Mary Adkins: Changing Your Mindset About Writing Your Own Book

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Mary Adkins discuss:

  • Why you should consider writing a book today.
  • Building trust as an author.
  • Moving past the things keeping you from following your dream of writing a book.
  • Tips to break down a big project into manageable bites.

Key Takeaways:

  • For many people, books are a medium that they enjoy and help them learn and retain information more than a video or audio might do.
  • Books can replace your business card – one will do more for you than the other.
  • Book writing is often less time and less work than people assume it will be.
  • There are increasingly more reasons to self-publish, but there are pros and cons with both traditional publishing and self-publishing. For the first time in 2023, self-publish books are making more than traditionally published books.

“A major skill set lawyers have that not a lot of people have is 1) getting their head around massive amounts of information and organizing it – which is very helpful when you’re working with a book, and 2) understanding the idea of having an outline or a skeleton that you’re going to flesh out.” —  Mary Adkins

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Episode References: 

About Mary Adkins: Mary Adkins is a writing coach and founder of The Book Incubator, a 12-month program to write, revise, and pitch your novel or memoir. She is author of the novels When You Read This (Indie Next Pick, “Best Book of 2019” by Good Housekeeping and Real Simple), Privilege (Today.com “Best Summer Read,” New York Post “Best Book of the Week”), and Palm Beach (recently named one of the New York Post’s “Best Books of 2021”). Her books have been published in 13 countries, and her essays and reporting have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, and more.

A graduate of Yale Law School and Duke University, she helps aspiring authors finish their books with joy and clarity. You can apply for The Book Incubator by going to apply.maryadkinswriter.com.

Connect with Mary Adkins:  

Website: https://maryadkinswriter.com/

Website: https://thebookincubator.com/

Show: https://maryadkinswriter.com/podcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-adkins/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adkinsmary/

Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

Website: Fretzin.com

Email: Steve@Fretzin.com

Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Steve Fretzin: [00:00:00] Hey everyone, listen up real quick. Before we begin the show, I’d like to present my Be That Lawyer challenge. If you’ve ever wondered how much more you could be making as an attorney, I challenge you to meet with me for 30 minutes to discuss your law firm. If I’m unable to identify ways to bring in more business for you, I’ll pay your hourly rate for our time together.

I’m just that confident. Go to Fretzin. com to accept this challenge and hope to meet you soon.

Narrator: You’re listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author, and lawyer coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

Steve Fretzin: Well, hey everybody. Welcome to Be That Lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin and I’m just so happy that you’re with us today as usual. And you guys know what we’re doing [00:01:00] here. This is all about helping you to be that lawyer. Someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. And if you are loving the show and you’ve been listening a while, don’t be shy.

Put us, you know, give us a thumbs up, a star review, whatever the Dickens people are doing these days to say, Hey, this is, I like this. This is good. And we’ll continue to pump out great content and help you build your law practice one episode at a time. Today, I’ve got a phenomenal guest, Mary. How are you?

Mary Adkins: I’m great. So glad to be here. Thanks for having me. Yeah. So glad

Steve Fretzin: you’re here. And, um, I’ve got, uh, just a really good outline of what I want to cover with you today and hopefully we’ll have time to get to it all. But as you and everyone else knows, we love to start with our quote of the show, and this one is by George Saunders.

When I write, I know that I’m going to have to produce 40 more, 40 percent more than I need. So tell me a little bit about that and welcome to the show.

Mary Adkins: Thanks. So I love George Saunders. He’s a writer. He, he’s written a novel. He’s written a bunch of short stories. He’s an essayist. So just pretty, like, multi, [00:02:00] multi genre author.

But I, what I really love is his teaching on writing. He has some, he said some things about writing that have really transformed my own writing life. And this is one of them because I, it speaks to the fact that, like, when you’re writing something as long as a book, you’re going to generate a lot more than actually goes into the book.

And that’s not only fine, it’s expected and it’s actually healthy and part of the process. And I think Knowing that is, I find it calming because it means if I don’t like what I’m writing in this moment, then maybe that’s fine. This is going to be part of the 40 percent that’s necessary to write, but that will ultimately get

Steve Fretzin: cut.

And does that align a little bit with the quote, I have a hard time, I don’t know who said this, but if I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.

Mary Adkins: I love that. I never wrote that. I love that.

