254: What I Wish I Knew About Publishing a Book With an Academic Press Without an Academic Job

254: What I Wish I Knew About Publishing a Book With an Academic Press Without an Academic Job


In this episode of the Grad School Femtoring Podcast, I share all the juicy details about what I wish I knew about publishing a book with an academic press without an academic job. This has been a highly requested topic and therefore, I offer detailed advice on the realities of book publishing, including financial considerations, the importance of marketing, and the gatekeeping nature of the publishing industry. I also discuss how publishing a book is more about sharing impactful knowledge than financial gain, revealing my own time, energy, and financial constraints and how risky this book publishing process was for me. I share lots of personal anecdotes, am not afraid to throw some shade at the gatekeepers, and end by expressing a heartfelt sense of gratitude to my community for supporting me in ordering Is Grad School For Me?

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254: What I Wish I Knew About Publishing a Book With an Academic Press Without an Academic Job


Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: [00:00:00] Welcome to the top rated and award nominated Grad School Femtoring Podcast, the place for first gen BIPOCs to learn about all things grad school, personal development, and sustainable productivity. This is Doctora Yvette Martinez Vu, and I will be serving as your Femtor, providing you with tips and tricks and everything else you need to know to successfully navigate grad school and beyond.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: For over 13 years, I've been empowering first gen students of color along their academic and professional journeys, and I'm really excited to support you too.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Welcome back everyone to another episode of the Grad School Femtoring Podcast. This is your host, Dr. Yvette. Today I have a juicy, highly requested [00:01:00] episode on the topic of what I wish I knew about publishing a book. book with an academic press without an academic job. Yes, a lot of people have expressed interest, especially those of us that are first gen in learning.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Hold up, Doctora Yvette. Did you manage publishing a book and how did you get to publish a book with UC Press? And can you show us how? Can you tell us what it was like? And what do you wish you knew when you were in the process of getting started? So I'm going to share all those things and I'll mention actually before I start, I'll mention What motivated me to record this episode?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So the first thing is that, like I mentioned, it's a highly requested topic in that I have had, oh my gosh, I don't even know how many people, it's been a lot of people [00:02:00] reach out to me to quote unquote pick my brain about the book publishing process. And I'm the type of person that, um, I reserve a certain amount of slots on my calendar for networking, for chatlets, for talks, for meeting people.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I don't expect folks to book a call only for consultations. I genuinely enjoy meeting new people and if they have questions and you know, we've got that half hour to an hour together, I'm happy to offer any insights that I can to support them along the way. But at some point. I think maybe because you're using that, that phrase, please don't use the phrase, can I pick your brain?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It just, it's one of those phrases that to me doesn't come off well. It doesn't give me a good connotation. I know the folks that asked me had very good intentions and I trust them and I was happy to offer them time. Um, so I, you know, that's, you know, In any case, I just, just don't use that phrase, don't use [00:03:00] the phrase, don't go around with people saying, Hey, can I pick your brain?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Because that feels very one-sided as opposed to it being a reciprocal relationship where you all are supporting each other. So that came up was just lots of people over and over and over again. Hey, can you talk to me about how you published your book? I wanna publish a book. Like what advice do you have for me?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Next is that I published a post on LinkedIn that drew a lot of attention. This was earlier this week. It was a post of something along the lines of four things that I wish that I knew about publishing a book as a first time author. And it had a lot of likes, but not even that. It had the most reshares that I've ever had.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It had at least a dozen reshares by folks across all kinds of fields and industries. I mean, I'm talking about not just professors and grad students, but [00:04:00] librarians, folks working for nonprofits, coaches, you name it, lots of folks reposted it. So something about me sharing. These things resonated with people.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I think there's a lot of interest and that reminds me of how the book publishing world is a very gate keeping world. And it's no surprise that a lot of people want this information because they probably haven't had access to it. And you know, me, accessibility is one of my core values. Accessibility. in many ways.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And in one of those ways, I mean that to refer to having access to information that has been traditionally and historically gatekept, um, and that has been excluded from some populations more than others. So yeah, that, it even came up as a question during my book launch. So once again, I just was like being slapped in the face with this topic of folks [00:05:00] want to hear it, so let me give it to them.