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.
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.
Morissa started freelancing in high school. Here she gives some advice for other freelancers: ““Keep organized lists for everything and prioritize: a list for tasks that need to be completed right now, another with tasks that can be performed later, reminders, client lists, etc.” Read the rest of the article on Upwork.
It all started Saturday Morning with an Indie author panel at the Museum for Early Trades followed by partaking in the Madison Storyteller’s Festival in the afternoon. That night was the June Bug Festival in Metuchen, NJ. The very busy weekend was concluded on Sunday with a reading and workshop at Barnes & Noble.
6/11; 10:00 AM, Indie Author Panel
6/11; Afternoon, Madison Storyteller Festival
By Morissa Schwartz
Media is changing our language, and it is up to us to preserve it. Take it from me, a proud advocate of and for generation Z and young millennials. There are so many news reports and articles about how our language is changing “for the worse.” However, with a proactive approach, we can be sure that it progresses for the better. We can use new media to share our innovative ideas through carefully crafted words.
The internet has allowed many people who would have never written in a public forum to share their ideas with the masses. This means that we are connected with writers’ words from around the world. The very idea that I can read a guide about meditation by a writer from Africa, a paranormal romance book by an independent author residing in the UK, and an eBook about vampires by a young author in New York City (all books that I did read this week) is a truly magical idea that our ancestors could have never dreamed of. The ease of finding such varied topics written by authors of all nations is a great opportunity to create a smarter, more well-rounded, and more connected society. However, without properly curated content, this will not be possible.
My concern and the concern of many copyeditors is the ease of sending and receiving this information, which causes the quality of some content to decline. It is all too easy to publish a work with errors. I see many “they’re” and “their” mix-ups, incorrect adverb usage, and careless misspellings on a daily basis that could have been easily avoided with just a bit more time and attention to the work. I cite this as proof of how we must be more careful when crafting our content and why copyeditng is crucial.
Copyediting is more important than ever. Instead of information overload and saturation, if we put more thought into what was released, we would all benefit from the higher quality of content. Copyediting is a crucial step in the process of releasing the best content possible, and there are many talented copyeditors who are dedicated to working diligently on such content. Technology has afforded more people the opportunity to copyedit because of this increase in online materials and ease of connecting with others. I began freelance copyediting when I was still in high school. Each essay and article I copyedited varied in topic, and I would help the authors shape their works into something that would add societal value. When a work is free of errors, it appeals to the reader, unlike works with blatant errors that negate an author’s intentions.
The future of language is still evolving. As the Internet and technology develop, so will our communication. We must be more mindful of the information we release, as to preserve the English language. This means that copyediting is more important than ever. It is only through the thoughtfulness of copyediting that we can release our best work.
Morissa’s publishing company, GenZ Publishing is still accepting submissions from talented new writers. Submit your book to GenZPublishing.org/genz
“Last June, after graduating from Drew University, I was all set to begin my life as a grad student at NYU. I had my acceptance letter in hand when I decided that this was not actually the school for me. It was time for a new plan.
I was in the process of having VIP Ink Publishing publish my book, but at the same time, I saw so many young writers and students with talent not getting the recognition that they deserved. I realized how difficult it is for new and young writers to be published. And thus, GenZ Publishing was born.
I started writing up my business plan. I showed it to my father (Leon), an entrepreneur himself, who encouraged me more than anyone could possibly dream. He gave me advice and steered me in the right direction. I kept planning my business for months, while I began graduate study at Monmouth University. Then, VIP Ink released my book, and it became a bestseller. That reinforcement reignited my need to help other talented new writers get published.
I officially launched GenZ on November 23. 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.
Then, in December, I received an email from Kevin W. Peery who had written an incredible poetry book. I was a huge fan of Mr. Peery’s music (If you haven’t heard “Life’s Too Short,” you’re really missing out) and decided that he would be GenZ’s first published author. I am so glad I did.
Mr. Peery’s book is now in the top 10 of Amazon’s Hot New Releases for American Poetry, and I could not be prouder.
The past couple months have felt like years in how quickly GenZ has grown. We now have twelve signed authors and have gotten dozens of query letters in the past few weeks. The authors have formed an amazing community and are such talented and kind individuals. We are publishing everything from supernatural thriller to autobiographical inspirational books to YA sci-fi.
GenZ has grown so quickly to become something even better than I could have possibly imagined. I am so thankful and cannot wait to see what happens next.”
A very special ‘Meet the Author’ event is scheduled in Morissa’s hometown of Woodbridge, NJ at the Sewaren Library. This event is very dear to Morissa as the sixth generation of her family to have grown up in Woodbridge.
Read the always awesome interview with David Hornsby (Cricket) that Morissa conducted here.