Steve Fretzin: Yeah. So like, you know, it’s, it’s any, you know, writing a lot. But to then, right, pare it down and make it better because you have more time, you can write [00:03:00] something short.

It’s harder to write something shorter, right? Yeah. And those quotes go well together. Yeah, I do too. Okay. Well, welcome to the show. Again, Mary Adkins, you are the founder of book of the book incubator. And I think you’re all about, I mean, you’re, uh, are you still a lawyer or

Mary Adkins: I practiced in, in over a decade, so former lawyer.

All right. Do you still have

Steve Fretzin: like some bad dreams about it or like wake up screaming or anything like that?

Mary Adkins: Not in the last couple of years.

Steve Fretzin: Okay. All right. Like I still wake up. I go, I got three tests tomorrow. I don’t have any tests tomorrow. I’m like, I don’t have that life like I did at high school or college.

But, uh, give us a little bit of background because you’ve got an impressive, impressive one in leading into, you know, your fascination with, uh, with writing.

Mary Adkins: Yeah, so I, um, I was a lawyer for a very short time. I was only a lawyer for seven months. It was like I was the shortest tenured lawyer at the law firm where I worked.

They told me and I, I left on good terms, but I left to write because I think it had, I had always [00:04:00] been interested both in writing creatively. And in, in law and policy, I majored in public policy in college and loved law school, but when I actually had a job as a lawyer, it was like, I, that was the kind of holding a mirror up to myself to show me, like, what I actually wanted to be doing career wise, which is, which is writing creatively, not writing legally.

Yeah. And so I, I left in order to have time to do that. And um, it turned out in my case to be a really good decision. I don’t regret it at all. I went on to write and publish three novels and then felt like I had learned so much about how to write a novel that I wanted to. Teach people and work with others.

I mean, writing is, writing a book is a very, I’m sure you know, having done it, is a very solitary process and I, I do, I love it. It’s my, writing is my favorite thing to do, but I really like people and working with people. So teaching gave me a way to, to balance that solitary life out.

Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Do you want to hear a [00:05:00] good Bretson original quote that I think you’re going to like more than the one I said earlier about, uh, by add more time it’s been, this is, I did come up with this.

It’s don’t, it’s don’t do what you love, do what you love to do for others. So the idea that I love to write, you love to write, but geez, or I love to, to, I love business development, but I, what I really love is teaching people to do it. So like, I think that’s, that’s something that, that where we can give more of ourselves.

And get the enjoyment of watching other people succeed, maybe more passionately than when we succeed. And I think one reflects the other.

Mary Adkins: Yeah, I completely agree. And it’s also, in a way, you get to be involved in the fun parts, like the strategizing parts. And then, you know, then they do the hard work.

Right, right,

Steve Fretzin: then go do it. Bye bye, see you later, don’t do that, go figure that out, no. Uh, really, really cool stuff. And was there, um, Was there like a be that lawyer tipping point? Was that the college flipping out of college and or out of law school and going into writing? Was that kind of your [00:06:00] big, your big

move?

Mary Adkins: Yeah, that it was the big move of transitioning from law school to a law job. Two very different experiences. Yeah. So yeah, so that was, that was the transition for me. And it was also my job was in litigation and I am inherently. It’s like deeply conflict diverse. So like it was also not like the particular field.

It’s not a great. Yeah. So that helped.

Steve Fretzin: Yeah, me too. My teenager tries to bring me into conflict all the time. I could just, I could just, I could smell it coming from a mile away that he wants to engage me in some arguments that I don’t want to be provoking you because it doesn’t matter what I say. He’s not going to listen.

He’s not going to hear my or understand my side. He doesn’t have that. That Part of his brain, uh, completely functional yet. Right. And what I do is I, I just give him time. Then he usually like forgets about it or whatever. Just like, like, Hey, you want to go do this or go do that? Like, okay. Yeah. All right.

So, but you know, people generally, there’s a lot of people that want to write a book. And I feel like there was a [00:07:00] time where that was kind of the only way to go to like build your brand and to be successful because there weren’t so many different outlets. And I’m not suggesting for a moment that it isn’t a great thing, and I’ve done it a number of times.

But why is it such a great idea for people to write books today?

