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Black History Month Originated by African American Writer

Did you know that Black History Month began as a celebration that only lasted for one week and was initiated by an African American author? 

As early as the 17th century, the works of African American writers have contributed to American history. From the call to end slavery, to the civil rights movement, to the changing landscape of race relations today, black writers have taken to their keyboards to influence the events of their time. 

The works of African American writers are usually featured during Black History Month in February, the annual recognition of the achievements made by blacks and the role African Americans played in U.S. history. 


Carter G. Woodson
If it wasn't for a writer, Black History Month may not exist today! The celebration was inspired by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, now called the "Father of Black History." Carter was an African American author who co-founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. 

Carter, the author of The Mis-Education of the Negro, realized that the role of blacks in American history had been ignored. In 1926, Woodson started what he called, "Negro History Week," to acknowledge the contributions of blacks in U.S. history. 

Woodson wanted the event to occur each year in the second week of February—between the birthdays of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, two historical figures who played prominent roles in the history of African Americans. 

Black Writers Through The Centuries 

Before President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation which granted freedom to slaves effective January 1, 1863, African American authors and poets, like Phillis Wheatly and George Moses Horton, infused their writings were desires to escape from slavery.

How Are You Coming With Your New Year's Resolution of Writing a Book?

Now that we are in the second month of the New Year, how are you coming along with your resolutions about your book? 

You know, the one(s) you made for 2020:

I'm going to start writing my book!

OR

I'm going to finish my manuscript!

OR

I'm going to publish my second (or third, etc.) book

Have you taken the first step or steps to accomplish your book-writing or book-publishing goals?

If you want to meet your goal in 2020 of starting—or completing—your book, it's important that you factor writing into your daily schedule. After all, writing is arguably the heart of everything when it comes to publishing your book!

To help you to prioritize your writing, here are 5 important points to consider and questions to ask yourself:

1. Fit writing into your daily life in a practical way. 

• When will I find time to write?
• What am I willing to set aside in order to spend that time writing?
• Am I willing to make writing a daily habit?

2. Find topics for your work.

• What am I going to write about? 
• What research do I need to do on the topic? 
• Are people interested in reading the topic that I want to write about?

5 Fears to Overcome Before Publishing Your Book

Are you planning to publish a book this year? Without a doubt, publishing a book is a major accomplishment, but it’s not for the fainthearted!

It’s natural to have some fear before you introduce your book to the world. But, don’t let fear be a stumbling block to publishing your book. 

The following are 5 fears that many authors face and a few tips for overcoming them: 

1. Fear of “going public.” It is important for authors to have a platform to connect and engage with their readers, whether it’s a blog, an author's website, or social media. Your readers want to know the author behind the book. If you want to remain anonymous because you're afraid to go public, you may have difficulties selling your book. 

2. Fear of criticism. Readers will provide feedback—which may include criticism.  Criticism may be hurtful at first, but it can also be helpful. How? It can show you the weakness of a storyline or a need to flesh out a character, for example. So, take the good with the bad and learn from both. 

5 Reasons Why Editors Return Manuscripts for Revision

Image by Lorenzo Cafaro from Pixabay 
If you have published a book with a traditional publishing company or self-published your manuscript with the help of a full-service self-publishing company, then you know about the editing process. 

Sadly, some writers believe editors only want to destroy the integrity of the author's exemplary work. Not so. 

An editor does not want to destroy an author's work. An editor simply wants to help the writer avoid glaring errors and present the best work possible to readers. 

If you are an author, here are 5 reasons why an editor may return your manuscript for revisions:

1. Grammar errors. Some writers are so preoccupied with telling a good story that they overlook poor grammar usage. No editor would ever let poor grammar go without correction.
(Note: Check out MANA's post on grammar tips by clicking HERE)

2. Redundancy. Readers do not appreciate a work full of redundancy.

Example: The teacher had difficulty controlling the class. Because the teacher is an educator, the teacher should know how to handle kids. All teachers who teach children should know how to manage a classroom.

Example: He repeated his statement again. She referred back to her days in high school. 

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, MarketingNewAuthors.com (MANA) can help. Contact MANA at 734-975-0028 or email us at marketingnewauth@aol.com. 

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). 

FOCUSING ON 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.

STORIES OF TATTERED LIVES FROM PTSD 
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 marketingnewauth@aol.com.

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 clich├ęs. 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? MarketingNewAuthors.com can help. Contact us at 734-975-0028 or email us at marketingnewauth@aol.com Visit our website at MarketingNewAuthors.com


"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: