Nice Girls Don’t Publish Books? – Empowering Female Authors & Executives with Dr. Lois Frankel

Hey Chandler bolt here and joining me Today is Dr Lois Frankel uh Dr Lois has Become synonymous with empowering women In the workplace uh she's an executive Coach and the author of multiple books Uh including uh nice girls don't get the Corner office uh and her most recent Book technically we'll talk about that Later while that is uh it's called nice Girls just don't get it uh so Dr Lois Welcome great to have you here It's great to be here and you know just One small uh correction it's it's the Most recently published book but I have An audio book nice girls don't speak up Or stand out and that was the latest one But it's uh just audio cool okay cool Let's oh awesome we'll talk about that Uh as well so I'll make a note for that On the audiobook Um so today I want to talk about kind of Behind the scenes of yearbooks uh Niching down with your audience how You've used your books to grow your Executive coaching business kind of a Bunch of things like that uh but super Excited to have you here I guess first Things first uh why books why have they Been what seems like kind of a a central Part of your business your brand and all That stuff You know why is because when I wrote the First book it was because I wanted to Provide women with the same coaching

Tips that I provide to Executive women Who can afford coaching and you know as An executive coach that's what I do I Help people to get and keep the jobs They want I help them with their Professional development and and I Realized that there were many women out There that would never be able to afford A coach or their company wouldn't Provide one to them and I wanted them to Have the same opportunity to hear what I Say to everybody else so that's really What got me started Awesome so so you wrote that I guess Which was the first book well the first Was nice girls don't get the corner Office got it yeah obviously that that Book's uh done very well Um what what sparked It's kind of a two-part I don't want to Uh steal the my my follow-up and kind of The the uh I want to get your Perspective and not lead the witness uh But what uh what sparked the interest in Writing a book specifically for women And specifically on this topic you Alluded to that sum but can you unpack That a little bit more uh yeah you know Because I was doing coaching and I was Primarily coaching men because my Business model said I'm only going to Work with corporations so I would work With people who were referred to me by The corporation and at the time you have

To remember this was probably 25 years ago they were referring Primarily men that's who they were Investing in And so it kind of annoyed me that I Didn't see more women clients But then when I started seeing a few More women clients I realized that they Had very unique needs and needs that Were different from the men they had Development needs that were different Than men's development needs so that's Why I started focusing more on what Makes them different in the workplace And what do they have to do differently Got it and so I think I mean popular Wisdom would probably say hey you're Coaching a lot of men why not write a Book for men and and you wrote a book Specifically for women Was was there like was it a hunch there Was it just like because you were saying Hey I'm just kind of tired of just only Working with men no because you want to Steer your business in that direction or What was kind of the thought no I didn't Want to steer the business in that Direction to tell you the truth as a Matter of fact Um when nice girls don't get the corner Office hit the best seller list All of a sudden I was a woman's coach After years of coaching predominantly Men right all of a sudden I was a

Woman's coach so I had really good Advice from a woman who used to work With Susie Orman and she said you know Lois embrace it and go with it and this Will be your new brand and as I said you Know I was a little resistant to it and Then I've decided Well okay let's see Where this goes and it actually took me On a wonderful Journey That's cool so I kind of kick-started a Whole new brand and a whole new side Exactly of the business yeah yep so I Think you know one of the things we hear Often when we work with authors there's This big fear around Niching down and niching down whatever You can call it with your book it's like Oh well if I just if I just if I get More specific it's not going to sell any Copies and we always encourage people Like hey actually the opposite is going To be true and I think yours is a great Example of that because we've had some People who's like I want to write a Workout book but really it's for women Over 50. or right what really is for men In their 30s who are professionals who Don't have time to work out or that sort Of thing so how did you make that kind Of decision yeah down and just say all Right hey I'm going to write this Specifically to women anything you learn From that that would be helpful for People well I learned a couple things

Along the way first of all I learned That for example women buy more Self-help books than men So niching it down to women right there Is going to be probably a bigger Market Than if I had diluted it and truth be Told I had a book before this and it was Called stop sabotaging your career Um And you know it didn't it did okay but It didn't do that well and it was Coaching tips for both men and women but It really spoke to the point that men Don't buy self-help books right so Um gearing it towards women I was Gearing into a population that buys Books and then as I went forward a Little bit and wrote some more books for Women I had taken a workshop from Peter Montoya who at the time was the guru of Uh personal branding right and Peter Said it's counter-intuitive but the more You narrow your Niche the more business You're gonna get and the way he Explained it was that everybody wants an Expert right when you go to a doctor You don't go to a um a general Practitioner if you're having a problem With your foot right or your heart you Go to a heart doctor you go to a Podiatrist and so what Peter taught me Was that it's the same for any Profession whether you're an accountant You know and he gave an example of a

