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Hi, I’m D.J. A while back, I figured out I have a knack for putting ideas into words in a way that regular folks can easily understand: through emotionally-charged, “show-don’t-tell” stories.

This doesn’t mean that I specialize in fiction, though I do write novels. But stories are the universal language that ties us together as humans. They form the backbone of our society. Everyone and everything has a story, so stories can be used to get almost any idea or message across to your specific audience, in a highly-relatable, very memorable way.

I love writing speeches. I can’t wait to finish my next book. I enjoy getting emails recounting how much a newsletter article I wrote helped someone. 

But instead of just “telling” you about what all I do, let me take you by the hand and show you who I am and what I do across the rest of this page. Sound good? Great. Here goes nothing:

Speechwriting

Copywriting

Editing

Books

ABOUT ME

I’ve always loved to write. Even when I was in grade school, my buddies and I wrote long (at the time–about 20 pages) picture books about our “soon to be” exploits in the NHL. I remember that one time I famously wrote that I’d be the first professional athlete to sign a billion dollar contract. Then my buddy one-upped me and said he’d make two billion, and things quickly spiraled out of control from there.

While my math may have been a bit off, I kept writing in my free time. In seventh grade, I had my first formal speech class. When I got my first laugh from a speech I gave (I think it was about Gilligan’s Island), I was intrigued. When a girl told me she was really moved by my speech about how influential Gene Roddenberry had been on my young life, I was hooked.

I kept at it, and one day woke up to find myself in law school. Soon after that, I was practicing at a big law firm back in St. Louis. While I wrote a lot about some pretty dry topics, I learned to write in a clean, quick, no-nonsense style, and how to properly edit my work. Word got around the firm, and by the end of my summer internship, I was becoming known as “the editing guy” around the firm, even “punching up” (as much as possible) partners’ work.

Even though I had the chance to write a few speeches for some clients, the law firm life wasn’t for me, so in 2011 I left to cover the St. Louis Rams as a beat reporter and radio analyst. It was a lot of fun, and a great gig. I learned a ton about interviewing intimidating figures (ever been stared down by a linebacker looking 2-14 in the face?), writing a lot of very clean copy very quickly, coming up with column ideas and (once again) editing my own work.

Unfortunately, the team didn’t do so well that year, and the organization I worked for pared back its Rams coverage the next year. So I took some time to write a few novels. You can check them out here. They range from trippy sci-fi to a small-town baseball yarn on the rocks with a twist.

While I was writing my novels, I started up a side business connecting readers and writers. While the business ultimately proved unsustainable, it led me down the rabbit hole of copywriting, and I’ve never really looked back. Soon enough, I figured out that a lot of people who give speeches don’t write their own stuff, either. And I picked up a consistent eNewsletter client along the way, as well.

But enough about me–I’m rambling now. The important thing is that I can help you spread your ideas to others. How? Here are a few different ways:

SPEECHWRITING

Want to connect with your audience? Want them to hang on your every word? Would you like the confidence boost that comes with getting your audience to laugh via a tasteful joke within the first minute or two before settling in to impart your ideas to them in a calm, friendly manner that’s consistent with who you are and how your audience hears things?

I’ll deliver all of this and more!

How can I make such a bold promise? Because I work tirelessly to understand all of my clients and the audiences to which they are presenting. This includes:

  • A “long enough” conversation with you to hone in on your message, likely audience, and to get a sense of how you speak.
  • Reviewing past speech recordings you have on hand.
  • Researching your audience and making an “avatar” of your ideal audience member.
  • Several drafts of your speech, constantly reading aloud and revising if something isn’t just right…
  • Bracketed “stage directions” (i.e. [pause for laughter], [reflect for a second], etc.)–I try to make your delivery as bulletproof as possible.
  • A finished product, double-spaced, in size 14 font for readability, along with a final time estimate and other notes I have on the content, ebb, flow, and tone.
  • A minimum of two rounds of revisions–I just can’t live with myself unless you’re 100% satisfied with the end product.

I bring all of this, along with a cheerful, yet professional attitude and demeanor to ensure your speech is done on-time. Not only that, but my rates are set–no surprise overcharges due to shady hourly billing practices.

Some Examples of My Work:

Fathom 4

A “mission” speech intro for a defense logistics contractor, with the mission of showing others “why we do what we do.” Was great working with Brian–they do great work!

Run Time: Approx. 4 minutes 3o seconds

Deeded Body

A “group eulogy” given by a nurse practitioner student at an event for the families of people who deeded their bodies to science after their death. Very moving to write–Claire was great to work with!

Run Time: Approx. 4 minutes 

Political

A speech I wrote for a Missouri State Senator on Construction Work-In-Progress financing that was being pursued by the legislature without a popular mandate.

Run Time: Approx. 3 minutes

Testimonials

Home

“Mr. Gelner took the time to talk to me and really get to know the subject matter in order to produce a well thought out and eloquent speech for me. It was much better than anything I could have done myself. I most certainly am going to recommend him to anyone else I know who could use some speech writing help!”

