Give People Time to Read Your Book

By GenZ Founder Morissa Schwartz

When authors write a book, they tend to think that they’re going to have instant success. I was one of them. Right after I self-published my first book in high school, when I didn’t have people knocking down my door, I thought I was a failure. I would never write again! (That lasted all of two days).

When I had my first book traditionally published, I tried to have a book signing in town at an arts center. The venue said ‘no,’ and I thought I was a failure. I assumed that they hated my book and that my book was awful. I thought I knew that this meant no one was going to read my book, that my book was a failure.

But things take time. A few months after the venue declined,  I got an email from a local library, and they wanted me to do a feature reading there. They made posters and had a whole event dedicated to just me and my book. There were a good 50 readers there, and it was amazing. One of the people there was a manager at Barnes& Noble. And she asked me to do a reading there.  Now, that has been my dream…to do a reading at Barnes & Noble since I was eight years old, when I saw the author of my favorite books doing a reading there. Then, I got to do two Barnes & Noble book readings, just from that one opportunity.  Those readings were MONTHS after my book was released. Many authors make the mistake of thinking that everything must be done WHEN your book is released, but really, book readings and promos can happen at any time. In fact, focusing on readings after your book is released is better, because focusing on it before can get in the way of the creative/publishing process.13198533_1258519757509715_2102968915135136407_o

Instant success does not happen with a book for the simple reason that it takes some time for people to read a book. Even if someone purchases your book the day it is released, the majority will not read it right away…but the majority will not buy it the instant it is released either. So as much as you may want people to read your book and get those glowing reviews right away just doesn’t always (or even often) happen.  Life gets in the way and you have to understand your readers.

For my book, Notes Never Sent, the main purpose was to inspire people. And I did not think it inspired anybody at first. My parents read it, and they loved it. But they’re my parents; they have to be nice and say they love my writing right? I didn’t really see any reaction at first. The first reaction I actually saw was at that library. I read a story that I wrote about my great-grandmother, and a woman in the third row was hysterically crying. That was when I realized that my book really can impact people. It was doing what I set out for it to do, and I had been too blinded by my own fears to see it.

Fast-forward to one year later, only a month ago, and I was at an event speaking to female entrepreneurs.  A woman that I did not know came up to me and told me that her daughter is a fan. I wondered why she was trying to flatter me like that. There is no way that I could have ‘fans.’ I’m not Taylor Swift. I thought ‘what’s the catch?’ Was she trying to sell me something? But it turns out, she was genuine. Later in the night, she asked me if I would meet her daughter. She wanted me to surprise her for her 16th birthday. So we met at a local diner (a central location in my book) and when her daughter walked into the diner she screamed. She was so happy. “You’re the best mom ever!” she yelled to her mom, as she proceeded to ask how her mom got me there. It was surreal. We talked for an hour and a half about reading and writing. She was inspired by my book for all that time, and I had no idea.

It’s been nearly 2 years since my book was released, and I am only now finding out that it inspired people.

So, authors, I leave you with this: be patient. Success does not happen overnight; you never know who is going to read your book and when they are going to do so.

‘Writing for the New Generation’ is #1!

Who says books lose popularity as they get older?

“Morissa’s guide to writing, Writing for the New Generation, is #1 in the Kindle Store’s Language Book Category.”  

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Writing for the New Generation turns one-year-old next month, and in celebration of the anniversary, is FREE on Amazon for the next week! Read it now.

13427766_1167848223250045_7067373548829370103_nAnd if you really like it, post a review, share it with your friends, and let it inspire you to WRITE!

One Year of GenZ Publishing

Press release from GenZ:

Aberdeen, NJ November 8, 2016: GenZ Publishing is clearly the fastest growing publisher of 2016!

Having published over thirty books (four of them topping the Amazon bestseller list) and mentoring dozens of new and innovative authors, GenZ is turning the literary publishing world upside down. This past year has been a whirlwind success, and there is no telling what will come next for this publishing startup.

Morissa Schwartz, bestselling author and literary whiz, founded GenZ Publishing after determining that there was a need for more new, young, and innovative voices in literature. Her vision was to shake up the industry by finding the very best talent and showcasing their work in trendy, new ways. She wrote her business plan for GenZ Publishing just four days after she graduated college, and the rest is history. Morissa said in a statement on her website MorissaSchwartz.com, I had no marketing budget or allowance. I only had my work ethic. I began promoting my new company via social media. I would often stay up until 4am, trying to find the perfect new writers for my company and ways to make GenZ a success.” Through perseverance and hard work, Schwartz has found many talented authors with just as much drive, motivation, and work ethic. “It is definitely a team effort,” Schwartz explained.

