MANA's Holiday Special: Book Lay Out and Cover Design

Publishing a book goes beyond writing your manuscript. The next step is formatting your book and designing an eye-catching book cover. 

This may something you can do on your own if you have software that allows you to lay out your book and create your front and back covers. 

However, if you do not have software and you've never done this before, the process can get pretty frustrating. While you can lay out your document and design your book covers without expensive software, don’t be surprised if it takes several tries before you can produce satisfactory results. 

If you do not have software or are not sure how to lay out the interior of a book or design book covers, then (MANA) can help. MANA is in its 20th year of helping authors self-publish their works. 

The cost of a book's interior layout and cover design can run $1,800 or more. As part of its holiday special offer, MANA is slashing that price by half. So, you can get interior book design and book covers for no more than $900! If you only want to lay out a book, the cost is no more than $600!

All it takes to get started is a $200 non-refundable down payment. The remaining payments begin in March 2023 after the cost of the layout is determined. This holiday special runs from now through December 31, 2022. 

MANA will charge only for the cost to lay out your manuscript and create your book cover. The maximum number of words for your manuscript must be 70,000 words. 

If you want more of MANA's services, MANA will provide them at a reasonable cost. If not, you'll receive your manuscript with no strings attached. 

A well-designed book is a key factor in the publishing process and is important to readers. Not only must this work be done, but it has to be done well.

The same goes for creating a unique book cover. It's true that we judge books by their covers (read our blog post, "Book Cover Design: A Key Factor in the Self-Publishing Process" here). For this reason, it's important that your book sports an eye-catching cover design. 

Interested? Contact via email at for more information.

Happy Holidays from!

Actionable Tips for Balancing a Freelance Writing Career and Your Education

Guest Post
By Derek Goodman

Image via UNSPLASH

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever began freelancing. And out of all the freelancing careers, writing remains a profitable and in-demand option among the many possible freelance sectors.

One of the best aspects of freelance writing is the ability to work anywhere, on your schedule. This flexibility is undoubtedly one of the biggest attractors for students. If you're trying to balance your education with a budding freelance writing career, here are a few things you should know. 

Invest in Editing Software and Services

As a writer, you're not an editor, but you do need to self-edit your work. Some of the most profitable freelance writing gigs will require you to send in polished work that needs little to no editing. Thus, editing software will become your best friend.

You should consider using two types of editing software together. Begin with the HemingwayApp, which is free. This will check for passive voice, adverb use, and reading level. Then, copy and paste your work into Grammarly. If you want to write professionally, you should splurge on Grammarly Premium. This will check for a comprehensive (and ever-evolving) range of writing errors.

Remember, you still need to read your work after using your editing software. While powerful tools, artificial intelligence (AI) doesn't always get human speech correct. Also, pay attention to the mistakes you make and actively work on addressing them.

Last but not least, consider working with professionals who help you edit and polish your work. For example, offers proofreading and editing services that can strengthen your work and polish it to a shine. 

Schedule Your Freelancing Time

Being in charge of your schedule doesn't only mean you can work whenever or wherever you want. It also means you're solely in control of your deadlines. Consider using a physical studentplanner or scheduling app. You can feel free to change your freelancing schedule from week to week, but it's essential to stick to it. Make notes on project deadlines and ensure you've scheduled enough time to complete them. You'll also find it helpful to check your schedule before taking on new projects so you don't overwhelm yourself and end up suffering from burnout. 

Learn Basic Digital Marketing

Learning the basics of digital marketing can significantly increase your chances of attracting clients. HubSpot Academy offers free digital marketing certification courses you can take advantage of. Besides the general digital marketing course, you may also want to take SEO, inbound marketing, and content marketing courses.

Consider Forming an LLC

Consider forming a limited liability company (LLC) to protect yourself and your new business. There are numerous advantages of forming an LLC. Rocket Lawyer notes that the most important benefit is it limits your personal liability for the company, meaning your business going into debt won't affect your personal finances or credit score. Additional benefits include more flexibility, tax advantages, and less paperwork to fill out.

Each state has its own rules and regulations around forming an LLC, so be sure to do your research on what's required in your state before moving forward. Skip the hefty lawyer fees and file your paperwork yourself. If you don't feel confident in filing this paperwork, consider a formation service instead. 

