Monday, April 4, 2016

Service Interview with Stefan Vucak



Today we're doing a different type of interview, and it should be enlightening to both writers and readers following the blog.  

My guest today is Stefan Vucak.  Hello!  Welcome back to Writing in the Modern Age!  It’s such a pleasure to see you again. 

Hello! Thank you for having me here.

Of course! 

Can you tell us a little bit about your editing and publishing services, and how Writing in the Modern Age readers can benefit from them? 

http://www.stefanvucak.com/services/

 
I provide writers – experienced and those starting out - an avenue where they can get their manuscripts professionally proofread and/or copy edited at a very affordable price. Editing can be very expensive and most writers are reluctant to spend vast amounts of money on a service where they often get less than expected results. However, every writer should have their manuscript at least proofread before having it published. Many writers have turned to self-publishing, having discovered that e-book publishers may not be the best solution. I facilitate this process, enabling writers to release their books through Amazon, Smashwords and CreateSpace.

 
 
Wow, that's great! It's true all writers could use a little help sometimes.

Stefan, are you also a writer? What genre or genres should we expect to see you in?

I am a writer, having produced a series of science fiction novels and several political drama/adventure books. Early in my writing career, I wrote a number of short stories, which can be found on my website. Right now, I am concentrating on full-length novels.

http://www.stefanvucak.com/books/
 
All right.

So, what gave you the idea for your services? And can you elaborate a bit on your premise, "Authors are generally very good at writing and telling their story, but they are not always so good at critically reviewing and editing their work"?

Over the years, I came to understand the publishing business, especially e-book publishing, learning lessons the hard way. Seeing some of the questions writers have posted on social media sites seeking help on publishing, editing and book formatting, I realized that I could help those writers avoid making mistakes I made during my writing career. This prompted me to write a series of articles on writing, which I hoped could be useful. See http://www.stefanvucak.com/category/writing/ 

As a writer, I understand what authors go through during the writing process, and having reviewed numerous books and seen some very bad writing, offering my services as an editor was but a short step. 

Well, it sounds great! So helpful!

What do you enjoy most about being an editor?
 
Apart from being exposed to a new story, a new adventure, or explore a non-fiction work that gives me information I may not have had, I guess the most enjoyable part of being an editor is the satisfaction of knowing the author will have a better product to present to his or her readers as a result of what I do to their manuscript. As part of the editing process, I not only provide obvious mechanical corrections to grammar and syntax covered by the editing agreement, I also include comments on story structure, plotting, characterization, and suggestions for the author to consider. I never rewrite passages, although I do so for sentences. I am a firm believer that the manuscript is the product of the writer, and it is not up to me to force my own style or point of view on the manuscript. I may not necessarily like what the author has written, but that does not interfere with my effort to provide the author with a professional service.

 
Well, I can certainly respect your approach. :)

What is the most difficult part of being an editor?

The difficulty being an editor is telling an author the manuscript cannot be salvaged without extensive rewriting. I hate doing that, knowing what effort every writer puts into his or her creation – having gone through that myself. When I encounter such a manuscript, I don’t have to edit the whole thing to know it needs extensive rework to make it suitable for publication. I can tell within the first five to ten pages, and that is how I price my work. Some manuscripts I accepted were tough and required a lot of work on my part, but that is what I signed up for. During the editing process, I involve the author, requiring him or her to participate, the experience hopefully developing the author’s writing and self-editing skills.
 
Well, I think that we can't always see the mistakes in our own manuscripts until we have another pair of eyes look over it. :)

So...let's try some general questions. 

When reading, do you prefer traditional printed books or ebooks? And why?

I devour books, and they range across many genres, from days of the fighting sail, WWII naval stories, techno-thrillers, all things science, and more. Most books I review are in e-book format, but I prefer to hold a printed book. I love the tactile feel of a real book, the ability to leaf through the pages, freedom to read anywhere without having to cart a laptop or tablet with me.
  
I know what you mean! I love collecting physical copies of books.

Can you tell us what you're reading for fun now?

Right now, I am ploughing through China and Cyber Security, by John R. Lindsay et al. It is a fascinating window into espionage, national strategies and global politics in the digital domain. Lots of material there that could germinate into a novel.
 
Interesting! 

Well, to wrap this up, here's my last question, or questions, I suppose.

Are there any words you'd like to impart to writers? Any advice you can give us to improve our work? 

Also, how can writers contact you to inquire about your services? And how can readers follow you as an author?

As a writer, I would love to see my books plastered in every bookstore, making thousands of sales. However, the harsh reality is that most of us will not achieve that dream, but I don’t write simply to sell my books. I write because I want to share something of my vision, and hopefully entertain my readers. If my books manage to open a new window and make readers think, that is a bonus. However, a good book is not only characters and narrative, but the craft used to create it. And that means mastering the mechanics of the English language, something that sadly many books lack. So, have that manuscript edited! 

Anyone wishing to contact me can view the Services page of my website: http://www.stefanvucak.com/services/

Readers can also reach Stefan here: http://www.stefanvucak.com/contact-me/

I've known Stefan for a few years now. He was actually the first guest author on the blog here in 2013, and he always has some really great tips to offer. 

So these sound like great services for writers of all stages, which is just about perfect for Writing in the Modern Age, isn't it?