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Woman who is an accountant worked in Downtown Los Angeles and said she was Only going to work with other accounts Now look at how much that really Um Narrows your business right downtown Los Angeles works with accounting firms To do their accounting right well I Thought well that really is Counterintuitive but then she had all The business in downtown L.A because she Was the only one who specialized in that Okay so um that's really what I learned Was that uh that it is counterintuitive But it works And have you seen do you feel like You've seen that Help sell more copies of the book and Help grow the business now that you know Kind of niching down to that audience Absolutely because Um prior to this I was also doing a Little bit of keynote speaking and I was Doing it on you know Career Development And things like that and and again it Was somewhat in retrospect it was Somewhat diluted right because how do You you can't be all things to all People and then after nice girls don't Get the corner office became successful All of a sudden I was getting calls from Women's groups from Prophet women's Professional associations from internal Uh at the time we called them Affinity Groups now they're called employer

Resource groups and so I was getting Calls from all of those people so the The the speaking business really took Off to the point where I wasn't able to Do coaching anymore because I just Wasn't around enough Um although I kept my coaching business But um I really wasn't doing the Coaching got it that makes sense now can You talk about maybe some of the Concepts from your books whether it's Um and and I guess specifically through The lens of women who want to write Books so yeah so some of the concepts um In your book and how they apply to that Now one of the things that I Can call me and say they want to write a Book and they want advice And the Sort of advice I always give them is you Need to find your niche And just as you said they always say but Wait a minute you know that's going to Narrow my you know my marketing and I Always give them the same Spiel I just Gave you that yeah you need to narrow it Down or for example you know I had a lot Of African-American women wanting to Write books and I told them you need to Write a a woman's coaching book for African-American women and almost to a Person They said they didn't want to do that Because they didn't want to pigeonhole

Themselves and I said you realize there Are no books like this in the market That you know that I can't write a book For African-American women about how to Be successful in the workplace well I Probably could but I don't think it Would be very successful it would be so Much more successful coming from you so I tell people you have to find where's The hook Or if there's so many people who want to Get books published today so if you want To have someone else publish them for You you had better find something Everybody's talking about a breakthrough Book right you know what's going to Really break through and I think corner Office broke through for a couple of Reasons one is that it was narrowly Defined but the other reason was I Essentially changed the way books were Written self-help books were written Because what I did was I kept every Chapter really short so you know all of My books follow the same model what's The problem how do you fix it so a Chapter might be three pages and then There's like you know in in corner Office there's like a there's now Because we did a 10th anniversary Edition there was 133 mistakes that Women make so you know you have plenty Of pages when each chapter is still only Three or four pages per chapter so it's

What's the problem what are you doing Wrong here's what you need to do Differently and again it played to my Strengths as a coach because I'm always Observing what has to be changed and Then give people practical ideas for how To do it so for for you know women or Anybody who's who wants to write a book I think those are some of the things That you have to focus on and then the Other thing is and where is your area of Expertise because that's actually what Publishers always want to know what Makes you the expert on this Um I recently wanted to write a book and I did a proposal for it and it was um The A to Z of raising a self-confident Daughter And it was the exact same format you Know like what's the challenge here's How you made it right the hook and Um it was rejected by all the people who Had previously published me and they Said you're not an expert on parenting You're an expert on the workplace so we Would find a hard time marketing this And I thought well that was interesting So you know if I do that one that's Going to have to be self-published yeah Yeah uh we should talk about that Um so so find your Niche write Specifically to an audience what's the Hook think through the hook start with That all those things

Um are there any other Um kind of you talked about those 130 Something mistakes and nice girls don't Get the corner office or I know there's 75 of automobile mistakes yes nice girls Don't get rich are there is there like Maybe two to five of those that you can Think of that would be applicable for Aspiring female authors um yeah I would Say uh and let me just think of it Specifically about authors I I think the First one would be and I'm thinking About an author who did this is to use Your network That one of the mistakes women make is We create networks but we don't use them Because we feel like it's kind of smarmy We think well if I'm gonna if I'm going To build a relationship with you Chandler I don't want to come back and Say to you could you do this for me Because then you might think I only Built the relationship Um to get something from you when that Was never my intention Um so that's how women think right so There was a woman who is the daughter of A famous psychologist and she came to me And she said she was have and she was Also a psychologist and she said I'm Having trouble getting my book published Because her last name wasn't the same as Her father's and I said have you told The Publishers who you're submitting it