Prioritize Getting Paid

To ensure your efforts aren’t all for naught, it’s imperative that you receive timely payments for completed work. Ideally, this should be squared away at the onset of taking on a client’s project; however, it’s also wise to get into the habit of running invoices on a set schedule. If you’re not ready to shell out for accounting software, start with an invoice maker that offers free online templates and generation. You can customize your invoices as needed, and then promptly send them on to customers.

Find a Balance Between Your Writing Career and Education

More people than ever are turning to freelancing as their career of choice. It can be challenging to balance your writing career and education, but the above tips—from investing in editing software to having an invoicing system—can help. 

Derek Goodman is an entrepreneur. He'd always wanted to make his own future, and he knew growing his own business was the only way to do that. He created his site, "Inbizability," ( to offer you tips, tricks, and resources so that you realize your business ability and potential now, not later. provides publishing services ranging from book cover design, to marketing, and even private tutoring. Contact us today for more info! (734) 975-0028 


 is calling for submissions from educators who are interested in writing articles on how to develop and improve students' English writing skills. Educators, from kindergarten to college, are invited to submit articles for the first issue scheduled for publication in early 2023.

Submissions should contain an abstract and article focusing on effective teaching methodologies for students in elementary, secondary, and college. The article should be detailed so that other educators can immediately implement the lessons in a classroom. Go HERE to view two sample journal articles. The deadline for article submissions is January 15, 2023.

The IJFTEWS is a peer-reviewed publication for people interested in teaching writing or participating in the unique art form of writing. Three issues of the journal will contain articles. The fourth issue will include poetry and short stories written by students and teachers. 

All works will be refereed by a diverse group of reviewers who are teaching English writing skills. The poems and short stories will be refereed by the editor-in-chief of the journal and the editor of the materials submitted to The MANA Sunriser, the blog of

There will be four issues for $19.95 each year for individuals and $49.95 for schools, libraries, and other educational institutions. MANA will donate 10 percent of IJTEWS subscription payments to help the Paralyzed Veterans of America, a veterans service organization based in Washington, D.C. 

The IJFTEWS is published by Robbie Dean Press, a traditional publisher of academic textbooks based in Ann Arbor, MI. Also, Robbie Dean Press is the parent company of

Submit your articles to:

For more details about the INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR TEACHERS OF ENGLISH WRITING SKILLS, contact Dr. Fairy Hayes-Scott at 

How to Get Discovered: Tips for New and Rising Artists

Guest Post
By Derek Goodman

Photo via Pexels

Whether you're a singer, painter, dancer, or author, getting your creative work out into the world can prove very challenging. You want others to be excited about your art. But how can people appreciate the work you do when they don't even know it exists? Treating your professional career like a business and employing tried-and-true marketing strategies will help you get your art in front of the right eyes so you can finally start growing your brand. Here are some tips to help you get started!

Connect With Marketing Professionals

Certain professionals and agencies can help you get your work in front of others and fast-track your route to success. You can remain an independent artist and still get help from people who have experience marketing creatives, both online and offline. For example, offers a variety of marketing services of self-published authors!

Market Yourself on Social Media

Social media offers robust opportunities for creatives to market themselves and connect with their target audience. Be sure to maintain active social media accounts for your brand and use these pages to share a behind-the-scenes peek at your creative process. You may also want to invest in paid social media ads to drive more traffic to your website. For example, Facebook advertising is great for targeting highly-specific audiences with your content. Take advantage of a free Facebook ads maker to create eye-catching content for your campaign. Simply choose a Facebook ad template you like and customize it with your own logo, fonts, colors, and other branding elements. 

Establish Yourself as a Business

While you might be just one person trying to get noticed in the art scene, it’s crucial that you treat your artistic venture as a business. Taking the perspective of a business owner will offer valuable financial benefits, growth potential, and increased motivation to achieve success.

Mailchimp explains that you will need to navigate a couple of steps as you establish yourself as a formal business. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll need to choose a business structure. Your business structure will determine your level of personal liability, how you pay taxes and other important details regarding your business flexibility. Research your business entity options. Once you’ve chosen the right structure for your art business, take advantage of online business formation services so you can file your formation documents without hiring a lawyer.

