S4E31 Chris Yogerst 3 Ways to become a published author

S4E31 – Chris Yogerst – 3 Ways  to become a published author
Chris Yogerst – 3 Ways to become a published author. My next guest has been on the show before. He’s one of my best friends. He’s also a professor and published author who’s written several books. In this episode, he breaks down the 3 ways how you can become a published author. Please welcome, Chris Yogerst.

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Key Timecodes

  • (00:32) – Show intro and background history
  • (01:24) – Deeper into his background history and publishing experience
  • (04:30) – Understanding his self publishing strategies
  • (09:10) – Deeper into university press model
  • (16:46) – Understanding the trade press model
  • (26:29) – How write a book can help you to grow credibility
  • (30:32) – A guest takeaway about B2B selling
  • (36:15) – What is the worst advice he ever received
  • (39:12) – Guest contacts


[00:00:00.320] – Intro
Hey, this is Sean Tapper, the host of Payback Time, an approachable and transparent podcast in building businesses, increasing wealth, and achieving financial freedom. I’d like to bring on guests to hear authentic stories while giving you actionable takeaways you can use today. Let’s go.
[00:00:17.580] – Sean
My next guest has been on this show before. He’s actually one of my best friends. He’s a professor and published author who’s actually published multiple books. In this episode, he talks about three different ways you can become a published author. Here. Please welcome Chris Yoghurst. Chris, welcome back to the show.
[00:00:34.100] – Chris
Thanks for having me, Sean.
[00:00:35.600] – Sean
We had you on in season one, but the audience hasn’t heard about you. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background?
[00:00:43.130] – Chris
Sure. My background, I’m a university professor. I teach film and media and communication classes. But my interest is in the history of media, the history of film, the history of popular culture. And I like to write about how that popular culture engages with the history of politics and the history of our world and the history of conflict and all kinds of stuff. So I’ve really used that to build into a writing portion of my career, where I’m writing books about that history and articles about that history and trying to reach out beyond the walls of the university to engage people with that history.
[00:01:23.610] – Sean
Nice. So in this episode, we’re going to talk about three different ways you can generate revenue or publish books, and then other ways you can generate revenue from the publishing of those books. It leads to other projects. So at a high level, why don’t you tell the audience those three different ways, and then let’s dive right in.
[00:01:41.160] – Chris
Sure. So when you’re looking for, and another part of this, right, is your ancillary revenue, but also building credibility along the way. So you’ve got your self-publishing, which is anybody can publish. There’s a lot of ways to do that. You can write your own book and pay a little to have it published. Some people Pay others to write their books, which is probably not the best way to do it if you’re looking to build credibility. And then you’ve got university presses, which a lot of people might not, outside of higher education, might not have considered, but they’ve become very, very dynamic in recent years. And then you have your trade press. These are like your big five publishing houses in New York, and there’s other big indie presses around the country that are also different. They got a bigger reach, bigger advances. There’s advantages to that as well. But those are really the three big ways that people try to get their work out there in terms of books.
[00:02:39.810] – Sean
Yeah, become a published author, if you will. Dive into self-publish a little bit. I’m familiar a little bit with Amazon has a pretty easy URL. I don’t know it off the top of my head, but you could just pretty much Google Amazon self-publishing, and I think I’ll bring you there. That walks you through the process. So is that what you’re referring to? Are there are other ways to self publish?
[00:03:02.270] – Chris
There are other ways of that. So I know, obviously, we know each other, and I know you wrote a book. It was very good. It was a very good way for you to share your story. It’s a very powerful story. I’m glad you did this so other people could see it. And that’s a very common way to get a very quick turnaround and get your story out there. There’s other ways to do it. And I don’t know some of the presses off my hand, but I know they’re generally… If you just Google vanity presses, you’ll find stuff where… Generally, if a publisher wants money from you to publish, you probably shouldn’t do it. It should always be the other way around. Same thing if you end up getting an agent, they only take 15 % of what you make. You shouldn’t be giving them anything up front. So if there’s any publisher that’s looking for money up front, I wouldn’t trust it. But like you said, Amazon stuff, that’s more legit in the sense. There’s a lot of people who just… People who write fan fiction or people who write… It’s another maybe extension of someone’s blog.