To who you are who your father is and Have you asked some of your father's Publishers to take a look at it she said I would never trade on his good name And I thought that's being a girl right That's being a girl because Um why not as I said to her the fact is Is that you can ask them and they may Still reject it but it's your best Um it's your best try at getting Attention so that's number one make sure You already have a network build and Start using it another thing is is to Learn to negotiate I mean that was one Of the things that I really had to learn To do was negotiate because the first Offer you get is never the last offer And I do remember the first the first Advance I got for a book for my very First book I think it was fifteen Thousand dollars you know and I jumped At it it was like whoa this is great so Then when the next one came in and it Was a little higher I thought well this Is even more but by then I'd had an Agent And so the agent said no we're not going For that and and I was really surprised At how much more I could ask for and Actually get it so whether you ask Yourself or whether you hire an agent You know somebody to act on your behalf Um you know and in business uh we call That an advocate right so if you work

Inside a business and you ask someone to Advocate for you in your absence that's Kind of like acting as an agent so I Think women don't uh seek out advocacy Enough because they think they have to Do it themselves so that would be a Second thing Um a third thing and I'm just and again Usually I'm talking about in the Workplace I'm not applying it to Um publishing so that's why um oh it's Got to be this applies everywhere it's Got to be You need to build your emotional Quotient you know your EQ your emotional Quotient is going to take you further Than your IQ you may be really smart and Write a really good book but the fact is Is that if when you meet with Publishers Editors agents they don't like you They're not going to represent you and So what you have to understand and part Of is selling a book whether it's to the Public whether it's to a publisher to an Agent it's about likability so make sure You're the kind of person that passes The beer test we call this the beer test In my office would I like to sit down And have a beer or a cup of coffee or a Glass of wine with you and if the answer Is no you don't pass the test and you Need to understand how do you build Stronger 306 degree relationships that Are going to work for you as a matter of

Fact just last night I met with it's a It's a writer and she's doing a Treatment of nice girls don't get the Corner office to pitch for television Now there already was a pilot made of Nice girls don't get the corner office And I thought the pilot was quite good But it didn't get picked up which is not Unusual in Hollywood Um but she's redoing it and we met last Night and she said you know I'm thinking Of all the people that I can ask to help Me out here and take a a look at it and Give me notes on it and and she said You know I gave it to one person and They haven't gotten back to me and I Just want to say hey look if you don't Want to look at it just tell me that's Okay I won't expect it from you and I Said that's acting like a girl instead What you do is say you know you haven't Looked at it yet and I'd really like Your input in the next two weeks and I'm Willing to trade you And then whatever you know that they Like and she said well this woman has Like five dogs I said so say you're Willing to trade babysitting for the Dogs for a weekend if she'll just look At the script or a meal out or whatever She would like so Understanding that inherent to every Relationship there's a quid pro quo There's something in exchange for

Something else and identifying that and Using it is not smarmy it's how the World works That's great those are really really Helpful thanks for sharing those so Um do you see any I guess maybe limiting Beliefs in for women or quote unquote Nice girls in the workplace or with Their finances that are kind of like a Carryover right yeah you talked about a Few of them there but I guess I mean More so even the getting started part Because I feel like for a lot of people Even even just hey I'm doing this book Is is is a is a is a big leap right Probably in the same way that you see Like oh I'm asking for this promotion or So is there any other crossover that you See there in the getting started phase I Think if um I'm understanding it Correctly now maybe it's the overarching Theme of the nice girls books which is a Nice girl is someone who acts according To the rules she was taught were Appropriate in childhood Okay so that girl little girls get Different messages than little boys Um even in this day and age because we Do have more woke parents right and so They're giving their daughters the Message you could be anything you want You could do anything you want right the Only problem is then you have Grandma Right my niece told me the other day

It's actually my great niece she said I Was we were talking about careers and She said you know but my grandmother Keeps telling me the most important Thing is that I find a nice man and I Get married and have a family now this Is 2023. she she's getting the same Messages women got in the 1940s so when I talk about nice girls I'm not talking About not being nice because I just said As I just said nice is necessary for Success but it's not sufficient so I Would urge women and I start actually Start all my coaching sessions with this Um I urge women to think about what were The messages you got Um and they could be from parents they Could be from grandparents from teachers From your religion about how women are Supposed to be Because that's what's going to hold you Back more than anything else Okay and so once you understand what Those self-limiting messages are you can Then add behaviors that are going to Count counter them as I always say you Know I'm a recovering nice girl I don't Know that I'm ever not gonna you know uh Succumb to some nice girl behaviors you Know I did it recently and a friend Pointed it out and she said you know Lois you wrote the book on this and you Did that and I said I know I'm a