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Okay, so let's dive in. So I'm going to share seven things I wish I knew because those are the things that I just off the top of my head. I was like, let me list them really, really quick and record this episode because it's last minute. It's the night before and I want to get it out. It doesn't have to be pretty.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It doesn't have to be scripted. I don't even have to have an online. I'm just going to speak off the cuff and share with you the way that I would to anybody who comes and asks me for information behind closed door and has a one on one with me. No one should have to be devoid of access to information.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So first thing, actually the first four things are related to that post that I shared on LinkedIn. So I'm just going to expand on those things that I said on LinkedIn. And then the last three are things that I didn't mention in that post that I thought about later. So the first one is you don't make money selling books.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Contrary to popular belief, for the [00:06:00] most part, if you're publishing with an academic press, with the trade press, and even with a hybrid publisher, you're not going to be making much money, if any, at all. There is a possibility to make money if you self publish, but even that, it can be tricky because of all the marketing labor involved, and even gate, like spreading the awareness about the book, that, It's just, it's hard to make money from books.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Writing a book is not for folks trying to make money. So one of the things I also wanted to mention is that some people lose money making, or writing and publishing a book. That's just the way it is. For me, as someone who doesn't have an academic job, writing a book published by an academic press, I find myself in a unique situation, whereas most academics [00:07:00] publish books for the sake of their career, meaning they have a salary, whether it's a good or bad salary, it's a salary.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: They have a stable income and they can use publishing that book towards their opportunities for advancing, for going up a step in whatever role or title they have, and even for gaining tenure. This is why this kind of book is probably one of the reasons why this book hasn't been published, is because writing a book like this is not incentivized in higher education.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: What's incentivized? Doing research based on your subject area expertise. So unless there was someone who had this type of subject area expertise that I wanted to write a book about it. Even then, it would be more of a research based book rather than a hands on, how to book, the way that this was written.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So, academics, they write their [00:08:00] books. They continue to have their salaries while they write their books. The book can be used to help them advance their studies. You know, and it goes in their tenure file or it goes in their records to help them move up from, from assistant to associate, from associate to full professor.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: In my case, I didn't get any of that. So the whole time I was dedicating dozens if not hundreds of hours to writing this book, co writing, co authoring it, I wasn't getting paid for it. We did, I don't want to like completely misrepresent the situation, we did get an advance. And what is an advance? An advance is a check that you get paid up front before the book sells that is supposed to be them paying you.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: part of what they anticipate you're going to sell. So if they think that your book is going to be a hit, they might give you a bigger advance. [00:09:00] And if they think that you're not gonna, it might not be as sellable, you'll get a smaller advance. In terms of money and how much money is to be made, if at all, The smallest advances are usually coming from academic presses.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Next, trade presses. Next, hybrid presses. And then at the end of the day, uh, self published books, you get the most money. You don't get an advance because you're working for yourself, but um, but you get more of, you get all the profits, you know, once, Other than paying for the cost of physically printing the book, you get all the profits when you self publish.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: But it's a lot more work. It's, it's, it can be trickier. It can be harder to self publish because you're dealing with every step of the process by yourself instead of having help and support from the folks at a press. So, or, or with any of the major publishers. All of this to say that you don't make money selling books.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And you could potentially lose money. Another thing I wanted to mention is that a lot of people [00:10:00] pay a lot of money to do their marketing. I know someone, I'm not going to say their name, who publicly shared. on a public medium, a public platform, that they spent nearly a hundred thousand dollars on their marketing costs alone.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And this is not a person that comes from wealth. This is someone with shared identity markers as a lot of my audience members. And I'm like, dang it, that person spent a hundred K out of pocket. First of all, I don't even know where that person got that money from. I mean, I know part of it was potentially from having certain funding sources, but a good amount of that was coming from their pocket.