Things I Learned While Publishing my First Book (and Writing my Second Book)



hello everybody a huge thank you to everyone who participated in my cyborg a photo challenge I absolutely loved checking out all of your pictures the winners are listed on Instagram right now so be sure to check to see if you're on the list additionally I may or may not be announcing another giveaway at the end of this video so stick around for that but first as many of you know I published my debut novel a couple of years ago and I'm in the process of publishing my second novel the saviors champion right now it's been a super exciting journey I can honestly say that I'm living my dream and I have no regrets so far I've also learned a lot both during the process of publishing my first novel as well as while writing my second and that's what we're talking about today I'm breaking down the different things I learned during the writing and publishing process so you can hopefully learn from me number one people can be phony this was probably the most frustrating thing I learned and it comes with certain levels of exposure there basically came a point where my platform grew to a certain size and I realized I couldn't make friends the way I used to because most of the time these people didn't see me the way I see myself to me I'm just a Jenna to them I'm an opportunity it was a lot harder than it probably should have been for me to accept this but it eventually became too recurring for me to ignore people would hit me up saying they wanted to be friends but really they wanted me to promote their book or their channel and if I refused I was a dirt it's honestly a really lonely feeling to be commodified especially by people that you genuinely liked but I now have an even greater appreciation for my true friends who like me for me and not for what I can offer them number two stop giving a there are so many things to stress over during the writing process that at some point you just gotta say oh well when I wrote my first book I was stressed about everything well people like this scene what about this character should I throw myself off the roof now or later it's honestly such a waste of energy because quite frankly there are far worse parts of the publishing process to worry about bottom line some people are gonna like your store some people aren't what do you do I'm selling this book no matter what so whatever eat a dick I don't care what the second book I just stopped giving a I wrote what I wanted to write without worrying about it it's not that my audience's opinion no longer mattered because it matters a lot but that's what beta readers critique partners and editors are for I learned to reallocate my anxiety rather than perpetually stressing brought the whole damn process number three standards matter there are a lot of trends in the writing industry and it can be easy to assume that in order to make it you gotta hop on board I've always been the type to march to the beat of my own drum if you tell me I have to do something a certain way I'll do the exact opposite just to be a dick ain't nobody telling me what to do but that doesn't mean I don't get nervous from time to time sometimes I look at people who are doing so well within these trends and I think what if no one reads my book because I didn't write the male love interest to be a complete there were times when I was afraid that my unwillingness to compromise my ideals would prevent or impede my success but it ended up being the driving force that propelled me forward readers want to see something different they want someone to break the trend and doing so will often separate you from the pack in a positive way writing my second book was really eye-opening regarding how important it is to stay true to yourself and how the reading community genuinely appreciates and rallies behind it number four say no when you first get started in this industry it's important to gobble up every opportunity you can get want to be a guest on my podcast yes want to write a post for my blog absolutely but once you've developed an audience gobbling up every opportunity means a few things one you're going to exhaust yourself too you might be doing your platform more harm than good a larger audience means greater exposure so you need to be selective about the sort of offense people and products you choose to align yourself with does this reflect my platform in a positive way does this benefit my audience is this indicative of who I am and what I want to represent these are the sort of things you got to ask yourself once you gain more experience in the industry number five it gets easier the larger your platform gets the more opportunities when suddenly all you need is an email address and bam the gigs arrive in your inbox like clockwork it's magic I've worked really really hard to carve a place for myself in this industry and sometimes there's that worry that it'll always be like this I'll be breaking my back for the rest of my life so it's a relief to know that this isn't the case the hard work does pay off and one day you won't have to hustle as hard as you used to keep hauling ass because at some point in the future it'll all come back to reward you trust me on this which brings me to number six it's still really hard it's just hard in different ways mostly in terms of exposure invasiveness and pressure I receive hundreds if not thousands of messages and comments a day and people expect me to respond to all of them I can't humanly do that and sometimes people get really mad because of it and tell me to go kill myself oh thanks guys when I am able to answer questions people will get really angry if I don't give them the answer they want to hear or they'll ask me really personal stuff like they're entitled to my private information people will nitpick over the way I talk the way I look they'll make assumptions about me Jenna's playing with her hair that must mean she's nervous Jenna's an introvert that must mean she's a cat person where do you get this stuff and of course there's the trolls I receive death threats rape threats all kinds of threats and while this may sound like the worst to be honest you get used to it real quick if people hate you it means you've probably stood for something at some point in your life number seven be honest about mental health mental illness does not care how great your life is going things could be fantastic and mental illness will be like that's awesome I'm still gonna ruin your week as my platform grew my mental illness particularly my anxiety got a lot worse I was having panic attacks over the number of messages I was receiving I would begin shaking when I'd opened my laptop platform growth is a great thing all I've ever wanted is for readers to appreciate my writing and I was getting that but mental illness don't give a and for a long time I believed that if I accepted help for my depression or my anxiety I was being week but there came a time when I realized what is the point in pursuing my dream if I can't even enjoy it being honest about the help I needed was a huge weight lifted and since then I've been a so much happier and even more successful there is no point in allowing yourself to suffer when there are so many solutions available and number eight excitement is contagious I think a lot of writers are afraid to be openly passionate about their work I know when I wrote my first book I felt a little weird talking about it like it might come off as conceited but with my second book since I was no longer giving a I talked about it as much as I wanted to I didn't care if it came across bad because really shouldn't people be passionate about their career if you're not happy with your job you've got the wrong job and what I found was people weren't put off by my excitement they just became excited with me they were more eager to read my work because they wanted to be just as hyped as I was really all that fretting over stupid was for nothing excitement is like mono spread that around infect the whole damn planet so that's all I got for you today I'm truly grateful for all the amazing experiences I've had since becoming a full time author and I've learned so much both from my failures and successes hopefully you can take some of these lessons to heart or ignore them completely I don't really care no it's time for a giveaway and this one's super easy as many of you know I have a super awesome mailing list and everyone who signs up for it receives a monthly newsletter detailing upcoming events contests and tons of other goodies and now everyone who joins my mailing list within the next week will be entered in to win a prize from yours truly if you've already joined my mailing list then congratulations you're automatically in the running I've got a link to my mailing list in the description below join now the winner will be announced in this month's newsletter so be on the lookout with asset don't forget to subscribe to my channel I post new videos on Mondays and Wednesdays and if you want to be alerted as soon as I upload a ring that bell and be sure to follow me on social media I'm on Instagram Tumblr Facebook and of course you can tweet me at Jenna Morrissey bye