Set Up a Creative Space in Your Home

Creating a dedicated creative space in your home will make it easier to see your creative work as more of a business than a hobby. Plus, you’ll find it much easier to focus on your craft without the distractions of home life hovering around you. suggests repurposing outbuildings or unused space in your home, like a garage, basement, or guest bedroom, where you can set up your equipment and supplies. Just be sure to keep track of any updates you make to your home in the process. Should you sell your home in the future, these records will help your home appraiser secure a higher value for your home!

Join Artist Communities

Artist communities have a lot to offer up-and-coming creatives. These communities create space for artists to interact, share ideas, and promote each other. They’re an opportunity to network and find mentors. You might even come across someone who wants to fund your next project or work with you on collaborative work. At the very least, being part of an artist community will provide invaluable support as you get your business off the ground!

Trying to break into the creative industry takes a lot of hard work and determination. Treat your creative career as a business, learn how to promote yourself on social media, and connect with professionals and other artists for help getting eyes on your brand. Eventually, all of your hard work will pay off and you’ll finally get the recognition you’re looking for!

Derek Goodman is an entrepreneur. He'd always wanted to make his own future, and he knew growing his own business was the only way to do that. He created his site, "Inbizability," ( to offer you tips, tricks, and resources so that you realize your business ability and potential now, not later. 

Are you a self-published author? provides a range of publishing services including book cover design and marketing! Call 734-975-0028 today so we can discuss your needs.

MANA HIGHLIGHTS WINNING SHORT STORIES AND POEMS (MANA) is pleased to announce the winning entries of MANA HIGHLIGHTS for June and July. The winners receive a $25 VISA Gift Card. Then, the top winning entry will receive $100.

Go HERE to learn more about MANA HIGHLIGHTS and how to submit your short story or poem.






How did you find the energy,

Mom, to do all the things you did, 

To be a teacher, nurse, and counselor to me when I was a kid?

How did you do it all, Mom,

To be a cook and a friend,

Yet find time to be a playmate?

I just can’t comprehend.

I see now it was love 

That made you come whenever I called.

Your inexhaustible love, Mom,

And I thank you for it all.




As I took the call, my father’s deep baritone voice hit my ears with the same controlling effect it has had for years: “You must have something to fall back upon. What are you going to do if things go wrong?”

Ever since I was a child, I had seen him be like this. He has always tried to use pain as leverage to push me into doing something good in my life, and that has been his modus operandi.

There are two ways you can motivate someone. You can either use pain or you can use pleasure. With the kind of life he had lived, and the experiences that he had had in his life, he thought pain would work better.

If I have a safety net, am I truly going to be able to jump across the abyss onto the other side knowing that if I fall, I’ll be safe? I don’t need that safety net. In fact, that safety net is going to be a disadvantage. I wanted to have so much fear of whatever it is. So much passion, so much aggression, so much frustration; just that drive to be able to make it to the other side because if I don’t, I die. 

There is no second chance. I have to do it, one way or the other. I don’t want a safety net. In fact, if you give me a safety net, I will tear it bloody apart. I want to know if I have it in me. I want to know if I will be able to fly. I will not be able to fly if you are going to weaken me with a safety net.

“Son, you there?” his voice punctuated my chain of thoughts.

“Yes Dad, I am here.”

“What have you decided then?”

“Okay Dad, I will take the job.”

What my father never realized and probably never will is that having a backup option every time was a disadvantage in itself. How was I supposed to give it my all, knowing that even if things did not work out, I would still have something else to fall back upon?

The adrenaline rush that usually makes any endeavor worth the effort is not something I could explain to him. But I knew that it was something mandatory for me to feel satisfied.

Not Seeing Positive Results? Maybe It's Time To Brush Up On Your Grammar

Are you wondering why your book sales are sluggish?  Do you feel crushed when your family or friends no longer want to review your finished manuscripts?

This may cause you to shake your head in wonder, especially if you believe that you have a well-organized story, a riveting plot, and well-developed characters. But, could it be possible that poor grammar is the culprit?

If there’s anything that can turn off a reader, it’s common grammar mistakes. The Internet revolution allowed people to start their own blogs, set up their own websites, and self-publish their own works. 