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So kudos to them for being able to afford that. That's definitely not something I could do. At least not right now. Not where I'm at with my business and my finances. No way. So FYI, [00:11:00] not only do you not make any money, if at all, sometimes you lose money, When you, when you write and sell a book. So next up, number two is that writing a book can involve, like I said, a financial sacrifice and that it, it, I, I feel like there's a bigger hit for entrepreneurs, especially early entrepreneurs.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It's not common to find folks early in their careers writing books. What I did of, I think it was a year into my business, I started writing this book 'cause it takes two years for it to come out. So I started writing this book in 2022, and I had only been in business for one year. That's unheard of. Most people don't do that.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Most people don't do that, again, because of the financial sacrifice. And also because some people need more time to develop their skills and expertise. I already had that expertise. But um, for me, it was a big financial sacrifice. [00:12:00] Like I said, I, I sacrificed hundreds of hours away from doing work that could have been work that brought for me to support my family.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So that was fewer hours with clients, fewer hours speaking, fewer hours doing anything, anything that would bring in any money. And you know what? I want to shout out my coauthor because I will say that she did her best within her capacity, within her access to resources, to make sure that. Things were more equitable.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So one of the ways that she did this, I hope she doesn't mind me sharing this, is that she advocated for me to get a bigger Uh, percentage of the, um, advance because she knew I wasn't getting paid. I wasn't making money during the writing process, whereas she continued to have her salaried paycheck as a full professor.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So I, I'm glad that she was willing to advocate on my behalf and [00:13:00] And she knows I'm doing this one because I believe in the book and I believe in the impact. And two, because I'm hopeful that with the impact of the book will mean more, more eyes on my work and my business and more ideal folks who will want to work with me and eventually hopefully getting my business to a point where it's sustainable enough that I can keep doing it, that I can keep doing what I do in a way that feels good.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And in a way that's still fun. Allows me to comfortably, um, comfortably take care of my family. Uh, that's all I want. I love the work that I do, but I'm not a martyr. I can't do this work for free. I do this for a living. Like what I do with my speaking, with my coaching, with, you know, all these things. I get so many requests of folks who's, you know, what's the word in English that Sinvergüenzas.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: They just, they're like, [00:14:00] can you do this for free? No, I don't do things for free. I used to, maybe in grad school, I used to when I had a salary job and I had the time and I had the capacity for it. And I didn't, I mean, now, you know, with my disability, I, um, I have higher support needs. So no, I can't do things for free.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I just can't. And in this case, I made that intentional decision of I'm going to write this book. It's not going to pay me much, if anything, at all. If anything, it might put me in the negative because the amount of time and energy I'm dedicating to it, whereas I could have put that towards taking income generating actions.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: But again, it was all because I really believed in the book and I still really believe in the book and the impact that it will have. I do. I do. You can't change my mind about that. You read the book and tell me [00:15:00] otherwise because you can't, you can't prove me wrong. I'm biased. It's my book. I really believe in it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So for me, it was okay. I believe in it and this will hopefully be a long term investment that pays off. I'm not going to see any initial, any initial kind of, um, ROI. Like I'm not going to see much money right away. But hopefully in the future, uh, you know, as more folks hear about the book and more folks hear about my work, it could potentially help me out, um, in my business and in my life.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I hope so. We'll see. And even if it doesn't, I still believe in the book and I'm going to keep marketing it because why write a book for it to sit in a dusty shelf? I don't understand that. And that actually brings me to my next point, which is point number three. You're responsible for marketing your book.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Here's the thing. No matter if you [00:16:00] publish with an academic press, trade press, hybrid press, or you self publish, you are responsible for the majority of the marketing. If you are self publishing, you're doing all of it. If you go with, you know, a trade press, you might have support from a team. If you go with an academic press, there's also folks there that support you.