Mary Adkins: So I think there, there are a lot of people out there like me. I am one of them. I am much more likely to read a book than to consume content in any other way. Like it’s like people put an online course in front of my face. I’m like, I’m not going to sit and watch hours of videos.

If it’s Now, listen, I’ll listen to a podcast, but it’s like, if there’s a particular, like, thesis, if there’s like a theme I want, if there’s like an experience that’s like cohesive in itself, I will always prefer a book. Because it’s just the medium I like and like, I’m a fast reader. I like to do it. I can highlight it.

I can mark it up. I can reference it later. I can quote it later. Like, I just find it, it’s so usable for me and it’s so like actionable in a [00:08:00] way that other media for me hasn’t been. Like, I’m not, I haven’t become an audio book person yet either. I know a lot of people are. But I think, I think it, it remains, like, I don’t think reading is dead.

I mean, I know that a lot of people are like, books are dead.

Steve Fretzin: It’s definitely not dead. And I think that, you know, one thing is, you know, getting all of your ideas out and sharing your views and helping people and whatever the book is. Yeah. That’s what it’s about. And then the other part of it, and we’ll talk about promotion maybe later, but you know, I mean, I can hand you a business card or I can hand you a book and one of them is going to do a lot more for me and for you than the other.

Mary Adkins: Exactly. And like, it’s such a good way to build trust. Now, like there are other ways to build trust, of course, but if, if someone enjoys writing, if that’s an enjoyable thing, if they feel like they can express the ideas that they have in that way, then I think it’s a really, it’s a really solid option.

Yeah. Yeah, which is not to say there are another up to suit, right? But like [00:09:00] I think there are but

Steve Fretzin: it’s it’s a good one. I can’t hand someone my podcast, right? I can tell them about it and hope that they listen but if I hand someone physically hand somebody a book or Giveaway books or or people buy books and you know, it’s a it’s a absolute, you know game changer from a brand building exercise but also From that, that transference of trust of, you know, Hey, you don’t have to know me yet, but here, read this and you will know me, you will understand me and understand the way that I think, or the way that I, the way that I teach, for example, right?

It’s all, yeah,

Mary Adkins: yeah. And I don’t know if you can tell this. I feel like I can tell when I pick up a book, if it was ghost written, like, To me, I buy a lot of, for example, business books and I will, like, return half of them. I return books. Wow. I’m someone who returns books. Okay. Because if, if I feel like, like, I just feel like I can tell this was written by a ghostwriter, this is like, because the thing ghostwriters are gonna do is they’re gonna try to fill, they’re gonna try to meet word counts.

So it’s like there will be, there will be some substance in there, [00:10:00] but it will be set in 5, 000 words instead of 500 words, where typically if like the person who is having the ideas is writing it, it tends to be a lot more concise. So you get more substance for the, like the ratio of substance to words is much higher.

That’s my, that’s just my take as a reader. Um, so I do it encourage people to write their own book. Yeah.

Steve Fretzin: But in the reason that people that lawyers and people, their lawyers, people are lawyers are people, I think, yes. So that they struggle, the reason they would turn to a ghostwriter or a group that done, I know a bunch of the, the, the companies that do this ghostwriting and help pull a book out of somebody.

And I’m not, I think they’re all terrific. However, um, the reason that they’re successful is because lawyers, for example, I think they struggle with the consistency of writing something, a big project, 50, you know, 20, 30, 50 chapters, whatever it’s going to be. It’s intensive and they’re already stressed out.

They’re already busy. So I mean, is that, is it just busyness that, [00:11:00] that keeps people from, from sitting down and doing this thing that they’ve maybe had there that’s been their dream since maybe they were younger? Huh?

Mary Adkins: Yeah, I think it’s busyness coupled with a false idea, an understandable idea, but a false idea of what it means to embark on a big project like a book.

Like I think people think, oh, well, that’s going to be something where it’s going to take, you know, hours and hours a week, I’m going to have to give up something in order to make it happen. It’s going to take months. It’s going to take a year. And I’m not, look, I’m not like one of these. I see these ads on Instagram now because I teach book writing, right?

I see, I’m fed a lot of book writing ads. And I saw the other day, I was like, I had to bleep, I bleeped. I was like, am I really saying this correctly? This one was like, how I, how I sell thousands of books a month on Amazon without writing any of them. I’m like, what, what?

Steve Fretzin: And that’s what I know. I know what that is.

