Storytellers: A Teen Mom Turned Attorney Did This To Capitalize Off Her Naysayers


At the age of 16, Ruby Davis was pregnant by her more experienced and less than honest boyfriend. Although the relationship didn’t go quite the way she’d hoped, Ruby wasn’t one to cry over spilled milk – even as a teen. So she vowed to create a life of which her daughter, and anyone watching her, could be proud.

Ruby went on to complete high school and college and eventually decided upon law school. After struggling a bit that first year, she took a short break and later returned to finish what she’d started. The result? Ruby passed the bar on her first attempt, left her job at an insurance agency, and started The Davis Law Group as a personal injury attorney in Birmingham, Alabama.

She’s probably the best-dressed lawyer you’ll ever meet and the type of person you’d like to have on your side whether as an attorney or friend. She’s smart. She’s bold. And she’s always ready to take on her next big thing.

Early this year, that next big thing was publishing her first book, Hearsay. In it, she addresses the rumors that have been swirling around her since childhood (that’s her being bold). But she didn’t just write the book; she promoted it like a pro. That’s not such a big deal for traditionally published authors, but is often unseen with self-published authors who don’t have big marketing budgets.

But that’s Ruby. She does everything to do it well.

Keep reading to learn more about how she set a plan to market her book, how she feels about rumors and naysayers, and what she’s planning next.


Dwaynia Wilkerson:

You recently authored a book titled Hearsay, which addresses some of the noise surrounding your personal and professional lives. Why did you feel it was necessary to address those things?

Ruby Davis:

I’ve been told for years that I should write a book. I honestly didn’t think I had a story to share. As a young, single parent I was the topic of many rumors and gossip because I was young, having a child, and unmarried. I heard so many rumors about me. I heard whispers saying that I’d ruined my life and that I was only a child having a child. Having my daughter as teenage parent really motivated me to stay focused on my goals because I didn’t want to let my daughter down.

My daughter’s upbringing and her exposure were my priorities. I spent my life in the trenches. My daily hustle and bustle were all I knew. I didn’t realize I was doing anything outside of the norm. I kept my head down, set goals, and accomplished them. I had a huge support system, which made every goal achievable. It was very humbling to learn that people were inspired by my hard work and daily grind. At that point, I decided it was necessary to share my story because it could actually help someone.

I always say, “God has a sense of humor.” It’s funny now because some of those same naysayers are in my corner today. Some of the naysayers come to me for guidance and others have become clients. They all seem to be proud and they even refer other clients to me. I’ve learned through my journey in life that what others may do to cause you harm, God will use it all for your benefit.

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DW:

What is the biggest misconception people have about you? Do you even care what people think?

RD:

The biggest misconception comes from me becoming an attorney. Once I became an attorney, people assumed I had a certain type of life and becoming an attorney came easy for me. When they learn of the obstacles I faced as a young parent and how through my faith I was able to beat the odds, people seem to embrace me more because they find me relatable.

As bad as I want to say I don’t care about what people think of me, I can’t. There was a time when I didn’t care, but as a self-employed entrepreneur who serves the pubic, my clients and potential clients’ perception of me determines whether or not they choose to hire me. I’ve become very conscious of what people think of my law firm and me.

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DW:

Let’s go back to the book. You have truly treated your book like a brand, which we don’t often see among self-published authors. Did you put much thought into the marketing and promotion of your book or did things just evolve naturally?

RD:

Ha! AGAIN: As a self-employed, entrepreneur that serves the public, you have to be very intentional and put thought into everything that you do. I’ve learned that if you don’t put what you do in front of people, they won’t know that you exist and your business or product will not be successful.

Before I released my book, I made a six-month schedule of events to market it. For example, I wanted at least one book signing a month and I wanted to host a monthly book club brunch.

My work schedule took off and I’m not able to do all that I planned for the book, but I make certain that each month I promote and market so that people know it’s available.

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DW:

Do you have a sales goal for the book?

RD:

I do! My goal is to sell 1,000 books by the end of this year and I’m just about there.

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DW:

What has been most difficult about marketing & promotion?

RD:

It has been fun marketing and promoting the book, but I find it very difficult to get into the book club market. I’ve been successful with two book clubs selecting my book, but I want to market more towards a book club environment to promote dialogue about the book.

With social media, any business or product can gain a platform and exposure for free. What I enjoy most about promoting the book is the social media connections I’ve made.

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DW:

What has been your favorite type of event to host and why?

RD:

I hosted a Hearsay Book Club Brunch, “Coffee & Confessions”. It was by far the most impactful conversation around the book. I read excerpts from the book to provoke open dialogue and the women really opened up. We even had two men to register for the event. The event was therapeutic and we all felt a release. We laughed, we cried, but most importantly, we healed. We were able to heal from one another’s personal experiences just by being in the room and being open to share or confess past hurts and secrets that sometimes weigh us down.

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DW:

You’re a personal injury attorney in Birmingham, AL. How have you been able to balance your workload with consistent book signings and events?

RD:

Work-life balance is vital. I intentionally schedule the book signings around my court calendar. My book events are typically during the evenings and on the weekend. It gives people a chance to show support after normal business hours.

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DW:

In your book you talk about being a teenaged mother and how you were determined to give your daughter a better life. Do you feel satisfied with how life has gone for you both?

RD:

I am beyond satisfied! Once again, God has showed out for my daughter and me. People often ask if I ever imagined my life the way that it is now, and I laugh! My daughter recently graduated from Tuskegee University and is building her new life is Washington, DC. I couldn’t be prouder of the independent, self-starter woman she has become. We often joke about where we are and how far we’ve come and we both know it was nothing but God.

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DW: You seem like the type of person who is always up for another challenge. What’s next?

RD:

Ha! I’ve been asked that a lot lately! Believe it or not, I’ve been approached about turning my book into a stage play. The idea shook me! It took me three weeks to return the call. The toughest thing I’ve ever done was share my story with the world. The idea of seeing my story on stage is beyond my imagination. God is always up to something…stay tuned!

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DW:

One last thing – can you give us three tips we can share with other self-published authors that might help them with book sales?

RD:

Tip#1: Plan monthly events to showcase your book.

Tip#2: Always promote your book through social media.

Tip#3: You are your brand. EVERYTHING you do MATTERS.

Want to keep up with Ruby? You can visit her website here or follow her on Instagram here.

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About Dwaynia Wilkerson

Dwaynia is the owner of Prose & Pens, a ghostwriting service that creates written content for professionals, businesses, and brands.

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