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So for instance, we have a marketing person and a publicity person who help out. You know, but it's still up to us 70 to 80 percent and it's primarily been me. Um, well, no, let me say that differently. I've been doing a lot of the marketing when it comes to social media marketing and email marketing and I hired help through a temporary intern who has who has helped with the bulk of the email marketing [00:17:00] tasks.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So yes, I've been doing that. I do have help and I didn't do it all on my own and my co author has done some of the marketing through her contacts. So through her network of the folks that she had, that she has mentored and femtored for many, many years, a lot more years than I have. So in that respect, there's been many of us doing this work.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So from UC Press, they're doing their job of marketing, to their listservs. Uh, on their website. And to some extent on their social media, although they don't have a big social media presence. On my end, it's been my email newsletter, my social media, my podcast, and basically every time I'm on any call, anytime you hear me, I feel like a broken record.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I'm mentioning it over and over and over again. I want everybody and their mama to know about the book. So it feels like I've done a lot, but I [00:18:00] know it's not, hasn't been all me and, and I haven't done. Everything. No, so I, and that would be giving myself too much credit. So combined though, it's the responsibility of my co author and I to do the bulk of the marketing.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So I'll just say that 70 to 80 percent of the marketing is on us, on her and I, and I have taken on a few more tasks and I also have had an intern helping me with some of the email related marketing stuff. So just to clarify, that's what happened for us. Now, for other folks, they hire teams. So there are people who hire entire teams who have And you know, with trade presses, they have an agent, they have a publicist, they have a marketing team.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It's not just one person, but it's multiple people behind the scenes. And of course, that makes it so that a lot more people hear about the book. The more help you have, the more people are going to hear [00:19:00] about the book. But you know what? I also believe in the power of word of mouth, and I was reminded of that.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: our book launch. So many people showed up for my co author and I, folks that we have supported. It's so beautiful to, to have folks there who she and I met as undergrads and now they have PhDs or they themselves are professors. How amazing is that? So I don't want to discount the power of word of mouth, but I also want to remind you that as an academic, no one teaches you about marketing.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Nobody teaches you about publicity. Um, nobody teaches you about. Marketing, publicity, branding, thought leadership, nobody teaches you anything related to, to promoting yourself and your work. So it can feel icky, it can feel uncomfortable, it can feel like, Oh, how dare you? How dare you promote yourself and your work in this way, but you got to do it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You got to do it. Like I said earlier, why have your book that [00:20:00] you spent so much time and energy and love on? Why have it sit on a dusty ass shelf? That makes no sense to me. So I'm gonna keep talking about it. I mean, I don't know at one point I'm gonna, at what point I'll get fed up of talking about it, but for now I'm gonna keep talking about it because again, prove me wrong.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I think it's a great book. I really believe in it. I have wanted this book for so long. I wish I could go back in time and could have had that book myself. It's the book that I needed and it's the book that I know a lot of people need. And hearing folks tell me, Oh my gosh, let me, let me just share two, two examples.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: No, actually three examples. One is someone told me they bought the book and that they're creating a library for their library, for their family, for their extended family, for their parents. Primas and primos and nieces and nephews so that they can have access to this library of resourceful books to help them get from one stage to the next to the [00:21:00] next in their life.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: How beautiful is that? The next is I, I heard about, um, a friend of mine who recommended the book to A local bookstore in the San Fernando Valley. And not only did they say, yes, they said, actually, we had already heard about the book and we already have copies. Like what? And guess, get this. She told me, and then I find out, Oh, that's the local bookstore five minutes away from where my mom lives.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I low key want to do a book signing there. So I'm going to have to figure out a way to do a book signing there. But how amazing is that? Five minutes away from. Where my mom lives. In my hometown. That's, I mean, that's the power of marketing. You can call it something else. You can call it spreading the word.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You can call it promoting the book. You can call it [00:22:00] whatever. But it really is powerful to just keep telling people about it and you never know who it might reach. The last one was actually my mom telling me that One of her colleagues who works in the same little shopping center as her, another elder Latina immigrant, um, asking about my book, like, when is her book coming out?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And my mom was like, I don't know. Let me ask her. She asked me, I'm like, Mom, you never asked me about my work. Why are you asking me when my book comes out? I didn't even know that you knew that I was Had a book coming out and then she's like,

