in with both feet.

My goal with DSM Publications is to offer cafeteria-style services to indie authors at a reasonable price.

I truly enjoy this kind of work while I help you on your writing journey.

I hope you’ll help me make this new venture a success.

Stop over to the DSM Publications web site and check out my services and rates.

Special Offer

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If you sign up for my DSM Publications Newsletter, you’ll receive a free copy of my book, The Ultimate Guide for Independently Published Authors. You can sign up for my newsletter by clicking HERE.

#FREE gift – SPRITE NIGHT – a Caledonian Sprite short story #UrbanFantasy #ScottishHighlands

As a late Christmas (or early New Year) present, please help yourself to a FREE copy of my Caledonian Sprite short story, SPRITE NIGHT.

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If you have yet to meet sassy Cassie, the Scottish water sprite with a passion for the environment (not to mention the odd hunky Highlander), now is your chance.

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This 8000 word story is a stand alone read, though it follows on from events in the full length novel DESPRITE MEASURES, described by one reviewer as ‘a unique eco-urban fantasy’.

So if you love the Scottish Highlands (yes, Marcia, men in kilts!), the environment, strong characters and a bit of magic, then bag a copy while it’s FREE this week.

Here’s a little taster…

The inn was typical of its type; old, creaky and in need of renovation, but warm with hospitality and a reputation for excellent food and choice of single malts. One of the more frustrating aspects of my human body is that consuming food or alcohol is a futile exercise; I can eat, but solid food needs disposing of—let’s not go there—and alcohol, whilst I can take pleasure in the taste, has no effect on my metabolism.

Companionship though—that I can, and do, enjoy.

I pushed open the swing doors to the lounge and glanced around. Most of the crowd were locals I’d come to know over the past few weeks, but a rather delectable-looking stranger sat in the snug beside the chimney. My body perked up with interest.

Right now, my DNA stores were high, and gathering more would be an indulgence, but this guy had the makings of a pleasing dalliance, with or without extra benefits. His shaggy brown hair melded into a luxuriant beard, above which shone a pair of the brightest blue eyes I’d seen in a long while. He was dressed in a heavy woollen sweater with a thick, quilted jacket and thermal beanie discarded beside him on the bench.

Never one to stand on ceremony, I sauntered across the room and put a hand on the chair facing him. A pleasant waft of pine aftershave tickled my nose, evoking images of wide open spaces and forest, meeting my approval. He nodded in response to my raised eyebrow, and I pulled the chair out, dragging it across the bare wooden floorboards with a squeal.

He winced. “Dear God, lass, d’ye like to torture your men even before ye’ve been introduced?”

Blurb

When Scottish water sprite, Cassie, joins an anti-fracking protest, she doesn’t expect to find herself at odds with a druid. But with time running out for the local environment she can’t afford to be distracted by the handsome hunk of a Highlander.

Intent on sabotage, Cassie is unprepared to be caught in the cross-fire of a magical battle. Can she avert catastrophe? Or will she become the very agency of an ecological disaster?

Download from Amazon,  or leave me a message below if you’d like a different format and I’ll send it to you directly.

What makes a book a bestseller?

teasersquare600After two years of pounding the keyboard and putting out indie fiction, I finally hit what I consider a bestseller. Half Wolf had 6,000 combined sales and borrows during its first three months of life, and the sequel seems to be enjoying even better reviews (and, hopefully, sales).

While my figures still don’t hold a candle to those of some authors, I thought it would be worth mentioning what I did differently in case you want to follow suit. Here’s a quick rundown in what went into my bestseller.

  1. Studied the genre harder. I read widely and often and write what I love to read. That said, I noticed repeated criticisms of my Wolf Rampant series surrounding lack of sex and action scenes. At first, I turned up my nose and said, “Hmmph! That’s what makes me an indie author — I can write what I want!” But then I decided to give it a whirl. And I have to admit I feel like the resulting book was more powerful for the inclusions (even though those component are still below average on a modern chart).
  2. Paid for an amazing cover. I have basic photoshop skills and thought I could make my own covers…and I did manage to make passable ones. Then I upgraded to hiring a cover artist…and was amazed at the difference in sales. Rebecca Frank is, unfortunately, now booked months in advance and no longer accepting new clients. However, I highly recommend shopping around and paying for a top-notch cover to match your top-notch book, hitting all of the same genre buttons to signal exactly what’s inside.
  3. Workshopped my blurb to death. Seriously, I think about ten people helped me make approximately 100 revisions on my blurb. Even before that, I studied the blurbs of the bestsellers in my genre, noting word count and other factors. Overall, I spent nearly a week on the project! But the result is tight and humming with life and it sells books.
  4. Launched with forethought. A lot more goes into a sticky launch than just telling your fans and waiting for the sales to roll in. If you haven’t read it, I recommend Chris Fox’s Launch to Market as a primer. I used a spreadsheet and every bit of social capital I’d built up in recent months on my launch and it was very much worth it.

