Are You A Poet? If So, Have You Considered Publishing A Chapbook?

If you're a poet and want to publish your work, consider publishing your poems in a chapbook format.

Chapbooks are not new, yet they are becoming more popular among poets who want to publish their work but do not have enough poems to create a full book.

Chapbooks are also an affordable way for poets to get their works published without having to spend a large amount of money to publish multiple full-length books.  

What are Chapbooks?

Chapbooks are similar to booklets (small books) and sometimes compared to pamphlets. The books are relatively inexpensive to produce which means that you can make as many copies of your work as you would like. 

Generally, chapbooks are arranged based on a theme. For instance, if you have a collection of poems on several topics, such as love, life, parenting or friendship, you can produce a chapbook on each topic. 

Cover Designs and Paper Weight

Poetry chapbooks can range anywhere from 20 to 40 pages and are usually stapled on the fold, also known as "saddle stitch." Depending on the length of pages, some chapbooks are perfect bound, which means the pages and covers are glued together at the spine.

If you aren't sure about the book size and paper weight to use, ask your publisher or printer. 
You may also need to discuss the best cover design for your chapbook. Many poets use card stock or plain paper for the cover. You can decide how to price your book based on your production costs. 

Reach New Audiences

While there are new genres emerging each year, poetry still remains popular among readers. If you are a poet, a chapbook offers you an opportunity to introduce your poetry to people who may not normally read lengthy works. 

If you are interested in publishing a chapbook but have questions about the process, (MANA) can help. Contact MANA at 734-975-0028 or email us at 

Lives of Veterans Revealed in Stories and Poems

I am a poet by life experience and Army Officer by trade, U.S. Army Captain Adrian Massey wrote on his blog in 2008 during his second tour in Iraq. While in Iraq, Captain Massey created his blog to share life “as I know it” in Baghdad: “The good, the bad, and the ugly.” 

Veterans and service members who are authors have stories to tell and they are sharing them in their own special way, whether at home or on active duty. 

A Soldier's Poetic Response
Captain Massey ultimately penned a book of poetry titled, A Soldier’s Poetic Response: A Slice of His Lifewhich features the poem, “The Bugle Calls” in tribute of those who gave their lives for our country. The following is an excerpt from the poem: 

Although your journey shortened, a Soldier's soul never dies.
A flag is folded for you, and the bugle tone vibrates
similar to your spirit in the air; it never ceases, always plays.
You are remembered and respected as I pray for you, having been a  witness at the windows of your soul. 

In some instances, authors, like T. Patrick Devlin, who are not veterans, write convincingly about war, the difficulties of readjusting to civilian life, and problems veterans have with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 


In his first book, Redball Mission. Devlin skillfully weaves a story about a Viet Nam veteran having difficulties with what he perceives and what is actually occurring. The difference, at times, becomes very thin: 

Redball Mission
About a hundred years ago, after I got back from Nam, I wasn’t fit to be in civilized company…I had forgotten what life was in the world. 

This was the essence of the DoD’s readjustment plan for personnel returning from a war zone. It was the, "You’re on your own” readjustment plan. 

After learning and perfecting the techniques of slaughtering other human beings individually or en masse, the grunts were rotated out and sent home to reassemble the fragments of their lives as if nothing had ever happened. 

Read sample chapters of the book on our blog by going HERE.

In his second book, Dancer & Other Tattered Threads of PTSD Lives: After the Wars, Devlin has taken the challenges veterans with PTSD face and conveyed them into three short stories: "Dad's TV," "Dancer," and "Roadkill."

Dancer & Other
Tattered Threads

 To listen to an excerpt of the short story, "Dancer": 

Whether writing fiction or nonfiction, veterans and service members who are authors are having their say and sharing their stories with the masses–and readers are all the better for it. 

If you are a veteran and have a manuscript that you're ready to publish, we can help. 

Contact MarketingNewAuthors today and 734-975-0028 or email us at

MANA Salutes Our Veterans!

Want to Inspire Others? Become an Inspirational Writer

If you have yet to find your niche as a writer, consider inspirational writing. 

You may ask, "Why the inspirational niche?" For one, people are overwhelmed with the complexities of daily life and need something—or someone—to turn to for advice, emotional support, and encouragement. 

Inspirational writers motivate their readers to take positive action to make a change in their lives and give them hope that they can endure whatever difficulties they may be experiencing. 

One of the best examples of inspirational writing is the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series created by Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield. After relaying their personal stories to their audiences and encouraging them to focus on self-improvement and wellness, the two motivational speakers decided to put their stories, and those of others, into a book. The Chicken Soup for the Soul series has sold millions of books which shows that readers enjoy the inspirational work. 

