Almena Mayes

Dawn Cauthen-Thornton | May 22nd, 2020
Almena Mayes

Almena Mayes

In 2015, Almena Mayes had an idea for a book. As a lover of writing, she put pen to paper and inked out her thoughts about life and how
we can change our circumstances simply by how we react to stressful situations. Upon completion of “Just Eat The Beans”, Mayes found a
publishing company, signed a deal, and couldn’t wait to impress her words on others.

Mayes’ book began to sell on Amazon and garnered great reviews from customers. As time went on, Mayes’ expectations weren’t met,
communication with the publishing company wasn’t satisfactory, and most of all, she wasn’t receiving the expected royalties. She reached out
to Amazon about the problems she was having and they informed her that since she didn’t have complete rights to the book, she didn’t have
much recourse. She couldn’t even insist that they stop selling it; that was the publishing company’s call.

The schoolteacher and grandmother of five (soon-to-be six) was devastated. That disastrous experience sparked her desire to help others
avoid the same pitfalls on their journey to publication. She thoroughly researched the process to see what she could’ve done differently to
avoid the outcome she experienced. In January 2019, Mayes launched ‘Cre8 Your Reality’ LLC, a publishing company based in Duluth, GA.
“What makes ‘Cre8 Your Reality’ different from others that offer the same services, is that clients are charged a flat fee depending on
the package they select,” Mayes explains. She guides them through the publishing process from beginning to end if they choose, or offers
a la carte services such as proofreading, editing, and ghostwriting. The company specializes in inspirational, self-help, and urban fiction, but
welcomes other genres. Their mantra is I take an aspiring author’s story “from the mind to the masses”.

Mayes introduced her services by advertising heavily on social media platforms and by word-of-mouth. Now she has nine clients and
looking to grow even larger soon. Since she is a team of one, she’s taking it slow, making sure to not overwhelm herself and provide the best
service she can. Being the whole team can be a blessing and curse at times.

In early 2019 Mayes wrote another book, “The Chronicles of Dating Over 50: 50 Guys, 50 Dates, 50 Days”, which turned out to be a comedic
hit and an Amazon best seller. “I actually went on these dates and experienced everything you read about in the book,” she laughs. That
summer, Mayes published her first client book, “The Nine Lines” written by Tashauna Richardson. It can be purchased on Amazon.
Almena was always a writer at heart. She studied communications at NCA&T in Greensboro, NC and earned a degree in English with a
concentration in professional writing and Education from Guilford College.

When Mayes isn’t cranking out books and mentoring budding writers, she is a full-time English and World Literature teacher at Charles R.
Drew Charter School in Atlanta. Each year she requires her 10th grade students to publish their own books. She carefully guides them through
the steps of what it takes to actually publish one and then allows them to ponder their thoughts and ideas. “Many usually don’t want to do it,
because they just have no interest in them. But you should see the looks on their faces when they have their book in hand.”
Mayes typically allows them to select their own topics but ultimately has to approve it. Throughout the year she challenges them to come
up with new ideas and concepts that will carry them far beyond high school. She likes for them to challenge their imaginations, but once had
to redirect a student’s idea due to the nature of the contents.

Mayes plans to retire in six years, making room to spend more time with her family and for her to offer her expertise full time. The
generational home she shares with her children and grandchildren will make family time effortless. “My grandchildren love me being in the
same home with them. We get to experience one another all the time.”

Traveling, writing, and continuing to publish are on her list of things to do during retirement. Most of all, she wants to assist and educate
others on how to effectively share their words with the world.

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