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: who was it? Was it her goddaughter or her niece? So they, in any case, she was saying so and so wants to order a copy for, I think it was her niece, maybe her goddaughter. But how amazing. So if that [00:23:00] doesn't push you and motivate you to want to learn more about book marketing, especially for academics who are not taught how to market books, and yet you're still expected to write a book and release it, I don't know what will motivate you more.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It's important to get the word out. Especially if you believe in what you wrote about. Especially if you think that it'll change lives. Go out and tell people about it. All right. I already feel like this is going to become a long episode. I'm 20 minutes in and I'm barely halfway through. Reason number four is, or the fourth thing that I wish someone would have told me about publishing a book is that pre orders make up.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Big difference in your ability to become a bestseller and or have your book picked up by an audiobook company. You know how people become bestsellers? Not by chance, but by intention and strategy. The [00:24:00] folks who become bestsellers know that they want to be bestsellers and come up with an action plan to become a bestseller.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And when you're a bestseller, now I'm already skipping ahead to another thing that I was going to say, when you're a bestseller, it doesn't mean you're the best writer. It just means you can sell books. So pre orders make a big difference. Why? Because every single book you sell, and it's too late for me, the book's already out, but every single book you sell up to the day of the first week that the book comes out, that all counts towards your first week sales.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So everything beforehand gets counted towards your week one sales. And that means that if you get a big push of big preorders, then all of a sudden you're going to go up in the rankings and folks are going to be like, Oh, this book is a bestseller. That's how it works. So that's why there's always this push and incentivizing of Hey, preorder the book.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I did that too. It was a preorder, the book, you get a workbook [00:25:00] preorder the book, preorder the book. And maybe that's why we, We're the number one, number one new release in the Graduate School Guides category on Amazon. It might be because of the push that we made to get people to pre order the book. Who knows?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So just know that about pre orders and also I'm not just trying to be a bestseller just for like vanity metrics. Do I look like someone who cares about vanity? As I'm wearing red lipstick, if you're watching me, I might post a little real clip about this episode. But if you can't see me, I'm wearing red lips right now.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So it's kind of funny. I'm like, do I care about vanity? And yet my ass is wearing makeup. So, um, The other thing is tied to the audiobook, uh, uh, portion of it. Now, I'll say I'm not 100 percent sure how audiobooks function for trade presses, but when we approached our press about the possibility of having an [00:26:00] audiobook, I expressed a strong interest in it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Of course, I'm an auditory learner and I would be so down to recording it myself. I would love to. Oh my gosh, that's on my bucket list of things to do. In fact, at one point I was considering a career in being a Um, an audiobook narrator, but in any case. We asked, and you know what they told us? They said that we'd have to pitch it to the major audio book company, that it's not something that's just given and that we need to show that there's a strong interest in the book to even pitch it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: AKA, we need to wait until the book comes out, sell it, sell a lot of copies for them to even consider us. So this is just another little kind of reminder just to you all that if you want an audio book version of this book. Please tell everybody you know to order a copy because that's the only way I'm going to be able or my co author and I are going to be able to justify going [00:27:00] back to the press to then, um, pitch it to the audio book folks to be like, Hey, you know what?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: This, this book is a bestseller with our press and there's a strong interest in an audio book. Can we make that happen? So the next point I wanted to make is that the publishing world, among other Well, I mean, just the publishing world in general is a very gatekeeping world. I said that earlier, but I'm going to say it again.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And it's even more gatekeepy. I don't even know if that's a word, but it's even more like that among trade presses. And it frustrates me. And to some extent, it angers me. In fact, I attended a workshop recently by a bestselling author. The workshop was titled something along the lines of how to, how [00:28:00] to, what was it?