Donna Mazzitelli, Chief Project Guide, Writing Coach, and Editor
Wanting to create a community of authors and a body of work that speaks to our collective desire to bring inspiration to each other, Donna birthed Merry Dissonance Press. As an editor, she often sees how authors crave connection to other authors as well as guidance along the way to publish and promote themselves and their books. Once an author realizes that the writing of their book may have been the easiest part of the process, they need someone to walk with them, midwifing them through editing, design, production, and marketing decisions. Donna walks with her authors every step of the way, gently guiding them through the learning curves and decision points. Whether it’s deciding what fonts to choose, where to host their book launch party, or how best to market their book, she partners with MDP authors to assist them in making those choices and in gaining confidence as they progress through the journey to becoming a published author. Donna is also an active participant and member of several leading publishing and writing associations nationwide, including The Independent Book Publishers Association and The Colorado Independent Publishers Association. She and her growing team work together synergistically to provide a seamless transition from one phase to the next, oftentimes weighing in on decisions as a group. Birthing one’s book into the world can be a joyful and exhilarating experience. Donna and her team put their hearts into every aspect of the birthing process so that when an author holds up their “baby,” they are beaming.
After frustrating experiences with dodgy publishers, Polly Letofsky launched herself into learning every aspect of the publishing industry. Her goal was to save authors from the antiquated publishing business and instead guide them through the fast-changing world of self-publishing. In that capacity, she joins Merry Dissonance Press as co-project guide to our small press, helping MDP and its authors navigate the world of online book sales, self-promotion, and marketing. It’s a brilliant era in which to be an author, where there are great alternatives that offer cost-effective, swift, and flexible publishing options, allowing authors primary creative control and more profits in their hands. Polly has established herself as an expert in the areas of self-publishing and book promotion through the publication of her own award-winning book, 3mph: The Adventures of One Woman’s Walk Around the World, and brings that expertise to the intersection of small press/indie publishing and the self-publishing worlds. Polly is also an active participant and member of several leading publishing and writing associations nationwide, including The Independent Book Publishers Association and The Colorado Independent Publishers Association.
As a lover of books and an avid reader, Andrea always dreamed of being a writer. Although writing was never a personal strength, she enrolled in a few college courses to polish her skills. She quickly learned that she wasn’t the typical college writing student and felt dismissed by the staff. Stuffing down the artist within, she hung up her writing hat for years. Luckily, her return to college for her master’s degree in counseling studies unleashed the writer within. After writing research papers for two years, Andrea returned to her passion and love for writing and creating. In 2010, with writing partner Lisa Shultz, she wrote How to Bring our Book to Life This Year: An Exploratory Guidebook on Writing and Self-Publishing. Since that time, she has subsequently published Soulful Marketing: Heart Centered Marketing for Conscious Entrepreneurs and Connected: 101 Ways to Be of Service and Create Community. As a writer and community gathering specialist, Andrea works with aspiring authors to help them unleash the book inside themselves. Her services include all aspects of interior layout design. Andrea believes that having a book is one of the biggest accomplishments of an individual’s life and is one of the most rewarding goals a person can ever complete. She’s honored to work with so many talented writers and to help them share their message, talent, and gifts with the world.
Victoria has been the driving force behind Red Wolf Marketing, Inc. since she started the company in 1992. A talented graphic designer and web designer/developer, Victoria has designed logos, print designs, websites, book covers and more for hundreds of clients. Her years of experience and knowledge in all aspects of marketing makes her especially adept at capturing exactly what clients are looking for.
Nick is owner of NZ Graphics. As a graphic designer for over 20 years, Nick has worked for ad agencies and print companies. He has been an art director for an aviation magazine; designed product packaging for manufacturers; created large signage for store fronts, company vehicles, and rapid transit; and designed promotional material for the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, KOA Radio, and Clear Channel. Nick’s book design work has garnered multiple national and international awards from USA Book News, Indie Book Awards, the IPPYs, the San Francisco Book Festival Award, the Valley Forge Freedom Medal Award, Colorado Independent Publishers Association’s EVVY Awards, and more.
Laura Peters decided to pursue an art career after teaching elementary school for several years. Illustrating children’s books became a passion because of her love of teaching reading. From her whimsical to realistic creations, children and adults enjoy her work. Laura’s art career has also given her the opportunity to become a nationally known muralist. Laura has created murals in businesses and homes across the country. Laura is also an award-winning watercolorist. Her creations have been exhibited nationwide. Laura enjoys traveling to elementary schools to conduct classes and inspire young artists. Additionally, she teaches watercolor classes for adults and children at her studio. Snapdragon Studios is located on a peaceful and scenic property in Colorado, where she lives with her husband, Jim. Visit Laura’s website, SnapDragonArt.com, to enjoy some of Laura’s recent works.
Gail is passionate about books in all forms. She is a chain reader of both print and eBooks and she enjoys discovering new children’s book apps. As a graphic designer and children’s book illustrator, she loves to help authors bring their books to life. Gail has been working with authors since 2004 and is efficient and productive with an eye for detail. She specializes in formatting manuscripts for the eBook market and developing apps from children’s books.
Rob is a busy illustrator, cartoonist and designer. He has a degree in Visual Communications from Judson College in Elgin, Illinois, and worked as a cover artist and designer in the yearbook industry for over five years. In 2007, he started as a freelance artist and hasn’t looked back. He has designed logos, book covers, and illustrated dozens of children’s picture books including Larry Saves the Prairie. He lives with his wife and family in Topeka, Kansas.
Audiobook producer and narrator, Richard Rieman, of Audiobook Revolution Productions (