I know what that is. A really good cover. Yeah. Right. Some people do. They see the cover. The cover sells them and they buy it. And they go, what

Mary Adkins: did I buy? [00:12:00] What did I buy? I’m like, what? I mean, that’s got to be some kind of AI, like, like, you know, use AI to like, I don’t know what it is. But anyway, I’m not my, I’m not of the camp of like, you could write a book in a day kind of thing, which is like.

I feel like that’s very attractive and compelling, but it’s like, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But I do think, I do think it’s a lot less time and often less work than people assume. For example, I recently started a new book, By getting, like, writing a new book, by getting up in the morning and writing for about 30 minutes before my son gets up.

By the time I had done this, like, for five days, I had written almost 20, 000 words, which like is, that’s a lot of, that’s like almost a third of a draft of a full length book, nonfiction book. So it’s not. Now, you can be precious about it, and I think this is, like, the other side of the coin of [00:13:00] being, like, I can actually take on a big project like this without overhauling my life by finding these pockets of time.

You know, that’s not gonna happen if you just sit there and stare at a blank screen for 30 minutes because you’re paralyzed by it, so. There is a, like, this goes hand in hand, I think, with that idea that we started with, which is understanding that, like, you’re gonna, when you’re doing this kind of thing, it’s gonna be messy, you’re really just trying to generate quantity, and then you’ll go in later and you’ll cull and pull out the gems and the good stuff, and, like, that’s what you’ll be left with.

But like first just getting it all down is the kind of thing that like, I think if you go in with that mindset of like, I’m just going to generate as many words as I can in the next 30 minutes, it’s, it’s like, I think it’s because I see people do it and they’re kind of amazed how quickly they can actually get out a draft.

And like how much good stuff is in that and of course they have to cut stuff, of course, but we all do, but I think you also

Steve Fretzin: have to, I’m sure you’re going to say you have to have some form of an outline, have some type of a, of a plan of [00:14:00] how you sit down and write for 30, there’s probably like a legal topic or a self help topic or whatever it is from that book, the chapter of the fiction book that you, you know, you have a, you have a, an outline of it before you start, so you know what you’re, what you’re moving towards.

Yeah.

Mary Adkins: And also that helps you tee up your, you know, yeah. Helps your brain sort of do problem solving when you’re not actually sitting in front of the computer, right? So like another thing I’ll do and I know probably this is something that a lot of lawyers already have Kind of a life hack people are already doing, but when I know that there’s a particular topic I want to write on and then I’m driving around town and like to pick up my son or something, and I think of like a perfect anecdote to illustrate that topic.

I don’t wait to write that down until later because I will forget and also then I’ll just be busy. So I just have massive, like, I just dictate into my notes app of my phone, like in, in [00:15:00] real time. And I also am surprised like how much of an actual book I can get done by just in real time, jotting down the things that are coming to me and then organizing them later.

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Steve Fretzin: So I, I’m already picking up on how you can not be overwhelmed by writing a book, by blocking out time. Are there other suggestions that you make to help break a big project down into something that’s maybe more, uh, simple and easy to, to do on a daily or weekly basis?

Mary Adkins: Yeah, I think, so it depends on the kind of book, but I, having some kind of structure I think is very helpful, so like, I have a particular structure that I both use and teach for writing a novel, because I work with a lot of people in writing novels. Same with memoir. And then if someone’s writing, and I feel like a lot of, you know, a lot of times lawyers, business owners are going to want to write a non, will have an idea for a nonfiction book that has a particular theme, in which case I do think a sort of outline, but I sometimes call it a storyboard just because for me, an outline looks almost like a law school class document, you know, whereas What I’ll, what I will use in place of [00:18:00] that is a bunch of post its on a poster board like each representing a chapter or a point because it just, I don’t know, it feels friendlier.

Steve Fretzin: Well, I think it’s also maybe more visually stimulating to, to, you know, look at it and then feel, you know, you’ve got to, I don’t know, just, you know, just easier to take in maybe.

Mary Adkins: Yeah. And I agree. I’ve, I personally, I find it much easier to take in and visually appealing. And then once I have that, then I know, okay, I just have to flesh out each of these post its and that’s it.

