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.

The Single Most Useful Editing Tool I’ve Used – #NaturalReader

Let me preface this post by saying that in my opinion, there is no app anywhere that will ever replace a good editor. Not everyone agrees with me, but I think the writers out there who can get away with skipping a professional editing are few and far between. If you are one of them, I apologize, as I don’t mean to imply there are none. But generally, I believe in a final edit by a qualified human being, the two operative words being “qualified” and “human.” 🙂 Now, having gotten that out of the way, on to what I wanted to share with you today.

I use beta readers (9, actually on a private blog) and they read my draft, chapter by chapter, as I write. This lets me know when a chapter is doing what I need it to do, so I can make immediate tweaks or changes, if I’ve failed to get my points across. After my draft is complete, I submit my work to my editor, also chapter by chapter, because that’s how I like to work, and she accommodates me, thankfully. But between the completion of my draft, and any submissions to my editor, I revise each chapter myself, making any obvious corrections I spot, rephrasing here and there,  and running the chapter through editing software. I use SmartEdit most of the time, but there are quite a few out there.

The last thing I do before sending the chapter to my editor is listen to it on NaturalReader. A fellow local writer, Gerald Darnell, told me about this program, and I was astounded at how helpful it was to listen to someone else read the chapter aloud. Doing it myself just isn’t the same. Following along on my monitor as the chapter is read by NaturalReader has cut my typos, especially missed words like to, and, and the, down to next to nothing. And before I started using it, those would often get by all 11 sets of eyes checking the drafts!

I can also pick up on sentences that are too long, or simply don’t sound quite right, and words that have been used too often. Hearing the chapters aloud makes a HUGE difference.

I can’t say enough about how helpful NaturalReader has been to me, and I thought some of you might enjoy checking it out. I had the fully paid version (with assorted voices and other options) on my old computer, but lost it. I’m now using the free version, and frankly, I find it every bit as helpful. It does stop once or twice during a long chapter, to ask if I want to upgrade, but I just click the button to continue, and it’s not a big deal for me.

You can try NaturalReader out for free here. What have you got to lose? OR you can go to the main page, paste your text into the field, and listen to it there. If you like that option, go here.  And once you are anywhere on the site, you can compare the free version to the paid one and decide which is best for you. Or, while you are using the downloaded free version, you can click “OKAY” when prompted to upgrade.

I say, check it out. You might be surprised at what a handy tool it is. (BTW, it will also read web pages aloud for you, should that be of interest.) It is available for both Windows and Mac.


Question About Amazon/Kindle

Okay, this is for authors and readers, both. Anyone who uses a Kindle or Kindle app. Why is it whenever I edit one of my own Kindle books, I can’t get the new version on any of my devices? I delete the OLD version from the device, and I delete it (supposedly) permanently from the Cloud. Then I BUY a brand new version, download it, and it is the same version I had to start with. Every single time. After two years, I still can’t get the edited version of Wake-Robin Ridge on my Kindle.

What am I doing wrong? (Forget that part about checking the box to allow updated versions of books to automatically be sent to my Kindle. It has never worked on ANYONE’s book that I’m aware of.)  After uploading Finding Hunter a couple days ago, I discovered some wonky formatting going on that had NOT shown up on the Previewer. I fixed it, uploaded it, but have no way to tell how it looks on my own Kindle Voyage, because they merely sent me back my original purchase. ?????

Anyone else have this problem? Any help would be greatly appreciated.