I hope that gives you some ideas for pushing your next book into the stratosphere! And, if you’re curious, Half Wolf will be free Saturday and Lone Wolf Dawn is already marked down to 99 cents for launch week. Feel free to lurk and see whether my second launch does as well as the first.

Short Story release & an upcoming #0.99c #sale – #UrbanFantasy #Ecology

Short Story release and a 0.99c sale

Hi folks, I’m pleased to announce the release of my short story SPRITE NIGHT – a Caledonian Sprite short story.

This series has been described as ‘Eco-urban fantasy’, which fits it well.

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Blurb

Discover a unique eco-urban fantasy with a touch of romance.

When Scottish water sprite, Cassie, volunteers for an anti-fracking protest, the last thing she expects is to find herself at odds with a druid. But with time running out for the local environment, she can’t afford to be distracted by the handsome hunk of a Highlander.

Intent on a minor act of sabotage, Cassie is totally unprepared to be caught in the cross-fire of a magical battle. Can she avert catastrophe? Or will she become the very agency of an ecological disaster?

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Now, you can buy this on Amazon here for 0.99c, OR you can get it FREE if you either:

  1. sign up to my mailing list here, or
  2. offer to leave me an honest review on Amazon

If you are interested in reviewing please leave me your email address and required format in the comments below, or contact me directly via my blog (form below my bio here).

0.99c SALE

And in celebration of my latest release, I am holding a one week sale (10 – 14 August) for the first book in the series DESPRITE MEASURES.

Blurb

DespriteMeasures

On the surface she’s a cute and feisty blonde; a slender pocket rocket fitness coach. But Cassiopeia Lake has a secret; she’s really a force of nature – an elemental.

Water sprite, Cassie, has lived undisturbed in her native Scottish loch for eons. Now, one encounter too many with modern plumbing has driven her to live in human guise along with her selkie boyfriend, Euan. It’s all going fine – until a nerdy magician captures Cassie to be an unwilling component in his crazy dangerous experiment.

Escape is only Cassie’s first challenge.

She’s smitten by her fellow prisoner, the scorching hot fire elemental, Gloria. But how do you love someone you can never touch?

And what do you do when your boyfriend starts to hero-worship your persecutor? Not to mention that tricky situation of being the prize in a power contest between two rival covens of witches.

So when Gloria’s temper erupts and she sets out to murder the magician, can Cassie keep her loved ones safe from the cross-fire, or will she be sucked into the maelstrom of deadly desires and sink without trace?

You can find DESPRITE MEASURES here on Amazon (remember the sale is next week), an both can be read for free by Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime members.

Each story is a stand alone.

Please share, especially next week when the sale is underway.

And what are you waiting for – contact me NOW for your FREE short story

 

Happy Birth Month Event!

I am one of those people who starts talking about my birthday three months before it arrives because celebrating the fact that I am here on Earth is a huge deal to me. I love having birthdays. I don’t even care that it means I’m getting older, or that this year I’m turning forty on the 22nd. I’m not afraid of forty–I hear it’s the new twenty. I also love getting presents, and this year I’ve already gotten some pretty awesome gifts from the people who love me.

Heart of the Sun HoW 2I wanted to spend this entire month celebrating my new twenty with all the people who continue to make it possible for me to live my dream. To kick off the celebration, I set the pre-order price on my upcoming book, Heart of the Sun, as low as Amazon, Kobo and iBooks will allow me to go in price. Through May 25th, Heart of the Sun is available for just $.99, and then on release day it will shoot up to $2.99. Now is a great time to pick up a copy and help me spread the word about it.

But the celebrating doesn’t stop there. Throughout the entire month of May there will be one of my books free on Amazon at all times. Starting now… I will send out notice each week to let you know what’s free how long you have to grab it before the price goes back up. You can also stay on top of the freebies by following the link to my Amazon author page and clicking the “Follow” link under my picture. Save the page and return each week to find out which book is free.

goblin market updated coverRight now The Goblin Market is free through midnight on Saturday, May 9. If you don’t already have a copy of this book, now’s a great time to snatch on for your Kindle or Kindle reader app. Don’t forget to stay tuned to the site for announcement on the next free book, and please help me spread the word.