An Important Factor in Inspirational Writing

The key to inspirational writing is keeping the focus on your reader, and not entirely on yourself. Now having said that, it is necessary to provide details about your own personal experience and what you have learned from your particular situations. 

However, you can't stop there; you have to inspire your readers to take the next step as you did in order for a change to happen.

The next step could be changing their way of life or changing their way of thinking in order to improve their life or overcome a challenging situation. 

3 Tips on Inspirational Writing

If you're interested in inspirational writing, her eare 3 helpful tips to keep in mind:

1. Keep it Practical. Make sure you use information and topics to which readers can relate. For instance, if you are writing to individuals who have lost a loved one, avoid using trite sayings and clichés. Make sure your content is believable, realistic, and uplifting. 

2. Keep it focused. Your inspirational message should get to the point fairly quickly. Remember that people scan articles and stories for the most important points. If you bog down your story with too many unnecessary details, readers will lose interest and stop reading altogether. 

3. Keep it compelling. To maintain your readers' attention, stress the most interesting and extraordinary parts of your story. Discuss the dilemma you (or someone else) faced, the decision that was made, the outcome and the lesson learned from it all. This will move your story along and keep your readers engaged. 

By keeping these tips in mind and new ones you will discover as you write, you can produce a wealth of material that will inspire, comfort and motivate your readers for years to come. 

Do you need help self-publishing your book? can help. Contact us at 734-975-0028 or email us at Visit our website at

"Just Fix It": A Grandmother's Book Offers Solutions to Today's Problems

Author Martha Freudigman has a lot to say about a wide range of subjects, from the police to religion to texting or using an iPhone when driving. 

Ms. Freudigman is not a politician, an educator or a driving instructor. She's a grandmother who published her first mystery novels Through the Storms and Through the Storms Again—The Sequel: A Mini-Murder Mystery in her 80s.

Ms. Freudigman takes a different turn in her latest book, Just Fix It: A Few Comments About Life From A Grandmother. Ms. Freudigman gives her opinion on tough issues. 
In fact, she offers a solution, some of which are “tongue-in-cheek,” to many problems in society and in families today, such as: 

• Executives who commit white-collar crimes and receive golden parachute payments
• Unruly children in a restaurant whose behavior disturbs other customers
• The vast amount of money spent during political races

Some of Freudigman’s recommendations will put a smile on your face or have you laughing out loud. For example, Freudigman gives her opinion on what voters should do when at the voting booth:

Do You Think You're a Failure As a Writer?

Do you think you're a failure as a writer because your book isn't selling the way you thought it would?   

Are you afraid to write another book because you think that no one will read it and you'll be looked upon as a failure? 

To further your misery, you may look at well-known independent authors and believe these authors started out as a big success. And, you wonder what's wrong with you. If you take a closer look at these indie authors, however, you will learn about the hundreds of times these authors experienced failure before they became successful. 

So, if you’ve previously written a book that only had a few sales, take time to determine what didn’t work so well, whether readers didn’t connect to the story or whether you weren’t quite sure how to market your book. 

If something you tried didn’t work, that is no reason to give up on plans to write another book. Use this as a road map to re-evaluate what went wrong and re-adjust and start over again.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Sometimes you may need help, especially if you don’t know why what you wrote did not connect with readers. If this is the case, it may be beneficial to seek help from an established indie author or a professional self-publisher who can evaluate what you are doing and help you to get back on track. 

While a professional may charge you for assistance, it is certainly worth it if they can produce results for you. Even if you decide to try everything on your own again, read about what successful authors have done and how they handled their own failures. 

Failure Has Its Benefits

One of the side benefits of failure is showing your persistence. By continuing to write even though you feel like a failure, it is hard to imagine that you won’t eventually succeed. After all, successful writers use failure as a learning tool. In doing this, they constantly continue to improve.

So, take heart. You may face setbacks at times. But, as President Theodore Roosevelt  once said, “Nothing worth having comes easy.”

Just remember that by keeping focused on what you are trying to accomplish—writing your book— and continuing to implement what works and discard what doesn’t, you are well on your way to becoming a successful author.

Need help with the self-publishing process? MANA can help. Check out MANA's Self-Publishing Plans HERE. If you don't want a full plan, check out the MANA Partial Plan HERE.

Questions? Contact us at

Need to Find Your Writing "Voice?" "Process & Voice in the Writing Workshop" Can Help

Most writers know what they want to write about, but knowing how to write it can be challenging. So, you ask yourself:

How do I get started? 
How do I describe my characters? 
How do I convey action to my readers?

If you’ve asked yourself these questions, but have yet to find answers, you may want to read Dr. Gregory Shafer’s book, Process & Voice in the Writing Workshop.