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Write and publish a book with a trade press. Something along those lines where I just went there because I was thinking, okay, this person has published multiple books, has been a bestseller, has gotten with the trade press. I want to learn about that. And what happened is what happens a lot of times when you go to these free workshops, which is so frustrating, and I hope I never become this type of entrepreneur that does this, this particular gimmicky thing where they're like, come, I'll teach you how to do X, Y, and Z, you show up, they, they share one to two things, and they're like, if you want the rest, sign up for my blah, blah, blah, and pay thousands of dollars for it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So that was just another reminder of oh, this is so annoying how gate keeping this industry is. So all of this to say that, let me tell you a little bit about the [00:29:00] trade press publishing process. If you want to go to the trade press, typically, Not necessarily in every case, but in a lot of cases, you're expected to find a literary agent.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: This can take upwards of a couple of months to maybe even a year. Why? Because you need connections, and you need to go and pitch yourself, you need to You know, get on people's calendars. And some, in some cases you might even have to meet people in person for them to take you seriously. And then maybe if someone believes in you, they'll take you on and they serve as your agent.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And then they're the ones who send inquiry letters to the big publishing houses. And that's kind of like them pitching your book to them. And. You know, similarly for academic presses where you, whereas you don't have to have an agent with an academic press, you still have to pitch your book to editors.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So you reach out, contact different editors. It's even better [00:30:00] if you have a connection, if you have someone who knows that editor who can put you in touch with them. And yeah, you pitch your idea. Hopefully it's a good enough idea. They express interest. In our case, they expressed interest. And from there we We're asked to write a book proposal and there's no guarantee after that, that you're going to get the book, but after writing the book proposal, then they might give you feedback or not.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: In our case, we wrote a fabulous proposal and didn't get, you know, many edits. So I don't think we got any edits actually, if I remember correctly. And then you get a contract. And after that, you hit the ground running with the writing process. And then after the writing process, we wrote the book in six months.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: After the writing process, it goes into the next stage. And That, you know, after that, it's, it's, in some, in some [00:31:00] ways, it's off your hands. Yes, you will be getting, um, because it's an academic press, there will be a peer review process, and you will be getting feedback, and you will be making revisions, and then you have access to an editor, and they also provide you with feedback and with, um, suggestions for changes.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: But, really, the bulk of the work is during, you that first six months or more after your book proposal has been approved and you've signed the contract and yeah after that it's a lot of it is a waiting game so just know that if you're curious like how does it actually work that's how it works for academic presses and the timeline is very similar for trade presses it usually takes about two years on the quick side to get a book out From the moment you pitch it to the moment it comes out.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Now for, um, self publishing, you can self publish overnight. I mean, what did I say? For, for self publishing, you can self publish a book overnight. [00:32:00] It's, there are fewer hurdles, but you have to figure everything out on your own. You got to come up with your book cover. You got to hire your own, you know, Illustrator or designer to, to work on the book cover.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You got to do all the formatting. You do everything. You can hire people to help, but it's, it's still primarily up to you to get it all done. Now, another thing I wanted to mention is related to how advances work. And I wish someone would have told me about how advances work earlier. I, I think, you know, when I mentioned about advances is that you're getting money up front from what they think that you're going to sell.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So you have to have enough books sell to pay back your advance before you start to get what what is called a royalty or royalties. That's when you start to get paid. Each year you get, you know, some sort of paycheck to indicate how much money [00:33:00] you made based on the number of sells of your book selling every year.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: If you, if you, your book hardly sells or if you don't sell anything at all, then you're not going to get anything. The percentage of what you make varies wildly. You make the most money of your self published because you get all that net profit. So aside from whatever cost you incur to actually physically print the book, everything else comes, goes back to you.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Now with, I'm trying to think about the order. The next one where you. Make the most I would say is with hybrid publishers because hybrid is called hybrid It's kind of in between a trade press and self publishing and so they'll give you a bigger percentage of what you get back Let's say it's somewhere along the lines of 30 to 50 percent of the profits is what you take home again and profits is It's taking out however much it costs to [00:34:00] print the book, right?