 
Thank you for stopping by Writing in the Modern Age to tell us all about what you offer to writers, Stefan!

About Stefan's Services

No matter how good the story, if the reader has to stumble over typos, bad punctuation and grammar bloopers, you can guess what will happen. Polishing that manuscript is a vital final step before having the book published professionally. Sadly, too many authors neglect this step.
For those who feel they have the editing craft mastered, many might not be so sure how to self-publish, or whether they want to venture down that path. Given the growing acceptance of self-published works, and having royalties paid to you rather than getting the thin end from an e-book publisher, it is well worth considering as a viable outlet.
I have been down both roads myself and can appreciate the potholes an author can stumble into. I was a submissions editor for Writers Exchange E-Publishing, an editor for Double Dragon Publishing, Awe-Struck Publishing, and Solstice Publishing. I provide competitive editing and manuscript formatting services, with up-front pricing.

Service Link


Testimonials:

“I am a pilot and not a writer, but the editing you have done has so improved the story. Well done.”
Escaping Cuba by Alan McTeer

“I want to thank you for making the manuscript better all around. The story is clearer and the protagonist stronger. I appreciate your insights and the generous care you took to get it right.”
The Curse of Akbar by Troy Bond

“Stefan, thanks for all your close work on this novel. I look forward to working with you in the future. You obviously know what you are doing.”
Hidden Congregation by William Delamar

“I am always amazed at your work. Thanks.”
Red Zone by Alan McTeer

“I do thank you for your efforts; it’s a much better book than it was.”
No Third Choice by Anthony Kohler

“Stefan Vucak has edited two of our novels, The Lost City of the Condor and The Mayan Mask of Death. My co-author Loretta and I found his assistance invaluable.”
The Lost City of the Condor by Vickie Britton

“I am getting very excited and I want to thank you so much for all your hard work!”
Realistically Raw by Diane Henry

Stefan’s Bio 
 
Stefan Vucak has written eight Shadow Gods Saga sci-fi novels, which includes With Shadow and Thunder, a 2002 EPPIE finalist, and five contemporary thrillers. He started writing science fiction while still in college, but didn’t get published until 2001. In 2010, he decided to branch out into contemporary political thrillers. His Cry of Eagles won the coveted 2011 Readers’ Favorite silver medal award, and his All the Evils was the 2013 prestigious Eric Hoffer contest finalist and Readers’ Favorite silver medal winner. Strike for Honor won the gold medal.

Stefan leveraged a successful career in the Information Technology industry, which took him to the Middle East working on cellphone systems. He applied his IT discipline to create realistic storylines for his books. Writing has been a road of discovery, helping him broaden his horizons. He also spends time as an editor and book reviewer. Stefan lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Author Links:

Website:  www.stefanvucak.com


Stefan's Books:  


http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00PHZWHZY
 
http://www.amazon.com/Strike-Honor-Stefan-Vucak-ebook/dp/B00BRY85AA/ref=la_B005CDD1RY_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459235781&sr=1-9
 
http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Tips-Authors-Stefan-Vucak-ebook/dp/B00G1R4E1M/ref=la_B005CDD1RY_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459235781&sr=1-1
 
http://www.amazon.com/Guardians-Shadow-Gods-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00EFETN96/ref=la_B005CDD1RY_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459235886&sr=1-7&refinements=p_82%3AB005CDD1RY
 
http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Thunder-Gods-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00C4Z7GRY/ref=la_B005CDD1RY_1_17?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459236269&sr=1-17&refinements=p_82%3AB005CDD1RY
 
http://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Shadow-Gods-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00BVSMHEW/ref=la_B005CDD1RY_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459236269&sr=1-13&refinements=p_82%3AB005CDD1RY
 
http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Masters-Gods-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00C2XR4MU/ref=la_B005CDD1RY_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459235886&sr=1-2&refinements=p_82%3AB005CDD1RY
 
http://www.amazon.com/Whisper-Shadow-Gods-Book-ebook/dp/B00BZY1WCU/ref=la_B005CDD1RY_1_16?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459236269&sr=1-16&refinements=p_82%3AB005CDD1RY
 
http://www.amazon.com/Against-Gods-Shadow-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00BXWTVDQ/ref=la_B005CDD1RY_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459235886&sr=1-6&refinements=p_82%3AB005CDD1RY
 
http://www.amazon.com/Cry-Eagles-Stefan-Vucak-ebook/dp/B00BUQBG8S/ref=la_B005CDD1RY_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459235886&sr=1-3&refinements=p_82%3AB005CDD1RY
 
http://www.amazon.com/Towers-Darkness-Stefan-Vucak-ebook/dp/B00BUIG9RY/ref=la_B005CDD1RY_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459235886&sr=1-5&refinements=p_82%3AB005CDD1RY
http://www.amazon.com/All-Evils-Stefan-Vucak-ebook/dp/B00BUQBDTA/ref=la_B005CDD1RY_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459235886&sr=1-12&refinements=p_82%3AB005CDD1RY
 
http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Death-Gods-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00BRY8186/ref=la_B005CDD1RY_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459235886&sr=1-8&refinements=p_82%3AB005CDD1RY
 
 

2 comments:

  1. Lord knows, we all need editors and proofreaders, Stefan. You're providing a good service to authors. I also like the looks of your SF series. Some great covers, and the titles sound interesting. Congratulations.

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