[00:04:12.460] – Chris
They might have a blog they’re trying to grow, and they don’t maybe have connections or they don’t want to do the research or legwork to go through all the hoops of these other publishers. So that might be a quick and easy way just to get yourself out there, shared so people can see it, and try to grow a following that way.
[00:04:30.640] – Sean
Right on to drill because the audience might have a question here like, Hey, you got a book? And I think I may have told you this, but I pulled the book down and I wanted to expand upon it. This was 10 years ago since I wrote it and want to actually, believe it or not, use the podcast as a framework. It’ll be 10 different business models, my top 10 on how to create passive income or financial freedom. It’s like, have you ever read Tools of Titans by by Tim Farris. The concept is pretty simple. He’s interviewed, I don’t know if it’s 50 different people, and it’s a pretty large book, but he summarizes the key takeaways from each. And I think it’s health, wealth, and finance or something like that, different categories. But Jocco Willink is one, Arnold Schwarzenegger is another, a few other business leaders. But it’s pretty cool. You could take an hour interview and compress it into what are the key takeaways? And that’s a Essentially, what I want to do with the book, which will be that, okay, my top 10 favorite business models, referencing podcast interviews and just compress, okay, what are the key things they did to achieve X, Y, Z or whatever.
[00:05:45.890] – Sean
So anyway, that will be a project I revisit at some point, but it is on the list. And I’ll most likely… This is a good episode because I’ll learn what will be the best path for me. It probably will be self-publish, and I’ll probably have to pay a little money. So I’m sending money the wrong direction, but it’ll be one of those credibility things to hopefully get people warmed up to me, the podcast, and, of course, Tykr.
[00:06:13.010] – Chris
One of the last things I was going to add is sending money the wrong way. That’s a good way to put it. But there’s an asterisk on that because it’s like if you’re sending money the wrong way and you’re just starting out and you don’t have any following, that’s probably bad. However, you’ve got a website, you’ve got a business, you’ve got a podcast, you have a platform, you have this stuff. So there’s some people who might not need or want. There’s not wanting to jump through the other hoops, but they might not need to. So if book publishing isn’t… For me, it’s much more central. So if that’s not the central piece of your business model and it’s supplementary, then that’s a perfectly fine way to do it, to get more your story out there.
[00:07:00.830] – Sean
That’s what I’m thinking. And I know with self-publishing, I’ll probably go through Amazon. Any listeners out there, you probably don’t want to just write it and then upload it and have Amazon do its thing. You probably want a person in the middle, an editor, not your friend, but a real editor to go through. So that’ll be a fee. But I’m preparing for the costs. And really, it’s just a time investment thing to put everything together. Really look at all the podcasts I’ve done, summarize those, and or write a quick story or, Okay, what does this person do? How do they make money? How do you achieve financial independence? And bam, put it all together into a book, hand it off to editor, then off to Amazon, and the rest is history. So the self publishing, I think it’s really good for somebody who wants to have that credibility stamp. Like, Hey, I have a book. I hate to say it, but people just use that and people will say, Wow, they wrote a book, so they’re credible. It’s like, Sure, yes. In some cases, great. In some cases, it’s just vanity. But anyway.
[00:08:05.570] – Chris
Absolutely. I know I’ve had that. I’ve had family, friends, and stuff, too. My parents be like, Oh, my son’s new book. They’ll be like, Oh, yeah, my son wrote a book, too. And it’s like, Yeah, you paid someone to self publish it. Or you paid someone to write it and it’s self-published. Different. But even with your book, a little bit of the process, your first book, you’re generally not having a friend write it, but you had me read it because I’m a writer and I publish. I finished one. I was working on my second at that time. That’s the key. The key thing I would say with self-publishing is because there’s not really any oversight, make sure you get feedback. Yes. Have people read it. Even if you have friends read it. I mean, get somebody to read it, get a couple of people to read it at least just to give you some feedback. Does it flow? What else would you want to learn? Is there any parts of the story where I’d want to learn more as a reader, that stuff? Those are the things that you would get going through a university or a trade press that you’re not going to get.
[00:09:05.950] – Chris
So it’s important to try to find ways to still get that feedback.