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Then for trade presses, you might get anywhere from 10 to 25 percent depends on what you negotiate. And then the least is the academic presses. You are lucky if you get 10 percent back from the profits, not from what people pay for the book. But from So you don't make a lot. In fact, I am a co editor of a bestselling anthology and we might get a couple hundred dollars a year that covers the cost of our memberships and hosting our website.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And that's it. It's not much. So just a heads up about that so that you all know this, because again, this is information that nobody tells you. Now I'm down to the second to last point, number six. And then. My last one is number seven. So number six is that the bestseller game is not about being a good [00:35:00] writer.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It's about being a good seller. I think I already mentioned this earlier, but I'm going to say it again. That. I've learned from listening to many podcasters, some of whom are best selling authors who have openly talked about this process, that they were very strategic with how they planned out their book marketing process.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: They had a whole team. They had a plan of action. They had spreadsheets, they hired people, they even, um, built community and had volunteers to help them. They reached out to folks and incentivized, Hey, I give you a free book if you write a review, or I give you this for free if you do that for me. So it's very much not about, like, Oh, let me just hope and pray that it becomes a bestseller.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It's no, I'm going to make it happen, even if it means having to pay people to help me with this process. And even if it means having to give a whole lot of [00:36:00] free books, guess what? The freebies that I weren't giving, like the, I gave, I gave away two books at my book launch party. I paid for that out of pocket.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And I actually, I have a couple of folks who are going to do giveaways and they're sponsoring the book. So I've got three people who have agreed to at least give away one book, like pay for one book, which is pretty cool. Um, so that's great. But all of this to say that folks are willing to pay money, hire a team.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: That's why it's free. That one person I mentioned earlier that spent 100k. This is why it can cost up to 100k for you to market your book alone. So some people, they have the money and they want to have that accolade. They're like, I want to be a best selling author. And they write a book and then they hire, guess what?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: They hire a book coach. Book coaches cost at least 10k. Trust me, I know because I've [00:37:00] looked them up and I've looked up the numbers and I'm like, oh dang, I cannot afford that. At least not now. So they've got their book coaches, they've got their editors and guess what? There's all kinds of editors. There are developmental editors who provide you feedback on the substantial components of your writing.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: give you, uh, substantial feedback related to, um, I'm trying to think about, like, they get, basically they're just giving you substantial feedback on the writing itself. Then there are sensitivity readers who you might hire to review the book and make sure you're not offending anyone, make sure you're not misrepresenting anyone or any community or any culture that you write about.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Then there are copy editors and line editors, so those folks might be looking more at your language or at your Formatting. Then there are indexers, and that was something we couldn't get away without doing. We actually had to incur that cost on our own, and hiring an indexer [00:38:00] is also not cheap, and what they do is they're the ones that are responsible for coming up with an index.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: If you ever look at the back of a book, there's an index that helps readers find key information in the text. Another thing we did, so we hired a An indexer because we had no other option. We weren't allowed to index our own book. Hired an indexer and then also we ourselves as co authors came up with a glossary because we wanted to make sure that there was a glossary of terms so that if any student felt like, I don't know what this means, you could go to the end and find that term again and no worries, you don't have to know everything.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: That's why there's a glossary. But long story short, Folks who are bestsellers, they are very strategic and intentional about it. And sometimes they will pay a lot of money or they will sacrifice a lot of time and energy towards becoming a bestseller. This is why in many ways, there [00:39:00] was a part of me that wanted to give up.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Or I thought, how am I going to do this? Like I can't compete with that. Like I know someone, oof, let me, now I'm going to get pissed off. One of the world's leading podcasters hires a team. Oh my gosh. How many people did she say she had on her team? I think it was at least 20 people who do full time marketing work for her.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So marketing her podcast to people all over social media, direct messaging them, just doing a bunch of marketing work for her. And she pays them 500 bucks a month for full time work, full time hours. Can you believe that shit? Ah, I'm not even going to say who that is, but when I found that out, I was like, Oh my goodness.