GenZ publishes books in many genres, so long as the work is innovative, positive, and forward thinking to stay with GenZ’s mission of being ‘publishing of the future.’ The company’s first book release, TALES OF A RECEDING HAIRLINE by K.W. Peery, was ranked #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases List and is being heavily praised by critics for its prolific prose. Mr. Peery’s follow-up, PURGATORY, also hit #1 on the charts. GenZ and Mr. Peery are currently working on their third collaboration due out in 2017. Other popular titles from GenZ Have included young adult romance novel LEARNING TO FLYan exploration of the trials and tribulations of a military family  THE TIES THAT BIND, and psychological thriller A CONFESSION. Additionally, a sequel to mystery thriller, AN HOUR FOR MAGIC, titled Hollow be Thy Name is due out in early 2017.

GenZ celebrated the anniversary with a 45-minute-long video and podcast episode about the past year.

About GenZ Publishing from GenZPublishing.org

GenZ™ is on a mission to improve the world one word at a time. That is why we are the place for voices to be heard in a way not previously done in print and on digital media.

We know from experience that building a portfolio can be difficult for writers and artists. Starting a long term career is even tougher. It can be most trying on the young people who are just getting into writing, journalism, and the workforce. Whether these young people are applying to college, graduate school, or a job, having a standout sample of their work is necessary. Being published is difficult without an agent or the establishment that comes with age and having work recognized in a sea of so many writers can be the most challenging.

Genz bgRight now, there is an underrepresentation of new, young, and innovative voices in the publishing and print world. We are ready to change that.

GenZ™ Publishing provides new writers the opportunity to have their books published that can be shared with friends, family, prospective employers, fans, and readers alike. When they have a book published, it is their way of proving to the world what they can do and how the new generation will change the way the world is looked at.

9 Musts of a 90s Sitcom Theme Song

In creating a new promo for MorissaSchwartz.com, I studied 90s sitcom theme song scenes and their usual tropes tirelessly. Below are my findings of the musts that every show must have if they want the show to succeed, but first, my video…

  1. Cheesy Music. The main ingredient of any good theme song. Without cheesy music, how is the audience to know what this show is about?
  2. Surprised Faces. Acting surprised that there’s a camera capturing the cast doing completely normal and pretty mundane tasks…Really D.J? Is it that shocking that the cameras caught you brushing your hair?

  3. Laughing maniacally for no reason. Unless you consider air funny. In every opening for a sitcom, the characters act like they just heard Jimmy’s…and errr Cartman’s Fishsticks joke for the first time! 

  4. Skipping outdoors. Because, duh, everyone skips outdoors.

  5. Goofy dancing. C’mon show us your moves! No, wait…please don’t.

  6. Family bonding. There’s an awful lot of hugging and picnicking in these openers. We get it, you love your family! That’s why we’re watching.
  7. Thumbs ups, finger guns, and/or pointing. Eyyy, everyone wants to be The Fonze.
  8. Pastel colored kiddy fonts. Because black fonts are just too easy to read.
  9. Jean jackets. A major fashion staple. Got yours yet?

**Bonus points for a wacky neighbor and or fun animal.

Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Publishing Industry

When it comes to the publishing industry, I have pretty much seen it all: self-publishing, traditional publishing, and everything in between. I self-published my first book in high school, had a book traditionally published in college, and started my own publishing company in grad school. I think about how much I didn’t know about the industry when I was just a starry-eyed high schooler writing a book, and when I talk to people about publishing now, there are misconceptions about the industry I hear over and over.

 

Look to Lester

My Dog, Lester, Inspires Me Every Day

I know, I know…what can a dog possibly teach you about life? A lot, actually.

See, my Maltese, Lester, is one of the most special creatures I have ever known. He is a great reminder of what it means to be inherently good.

We adopted Lester fifteen years ago, to keep my three-year-old Shi Tzu, Sammy, company when everyone was at work and school. See, at that point, Sammy was lonely and needed a friend. But Lester quickly became way more than just Sammy’s playmate. He grew into a source of joy and a reminder of the awe that is abundant in this world.

#tbt to my Sam and Lester, the cutest #dogs in the whole world.

A post shared by Morissa Schwartz: Entrepreneur (@morissa_schwartz) on

 

Every dog is different. I have known many dogs, all special in their own ways. One of Lester’s greatest gifts is his sweetness. In his fifteen years of life, Lester has never so much as growled at someone. He is excited to meet everyone that he comes into contact with, whether it is a tiny bunny or a grown human. He has no prejudices. He sees each of earth’s creatures the same and invites everyone he meets to play, usually with his prized hamburger squeak toy in his mouth.

