About Don Massenzio

Don Massenzio is the author of Frankly Speaking - A Frank Rozzani Detective novel and the follow-up, Let Me Be Frank. He has also written several short stories.

This Week in Indie Publishing

art1Amazon has laid out exactly how to game its self-publishing platform

Bestseller status, five stars, a large number of reviews—there’s a whole host of ways to figure out if a book on Amazon is good or popular, but they’re all at risk of fraud.

On September 6, Amazon took legal action against five alleged violations of its rules for self-published books. The company’s demands for arbitration, published by GeekWire, expose an abundance of services that exist to game Amazon’s bestsellers list, review systems, and self-publishing platform, creating the illusion of quality and popularity for certain books on the site.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

art2What Happens When A Big-Name Author Is Sued For Copyright Infringement

It’s the ninth inning of a championship baseball game. Our hero steps up to the plate ― one runner on, two out. Strike one. Strike two. This is his moment: Can he make his mark on the field? Here comes the pitch.


This is the climactic moment of n+1 editor and writer Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding, a critically well-received 2011 novel that arrived on shelves after a splashy sale at auction for over $600,000 followed by a media blitz. Earlier this year, The Hollywood Reporter announced that IMG and Mandalay Sports Media are developing a film adaptation of the book.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

art37 tips to ignite your Internet celebrity

Caution – if you are allergic to hard work do not read this article.
I got this email at 5:53 AM.
“I have been reading several of your articles with interest. Do you have any suggestions as to how I might find the right supplier/installer to get my job done? Thank you, Mike – a fan in N.C.” – Shirley.
I said to myself I’m going to blow Shirley’s mind. I immediately email her back. Shirley, thanks for the nice comment about the articles. I’d be glad to help you. If you’d like, call me on the cell below or give me your number, I’ll call you.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

art4The ‘Bookselling Without Borders’ Kickstarter Aims To Bring More International Books To The United States

When was the last time you read a work of international fiction? Chances are, not likely, given that only three percent of books published in the United States are translated books. If that seems low, it is, especially compared to countries like Germany and Italy, where the percentage hovers between 15 and 20 percent. A new fund, called Bookselling Without Borders, aims to create an annual scholarship that will send dozens of American booksellers to three major international book fairs: the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, the Turin Book Fair in Italy, and the Guadalajara Book Fair in Mexico.

Founded and partially funded by five independent presses — Graywolf, Europa Editions, New Press, Other Press and Catapult — the scholarship addresses the lack of non-English speaking authors published in the United States.

Read the rest of this story HERE.


art5With No Potter, Sales Plunged at Scholastic in Q1

With a 52% decline in its children’s book publishing and distribution group, total revenue fell 33% at Scholastic in the quarter ended August 31, compared to the same period a year ago. Sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 were $189.2 million, down from $282.7 million in the first period of fiscal 2017.

The decline was due to a lack of a blockbuster title that could compare to sales of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was released during the first quarter of last year.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

Five Essentials of Novel-Writing for the Emerging Author

A Writer's Path

by Richard Risemberg

It’s tough out there; everyone’s writing novels, and many of them are pretty damn good. You will have a hard time marketing your book, whether you are self-published or have managed to get into a trade publishing house somewhere. Most books, even many deserving ones, vanish, leaving their authors to hope for van-Gogh-like posthumous success. But you can tilt the odds slightly in your favor by writing a book that is actually worth reading. Here are five essentials for the emerging novelist.

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Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam 11

Teagan's Books

Magical Town CrickadoonThe Magical Town of Crickadoon, Janet Weight Reed

Friday, September 22, 2017

Today I’m excited (oh, let’s be honest — I’m positively giddy) to collaborate with and feature one of my blogging she-roes.  Please welcome artist Janet Weight Reed.  Her love of color and sense of whimsy equals my own.  Janet’s talent and imagination leaves mine sitting in the dust. There are surely faeries in her magical town of Crickadoon.