Recovering nice girl so it's not like You ever get over it but there's certain Situations that are always going to be a Trigger and for me it's always friends You know I can be direct straightforward With anybody else but with friends you Know I do revert to being a nice girl And so I think that's the overarching Thing Chandler that I think women need To think about as they get started and The other thing is to surround yourself With yaysayers There's enough naysayers in our lives Right people who say yeah okay I Remember somebody one time said to me I Was thinking about writing a particular Book and they said there's already a lot Of books like that and then somebody Else was sitting there and said well how Many diet books are there and there's Always room for one more so Lois should Just go for it you know this is like you Know really in the beginning And that's what you have to think about You're gonna have the naysayers or I Remember when I quit my job to start my Own private practice my mother said it It turned her stomach to think of me as Unemployed while I wasn't unemployed I Was starting a business which my two Brothers had already done so I knew to Set boundaries with her and find other People who were like-minded because They're the ones who are really going to

Um boy you up right who are going to Provide you with support when you need It Um there's uh there's this little visual I have and it there's a saying on it Says the the women around us we've Circles of love that when we when we Need to be buoyed up we're buoyed up by Them and when we need to be brought back To down to ground they do that too so Um that's why women really need to think About who's in your circle and do you Have yaysayers That's great man it's really really cool So let's excuse a little bit let's talk Um so your your quote unquote most Recent book well not even the most Recent book the book that's not the most Recent audiobook Um that's the most recent one that I'm Staring at here on Amazon Just don't get it that one yeah exactly Nice girls just don't get it Um so you mentioned you got the right Backs you've got the rights back from The publisher and then decided to Self-publish that Um and kind of republish that what was The why and the how uh behind doing that Oh because you know I co-authored that With uh Carol ferlinger who was a Attorney And because I felt like we were going to Talk about things like negotiating and I

Know she's an expert in that so I Co-authored that with her now you have To know that I was discouraged by the Publisher from co-authoring any books Because they felt like it dilutes your Voice you are the brand now you're going To dilute your brand so the publisher Who published the other nice girls books Wouldn't publish that one So we went to another publisher the Agent took it to another publisher who Who you can look it up but I'm not going To mention their name Um and I didn't feel like they put the Resources in it to make it successful Whereas my original publisher uh Provided us with uh publicists and you Know provided me with publicists and Everything I needed to really get a book Off the ground This one didn't do any of that we had to Do our own publicity and we did get on The Today show with it so there was a Slight bump but there wasn't much else So because the book didn't go where we Thought we wanted it to go uh when they Told us they were going to put take it And put it out of print because it Didn't do well and and you know it was Like it was like a self-defeating Prophecy right you don't put money into The book and then it doesn't do well and Then you take it off your list and so we Said well we'll take the rights then and

We'll self-publish it so that was Exactly what we did Um and that's why we did it and so now We're in the process of you know uh we Use that more in conjunction when we do Keynotes or webinars or things like that That's really our method of promoting That book but at least this way nobody Gets any piece of it because that's the Other thing for authors to remember as Long as you have a publisher doing it You're getting a a way smaller person Percentage than if you do it yourself There's pluses and there's minuses Obviously my preference Chandler is to Have somebody else publish it and to Um Take more of the royalties yeah I just Want yeah and pay and pay if you and get Fewer royalties exactly Um that's my preference Um and part of it is it's a it's Probably a very snobby thing Because I know when people tell me they Have a book out the first thing I almost Always do is look at the spine and see Was this self-published or was this Published by you know a publishing house Now nowadays I know it's much more Common to self-publish books and there's Nothing wrong with it I'm old school what can I tell you if I Can get someone else to pay for it and Do all that stuff right why wouldn't I