-Brian Burger, Co-Founder & CEO, Fathom 4

SPEECH WRITING RATES

$100 / Run Minute

(No PowerPoint Slides)

$150 / Run Minute

(With PowerPoint Slides)

And remember, this includes:

  • All research and prep work.
  • A thorough conversation with you to hone in on your message, likely audience, and to get a sense of how you speak that takes into account your schedule and needs.
  • Reviewing past speech recordings you have on hand.
  • Researching your audience and making an “avatar” of your ideal audience member.
  • Several drafts of your speech, constantly reading aloud and revising if something isn’t just right…
  • Bracketed “stage directions” (i.e. [pause for laughter], [reflect for a second], etc.)–I try to make your delivery as bulletproof as possible.
  • A finished product, double-spaced, in size 14 font for readability, along with a final time estimate and other notes I have on the content, ebb, flow, and tone.
  • A minimum of two rounds of revisions–I just can’t live with myself unless you’re 100% satisfied with the end product.
  • A cheerful, responsive, professional attitude and demeanor that you will appreciate.

Want me to get started on your speech? Great!

Book Now!

Copywriting

I specialize in telling engaging stories that accomplish your stated goals and get readers to take action.

It’s as simple as that. I’ll take your readers by the hand, paint a vivid picture for them in the space allotted, and guide them toward whatever your desired result is.

That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll write novels as ads or website copy (though I will write as much as, for example, a sales letter calls for to get the job done). It does mean that I’ll get inside the prospect’s head, identify their problem, show them (not tell them) why your product or service is a valuable solution to that problem, and call them to action, all without being overly “sales-y.”

My Specialties Include:

  • Newsletter/E-Newsletter Copy
  • Advertorials
  • Email Marketing Series
  • Media Kits
  • Case Studies
  • Website Copy
  • Sales Letters
  • Presentations
  • And Many More…

Some Examples of My Copywriting Work:

How to Break 80 - Salesletter

A sales letter for a major golf improvement company.

How to Break 80 - Email Series

An email series for How to Break 80’s recent DVD sale.

"Rams Mad Libs" - InsideSTL

An article about how frustratingly repetitive the 2011 St. Louis Rams were.

 

 

How to Break 80 - Newsletters

I’ve written a lot of content for the How to Break 80 newsletter. Additionally, I edit the newsletter and write all of the advertorials for it.

How to Break 80 - Sales Letter

The sales letter for HTB80’s Fast Track promotion.

"The Bill Murray Movie Guide to the Rams" - InsideSTL

A lighthearted look at the 2011 Rams’ futility, in light of one of the funniest comedians of our time.

 

 

How to Break 80 - Media Kit

I also recently rewrote the How to Break 80 Media Kit to showcase the company’s media platform to potential advertisers.

"NFL Power Rankings" - InsideSTL

An entertaining look at how all 32 NFL teams stacked up in 2011, complete with outrageous stories and scenarios

 

 

COPYWRITING RATES

I like to talk to clients before giving them a quote tailored to their needs. I do realize prospective clients appreciate seeing ballpark figures before they pick up the phone, so here are some loose guidelines on what I charge:

  • Newsletter Content: $150 – $350/piece
  • Articles: $100-400 depending on length
  • Advertorials: $250-$400
  • Case Studies: $750-$1,000
  • Email Series: $100-$200/email
  • Sales Letter: $1,000 – $3,000 (sliding royalty scale)
  • Media Kit: $500-$750
  • Website Copy: $100-$200 per page

Have a project you think I can help with? Great!

Let's Get Started!

Editing

Have you ever worried why your info products or articles aren’t getting the traction you thought they would?

Ever wondered why you don’t get the honest rave reviews and testimonials that your competitors do?

Or think about how to lower your return rate, articulate your ideas better, and help more of your customers?

The answer might be simpler (& cheaper) than you think…

I pride myself on my ability to dig in to your writing, figure out what the target audience wants, edit your writing (no matter how long or short) to suit, and deliver a finished, polished product without any fuss or drama.

When I edit your writing, you’ll get:

  • Full editing of your work’s content and structure,
  • Copyediting for typos and poor grammar,
  • A scanned, “redlined” version of your project with corrections (I can make the corrections directly in your Word doc or Scrivener for an extra fee),
  • Explanatory email notes and follow-up emails to fully understand the changes I’ve made,
  • One additional edit once you implement my changes and revise your work, and
  • A one-week turnaround (rush jobs are an additional fee).
  • All of this for an easy-to-understand, up-front flat rate.

 

SPEAKING OF RATES…

$25 / 1,000 words (Non-Fiction)

$20 / 1,000 Words (Fiction)

And remember, this includes:

  • Full editing of your work’s content and structure,
  • Copyediting for typos and poor grammar,
  • A scanned, “redlined” version of your project with corrections (I can make the corrections directly in your Word doc or Scrivener for an extra fee),
  • Explanatory email notes and follow-up emails to fully understand the changes I’ve made,
  • One additional edit once you implement my changes and revise your work, and
  • A one-week turnaround (rush jobs are an additional fee).
  • All of this for an easy-to-understand, up-front flat rate.

Have an editing project you think I can help with? Great!

Let's Get Started!

Books/Ghostwriting

COMING SOON!

For now, you can check out my books on my Amazon page.

Contact Me

Believe it or not, this form goes directly to my email (dj@djswriting.com). Ask me anything. Ask me what my favorite color is, or whether I’d rather own an NFL team or be the first man on Mars. Or let me know if you think I can help you out. It doesn’t matter–fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you.

Not the emailing sort? Call me anytime at 314-541-3405. 

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Get In Touch With Me