Like that’s the draft. So at that point it becomes just deciding what kind of cadence you want for them. I’m going to flesh, I’ll flesh out one of these every day or I’ll flesh out like three of these a week. And then you do that. You allow yourself the flexibility to flesh them out. On your notes app, dictating, like, however, whatever form it takes, it doesn’t need to be.

It doesn’t need to be polished, shooting down and writing out a computer. I mean, it’s so interesting because I do work with a lot of lawyers who then end up wanting to write novels or [00:19:00] memoirs, especially. But I think one, a major skill set that lawyers have that not everyone has is like a couple things.

One, being like able to kind of get their head around massive amounts of information. And, like, organize it, which is very helpful when you’re working with the book. And then sort of understanding the idea of having kind of like an outline or a skeleton that you’re then gonna flesh out. So it’s like, I look at, like, I, I know that if I sat down and I just have like these five bullet points that are going to go into this particular passage or this section.

I feel great about that, because that was the hard part. I’m like, I can, I can turn that into sentences now. Like, that’s not the hard part. The hard part was like the coming up with the meat of the thing in the first place.

Steve Fretzin: But the other piece of it too is I think lawyers, um, many of them, uh, really have a strong flow state.

If they can get to that, you know, where they can spend two, three, four hours with complete [00:20:00] focus on, yeah, no brief or one thing that they have to write. And I think you can put that same kind of energy, maybe, maybe not during the weekday, maybe on a weekend, you know, into, into a book and knock out a chapter and be like, Holy crap.

I’ve. Yeah. Only have, you know, 10 more to go or any more to go or whatever when you hit, you know, when you finish a job, you know, a pretty extensive chapter.

Mary Adkins: Yeah. I completely agree with that.

Steve Fretzin: Yeah. What was, I was going to ask you about promotion, but before I get to that, I have another one. The um, the idea that you can self publish very easily today and to, and in the benefits of self publishing versus.

Finding a publisher and I’m I’m done both. I’ve tried both ways and I’m not going to give my answer until you do But what are your what’s your take on that?

Mary Adkins: I’m so curious what your answer is You want to hear people? Well, no, I I’m just curious I I have only published with the publisher personally But I have worked with people and I’m good friends [00:21:00] with people who have self published and I’m good friends with people who have done both Okay, and I definitely I I’m, I see so, I will say I see increasingly more reasons to self publish, and I’m very intrigued.

Okay. And I see pros and cons to both.

Steve Fretzin: I mean I think, I think if I’m looking to, you know, publish a novel or publish a book that’s gonna get, that has the potential to get a mass audience, A publisher might be the way to go, right. However, I’m in a very niche space. Not only is it just legal, not just lawyers, it’s lawyers interested in business development.

So we can go from 2 million lawyers in the U. S., for example, down to, all right, just, just private practice. All right, maybe we’re down to a million. Then we start looking at How many actually are interested in business development? Well, we just went from a million to maybe, you know, 20, 000 and then how many are going to buy a book about it?

Well, then we’re down to 2000, 3000, 4000. So, um, and then [00:22:00] I’m competing against other books. So that’s, that’s a very niche thing. And so going, and I did try going through a publisher who was wired in and the legal space. The problem is they didn’t, first of all, it took forever to get it done, the drag. And then the second part was they really didn’t know how to market it.

Um, they had done more legal texts, textbooks and things like that. So this was the first one they had done that was more marketing business development related. And I think they were totally lost in the woods and it burned me, it burned me. And I just like, I’m not, and I’ve, I’ve self published now, you know, all four of my books.

And even though the pry, I’m not the one that wants to handle the details of that process, um, how quick it happens and how. Easy. It happens and how I don’t have to carry inventory and how much money I make her book and I’m not making millions on the books. I’m selling. I make a decent amount, but it’s not the same as someone who’s, you know, a millionaire because of self, you know, a publisher helps them become fit more if they do it on their own.

But that book on Amazon, for example, has, You know, 5, 000 [00:23:00] reviews at five stars, they’re certainly going to do, they’re going to do much better.

Mary Adkins: Well, and interestingly, some data that came out recently and from a source that I trust her, Jane Friedman is her name. She’s like a publishing guru. She, she does all this research and has a newsletter.

Apparently self publishing authors on average are making more than traditionally published authors for the first time last year. That doesn’t

Steve Fretzin: surprise me. Yeah. I mean, it’s, if you’re, you know, on a 20 book, you’re probably making eight, nine bucks. Right. So it’s, it’s significant. And the idea that they can, you can, you can order them, like you can, I can order one book and ship it.