Is he the cutest thing or is he the cutest thing? #dog #maltese #dogs #puppy #puppydog #penguin #holidays #genz #love #like

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Speaking of his hamburger, Lester is extremely loyal. He has gotten dozens of gifts since getting that toy as a puppy, but he always chooses the hamburger. It is his favorite, always has been, always will be. He forms bonds and sticks with them, whether they are with toys, animals, or people.

When I or a member of the family gets sick, he is loyal in the same way. The usually active little fellow will lay with them until they recover. I could bet anything that if he had thumbs, he would be preparing them soup and tea also.

A beautiful evening to take Lester out for a stroll. #dog #stroll #stroller #walk #Maltese #puppy #puppydog #lester #green #fitness #park #walking

A post shared by Morissa Schwartz: Entrepreneur (@morissa_schwartz) on

Lester is also a fighter. He is fifteen, but no one who sees him ever believes it with his cheerfulness and energy. Not only is he considered an elderly dog, but just a few months ago, Lester could not even walk. He needed a wheelchair to get around.

But guess what? That little fighter worked with his wheelchair to bring back his strength.

I never thought I’d see him walk again, let alone run. Yet there he is, every day like clockwork, with his hamburger in his mouth begging to play and chasing anyone who will.

If you ever want to know what true inherent goodness looks like, look at Lester. Goodness in its purest form.

This tiny eight pound Maltese is the epitome of a being who sees the world as an amazing place and does his part to make it even better.

Lester is all ready for Christmas in his Sunday best. #puppy #dog #sunday #sundaybest #dog #christmas#genz #lester #cute #love

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*And he remains adorable at all times.

The Fair, Sweetest Sound, and More!

As we head into August, here are some of the big happenings around here!

  • There are some new updates and features on Morissa’s website Coastal NJ Small Business. This is your guide to great small businesses on the NJ coast.
  • GenZ Publishing has some great new books coming out. Check them all out! There’s something for everyone.

10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About the Publishing Industry

When it comes to the publishing industry, I have pretty much seen it all: self-publishing, traditional publishing, and everything in between. I self-published my first book in high school, had a book traditionally published in college, and started my own publishing company in grad school. I think about how much I didn’t know about the industry when I was just a starry-eyed high schooler writing a book, and when I talk to people about publishing now, there are misconceptions about the industry I hear over and over.

1. There are usually between 600,000 and 1,000,000 book published per year in the US. Yes, that’s a lot of books. And that number keeps growing. Because of the ease of self-publishing allowing more authors to share their work and new niches and topics to write about all the time, there is a big market for book publishing. Also, of course, the internet has been a tremendous help in helping people to connect with publishers or learn about the publishing industry on their own to get their books out there.

Of course this means that there is big competition for authors, which brings us to the next pointl…

2. You Probably Won’t Sell a Million Copies unless you’re a Kardashian or Trump or some other non-authory celebrity. The point is new authors so rarely make that million books sold mark that it is like winning the lottery. That is why book sales are really not the best marker to determining an author’s success. Instead, book reviews are a better indicator. Amazon has been doing a good job of keeping phoney reviews out of their website, going so far as to actually sue those who were being paid to review books. While not all book reviews are created (they are based on someone’s opinion), if a book has some good reviews on Amazon, that is a pretty good indicator that it is a good book.

3. Being Published Doesn’t Automatically Make You Famous.

As you may have guessed by the stats of just how many people publish books per year, being an author does not equate to fame. I learned the hard way. I self-published a book in high school, and when the paparazzi didn’t start stalking me, I just assumed that it was because I was self-published, and there is a stigma around self-publishing. So, I wrote a new book and started sending queries to publishing houses. When my book was picked up by one, I figured this was my big break. Again, no dice. At least not in the earth shattering can’t walk down the street sort of fame people imagine authors having. I did get to be in some newspapers and magazines and do readings at Barnes & Noble, so that is a nice mini taste of ‘the good life.’ If authors are prepared realistically about their chances of fame (which are slim to none) they will really appreciate the smaller things (like local readings and signings or when someone actually Tweets about your book.)

4. You Probably Won’t Be Published by the Big Four book publishers. And even if you are, if you’re not famous, you’re probably not going to have a bestseller.

