How Twitter Got Me Published

My first book will be published on September 1st, 2009.  The title is Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition.    The path I took to get here, is so strange that I wouldn’t have believed if I hadn’t just lived through it.

I got on Twitter for the first time back in January of 2009 because I was trying to get another manuscript published, “The Year of 12 Virtues.” A friend told me that Twitter and a blog would be a big help in getting me published. As soon as I got on Twitter, I quickly realized that I loved Twitter. It is such an amazing marketplace of ideas.

Things were very slow at my law firm at the time, so I dove in- learned everything I could about this amazing tool called Twitter. I wasn’t getting much traction for my Virtues book, but the longer I spent on Twitter the more I liked it. I was meeting amazing people, learning how to spread my message, and bringing in legal clients.

The real breakthrough came when I attended the “Get-A-Life” Conference put on by Total Attorneys. Because of my success on Twitter, they invited me to attend the conference for free as “press.” I sat towards the back where I met Niki Black, Allison Shields, and Gwynne Monahan who were Twitter lovers like myself. We were 4 of maybe 7 individuals with laptops open, live tweeting during the event. The other 200 attendees were simply sitting taking notes. It occurred to me at that moment that lawyers didn’t know how to use Twitter. They were missing out on the amazing opportunities, connections, and new business because they didn’t know how to use the tool. Most of them didn’t have 300 hours to put into learning all the tricks of Twitter, (somehow I can’t stop thinking of things in terms of billable hours spent) so there needed to be a guide to help them quickly and efficiently get set up on Twitter, and start engaging in a meaningful way.

I came home from the conference, and I put my consulting business on hold.  For the next month I woke up at 6:00 AM every morning and I wrote my Twitter for lawyers book.  After a few weeks I was done.  I remember thinking, what now?  I don’t know any legal publishers, and I’m not really sure they would even want to publish a book like this.  So I decided to self-publish, maybe it was vain- but at least I would have a book to my name, even if it only sold a few dozen copies.  Then I received a forwarded email that changed everything.

Social Networking for the Legal Profession

Managing Partner magazine’s new report Social Networking for the Legal Profession is now available. It provides best practice examples, and clear strategies for adopting and exploiting social networking for business, both internally and externally for operations, communication, and business development strategies.

The email went on to say that this report was being published by ARK Group, and the cost was $300.  Wow, I wonder how well the book is selling?  So I looked up the phone number for the North American Director of Marketing, Daniel Smallwood, and I gave him a call.  Turns out, the report was selling like hotcakes, more than they ever expected.  And so I asked,

“How would you like to publish my book, Twitter for Lawyers?”

“At this point we would publish ANYTHING related to social media, but I can’t make the call- you’d have to speak with Anna in London, but she has already gone home for the night.”

After exchanging emails, sending out a sample chapter, and talking on the phone- I had a contract in hand for my first book: Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition.  Now here we are, two months later- and the book is about to go to press.  This week 30,000 emails will go out to lawyers all over the country about my book.  The week after that 100,000 lawyers in England, Europe, and Australia will be notified about the book.

My Virtues book will still be published next summer by Shadow Mountain, but the Twitter book was able to be published much more quickly.  I always tell attorneys about the dynamic nature of Twitter, where things happen much more quickly than in the REAL world.  I guess this is just another example for them.

The book can be purchased at a discounted pre-publication rate here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1906355630

Comments

18 Responses to “How Twitter Got Me Published”

  1. Tim Baran says:

    Andrian , this is one of the most forthright and relatable write-up of a Twitter journey that I’ve seen.

    Based on your expertise and status on Twitter, especially among the subset of legal professional, I assumed that you were one of the early adopters, a veteran. I guess “veteran” takes on a whole new meaning when talking about one’s involvement with social media.

    You really do practice what you preach – engaging, having conversations, building relationships. It’s a unique pleasure to say this since I take folks to task – not individually 🙂 – more often than not for their hypocrisy around this issue.

    Thanks for this revealing, honest insight which serves as an affirmation and encouragement for me and, I’m sure, many others.

    @uMCLE

  2. W.J. Rice says:

    I’d like to have either someone look at my manuscript after I’ve knocked the edges via self then get (I hate critics but the one I have isn’t critical enough) an agent to push it or go ur way and have self published and push it. The subject is my life to about 19 1/2. I’ve wanted to write something and have always thought my life up till then if built from memory would have an electricity that I couldn’t achieve yet from fiction cause I haven’t built enough character voices in my head . I can make somene feel a rush but my life up to that age is all I feel like undertaking. What’s ur suggestion on the best way to move it.

    • WJ Rice: My biggest piece of advice to you, don’t knock the edges off. No manuscript is ever perfect, or even really complete- just start submitting queries to publishers, and work your marketing magic. Way to go on writing something, now go get it published!

  3. How cool is that? So cool! So proud of you and how you harnessed the power of Twitter. Pure awesomeness.

  4. Ben Dawe says:

    Good on you Adrian.. Did the slow movement of Law push you to Twitter for the pace and immediacy?
    Great to read your story. If you’re a tech leader in a conservative space it seems like a good recipe to me for success. Still, all those early morning seems like the difference!

  5. way to go Adrian! Can’t wait to read it.

  6. Nicole Black says:

    Adrian,

    Great post about the power of Twitter.

    It was nice to finally meet you face-to-face at the Get a Life conference in Chicago. We’d spoken previously and I was glad you were able to attend, since I’d recommended to Total Attorneys that you’d be a great addition to the conference as a result of your Twitter presence.

    Congrats on your book–it’s a great accomplishment! Can’t wait to read it!

  7. Kevin Chern says:

    Much congratulations to you Adrian. Glad we could be even a small part of it.

  8. Niki: Thanks! You certainly played your part, I don’t think I would have made it to GAL09 if it wasn’t for you. Thanks for the comment.

  9. Jim Walker says:

    Very interesting and congratulations onbeing published . . .

  10. Julie Roads says:

    Congrats, Adrian. Seriously – you are living the dream – and it’s due in no small part to your hard work, dedication and gumption. I wish you the very best of luck…Julie (@writingroads)

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