Do that so it's just kind of part of my Business head too which is why would I Lay money out for something that I don't Know where it's going to go when I can Someone else have someone else take that Risk right and uh see where it goes That makes sense and just for for people Who are listening who are not familiar You know typical royalty rates with the Publishers typically somewhere between Eight to twelve percent per book so Maybe a dollar two bucks a book and then If you're going self-published it can be Anywhere from 20 to 70 percent per book Kind of depending on formats length Price and all that stuff Um so just by way of comparison did you So when you got your uh your rights back Did you have to purchase them back no Did they give them back how did that how Did that work no they gave them back Because we had um earned back our Royalty So you know I I think if we didn't earn The royalty back maybe they would have Made us buy out the royalty but we had Earned our royalty back so Um they were just gonna and it was in The contract that if they right it was In the concert because I mean probably Because your co-author was a lawyer Writer right yeah and yes and so you Want to make sure that that's in your Contract that if they withdraw the title

That you that the rights revert to you Or at least you have the first right of Refusal for the rights so they did Revert to us Um Oh man that's really smart I'm just the First person I've ever heard that's Included that in a contract it's a Really good takeaway for people who are Traditionally publishing negotiate that Into the contract there's no yeah There's not really much much if any Downside to the publisher so that's like A throwaway thing that I feel like that They would likely be okay with adding in But it saved you guys probably a lot of Negotiation and okay well we'll sell it To you and then having to buy the rights Back and all that stuff so uh that's That's really interesting you you Mentioned uh your most recent book is Audiobook only uh what was so what's the Book and what was the thought process Behind launching in Audio Only You know that one Um the idea for it came and this is Something something else I'd also like To tell your listeners people often ask Me what does it take to write a book and I say there has to be something you want To say so badly that nothing can stop You from saying it right I mean that's Really the motivation for me is that I Really want to say this I really want to

Help people I want to get this into the Hands of the people who need it that's My motivation to write if your Motivation to write is so that you have A calling card for your business because You think you're going to get rich and Famous right you know for ego it's all The wrong reasons those are just the Wrong reasons so Um I think because I do these things for What I think are the right reasons right Obviously Um these ideas come to me about gee what Is it people want so one of the things From nice girls don't get the corner Office that people always ask me about Was the communication piece and when I Talked about communication It was a thing that stuck with people Whether I was doing training or I was Doing coaching or on Keynotes they like The communication piece so I thought why Don't I just take that small chapter out And expand it so I actually sold it as a Book to hash out books who is my Publisher of everything except nice Girls just don't get it Um I sold it to the publisher as a book and Then as I started writing it I realized You know this begs to be heard Because if we're talking about Communication how it sounds matters you Know I can write down the sentence

Uh you know make sure that you're Expressing appropriate enthusiasm Or I could or I could do it and I could Say you know make sure you're expressing Appropriate enthusiasm and here's what It would sound like okay People get that right it makes a Difference so um I went back to them and I said I wanted to make this audio only And they said okay fine we'll do that And uh so we did that and there was some Challenges with it because I think they Weren't used to Audio Only books And so there were some challenges with Getting it um distributed So it didn't do as well as I would have Liked it to do but it's it's still go It's still out there going you know Where did you how did you guys approach I mean where is that distributed and Sold and was there any what was the Thought process behind that well because It's audio it's just it's distributed on Like Barnes and Noble audio it's on Audible it's on uh what's it called uh Google read I think you know there were A couple places like I think it was Called ex-libro is that yeah or Libro Yeah yeah so those were the places it Was distributed and they put up a very Large uh like uh signs LED signs in Airports And so they did some like print things That were visual for it

But we weren't able to get me onto the Talk shows and that's really what makes The difference you know for every book Before I was on one of the morning shows And that makes a huge difference And this one you know well you know also It came out uh I think it was just right Around the time that the uh pandemic Started So you know that made a difference too So you know I tended to Market it myself Through my LinkedIn page my Keynotes uh Webinars things like that So this has been great Dr Lois uh what Would be your parting piece of advice uh I would say especially for females or Women who want to write books so to the Lowest of how many ever years ago before You wrote your first book and to all the Other uh I guess potential Lois is out There who are thinking about writing Their first book One You can't do this You know if this is a project you Believe in Put your energy behind it and as I said Surround yourself with the people who Are going to help support you number two Find your voice and find your niche Because that's what's going to help sell This book and number three make sure That this is something that you can't Live without writing because writing is

A very solitary process as as all of us Who right know Um and you're going to be sitting for Hours by yourself so you had better love That material that you're with I've Always loved the material that I'm with And so those would be my three points of Advice Cool that's awesome where can people go To buy your books to find out more about Your speaking your coaching and whatever Would be most helpful well two places One they can go to my website which is Dr And that's and they Can also buy all my books on um at Barnes and Noble on Barnes and Noble Online or on Amazon that's where you'll Find all the books Awesome Dr Lois thank you so much thank You it's been my pleasure thank you for Having me

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