[00:09:10.900] – Sean
Sure. Right on. So this leads to Categories two and three, which is where I would put that more in the category of real publishing. Self publishing, some people would argue with me on that like, Oh, it’s real, Sean. You just alluded to like, yeah, you’re a published author, but you self-publish. But anyway, Anyway, it gets content out that can be marketed in other ways. So there you go. Wonderful. Now you get to University Press and then Trade Press. Let’s talk about University Press. With both of those, you’re getting paid. Is that correct? You’re getting paid to write a book. And in order to do that, to get paid, you have to put together a book proposal, right? And that’s like the hook to a publisher to say, Hey, I can do this. I’m worth the investment. Is that essentially the process?
[00:09:58.420] – Chris
Yeah, pretty much both university and trade presses, you’re going to need a proposal. There’s a lot that goes to that. That could probably be a whole other episode. I’m sure. Of breaking that down. But University presses, so historically, university presses, right? It’s usually just academics. And then there’s a tiny royalty, and these are books that would go to libraries only, university libraries. That has shifted. And really what we’re seeing are, and those generally would have no advance, but that’s starting to change.
[00:10:27.990] – Sean
Real quick here, what’s an advance for the audience.
[00:10:30.720] – Chris
An advance is basically an advance on royalties. So they’re paying you upfront, and however much they pay you, you don’t start getting your royalties. When the book comes out, you don’t start getting your royalties until the press makes that money coming back however much they gave you. So a lot of presses hadn’t done advances. But because publishing is such a crazy world, and there are a lot of good writers that are having a hard time getting published in the Trade Press, so Even some famous writers in recent years have went to the Trade Press or the University Presses for books that they couldn’t land at Herb Collins or Penguin or Knopf or wherever. For example, I just finished a book for the University Press of New Mexico. It’s not out yet. It’s a short history on a film called The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. They’ve got a new series, and they paid $3,000 upfront for that. So not massive, but it’s a chunk of money for a small book. And the way most presses pay out is they’ll give you a third of it right away upon signing the contract. They give you a third of it when you submit the book back to the press, and then they pay the rest when it comes out.
[00:11:47.210] – Chris
I’ve heard that’s pretty standard pretty much everywhere. The University Press of Kentucky, where my book that just came out on the Warner Brothers, that’s getting a lot of good press, I did not get in advance for that book, but I did really good royalty margins.
[00:12:02.590] – Sean
Could you give the audience an example of the percentages there, the royalty? Right.
[00:12:07.000] – Chris
So your standard contract is probably going to come at you with 8%, 9%. Some of them less than that. I ended up signing up for the Authors Guild, which is not… It’s like $150 for a couple of years or something like that. But what’s nice about this, and this is good advice if you’re jumping into trying to publish and you don’t know much about it. With the Authors Guild, they have lawyers on retainer that if you get a contract, you send it to them, and within 48 hours, a publishing attorney will review it for you and tell you what you should counter with.
[00:12:43.060] – Sean
Real quick, yeah. What is the website again?
[00:12:45.650] – Chris
Authors Guild? I think it’s just authorsguild. I don’t know.
[00:12:48.930] – Sean
Something like that? Okay.
[00:12:50.600] – Chris
Yeah, I can look it up here. I’m forgetting exactly what it is. I’ll just google it.
[00:12:53.300] – Sean
And it’s like somebody’s not going to… I have to ask this question because my audience will ask me-authorsguild. Org.. Org? Okay. So you could send it to them. You don’t have to be concerned about copyright issues or anything because you’re putting it out into the Ether and you don’t want somebody to take it and run with it, right? Right.
[00:13:11.480] – Chris
Well, you’re not sending the Authors Guild your book. You’re not sending the Authorsguild book, you’re sending them your contract.
[00:13:17.060] – Sean
Oh, got it. Okay.
[00:13:18.530] – Chris
So just the contract. And then, yeah, when you send your book for review, I mean, generally you’re going to be sending a proposal. Sometimes, some places will accept a finished book, But a lot of places, they’re not going to have the time to read an entire book to consider. They’re going to want to… And proposals can be pretty long, too, like 60 pages. But with University Press of Kentucky, like I said, I didn’t get an advance. But I am told that in some of their newer books, if they think it’s going to be a decent seller, they’re in a position to start giving decent advances. And a lot of other university presses are in the similar. So where they’re trying to operate more like a publisher that’s not just publishing for academics. They’re an academic press that is looking at selling books. So they’re selling books at bookstores and on Amazon, Sure. And all kinds of stuff. So the difference with a university press as well is that to be an accredited university press, there’s a peer review process, and this can be very helpful. And I also have horror stories about this as well.