Some of her magical hummingbirds have made their way to Thistledown for this episode.  (This post shows a beautiful collection of Janet’s hummingbirds click here.  If you want some of your very own, click here for her Zazzle store.)

Writing Process

Fallow Blackmoon, a faery from the colorless world (or the scary faery-verse), made an entrance that was hard to follow.  My pantser pants were not flying me anywhere — by the seat or otherwise.  Then…

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Media Training for Authors – Preparing for an interview on camera….

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

In the last few years I have been very lucky to interview some fascinating people on camera. Mainly live shows that as profile interviews have lasted 30 minutes or so. These included: – astronauts from NASA – a former First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy – Doctor Allison Cronin of the Monkey World rescue centre – Charles Tobias, President of Pusser’s Rum. Also successful authors and those writers just beginning their careers.

Some had been media trained for their particular job, but for many it was their first experience of being live in front of a camera.

Today there are a number of options available for online interviews that are filmed with YouTube and other platforms offering access to millions of viewers.

I do suggest that you get a couple of radio interviews under your belt first as it will boost your confidence before facing a camera. I went…

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Photography 101: Camera Features vs. Results

Expat Journal: Postcards from the Edge

Stephen F. Dennstedt

Camera manufacturers want you to buy their cameras. Well, duh, that’s capitalism in a nutshell—and where consumer demand doesn’t readily exist they create artificial demand through advertising to give us (the consumer) a sense of urgency. It seems like I’m really on a gear versus photographer kick lately (sorry).

Look, I get it, I like new feature-rich gear as much (or more) than anyone. But the question you have to ask yourself (unless you have an unlimited budget) is: do I need it or do I just want it. It’s the old needs versus wants algorithm. If you have the money then buy whatever the hell you want, but if you’re on a limited budget don’t let that stop you from pursuing your photography.

Not having the latest and greatest equipment is NEVER an acceptable excuse for not shooting. Period. OMG, I used to shoot film with…

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Broadcast by Liam Brown

Check out the book, Broadcast, by Liam Brown, through this extract on Linda’s Book Bag blog.

Linda's Book Bag

Broadcast_High Res Cover (1)

I am absolutely delighted to be part of the launch celebrations for Broadcast by Liam Brown. It’s not a book I might have read had I not been asked to and I would have missed out on a fantastic read. I have a short extract to share from Broadcast along with my review today.

Broadcast was published by Legend Press on 15th September 2017 and is available for purchase here.


Broadcast_High Res Cover (1)

The idea behind MindCast is simple. We insert a small chip into your skull and then every thought, every feeling, every memory is streamed live, twenty-four hours a day. Trust me – within a few months you’ll be the most talked about person on the planet.

When David Callow is offered the lead role in a revolutionary new online show, he snatches at the opportunity.

Rapidly becoming a viral sensation, David is propelled to stratospheric levels of celebrity…

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Innocent Blood by Linda S. Prather #CoverReveal @Bloodhoundbook @jacodypress

Check out the book, Innocent Blood by Linda S. Prather, as featured on the By The Letter Book Reviews blog.


I am delighted today to be able to share with you an exclusive cover reveal for the fabulous Innocent Blood by Linda S. Prather. This is the second book in the Redmond Private Investigations series featuring Loki Redmond and Jake Savior. The first book The Forgotten is a fabulous read and available from Amazon. Innocent Blood will be published on the 12th of October 2017 and I for one can not wait!

Anyway, I won’t keep you waiting any longer as I know you are all dying to see it. So with out further ado here it is! Isn’t it brilliant?

INNOCENT 6 FINAL .jpegBook Description:

Loki Redmond swore she’d never return to the reservation, but two missing hunters and the ancient Choctaw myth of Nalusa Falaya take her and her brother, Dadron, on a dangerous trek through the wilderness.

Meanwhile, her partner Jake Savior, heads to Tunica, Mississippi, to investigate the…

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