30 thoughts on “Things I Learned While Publishing my First Book (and Writing my Second Book)

  1. Trust me, I love it when the male love interest isn't a complete shitbag. Some trends are not worth it.

  2. I’m new to your channel! Were we sisters in a past life or something? You talk just like I do! F bombs be damned. And yes, so do my characters. I kinda fretted over that for ohhh five minutes? It’s all about who you connect with, right? Rock on sister! Loving your channel! Now going to buy the books and join your list!

  3. Jenna, thank you so much for all the advice and hard work you put into these videos. I've been working on the outline for my first novel and your videos are such a huge help. You offer not only writing advice, but have helped me find confidence to just trust myself and what I enjoy.

    I have no idea if you'll see this on this old ass video, but know that something you recorded way back then is still helping me right this moment. Thank you so fucking much dude.

  4. Thank you for this. Number 2 was what I really needed. I'm super second guessing myself this week and this made me feel better about it.

  5. This sounds like a graduation speech. Maybe that's just me. I did listen to ten speeches yesterday at my graduation.

  6. This video made me feel so much better today because it made me realize it was getting harder to write my book because I was too anxious it wasn't going to be good enough for the people reading it. It's the first book I've ever written and that's TERRIFYING. Watching this made me remember why I was writing a book. BECAUSE I like WRITING. I love creating new worlds. I can feel my characters like they are real people and the adventures they go on I feel like I'm a part of. I get to fly away to somewhere magical and beautiful. And when I'm done with my book maybe other people will love it as much as I do, even if it's just one other person that would be amazing. I have GOT to stop anxiety from wringing my neck. It's time to stop worry and get to WORK!

  7. Excitement really is contagious. Just watching yours makes me want to immediately go back to work. And I´m not even a writer xD

  8. Hey Jenna, just a quick message to tell you you're quite genuine! I enjoy watching your videos – I'm in the process of publishing a first book and you make me feel less the solitude and frustration of it all. Again thanks.

  9. If you think about it authors selling books is basically just a person selling attached-flat materials with printed squiggles inside.

  10. I love your videos, always gives me a confidence boost and a good kick in the ol' rear to get to writing.
    With that being said, here is my confidence deposit for today: MY BOOK HAS A LOT OF PROBLEMS BUT ITS STILL FREAKING AMAZING AND IM NOT ALOOOOOOOONE!
    <3

  11. "If someone tells me to do something, I'll do the opposite, just to be a dick." That's totally me since childhood, love it!

  12. Exactly Jenna, and that's why I wrote my first book the way I knew it should be written and not how the traditional way has gone. Don't get me wrong, I didn't break rules that will turn readers off, but I broke the rules that are allowed to be broken. I wrote a science fiction thriller that isn't common and it has a love story..

  13. I totally want to be your friend. Your videos are amazing and I love your sense of humor. Definitely my kind of people.

  14. I'm thankful so many people lied about my ability to write growing up. I made a hobby out of my passion, and I enjoy it, even though I'm dreadful at the craft. Due to memory problems, I come across stories and novels I've written on my computer and have no clue what the stuff is about until I read it. Not to be vain, but I found my last book interesting.

  15. 2:50 The second I heard you say that, I knew you were an Aquarian like me. I even looked for your birthday to confirm.

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