[00:14:32.340] – Chris
But usually the editors at the press will navigate this stuff well. The peer review process is basically they will find two people with a similar expertise as you, and they will let them read your book and give feedback. Should it be published? Is there anything that should be amended? Is there anything that needs to be expanded? And it’s very useful feedback. There’s one time I got a five-page screed that this really pretentious academic did not like my writing because my book was too readable. I am not kidding. The prose was too accessible is what the person wrote. And I responded back to the press and I said, Well, I want people to read the book, don’t you? And they’re like, Yeah, yeah.
[00:15:20.580] – Sean
Maybe, yeah.
[00:15:23.160] – Chris
Right. So every now and they knew how to navigate that. So it was… Usually, they try to find people who are going to be… And I’ve been a peer reviewer many, many times. I just finished peer reviewing a book for another press. So I always try to be constructive, and I think that the culture is going that way. So if you’re not an academic… Actually, the book I was reading was somebody who wasn’t an academic. They were just a writer. I think they might have a blog. I think they’re just trying to build their credibility. And the book was good. It needed a little work. But as someone who has written books and done a lot of research, I was able to give them What I think feedback that could make the book really good. So this is the oversight you won’t get with self-publishing. So that’s where it can be really handy with the university press. And of course, with the university press, you’re not going to make huge money. My Warner Brothers book, I’ll know in a couple of months, it looks like it’s going to be pretty good, but you can’t write books for university presses and make a living.
[00:16:29.060] – Chris
It’s all supplementary income. Yeah. Even for the big presses, it’s anymore. Even if you get a big 50 or 60 or $100,000 advance, and it takes you four years to write the book, if that’s the only money you have and you only got a third of it up front, right? That’s a problem.
[00:16:46.740] – Sean
Yeah. Let’s transition to that third category, which would be Trade Press. And then we can summarize the differences between the two. But this is the third category where as opposed to self-publishing, where you’re paying money, in this case, you’re getting paid. And the 30 % advance, that’s still the… You could say the standard?
[00:17:09.790] – Chris
Yeah. So with The Trade Press, I’ve learned a lot about it. I don’t have any books in The Trades yet. I have some being considered. I have an agent, and we’re working through that. And I’ve had meetings with editors, and so I’ve learned a lot about it. And it’s definitely the Holy Grail of publishing. It’s where I’m… But that’s all. All these previous things I’ve done, in addition to something we’ll probably talk about after this, in writing out in the popular press and newspapers and stuff like that. The more credibility you build, the more these editors at these big publishing houses will be willing to look at you. So a university press, you can just email. They have acquisition editors. You can find their emails on their website and you can pitch. With these bigger presses, So this is like random house, Penguin, Harper Collins. Kensington is a big indie publisher. Actually, Kensington, you might be able to pitch directly. But a lot of these places, you have to have an agent. So you have to query an agent, which basically means you have to pitch your book in 200 words in an email, and they may or may not get back to you.
[00:18:23.450] – Chris
Good luck. Yeah, exactly. So it’s a lot of… It’s like cold calling, cold emailing. You’re just When I was starting this, there was a couple of agents I was connected to because they were agents of my friends. There was a couple of agents I got connected to because they emailed me back. There were some that just said, This sounds cool. It’s just not the I just find a thing I’m good at selling. So I was like, I appreciate the feedback. And some people just won’t respond. So you got to just be prepared for the range on that. But I ended up finding an agent that understood a lot of the work that I do. He likes it. So it’s like, this is the person you want selling your stuff. So really what that is, is they help you with your proposal and they tell you when it’s ready, and then they pitch it to these editors. Once an editor wants to talk about it, then there will be a meeting with you and that editor and an agent, and all three of you will work through it. And I had one book. It was actually, it was rejected from a press because I teach a class on the history of censorship, and I wanted to a book for the public on the history of censorship in popular culture.
[00:19:34.680] – Chris
We found an editor who loved it, and he had awesome feedback. He took it to the board, the board of the press, and the press said, Oh, this is too controversial. We can’t do it. It’s like, Oh, man. So this stuff happens, too. It’s not that it’s bad. We had an editor that liked it. My agent has put it really well. He says, Landing a big publishing contract is effectively publishing by committee. You’ve got to get… Obviously, I hope you like your work. Your agent likes your work. You find an editor. The editor has to press a board of directors, and then You go from there. And then you work with the editor on your book at that point. But that’s where… Those are bigger pay days. That’s where you’re going to get your books in Barnes & Noble and everywhere else. My book is in some Barnes & Nobles, but not all of them. And so, yeah, the trade is… You probably don’t want to start pitching there unless you already have some platform.