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: This is why some people become big. Because they're willing to compromise on their ethics to do it. And I'm not. So that's why [00:40:00] there was a part of me that was like, oh, should I even give up at the hope of this becoming an impactful book when I don't have the budget and I also don't have the time and energy as a disabled, chronically ill person.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: But you know what I do have? I have you all. I have community. And you all really, really showed me that at the book launch. And you all have especially shown me that this week on social media. So thank you for that, because y'all give me hope. And I hope that this also gives you hope so that in me doing this, you all can write your books.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And I'm going to get to the last point and then And then I'll wrap up with the last, the last point was actually about the whole hiring help. The, the whole point about hiring help. A lot of people hire help. A lot of people can afford to hire help. And that's just something for you to keep in mind that if you feel like, Oh, well, I'm not a good writer.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I could never write a book. I can never do [00:41:00] it. Have you ever done something with the support of others? that you didn't think you could do. Okay, then, then that means that if you get the support of others, there's a good chance that you can do it. And I didn't say all this. I know I, I really did go in the weeds about the good and the bad and the ugly.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I didn't say all this to scare you away from not writing your book. I say this so that you can be informed so that you can be prepared so that you can be aware and so that, you know, you gotta know the rules in order to know which ones to. keep and which ones to break and so that you can be more intentional about, you know what, these are the things I'm definitely going to do because I know I want to do them to help me in this way.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: These are the things that I'm not going to do because I refuse to do it that way and I'm going to do it my way. And that's kind of how I feel about this whole book launch process. It really has felt like a mix of both like, I'm gonna do some of the traditional marketing. And I'm also going to rely on community and I'm [00:42:00] also going to do things my way.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And, you know, I love, I love my podcast. Of course, I'm going to keep doing the, the promoting on my podcast. Cause y'all are my real MVPs. You really are. I love hearing from my podcast listeners. Um, it brings me so much joy when y'all hit me up in the DMs. I don't know why you all don't leave reviews on Apple Podcasts.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Maybe a lot of you just don't have that app or don't listen on Apple Podcasts. From my numbers, it looks like most people are listening on Spotify. But dang, if you can leave a review, that would be great. It would make my day. Subscribe and review. And other than that, keep DMing me. Keep, you know, letting me know what resonates.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I'm pretty sure this episode is going to resonate and be popular. I just have a feeling. So let me know if you gain something from this. Please, please don't keep it to yourself. Someone was telling me, actually one of my friends, that she was telling me that her therapist was reminding her that every time [00:43:00] someone reaches out to you and tells you like how impactful you were to them, you're There are several, countless more people thinking that, but not telling you.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And so each time someone reaches out to me to say, Hey, your podcast was really helpful for me. Your podcast helped me get into grad school. Your podcast helped me to land my first job. Your podcast helped me get out of a really dark, scary place. I'm reminded, you know what? That's probably not the only person.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And even though I don't get paid for this, I'm Y'all compensate me in so many other ways that I can't even begin to describe. So thank you for listening. That's it for today's show. I didn't expect to get so emotional, but just know I appreciate you and I feel the love, so muchas gracias.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Thanks so much for joining me in the Grad School Femtoring [00:44:00] Podcast. If you like what you heard, here are four ways you can support the show. The first is to make sure you're subscribed and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. The second way is to get your copy of my free Grad School Femtoring Resource Kit, which includes essential information to prepare for and navigate grad school.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You can access it at the link in today's show notes. The third way to support my show is to follow me on social media. You can find me on Instagram with the handle at gradschoolfemtoring and on LinkedIn by searching my name. The last way to show your love is to sign up to work with me via my Grad School Femtoring Academy, my group coaching program for first gen BIPOCs seeking to work on their personal growth and gain sustainable productivity skills.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You can learn more at gradschoolfemtoring. com slash academy. Thanks again for listening and until next time.

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