I can order 50 books, a hundred books and ship it to myself or to others. And I, you know, I do carry some inventory I’ve probably got, I’m looking over here. I got about maybe 20 of each just sitting here in case I need to hand them out or pass them out. But. Yeah. I’m not sitting here with, you know, a thousand books that I bought or that I’m holding inventory that because that’s what the publisher needs me to do or what I needed to do to get to some type of status.

Mary Adkins: Right. Yeah. And, and also, I don’t know if you run [00:24:00] ads to your books, but I think ads can be so effective if you like Amazon ads, Google ads. If you have a niche audience who are Googling certain things like. And you’re, you know, the, the lawyer is interested in business development is going to have very specific Google searches.

And if you can run ads to, to, to attract those people, to show those people your book, that can be very profitable. It’s hard to do that when you’re traditionally published just because of the price point they usually choose for books. So they’re going to do, you know, the hardback is going to be 27. The paperback is going to be.

14 that isn’t even going to come out until a year after the hardback comes out. So like, it doesn’t make sense for a lot of authors I’ve talked to who have thought about like, should I run ads to my own books if it’s published by Simon Schuster? And it’s like, it’s really hard for you to make back that money because of your royalty rate combined with your click through rate.

On the ads combined with just the price point of the book and how fewer, how many, how fewer people will [00:25:00] buy it at that price point than if, you know, you’re pricing it yourself as a self-published author, you could price wherever. I mean, 4 99, 2 99 per ebook.

Steve Fretzin: But I think the other piece of it is, again, if you’re, if, if the book is a lead into, so let’s say I’m a lawyer that does estate planning and um, I’m focused in an area, the book is a lead generator, right?

Someone reads the estate planning book realizes this is. This is great information. Now I understand I need an estate planner, right? I can’t do this myself and and legal zoom isn’t isn’t the direction I want to go. So, you know that so I then I think yeah Then it makes a lot of sense to to do that Um, I I think I tried doing some advertising on Amazon and it did not go well but I haven’t I haven’t thought of doing it just straight up on Google because if the only people that are gonna see My book are the ones that are searching for books on business development and I’m not there.

That’s maybe a problem, but I don’t think it would be that expensive to run because it’s not like, again, there’s a lot of people typing that into Google. It’s probably a handful a day nationally [00:26:00] or something really small.

Mary Adkins: Yeah, I always think it’s worth experimenting because I, I like to use myself as a case study and I have bought books that Google has shown me as sponsored content numerous times.

I’m like, yeah, that looks great. Thanks for showing me. So I, I don’t know, I’ve never, I haven’t run Google book ads because like I said, it For me, it hasn’t made sense because of my publishing model with my publisher, but I, if I were, if I self published, it’s something I would experiment with.

Steve Fretzin: Well, and the other thing I could do and anyone could do is, is just, you know, social media is free, right?

So you could just promote your book on all the social media channels. And I mean, I’ll, I did something interesting. I don’t, I can’t tell you how well this did. I have a 51 chapter book and I did a little video intro for each chapter and then gave away a chapter a week on LinkedIn. And so I don’t think like, Oh, I got so much business from it.

It didn’t happen like that, but it was just a regular weekly way of getting exposure for me in the [00:27:00] book and people that want to know, Hey, that topic really lands with me. Maybe next week the topic doesn’t. Uh, again, based on interest, but that I thought was a creative way to get that book marketed and get the book out there in bite sized pieces that might lead people to, and my book sales did go up at that time.

I mean, I’m not, again, you know, it wasn’t, it wasn’t anything crazy, but it was enough for me to see a little spike.

Mary Adkins: Yeah, that’s really cool. And it also doesn’t. It doesn’t serve as a replacement for the book because like there, I can absolutely see people, they’ll see one of these, they’re like, I want all of these and I don’t want to click through to every single LinkedIn post he’s done for the past year.

Like I just want it in a book form, right?

Steve Fretzin: There’s an easier way to take it in. And, uh, yeah, the book, uh, legal business development is in rocket science. Uh, also just did come out on audio. I found a very inexpensive way to do it. Um, and it came out great and, you know, anytime you pay less, something suffers.