[00:20:43.980] – Sean
[00:20:44.690] – Sean
Let’s take a quick commercial break. Hey, this is a quick heads up that we have a second podcast titled Top Stocks. With Top Stocks podcast, I talk about investing, business, and finance. The audio content is published on your favorite podcast platforms such as Apple, Spotify, Spotify, Google, or Amazon. And the video content is published on the Tykr YouTube channel, so you can either watch or listen to each episode. These episodes are just me, so no interviews. And the overall goal is to help you become a better investor. Go ahead and look up Top Stocks podcast or check out the Tykr YouTube channel. All right, back to the show.
[00:21:21.330] – Sean
Yeah, good call. So just to summarize here between University Press and Trade Press. University, it’s a similar process where you need a proposal. You may or may not get in advance, but you do get some royalties. And then Trade Press, it’s like a version of that, but a whole nother level with a lot more red tape along the way.
[00:21:41.550] – Chris
But also bigger pay date, all of that. It pays off more. But with all of this, there’s ways to supplement.
[00:21:50.370] – Sean
I was just going to ask, how do you tie this into making money in other ways?
[00:21:56.770] – Chris
All along… So my first book was Roman and Littlefield, which is an academic press, but also a popular press. They get their books everywhere. That first book in 2015 or ’16 sold that first year, I think, a thousand copies, and I think I made $1,000 of royalties. I probably could have got a better contract. I didn’t know anything. Then I went to University Press of Mississippi for the second one. That’s another long story because that was all during the pandemic, and it was complicated. But in between all of this, once you have some books out, you can start… Something I’ve been doing, even before I was writing books, I was writing film reviews for a while, I was writing for blogs, I was writing blogs on my own website for a while. I was just practicing writing, getting stuff out there. But as I was writing books, and as you get yourself out there, you can also start in between all these projects, start pitching articles based on your expertise to major newspapers, major websites. So with film history and pop culture stuff, I’ve been writing for the last, I don’t know, seven or eight years for the Los Angeles Review of Books.
[00:23:12.720] – Chris
So that helped build credibility. There was an editor there who really liked my stuff. I got a lot of stuff published. Then the last year, I started writing for the Hollywood Reporter, which is in Hollywood, that’s one of the main key in the entertainment industry, really. A key insider magazine. They’ve got millions and millions of viewers. So I’ve been writing for them. And then I’m actually in talks right now, getting a piece ready to go at the New York Times. So it’s my first piece in the New York Times. So as you’re writing these books, you can get these articles out there. And some places pay, some places don’t. The LA Review of Books pays about 100 bucks an article. But when I started writing for them, they didn’t pay at all. So I don’t know. The structures of freelancers are always changing a little bit depending on the financial stability. I think LA Review of Books is a nonprofit. The Hollywood Reporters pays $200 an article, and I’ve got a handful of those in a year. So it’s like now you’re talking an extra grand just writing these every so often. And these also help get your credibility out there.
[00:24:29.450] – Chris
So So even just looking at… I don’t have a ton of metrics, but it’s like if I look at on Twitter, that you can see the views now. So I just wrote an article last week because there was a talks of Warner Brothers merging with Paramount. Sounds like that’s not going to happen now. But the day that news came out, I emailed my editor and I said, Hey, talks of a Warner Brothers sale. Do you want me to write an article about the very first time Warner Brothers was sold? Because it was high drama. It was all over the news. It was a lot of layers. And he’s like, Oh, absolutely. This sounds great. So they published it, put it out on their social media. And I remember checking it at one point, it had like 35,000 views. And it’s like, that’s a lot. And then they shared it again the other day. It was like another 20 or 25,000. And that’s just through Twitter. So it’s like, think of how many more people have seen it through other platforms or just people who regularly read the Hollywood Reporter. They’ve got millions of followers on social media.