But, in the process, many writers abandoned the rules of standard English. Unfortunately, the quality of their writing has suffered because of this, and some readers have accepted bad grammar as the norm. To counter this, writers need to express themselves within the rules. 

Writers, therefore, should make it a point to brush up on their grammar. It’s not difficult to do, particularly since there are many free and paid online software programs designed to find grammatical errors.

Besides grammar checker tools, writers can also brush up on their grammar and improve their writing skills simply by reading books similar to those they are writing. You can use new words that they encounter in the story, and discover phrases and idiomatic expressions that are used in the genre. 

Bare Essentials 
If the problem with your poor grammar is actually the result of your lack of English language skills, then taking an online English course may be your answer. Or, you can purchase the e-book, Bare Essentials: An English Handbook for Beginner Writers, 19th ed., an all-encompassing book on English grammar. 

Keep in mind that grammar is a standard that everyone should subscribe to, whether you are a writer, teacher, student, business owner, or in any other walk of life. Good writing and English language skills are essential. 

Readers will not completely dismiss your work when you make one mistake. But, a book peppered with bad grammar and spelling errors can result in the loss of readers and book sales. 

Do you need help with your grammar? Check out the "Bare Essentials Bits Audio Series" on this blog. Or you may prefer a one-on-one consultation with MANA’s DR C. If so, contact Dr. Fairy Hayes-Scott at 734-531-6684 or via email at

Go HERE to MANA's website to preview the e-book, Bare Essentials: An English Handbook for Beginner Writers, 19th ed.

Keep in mind that good writing and English language skills are essential 

to your future, whether you are a writer, business owner, teacher, or in any other walk of life. 

Questions? Contact MANA at

"How To Navigate the Cacophony of Challenges That Comes With A Business Relocation" By Christopher Haymon

Editor's Note: The COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, high gas prices, and other issues in society led to ask its audience "How are they coping during these challenging times?" 

Christopher Haymon has written an article on how challenging it is to relocate a small business, and what small businesses can do to minimize disruptions during the move. 

A marketing manager by day, Christopher Haymon created the Adulting Digest blog to use his financial knowledge to help others learn to conquer debt and reach for financial freedom. 

Guest Post

Photo by Ron Lach at

Small businesses tend to relocate more often than larger enterprises. And whether you're upgrading your office space, moving to a better spot in town, or relocating for any other reason, it's crucial to prepare diligently beforehand and make smart decisions throughout the process. 

Relocating can be challenging for smaller companies because there are many logistics involved, not to mention endless interruptions. Maintaining productivity and moving your team toward its goals must be a priority during the transition There is a way to plan and execute a business move that minimizes downtime, profit loss, and client problems. 

Modify Your Legal Structure

When moving your company to a new state, you'll need to adjust your legal structure. Each state issues different rules and regulations for establishing a corporation, so you'll need to ensure you and your team understand the necessary steps for establishing your business entity the right way. 

Also, consider hiring an online service to take care of your formation. Search "start corporation" to connect with top-notch, affordable services. 

Make A Detailed Plan 

The ultimate goal of any business relocation is to transition seamlessly without losing any productivity or profit. Doing so requires you to develop a detailed plan for every possible task and scenario.

Make sure there is a timeline for when everything will take place and a guide for how you will accomplish each task. Also, do your research and estimate the costs of the move to create a reliable budget.

You'll also want to determine which team members will be responsible for which duties. Delegate tasks according to each employee's skills and availability, and put the plan on paper. 

5 Steps For Turning Your Hobby Into A Business by Derek Goodman

Guest Post 

Editor's Note: Some authors decide to go beyond simply writing articles or books to become "authorpreneurs" —writers who turn their writing into a business by offering products and services based on their written works. Derek Goodman offers some tips to get you started on your journey.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Have you ever thought about turning your hobby into a profitable small business in Iowa City, IA, or online? You may have a pastime that easily becomes a brick-and-mortar store, or perhaps you've already toyed with selling goods and services online. Converting your hobby into something professional will take time, hard work, and patience. 

Remember that many people engage in hobbies as distractions from responsibilities such as work, family care, and chores. Some people are happy doing what they love for work, while others prefer to keep their favorite pastimes as outlets for stress and creativity. If you're the type of person who loves the challenge of entrepreneurship, turning your hobby into a business is a great place to start. Consider these steps as you begin the process. 