Right. Could be service. Could be quality. The quality is fine. The service was [00:28:00] terrible. Took five times longer than they said. However, I got it out eventually. And it’s great. And it’s great. And now I’m able to sell that and give that out and, you know, give another option for my clients. Uh, another, another, you know, way for them to take in the, the, the training and the content that I’m providing.

Yeah. Any other thoughts on promoting the promoting books? Cause it’s one thing to write a book, but then if it’s just like sitting behind your desk and I’m like doing anything for you, I think there’s gotta be sort of a next step with that. So I do

Mary Adkins: think, I think if the book is going to be for lead generation, what I would do is.

Self publish also because of the, both because of the price point and the timeline, which you alluded to a moment ago. But for traditional publishing, the standard timeline is like you get a book contract and then your book is probably going to hit shelves two years later and that will be a hardback and then a paperback will hit a year after that.

So you’re looking at like a three, two to three year runway. And then also, I think it’s important for people to [00:29:00] know, and it’s something that I didn’t know at the time, like when I first got a book contract, but like a lot, I think a lot of times people think, well, the reason I want a publisher is because they’re going to promote it for me.

And that just isn’t something that really happens now. I 100 percent agree. Yeah. So you’re going to have to promote

Steve Fretzin: your own anyway. I mean, if you’re getting pennies on the dollar, they’re not going to promote it again, unless this is like some major novel that’s going to, you know, New York times bestseller, I think self publishing is, is, is a really good option.

And I’m always happy to talk to people about that too. If they, if they want to, you know, pick my brain about it, I’ve done four of them. So it’s, it’s like, I’m happy to just share to save people time and energy. And. If people want to hear more about you, Mary, and how you help them get a book and get it done, and how you sort of do it, what are the best ways for them to reach you?

Mary Adkins: So I also have a podcast called The First Draft Club, where I just give writing advice and publishing advice and strategies. They can check that out if they like podcasts. And um, the [00:30:00] site for my program is thebookincubator. com. So they can just go there and read about it.

Steve Fretzin: Okay. Very cool. And your game changing book is The One Thing, which immediately made me think of Curly from City Slickers putting his finger up and going, it’s all about one thing.

But this is a book. Is that, is it the same concept in the book? I think

Mary Adkins: I, it’s funny because when you said that I was like trying to remember that scene, there are like so many of the scenes of that. I mean, I remember the scene, but I don’t remember like the substance of it. Right? I don’t even think

Steve Fretzin: he said one thing or did he say one thing or did he just put his finger up?

It was just so Like, it was almost cryptic, I think, when he did it, and everybody, you know, the characters on the movie were confused or something, but I think they picked it up. It was, yeah, just like, what’s your one thing, like, what’s, life is about it, one thing, you know, make a

Mary Adkins: movie. It is very similar. I mean, and the one thing he’s basically saying, like, look, you, there’s going to be one thing that’s going to be the lever that’s going to move the most.

At any given time. And, you know, we have a limited [00:31:00] attention span. Focus your attention on one thing at a time. The thing that’s, like, the lever that’s gonna move things the most. And that’s just, it’s, like, such a simple idea, and I found that really refreshing, and it also makes so much sense to

Steve Fretzin: me. Yeah.

Really good stuff. Thank you so much. As we wrap up, I want to of course say hey, give a shout out to our wonderful sponsors Green Cardigan Marketing, Get Staffed Up, and Lawmatics, all helping you to be that lawyer. Confident, organized, and a skilled rate maker. Mary, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, for having some fun today with me on the show.

And, uh, you know, let’s keep in the loop together for sure, right?

Mary Adkins: Right. Sounds great. Thanks,

Steve Fretzin: Steve. Yeah. Yeah. Good, good stuff. And thank you everybody for spending time listening to the show. And, uh, again, you know, keep listening. We’re doing two every week, uh, uh, for you guys to continue to be that lawyer.

And, um, keep the, keep, keep listening and give us some feedback. We’d love to hear from you. And again, if you think that you are, would be a good guest for the show or [00:32:00] you know someone that would be a good guest, um, Rainmakers in particular, love to interview Rainmakers and kind of hear their stories.

Again, just email me at steve at bretson. com. Happy to talk to them. Thanks everybody. Take care. Be safe. Be well. We’ll talk again real soon.

Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website Fretzin. com for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.