[00:25:28.550] – Chris
So it’s just a to get yourself out there. But it took me many, many years of building credibility, getting contacts, meeting people, networking to get into some of these circles. But once you do that, you can use that to supplement because it’s a lot easier to pitch, to have an agent and pitch, Harper Collins, if the agent can say, Look, I have an author. He’s got a good idea. He’s written a couple of books. He writes for The Hollywood Reporter. He’s got an article coming in the New York Times, that shows that’s like, Oh, this guy has a track record, right? Track record of success, of expertise, of credibility, all these things. So there’s a lot of ways. All the stuff we’re talking about here today, any combination of all of this can all grow in that same direction. You’re building cred with your audience, you’re building cred with subscribers, you’re building credibility with readers, and all of that goes a long way.
[00:26:29.390] – Sean
When I I talk to people about publishing a book, it’s like, you shouldn’t think of it as your mainstream of income unless you’re Stephen King. Unless you’re Stephen King, exactly. Yeah. Then, sure, it can be your only stream of income. But it’s that mechanism. It’s that credibility tool to get you out there first, and then you can get some work thereafter. In my case, putting the book out will be a way to get warmed up to the podcast a little bit or warmed up to Tykr. And that’s a win for me. To write articles, no. But I know there’s other people that have been on the show. There’s another woman, actually, in the Milwaukee area. I had her on recently, Emily Guy-Burken, and she’s a freelance writer. And it’s like we talked about a book a little bit, I think offline. It was one of those situations, get it out there, get some more credibility so you can get invited to the New York Times and these other publications and say, Hey, we notice you’re the expert with XYZ. Can you write us an article? And you can make money off that ongoing. So it’s pretty cool.
[00:27:33.430] – Sean
Your books have opened that door for you. So now you’re able to create some side hustle income on top of your main career as a professor.
[00:27:42.030] – Chris
Right. Everything supplements everything else. And as your books grow, the other thing you can do, one thing I’ve done this year that I’ve had a lot of success with is book talks. So being Hollywood history, I’m lucky to have had done a couple talks at BookSoup in Hollywood, which is a famous book store out there. Then Larry Edmonds, which is also right on the Hollywood Boulevard there. But what’s even cooler is that last month, I did a talk in Burbank, right down the street from Warner Brothers, and they had me come and do this talk at this local library. But almost everybody who came, it was well over 100 people came to this event. It was the biggest talk I’ve ever gave. It was people who worked for Warner Brothers. Some of the Warner family came there. People retired from Warner Brothers. Producers, directors, all kinds of people were there. Even that’s building into other things because they want me to start doing commentaries on their Blu-rays of old movies that are coming out. They want me to come and give lectures to their tour guides. They want to sell my book in their gift shop, all because I came and I did this event, and I essentially Actually, part of this, you’re selling yourself, right?
[00:29:04.430] – Chris
For the purposes of your podcast, I don’t always look at it that way. I’m always looking at it as like, I’m trying to get this interesting historical story out there, but this is also part of your job. So you’re selling yourself. Can you captivate an audience with some stories and things like that? I’ve also been on a lot of podcasts talking about stuff. And that’s the other thing you can do. Once you have that book, once you have those articles, you can start putting yourself out there. So even if you don’t have a big budget, I don’t have a massive budget. I did two different trips to LA. One of them was I was also researching another book. And while I was out there, I scheduled some talks, reached out to some places. But if you don’t have a big budget and you just got your computer, you can start networking, get yourself invited to some podcasts. You never know who’s going to hear that. They’re going to reach out to you. Hey, I want to talk to you, too. And I’ve probably been on 20 plus podcast this fall just based on people I’ve met with previous books.
[00:30:09.340] – Chris
And then someone else hears that, Oh, I want to talk to you, too. Every time, it gets a little bigger. Snowballs.
[00:30:16.260] – Sean
Yeah, it just snowballs.
[00:30:18.400] – Chris
That’s awesome. It just takes time.
[00:30:19.880] – Sean
Yeah. This is not an overnight journey like any business model. So the life as a writer, published writer or author. Yeah, it’s a long Because you’ve been doing this 10 plus years, plus years. Yeah. Well, before we transition to the rapid fire round, is there one good key takeaway you can give our listeners if they want to start writing a book?
[00:30:43.830] – Chris
One, man. There’s a lot. With my stuff, it’s always… I feel like when I review books, my feedback is always, show that you’ve done the research. I sound like a professor here. But really, anybody can just describe something. Anybody can think about it in terms of if you’re writing something, somebody can just Google and find everything. Think about how you can go beyond that. What can you add beyond what anybody could do on their blog? What’s going to set you apart? So for me, it’s going to physical archives and digging through stuff that people can’t just find on their cell phone. So whatever your expertise or whatever your subject is, where is it that you can really go to go the extra mile that the next person won’t?