Shafer, an English professor, initially wrote this book to help his students who were overwhelmed with the writing process. But, Shafer shares solid advice that is beneficial to all writers, not just college students. 

Shafer starts by giving a few suggestions to "awaken the writer" before the process begins:
The first step in making composition a rewarding experience is to do things that might seem antithetical. First, you must learn to relax, loosen up, to simply refuse to care too much. 
The best writers in the world are those who aren't paralyzed with the idea that their first drafts might not be perfect. They are people who see composing as an opportunity to create rather than a possibility to fail. They don't allow themselves the luxury of getting uptight, because they know the importance of clear, broad imaginative thinking. They seem to know that if they become too cautious, their writing will seem tentative and reserved. It will lack the "attitude" that readers always enjoy…
Next, you must learn to take chances, to become daring, to be a risk-taker. This might be a little strange, when I just told you to relax, but the two go together. 
Good writers--or any good artist--must juggle the dual skills of being relaxed and intense. There must be a playful drive inside of every good artist.  Actually, these two skills go together more naturally than you might think. None of us can perform well until we are relaxed and fairly confident.

After Shafer "awakens" the writer, he discusses the different types of composition papers writers have to tackle, including:

• Descriptive
• Comparison and contrast
• Advertising
• Research
• Definition

Shafer then goes on to discuss the importance of writers developing their own "voice" throughout their work. 

Process & Voice in the Writing Workshop is one of MANA's best-selling books. Whether you are a student, college faculty member or a writer, this would be a "go-to" book in your collection of writing resources. The book is also available in e-book format. 

Click on the title to find out more about the book: Process & Voice in the Writing Workshop.

Reintroducing "Bare Essentials Bits"—The Audio Series

In 2017, DR C introduced a weekly audio series titled, Bare Essentials Bits: All You Wanted to Ask About a Grammatical/Writing Tidbit but Were Too Embarrassed To Ask!

Each 5-minute audio addresses a spelling challenge or grammatical issue that stumps or confuses writers, such as knowing when to use then or than or their, there, or they'reThe series also explored punctuation marks, apostrophes, and commas.

Because of the solid response we received from listeners, we decided to repost the audio series since the grammar tips remain relevant.

If you still have questions about grammar or punctuation after listening to any of the episodes, feel free to email Dr. Fairy Hayes-Scott at Put: "Bare Essentials Bits—Got a Question" on the subject line. Thank you! 

Now, enjoy the Bare Essentials Bits audio series! 

Audio Series

1. What's the difference between "affect" vs. "effect" and how are they used? Listen below for the answer.

2. When do you use "come" vs. "came"? "did" vs. "done"?  run" vs. "ran"? saw" vs. "seen"?Click HERE to listen to the episode on MANA's Internet Archive page.

3. When do you use "there," "they're," and "their"? Click HERE to listen to the episode on MANA's Internet Archive page.

3 Reasons Why Authors Should Listen to Criticism

You've published your book and now it's in the hands of your readers. You go to your book’s webpage to read the reviews. You scan the page. Your heart sinks when you see critical comments. 

It’s a given: Readers love to review books. Whether they are an expert on the subject or not, they want to be heard.  

As an author, you may feel that criticism of your book is unjust. And, you may eventually get tired of reading, what seems to you as, constant criticism. 

But, hold on, don’t be too quick to ignore your critics. Believe it or not, you may actually learn something from them.

How Criticism Helps You

Let’s look at 3 reasons why we should take a deep breath, step back and listen to what our readers have to say:

1. Criticism gives you another perspective on your work. Whether we realize it or not, sometimes we need to view our work through someone else’s eyes. Why do you think that there are movie critics and food critics?  The greatest value they can give a director or a chef is their unique perspective. Similarly, someone else’s perspective can make you look at your work in a way that you never have before.

2. Criticism gives you the full picture of what your work means to other people.  What author wouldn’t want the majority, or even all, of his or her readers’ comments to be positive? After all, that’s going to help to sell books, right? Criticism may show that you need to do more research on your topic or develop your characters more or further edit and proofread your work.

3. Criticism acts as an instructor.  Critical comments teach you about your audience and what they are thinking about. It helps you gain insight into the public's view of what you do for a living. Criticism also shows whether or not your work is making an impact on others. If not, you’ll have an opportunity to stop and make adjustments to your work. 

So, what should you do? The next time someone criticizes your work— constructively that is, and not in a mean-spirited sort of way—accept it. Then, take that criticism and find a way to apply it and improve your work. 

Let’s face it: Criticism is inevitable. It’s uncomfortable, but you have to get used to it. If you are strongly convinced that you are a writer, and a good one at that, you cannot let criticism stop you.