Dr. Hayes-Scott has over 40 years experience teaching a broad base of subjects to high school and college students such as, American Sign Language, courses about deafness, English composition, and courses covering different phases of literature.
For over 26 years, she has been very active in the publishing industry, owning two companies—Robbie Dean Press, LLC (a textbook publishing company) and MarketingNewAuthors.com (a self-publishing company). Her ownership of two companies has made her an effective supporter of female entrepreneurs. The combination of the two careers has enhanced her skills to serve students, writers, and businesswomen.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
After developing different materials to accommodate my deaf students’ college composition and general English skills, I followed their suggestion to just “write my own book.” That book, a very basic work, Essential Writing Skills for Deaf Students, launched me into starting my textbook publishing company, Robbie Dean Press, L.L.C. (RDP) in 1991.
Then, I saw a need for a self-publishing company that would provide more than just printing services and a web page at a reasonable cost. So, in Nov. 2002, MarketingNewAuthors.com (MANA) was initiated as a self-publishing company.
Tell us about your business.
As you can see, I run two businesses. One is a college textbook publishing company. Its trademark motto is “Determined To Make a Difference”. This motto has motivated me to work to meet not only the publishing needs of authors whose works would fit in academic settings, but also helped me realize that an expansion of my services would be appropriate since I was getting so many requests from non-academics for the services that RDP provides.
My second company, MANA, meets those needs by providing self-publishing, marketing, distribution, consultation regarding publishing, online classes for those considering publishing, resources to support female businesswomen who want advice from a seasoned businesswoman, and promotion of businesswomen’s services and products.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Yes! MANA’s website now has a promotional section “Businesswomen’s Pages—Shop Here!” where you’ll get your own page on the site to help promote your business. Contact email@example.com to feature your products or services!
We are also promoting our Publishing Plans, for as low as a $100 down payment, you can lock into the costs for a plan. You will be able to pay a monthly installment as low as $100 per month up to a year as well! The prices in 2018 will go up, so contact us before the New Year!
- Member of the International Women’s Leadership Association—Elite.
- MANA has received recognition for its business prowess in the Ann Arbor, MI area.
- As an educator, I have received kudos from students and colleagues – the most treasured one is the naming of a classroom in my name.
Where is your business based?
Ann Arbor, Michigan.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Well, since I knew little about publishing, I consulted with a teaching colleague whom I knew and trusted to do the work for me. She and her company would serve as a “self-publisher” for my work. Unfortunately, she had to close her business because of health matters. However, she encouraged me to, “Start your own business.Just go to your local city clerk’s office and garner your DBA.”
Of course, my first reaction was skeptical since I had no computer, no printer, and not even a telephone line designated for a business. And I knew little about publishing. With the support of the Great Publisher in the Sky and my hubby, I purchased the necessary equipment. I even asked, “What if this blows up in my face? What if no one even buys this book?” His response was, “Well, at least we will have invested in a computer. I think this computer thing is going to take off and be the wave of the future.”
And a very dear friend encouraged me by letting me use her computer, since I did not have one at the time, to input data to make labels to place on envelopes that contained introductory letters about my first book (I thought would be my last—ha! Little did I know!) to send to schools throughout the country.
When I garnered my first sale, I was on top of the world! Then, when a colleague, Isabell Florence, approached me to publish her text, Deaf/Blindness: Essential Information for Families, Professionals, and Students, and students and a Vice President of my college encouraged me to write my own college handbook for my students, I have never looked back!
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
MANA functions as the marketing arm for both companies. MANA puts out newsletters, exhibits at professional conferences throughout the country, does a lot of follow ups with those who have stopped at the RDP/MANA booths, does a lot of tweeting, and keeps in touch with its previous clients and customers so they may “spread the word.” This last method has garnered for MANA repeat clients.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
One of the major challenges has been maintaining a steady cash flow. The competition is fierce. There are so many self-publishers from which to choose. Luckily, the challenge of garnering quality authors for RDP has not been as difficult.
How did you overcome these challenges?
This is ongoing. However, having been in the self-publishing business for 15 years, it is obvious MANA continues to thrive. The various methods of marketing have been, obviously, successful since MANA is still running strong. Now, as for textbook publishing, the challenges are different since RDP accepts or denies its authors based upon the scholarship of the work or the relevance of the work for college students.
Periodically, RDP calls for quality texts and shows what it has to offer college instructors and the college they represent. Two of the major benefits of being an RDP author is its high royalty and its commitment to donate a significant percentage of book sales back to the author’s college educational funds. Doing all of this, RDP has continued to strive for over 26 years.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I love what I am doing and I have a super staff. Also, I have the continued encouragement from my hubby and some very dear friends. Finally, I have the strength and motivation from that Great Publisher in the Sky!
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
MarketingNewAuthors.com is one of the few self-publishing companies that provides opportunities to all ages to showcase their work—for free—in three avenues:
- THE MANA SUNSET – digital newsletter for writers in which submissions are considered then published.
- THE MANA BLOG – for every ten posts, MANA donates money to its designated charity for the year.
- MANA SHORT STORY SERIES – a unique way to post installments of short stories by budding authors; MANA is very committed to helping writers gain exposure, at no cost to the writer. The staff of RDP AND MANA go the extra mile to assist its authors and clients day and night.
A major feature that distinguishes my companies from my competitors is that I, the owner, am a college professor of composition and literature for over 42 years, the sole owner of two publishing companies for over 26 years, an author, an editor, wife, mother, and grandmother. So, when I interact with my customers and clients, I am able to see their needs from various perspectives.
- I KNOW what it is like to try to “get that right word or phrase” for a book one is trying to write.
- I KNOW what it is like to try to manage a business with mommy, family, and other pressing duties and, still, make the deadlines.
- I KNOW what it is like to need an encouraging word.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Never forget to take care of yourself, health-wise and spiritually, so that you can continue to serve.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
I find attending business seminars online helps keep me abreast of what is in the marketing industry. Also, I like to read the business section of the newspaper. Even if the information does not specifically relate to publishing or marketing, I can still garner some snippets that are helpful for any person in business.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I find it very healthy to read books that have nothing to do with what I do. It is a way I relax. I love to read books by Nora Roberts, The Witness, to name one. Also, I enjoy the works by James Patterson, my most recent reading was, Double Cross.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I want to increase marketing for my authors’ books and for the businesswomen’s pages.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
- Self-publish five (5) books in 2018;
- Publish three (3) textbooks in 2018;
- Attract a minimum of ten (10) new businesswomen to take advantage of being promoted on the “Businesswomen’s Pages—Shop Here!”
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.