[00:31:35.990] – Sean
Yeah. I have to drill into that a little bit to the audience out there so you know a little bit more about Chris. He would physically fly out to LA and go to places where the only way to get content is to go to some physical archive, in a basement or a building you can’t get access to. It’s like you’re not going to find this in the internet. It’s like that’s putting in the work.
[00:31:58.540] – Chris
Yeah. I’ve been I’ve been to the National Archives, all the places you see a National Treasure. Yes. I’ve been through there digging through boxes. Yeah. I wrote my book before this. In 1941, the US Senate went after Hollywood for making anti-Nazi movies. It was a weird time. So I went to the Senate Archives in Washington, DC, and they told me, they’re like, Yeah, we have a ton of files, and they’re all disorganized because nobody has looked at them since 1941. And it’s like, Perfect. So I went and spent two or three days going through that.
[00:32:31.090] – Sean
Yeah. It’s not like you said, you can’t just Google this and find it on some blog. It’s like, Nope, this is like physical documents that are nowhere else. That’s where you go. That’s pretty cool.
[00:32:43.370] – Chris
And even Not every subject matter is going to necessarily need the physical archive, but there’s a lot of archives that are digital, but you still got to do some legwork to get at them. Actually, universities are great because they’ve got a lot of access to databases. So any public university, you can get a day pass and go and use their computers and use their archive and do digging around.
[00:33:09.490] – Sean
Awesome. Sweet. Well, let’s jump into the rapid fire round. This is the part of episode where we get to find out who Chris really is. If you can, try to answer each question in about 15 seconds or less. You ready?
[00:33:21.220] – Chris
[00:33:21.940] – Sean
Here we go. All right. What is your favorite podcast?
[00:33:25.100] – Chris
Favorite podcast? Besides yours?
[00:33:27.540] – Sean
Everybody says that.
[00:33:29.390] – Chris
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Man, that’s tough because I feel like I’m behind on podcasts. Right now, I would say it’s actually called Writers on Film. There’s a film critic in Italy. His name is John Bleesdale, and I’ve been on there a couple of times. But he asks really good questions, and he gets really good guests. I’m like the least famous of the people he’s gotten on his podcast. It’s a good example of listening to a podcast where the person really, really did a ton of research before you came on, and therefore the conversation is really, really enriching.
[00:34:04.630] – Sean
Yeah. I tell you what, in my world, if I’m invited on a podcast and they’ve done their homework, you’re right. Hey, here we go. This is an interview, whereas sometimes it’s surface level people don’t know anything about me. And that can be okay, but do a little homework. All right, next question here. What is a recent book you read and would recommend?
[00:34:23.930] – Chris
Oh, man. I’m just trying to think of what I’ve finished recently. I got too many books. I’m halfway through. Man, I’m drawing a major blank right now, so it’s going to be more than 15 seconds. You’re a professor.
[00:34:33.940] – Sean
Come on.
[00:34:34.890] – Chris
I know. I’m trying to think of some favorite. I can tell you one that I’m in the middle of that’s really good is… It’s a new book on Francis Ford Coppola, Sam Wassen, who’s a writer. Actually, when I did… That’s another cool thing that happened. I did my talk at BookSoup. Sam Wassen is a best-selling author. I got to know him over the last year. So when he learned that I wanted to come to LA and do a talk at BookSoup, soup. He’s like, Hey, how about I come and I interview you for it, and we just have a conversation? So I ended up doing a talk with this best-selling author, which was really cool. His new book came out, and it’s called The Path to Paradise. And he interviewed Francis Ford Coppola at length and a ton of other people involved in his movies, as well as spend time on the set of his new movie. It’s really good.
[00:35:22.460] – Sean
That’s awesome. All right, the next question here is a fun one. Fun question here. What is your favorite movie?
[00:35:28.500] – Chris
Oh, yeah. You know This is a really tough one. I would say favorite movie recently seen would be Oppenheimer because I finally saw it. I know we’ve talked about it a little bit, but for me, being the cultural history guy, especially that era, I know a lot about the ’40s and ’50s. I know a lot about the Red Scare. So all of that stuff in that movie tracked really well for me. But other than that, if you want all time favorites, you just got to look behind me It’s true. As you know, we’re the same age. Growing up in the ’80s, you can’t not love Raiders, you can’t not love Ghostbusters. That’s right. I feel like those two movies are just on a permanent loop in my mind forever.