The big four are so selective. They’re like ivy league colleges, only there’s a lot more competition and it’s even tougher to get in. An agent can help, but you really need to have a large following on social media and be pretty notable. These companies have different tiers of authors and if you are a new author who is lucky enough to be published, you won’t get the same treatment as big name authors. You will have to do a lot of work and promotion yourself, because having that publisher’s big name behind you is your reward. Oh, and about author advances, you probably won’t get one.

5. Books Aren’t Dying.

Don’t believe everything that you read. Contrary to what some will have you believe, the book industry is not dying. It is changing, but not dying. There may not be as many brick and mortar bookstore, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t reading books. In fact, more people read today than ever.

6. Self-Publishing is Not Ruining the Publishing industry.But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a stigma attached to it. Don’t let that discourage you, though, because there are many quality self-published books.

Self-publishing is introducing more and more people to the literary world. That is bringing more books of varied topics to the world and spreading many new ideas not previously talked about. It’s actually pretty incredible to think just how amazing all these new ideas are and how they are shaping the world, especially through their ease of sharing online.

7. The Publishing Industry Unveils More New Products than Any Other Industry Every Year.

You probably don’t think of it, but every book is a product. It must be designed, produced, manufactured, delivered…they are products like any other. Can you imagine if there were 600,000–1,000,000 new models of cars released in the US every year? I don’t think we would have room for them.

8. E-books are Not Replacing Paperback Books.

There are two types of people: eBook readers and paperback readers…or are there? Many readers like to use both. eBooks are great when you are traveling and do not want to carry an obscene amount of books, but can anything ever really compare to the sweet smell of a nice paperback? For a while, eBooks were looking like they were going to outdo paperbacks, but that trend seems to be reversing, as the two forms are now pretty well matched.

9. Book Publishers are Not Publicists.

Back in the pre-Internet era, a lot of publishers would do a lot of publicity for authors, and they still do. BUT now it is also on the author to get publicity and promote themselves. Most authors become their own brand-like entity, forming powerful social media personalities and promoting that way. That is something a publisher, no matter how good, just could not do for an author. Heck, some authors are even known to hire their own publicist in addition to their publisher. But the publisher does give something self-publishing does not provide: notoriety.

10. There are Many Ways to Write and Publish a Book.There’s not just self-publishing. There’s not just big four publishing. There are also indie publishers (like GenZ Publishing), where you get the best of both worlds of self publishing and big publishing. See, with an indie publisher, you have more creative control than you do at a big publisher, and the avoidance of being labeled a self-published author. With an indie publisher you are a published author.

By Morissa Schwartz

Morissa Schwartz is owner of GenZ Publishing (GenZPublishing.org). She is an author, Guinness World Record Breaker, singer, and proud semi-colon supporter. Morissa has a website at MorissaSchwartz.com. You can follower her on Twitter @MorissaSchwartz and on Instagram atMorissa_Schwartz.

Sources:

http://outthinkgroup.com/the-10-awful-truths-about-book-publishing/

http://www.authorspublish.com/10-common-misconceptions-about-the-publishing-world/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2015/10/18/amazon-sues-1114-fake-reviewers-on-fiverr-com/

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=books+published+per+year

http://mashable.com/2013/01/16/e-books-vs-print/

Updates

Original post here

“As Summer is upon us, there are so many new and continuing projects. Here are some of my latest:

  • GenZ has a number of new titles coming out. Dry World by Dylan Brock was released this past week, and A Confession by William F. Aicher will release July 8. Later this summer, we will be releasing some sci-fi, YA, and poetry books. See all the GenZ books at GenZ’s website.
  •  A new GenZ Podcast episode will be released later this week with exclusive information on all our upcoming releases and an interview with the creators of the adult coloring book, ‘Zoo University.’
  • I feature different eco-friendly small businesses from the Coastal NJ area on my websiteCoastalNJSmallBusiness.com on a weekly basis. Check out some of the latest features, including Holly Jolly Jams and Woof Gang Bakery here. There are many more features coming soon!
  • I am now an ‘expert’ on SheSource, so journalists and companies/organizations looking for speakers, scheduling is now easier than ever!
  • I have been doing book festivals and readings every weekend. My favorite so far this summer was the BTeen Festival at Barnes & Noble.
  • My blog of facts, quotes, and fun, My Neon Green Notebook, is constantly being updated with fun new content, as is my Instagram, where I am having fun learning guitar and sharing the results of that.
  • My collaborative single with professional pianist Ian Green, ‘The Sweetest Sound,’ will be released soon, so stay tuned!

Have a great summer, and keep in touch! Tell me about your summer projects. I am always looking for new opportunities and collaborations.”