I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the big 4-0! Not a day goes by that I am not truly grateful to have the opportunity to do the one and only thing I’ve wanted to do with my life: tell stories.

Shameless plea for votes – my #SF #shortstory ‘Perfect Fit’ is #FREE to read

When I entered my short story PERFECT FIT in a contest being held in honor of the late, great Terry Pratchett, I didn’t realize it was open voting. It took me a couple of hours to find a cover, upload and write a description, so when I saw that I needed to also blab about it to gather votes, I thought I’d just chalk up the time spent to experience and move on.

In the process, I did discover a great site where you can download free wallpaper images, which is what I used for the story, so it wasn’t a total waste. You can find that site here.

But then I thought, hell, why not?

So here is my plea: please click on THIS LINK to read the story and vote. In fact, you don’t even have to read it (which makes it rather a poor writing contest, in my opinion, but hey ho), all you have to do is click on the little heart to vote for it.

If you do read it, like it and want to, you can also rate and review.

I shared a snippet of this story during excerpt week here, and it is my contribution to the anthology THE WORLD AND THE STARS, that I published earlier this month.

So here is the mini blurb for the story:

Humanity has the technology to play God, but how far should it be allowed to go? On a generational starship where workers are created to fit their jobs, Roz believes they might have gone too far…

And the lovely cover I found for it:

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Now go. Vote.

Please… 😉

 

Win a Free Signed Copy of Swamp Ghosts…

 

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Big Blue

…just for being among the first twenty people to sign up for my Mail List.  Yep. Sign up for my monthly mail list HERE, and you’ll not only be the first to know about promotions, contests, and news from Wake-Robin Ridge, North Carolina,  and Riverbend, Florida, but you’ll win a signed copy of Swamp Ghosts, which is Book 1 of the Riverbend series. Don’t miss out. Click on the link at the top right of this page, and sign up today. (The winners might even find one or two little surprises tucked in with their copies of Swamp Ghosts.) Do it today! You KNOW you wanna! 🙂

Swamp Ghosts Excerpt

A man was walking down the floating pier, reading the name of each boat he approached. A really big man. Big enough that his weight caused the pier to bob up and down, which seemed to worry him, if his frown was anything to go by. Continue reading

The power of Bookbub

Amazon bestsellers

Of all the book-advertising sites, Bookbub is king. But with great power comes…a pretty hefty pricetag and seriously restrictive submission requirements.

I applied three times before I was finally accepted, and I had to downgrade my wish list from a 99-cent listing to a free listing. I was a little concerned, actually, that I might have to explain to my  husband why I’d spent $175 giving away free books…but then Bookbub’s email went out yesterday afternoon and soothed my ragged nerves.

By 8 pm, I’d already broken even due to increased sales of the other novel and short story in the series, and I woke up this morning to find that my Bookbub-pushed title was number two free on all of Amazon! Book two in the series (aided by a countdown deal mentioned in the description of book one) had soared to #402 paid, and I had an author rank for the first time ever!

Author rank

The moral of the story? If you’ve been considering applying for Bookbub, but have been afraid of the big bucks involved…do it. Be sure to read their requirements carefully, though, and consider applying when your book will be free since free slots are easier to land than sale slots. The more books you have in the series, the more of a return you’ll see on your investment, and remember that Bookbub ads can now be seen in Canada and the UK as well as the U.S.

The only downside I’ve found with Bookbub so far is the constant urge to refresh my sales data. Makes it hard to write book three….

Come Weather the Storm With Me!

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wacky umbrellaI’m ridiculously excited. In just two days my new book, Siren will be out in the world. I know it’s all I’ve talked about for the last eight weeks. I’m like a mother with a new baby, whipping out my wallet to show you all the pictures. You’ve all been so patient and sweet about all the gushing, so thank you for that!

To celebrate I’m hosting an all day Giveaway Storm on Facebook, and I wanted to take a moment to invite you all. The event launches Monday, January 5, at 10 a.m. EDT on Facebook. There will be all kinds of giveaways, from ebooks, paperbacks and audiobooks to artwork, hand-crafted pretties, book swag, and more!

Bring your favorite umbrella and a friend!

Follow me to the Siren Release Day Giveaway Storms