[00:36:12.780] – Sean
Yes, indeed. Awesome. All right. What is the worst advice you ever received?
[00:36:19.640] – Chris
Ever received? Man, probably the worst advice I’ve ever received ever in my life that I find countering a lot when I hear… I always find times that remind my students of this, is that there was a chunk of my life where I was always told I was too nice and that if you want to get ahead, you got to be an asshole. And we know that that has worked out for some people, right? But that never felt honest, and that never felt true.
[00:36:53.510] – Sean
You can’t sustain it either. If it’s not really you, don’t try to play that card if you can’t sustain Right.
[00:37:00.930] – Chris
And I feel like a lot of my success in recent years has been, whether it’s teaching, whether it’s publishing, it’s because I always try to be genuine with everything. My writing, I always try to… Here’s an example where this came to fruition in a really cool way. So I did that talk in Burbank, and some of the Warner family was there. And the first Warner sale in 1956 was ugly. Family members had gotten kicked out of the business. Family members had gotten kicked out of inheritance. It got ugly. Jack Warner was horrible to his son, kicked his son out of the business. Jack Warner Jr, his daughter, came to my talk. Her dad was essentially kicked out of the business, kicked out of the inheritance. And I tell his story at length in my book. I talk about which family members defended her dad, which treated him poorly. And I tried to paint the whole picture. And that was a part of me being honest and true and genuine and trying to learn as much as I could, not taking sides, just saying, here’s what happened. These are people. They’re not all perfect. And this woman, who’s probably in her 80s, came up to me before the talk and thanked me for being so fair to her dad because nobody had been.
[00:38:22.660] – Chris
That’s cool. For me, it was incredible. And during my talk, when this came up, she had tears in her eyes. She was emotional, still All these years later. For me, it was just a reminder that if you’re writing something, even if you have an opinion about it, cheap shots aren’t worth it.
[00:38:39.010] – Sean
[00:38:40.170] – Chris
You’re not going to build credibility. You might get some likes and some retweets. You might get some high fives, but at the end of the day, you’re going to look like an asshole. So for me, it’s how can I be fair and genuine? Because that’s going to go further. And that’s what I want to teach my daughter. That’s what I want to put out in the world. So that was a really cool way that that came back, where it just really solidified, this is why I do the things I do the way I do the things I do.
[00:39:12.210] – Sean
Great. All right. We’re out of time here, but where can the How do you reach you?
[00:39:16.160] – Chris
I have a website, chrisiogerst. Com. I’m on social media, Twitter @chrisiogerst. And then I think Instagram and Facebook are just C-Yogurst. I’m easy to find. Google me.
[00:39:29.620] – Sean
[00:39:30.800] – Chris
Awesome. I’m thinking of four Christmases. Google me.
[00:39:36.250] – Sean
I just watched the film. Sweet.
[00:39:38.840] – Chris
Well, hey, thanks for-books are on Amazon, all that.
[00:39:42.240] – Sean
We’ll have links down below. But thanks again for jumping back on the show. Learned a ton here. Really appreciate understanding, actually, the three different ways to become a published author. I think a lot of people, including myself, it’s like, you know self-publishing, but how do you become a real publisher? So thanks a lot.
[00:39:59.860] – Chris
Yeah. Yeah, happy to help. And anybody who’s listening has questions, email me. There’s a contact me on my website. I’m happy to reach out to me on social media. Don’t be shy.
[00:40:10.030] – Sean
All right. We’ll talk to you soon. See you.
[00:40:11.940] – Chris
Thanks, buddy.
[00:40:13.800] – Sean
Hey, I’d like to say thank you for checking out this podcast. I know there’s a lot of other podcasts out there you could be listening to, so thanks for spending some time with me. And if you have a moment, please head over to Apple Podcasts and leave a five-star review. The more reviews we get, especially five-star reviews, the higher this podcast will rank in Apple. So thanks for doing that. And remember, this show is for entertainment purposes only. If you heard any stocks mentioned on this podcast, please do not buy or sell those stocks based solely on what you hear. All right, thanks for your time. We’ll see you.