1. Find Your Platform 

You may wish to set up your website to enable e-commerce or you might start a brick-and-mortar store—or you might want to do a little bit of both. It's important to know who you're selling to as well as where this type of customer may buy items they're searching for. For example, consider a person who wishes to sell homemade soup on an e-commerce platform. His or her best bet for consistent sales is a customer-to-customer sales platform such as Etsy, Amazon, or Squarespace. This person could make a plan to select a platform, set rates, and upload pictures of his or her soap.

2. Brainstorm About Your Brand

Building a brand involves creating a business name, a logo, and a narrative that speaks to your customer base. Consider working with a writer from to create engaging and descriptive marketing content that showcases your brand. It's important for your brand to reflect professionalism as well as integrity.

3. Establish Your Social Media Before You Launch

Digital marketing can be a valuable tool for those just starting out—but how do you sell to people when they don't know who you are? This is where social media comes in. Try establishing your website as well as starting Facebook groups, gaining Instagram followers, and putting out TikTok videos to get the word out about your brand before you even launch. 

4. Complete Your Legal Paperwork 

According to the IRS, there are several steps you'll need to take to legitimize your new small business. For example, are you registering your entity as an LLC? Do you know how to file your taxes at the end of the year? How will you pay the freelancers you may hire to build your website, design your logo, or write content for your social media? While these questions may seem intimidating at first, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with these processes (and get answers) for yourself now rather than later. You can find many of the templates and documents that you'll need online. 

5. Develop A Budget 

You may have not had to track your expenses for your hobby thus far, but now you should. You'll have to keep track of your spending and report the amount of money you make to the IRS at the end of every tax year. Be sure to pick accounting software that can link with your tax program if you plan to do your business taxes by yourself.

These five steps should start you in the right direction if you wish to turn your hobby into a business. Don't get frustrated if it doesn't immediately take off. Many profitable companies have experienced a slow, steady path to success!

Derek Goodman is an entrepreneur. He'd always wanted to make his own future, and he knew growing his own business was the only way to do that. He created his site, "Inbizability," ( to offer you tips, tricks, and resources so that you realize your business ability and potential now, not later. 

Call for Short Stories and Poems for MANA HIGHLIGHTS; READ SUBMISSIONS (MANA) is pleased to offer MANA HIGHLIGHTS, an opportunity that provides writers of short stories and poems the chance to be recognized at no cost and to win a $25 VISA Gift Card. The short story or poem submitted can be a topic of choice (please, no erotica). 

MANA's efforts to showcase talent will continue in August. The best short story writer and poet for June, July, and August will each win a $25 VISA Gift Card. Then, the best of the best will receive $100. This $100 donation comes from Dr. Gregory Shafer and Ms. Bernadette Gongora, former MANA winners of best short stories. They want to encourage writers. MANA appreciates their donation! 

To read short stories by Gregory Shafer, click on the story titles: "Sometimes at Night—Songs" and "The Date."

To read short stories by Bernadette Gongora, click on the story titles:

"Table for Two" and "Shades of Beauty."


If you write poems and short stories, then consider submitting your works to MANA HIGHLIGHTS.

The offer goes as follows:

1. Submit a short story or poem on the topic of your choice (please, no erotica).

2. Number of words for this short story: A minimum of 150 words to a maximum of 500 words. The number of words for the poem: A minimum of 10 words to 250 words.

3. The MANA Review Board will determine the best short story and poem for the month of August. 

4. The best short story will win a $25 VISA Gift Card. The best poem will win a $25 VISA Gift Card.

5. The selected works will be posted on MANA’s blog, The MANA Sunriser for three months, depending on the number of submitted works. 

Writers will maintain full copyright.

All short stories and poems for MANA HIGHLIGHTS should be submitted in Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx) format. The deadline to submit your work is August 31.

Send your files via email to:

For more details, visit the MANA HIGHLIGHTS page on 

Go HERE to read the MANA HIGHLIGHTS winning entries for June and July.

Below are the short stories and poems that have been submitted for the months of JUNE and JULY to MANA HIGHLIGHTS: