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Booklet Tips From Paulette

Writing, producing, and promoting tips booklets for marketing, motivating, and making money.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Another Product Under Your Nose

Do you have a glossary of terms that are unique to your area of expertise? I worked with a client this week who has dozens and dozens of such words in a glossary right on their website.With permission from the client, I share with you the specific site in question. It's http://www.thecapitol.net/glossary/

I suggested they consider creating a set of cards, like the old flash cards (though maybe not too big) as a new product. In fact, I suggested they have enough words to do several different card decks. Put the word from the glossary on one side of the card, and put the definition on the other side. It's an ideal product for people who learn best by physically getting involved with the learning tool. And it's not an expensive item to produce, unless you decide to use custom ink colors, some customized paper of non-standard size, and do some extraordinary graphic design work on them. It's an easy addition to your product line. Talk to me when you want more details about this or any product development from a single source.

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Internet Retailer Top 400 Retail Web Sites - Your Booklet

I often suggest that people consider approaching large websites to license to those sites the non-exclusive right to use their booklet as a PDF as an incentive to visit the site or buy from the site. The model is 'get a free booklet about XYZ as our gift to you for visiting our site/buying from our site.'

The licensing deal is 100% profit for the author, and no production costs for anyone.

Before looking long and hard for large sites, here's a link to the top 400 retail sites from an ezine called Internet Retailer. They've got the list on their site, at no cost, plus they've got an expanded report on each of the 400 companies for a reasonable price. I have no financial gain in passing this along to you.

It costs you nothing but some time to find the right person (online) send an email of inquiry and create a licensing deal. No assemly required. And this also probably gets you thinking about some of the other millions of sites out there that are not retail and that would also be candidates for such an approach.

Until next time,

Monday, July 25, 2005

Perspective - Variation on Glass Half Full

Over the weekend, My Magnificent Other and I were revisiting the topic of housing here in San Diego, specifically our own personal housing. Though we've each lived in apartments (including right now together) we both come from places in the country and in our lives where we lived in and owned houses. Housing in San Diego is very costly, among the highest in the United States, and takes some creativity for many people to be homeowners, us included. We'd like to live in a house again -- me primarily so I can do vegetable gardening and take down walls as desired, and him primarily so he can have a workshop for doing woodworking.

However, we also really love living two miles from some wonderful beaches in a climate where 80 degrees feels hot and 60 degrees feels cold, year round, and where snow is kept where it belongs -- in the mountains. Our apartment is about 1,000 square feet and is really quite comfortable. Are their drawbacks? Sure. On balance, it's quite fine.

Where is all this leading, you may ask? Perspective, that's where. I mentioned to Bob (My Magnificent Other) that if our apartment was, instead, a recreational vehicle, we'd think it was a huge amount of space. From the look on his face, I knew I'd reframed this in a way he had never considered in my fleeting moment of brilliance.

At different times, we each relocated to California during some very great individual personal challenges. At those times, it seemed like a huge accomplishment. Now that we've had lots of adjustment time, we want more. It became easy to lose perspective on what we've got.

Alert: Prepare for an abrupt yet meaningful transition here.

Books - many people who come to me have yet to write a full-length book, think they want to, don't get it started, and hold it as the only worthwhile writing goal to have. They come to me to write a booklet as a second choice, for whatever reason, very rarely with the most remote notion they can make a difference in other people's lives or their own checking accounts with a booklet. The booklet is nothing to apologize for, any more than our living in an apartment two miles from the beach in moderate year-round climate is anything to apologize for. Selling over a million copies of my own booklet, worldwide, without spending a penny on advertising or ever getting an ISBN number for it is nothing to sneeze at.

It's not the biggest, best, first, most unique publication out there. And so what? Our home is not the biggest, best, most incredible, or any other superlative either. However, we live in San Diego, and most people reading this don't and want to!

If our 1000 square foot apartment was a recreational vehicle, it would be huge. If the same 1000 square feet was a house, it would be small. Could I still have a thriving business regardless? You can be sure of that. Is a 16 page booklet the conduit for a thriving business, without ever writing a complete book? Well, it has been so far, for the past 14 years.

'Hope this gets you thinking about how a shift in perspective could be useful to you.

Until next time,

Friday, July 22, 2005

Fabulous Writing Tool

Here's a must-have. It's an excellent and easy writing tool. Download it immediately at http://fightthebull.com

We have one of our very own booklet authors, Barbara Morris, to thank for sharing this discovery. Barbara's site, by the way, is http://www.PutOldOnHold.com (which you've GOT to go see for yourself).

http://Fightthebull.com is right in line with what I am forever advising about using a succinct writing style. Thanks, Barbara!

Until next time,

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Selling to Boomers

I saw this article today in an issue of TheMatureMarket.com ezine. I share it with you because much of what the author says has value when doing booklets, any derivative products from your booklets, and the promotional copy your create for your products. The boomers of the world (of which I am proudly one) are a large and growing part of the current population. Your business will thrive by taking into account the information below. This article has been reprinted in its entirety to maintain the integrity of the piece. I do not know the author, however I agree with all of what she says. You'll find her complete contact information at the end of the article.

Until next time,

10 Tips for Packaging That Sells Products to Boomers

Boomers are a prime and growing target audience. Does your product speak to them? Does your product's packaging compel them to buy it? If not, you are missing a very important market segment.

According to Rick Adler, founder of The Senior Network: "Simply based on population growth trends, if a product is marketed to the 50-plus audience and maintains its market share, it should increase in sales by 35 to 50 percent in the next 20 years. Conversely, a brand targeted at the zero to 50 age groups will be flat in sales."


1. Don't associate boomers or over those older than 50 generation with being old. Boomers view themselves as younger than they are (typically by 20 years). Whether you use the word, "boomer," "senior, "over 50," or "aging," this group doesn't want to be referred to as old. Avoid using the "over the hill" context. Use words that are not considered negative. Gone are the days of over 50 being considered close to the end of life. You're not old. You are in the prime of your life.

In surveying my audience I asked what name they preferred to be used as a reference. The 50+ age range prefers to be called: · mature · boomer · older · senior · golden

2. Make it easy to use. Emphasize convenience or ease-of-use. Boomers are busy people--making their lives easier or more simplified is important. They like to spend time on activities like cooking. They just don't want to spend a lot of time getting things together to do it.

3. Make it easy to read. How important is the label's readability?
70% Very Important
8% Somewhat important
4% Not at all important

"We are not illiterates. Just make sure we can see what we are buying." They size of type and the readability of packaging was the #1 packaging problem issue cited by the over the 50 crowd. Even with glasses many times theproduct labels are difficult to read. Make no mistake; Boomers will be reading it to make an informed decision

4. Keep the product secure. By product security I mean that there is no evidence of tampering or indication that the product has been opened in any way. This is going to be a huge issue in the future. With the advent, of 9/11 food security has become paramount. How important is product security/integrity?
72% Very Important
18% Somewhat important
2% Not at all important

5. Create relevance. Use role models or visuals that represent the audience. Having a 20 year old touting the latest benefits means nothing. Conversely, having a 50+ year old speaking to her daughter or granddaughter creates relevance.

6. Don't use celebrity endorsement. Do celebrity endorsements influence your purchasing decision?
2% Yes 98% No
Wow. Think of all the wasted money.
Do endorsements from a senior organization such as AARP influence your purchasing decision? 14% No 86% Yes

So the bottom line is don't use celebrities. Think of all the money you will save. Do use AARP and similar organizations to tout the product.

7. Make it easy to open. Does ease of opening influence your decision?4
8% Yes 54% No
Ease of opening was considered a problem after they tried to open the package. Unfortunately, many of the reasons a package is difficult to open is because of external influences, tamper evident, theft, counterfeiting and product integrity.

8. Keep it simple. The same features that make packages kid-friendly should make it easier for many adults to utilize. What they want you to know about the package:
Make it easy to handle.
Use color coding to differentiate products in a family.
Need easy opening packages.

9. Use language that connects with boomers. In most cases, they are educated, literate and informed. Communicate with them as such. Hip hop and other "in "style messages create a negative image rather than a positive one.

10. Forget about age. Does age matter? How important is the designation that the product is for those older than 50?
14% Very Important
16% Somewhat important
60% Not at all important

So don't categorize the product is one created for those over 50.

However you reach out and connect with boomers through product packaging, it's important to visualize this market as vital, active people. Eliminate the old stereotypes that we grew up with of people over the age of 50. Create significance by using images of people who realize they have the best years of their lives ahead of them.

To order the full report return the word "Boomer" via email to
JoAnn R Hines (packagingdiva@aol.com)Packaging Diva
Women in Packaging, Inc.
4290 Bells Ferry Road Kennesaw, GA 30144
Phone : 678-594-6872

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Say It Differently

Do you know there's three primary learning styles represented among the general population? People learn either by what they see, what they hear, or what they physically touch. There's overlap in that you can learn mostly by seeing things yet also from hearing.

'Hearing,' you say? And what's that got to do with booklets anyway?

It means that once you take that tips booklet manuscript and record it as an audio CD, an MP3 audio file, or a WAV audio file, you've now increased the likelihood of your sales to people who prefer learning by listening. Yes, they may find it useful to have a hard copy of your booklet around for reference, but their primary way of learning is from listening.

It means you are listening to what your audience wants when you do that.

And by doing that kind of thing, you are also increasing your own bottom line. People are more inclined to pull out their credit card in their enthusiasm to buy what you've got.

You've got more opportunities to reach the customer base who prefers some interactive way to connect with your content. Put each tip from your booklet onto a card and create a card deck. It's easy to incorporate a single new idea when a card with one tip sits out in view on a desk all week, with another card to be pulled out to focus on for the next week.

Focus on different ways to say the same thing by simply developing your product line to address the main learning styles. You'll see examples of this very thing in my own product line!

Until next time,

Friday, July 15, 2005

Gold Mine of a Resource for the Publishing Industry

Dan Poynter is one of the great names in the self-publishing business. Plus he's a really nice guy on top of that. He has a page (well, it's more like 21 pages!) on his website where he posts the stats, the source and the link to the original site for a huge range of information about the book publishing industry overall. See what his statistics look like at http://www.parapub.com/statistics Oh, and if you're a speaker, Dan has another page on his site with stats that are useful to you as a speaker. Thanks, Dan, on both counts!

From someone who doesn't usually get excited about statistics and did this time,

Thursday, July 14, 2005

How simple is too simple?

It can be easy to forget from where we/you/I came. As I like to frequently say, I didn't come out of my mother knowing everything that I know today. And that goes for any subject, not just the content related to my current career.

Why do I mention this today? I chatted with a client who was confused about some of the production process involved with booklets. The person was unsure about why a graphic designer was necessary if the primary sales efforts would be toward licensing a booklet, and wondered if the graphic designer would be the one to give prices for printing the booklet. Neither line of thinking was on target. Yes, sometimes printing companies do have graphic designers on their staff, that's true. However, it wouldn't be the graphic designer (even when a staff member of a printing company) who would know print prices. And the reason for getting the booklet manuscript designed even when licensing is so the licensing prospect sees your booklet in its best presentation possible.

It was all a sudden flashback for me as I listened to this client, to my earliest days in the booklet business. At that time, I enrolled the help of a dear friend of mine to go with me to talk to printers, since I didn't have Clue One about the questions to ask the printers. Today, 14 years later, I know a lot of the questions to ask. Note -- there's still plenty of questions I don't know to ask and keep learning all along the way, thanks to my clients and my vendors.

How this relates to you as a booklet author is very direct. People come to your content knowing a little of what you know, a lot of what you know, or none of what you know. I'd always encourage you to err on the side of simplification than complexity in how and what you write in your booklet. You can always go back and write an advanced version to add another product to your line, for those people who are ready for your knowledge at a more advanced level. Even when people know some of what you know, you'll lay a more inviting groundwork for them to come back to you to want more when you speak the language at a basic level.

Keeping it simple is a Good Thing.

Until next time,

Monday, July 11, 2005

Does I-95 mean anything to you?

If you live or ever travel along the road called Interstate 95 on the east coast of the United States, you may be interested in the activities of authors of a book called "Drive I-95 Exit by Exit Info, Maps History and Trivia," by Stan Posner and Sandra Phillips-Posner. This next week you can meet them up close and personal. They are also considering doing some booklets from their material in the near future. Here's an email I got from them today:

Dear friends and fellow travelers,

We just wanted to let you know that we will be signing books at rest areas along I-95 in NJ and MD and we'd love it if you or anyone you know would come by and say hello. Feel free to send this to any friend or relative who lives or works near there. Also listed are the morning TV shows that we will be featured on.You can catch some of them online.

Stan Posner and Sandra Phillips-Posner, authors of the best selling of "Drive I-95 Exit by Exit Info, Maps History and Trivia," a new style map-guidebook with easy-to-follow 30-mile pictorial maps will be offering fun tips for the road and signing books.

They will be dressed up as road signs for this event.
When: July 16, 2005
Where: Along I-95 on the New Jersey Turnpike and Maryland service areas on July 16, 2005 - Stops from North to South

900 a.m. to 1000 am – Molly Pitcher, NJ
Noon to 100 pm – Chesapeake House, MD
300 p.m. to 400 pm – Maryland House, MD

“Drive I-95” offers travelers all the exit details (food, gas, motels, radar traps, radio stations, 24-hour mechanics, ATM machines, golf courses, shopping) and delightful stories. And, of course, part of any car trip includes bathroom breaks. It’s one thing to know where a gas station is, but “Drive I-95” includes “The Best Loo Award” given to the New Jersey Turnpike Rest Areas. First, when have your ever seen a vase of fresh flowers in a bathroom? The sink area is well designed, with holes cut in the counters between the sinks to toss your towel right into the garbage pail below. Lavatories have paper seats available to cover the toilet seat, and for safety's sake, the shelf for your purse is situated low down, away from any prying hands and available to you should you need anything in there. And, in the new spirit of germ-less bathroom design, there are no germy door handles to push open and no doors, only a zig zag entranceway. Men's rooms also have a shelf above urinals for your cell phones, etc., and both have piped-in music.

With the help of “Drive I-95” travelers can custom make their journeys with stops at offbeat museums, artsy towns, and/or places for the kids to play. Along the way they can learn about history that crossed the road, Americana trivia (What color were George Washington's eyes and hair?) and inventions that happened along it.

Thursday morning, July 14th - WTXF Fox 29 Good Day Philadelphia, 630-9 am. Time not set
Friday morning, July 15th WJZ CBS Morning Show segment Coffee With... 645 a.m.
Sunday morning, July 17th WBAL NBC News Weekend Morning 710 a.m.

What People are Saying

“If you are one of those millions of travelers who traverse sections of I-95 each year, Drive I-95 is one book you should keep within easy reach.” Mark Sedenquist, Editor RoadTripAmerica.com

“This user-friendly guide offers an impressive collection of road maps, history, and trivia ideal for tourists and travelers.” Midwest Book Review

“Think of ‘Drive I-95’ as an Oreo cookie...All the good stuff is tucked behind the front and back covers.” John Deiner, Washington Post

“You’re on I-95, but what’s off I-95? Stan and Sandra Phillips-Posner to the rescue.” Jan Shepard, The Boston GlobeFor more information visit www.drivei95.com

Your traveling pal,

Friday, July 08, 2005

Yes or No

My day usually includes at least one conversation with someone about the fact they have many more products already within a book or a booklet they have already done than they realize. In fact, it's happening so much now that I'm contemplating how best to serve this increasing phenomenon.

This week I had conversations with two different clients who thought they each had one product and wanted to know how to sell it. Period.

The first was a couple with an ebook of almost 200 pages. They came to me to ask what I knew about search engine optimization so they could have more traffic at their one-product site to sell this one downloadable almost-200-page ebook. I asked them to send me a copy of the book so I could see what we were talking about. Even before I saw it, I knew they were leaving large amounts of money unearned. When they came to me, they were seeking as many single-copy buyers for their downloadable ebook as possible. And the choice they offered the visitors to their site boiled down to "Would you like to buy this ebook or not?" End of story.

I quickly encouraged them to consider buying an hour of my time that came along with the licensing package I created (total investment of $247). We spent an hour on the phone, first telling them of the several DOZEN products I saw from the content they already had in their book, and then sharing with them some of the huge markets that I thought could be ideal for their content in many formats, going for large-volume sales to individual large entities, not single-copy sales to end-users. They started to get excited.

Now the conversation becomes "Which one of these products/formats is our starting place?" rather than "Would you like to buy an ebook or not?"

Oh, and the best part is that we refined it down to a starting place of 6 products beyond their ebook, all of which cost them nothing (yes, literally nothing) to create, any of which could be parlayed into thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars for each sale of each product, and that could be created within a few hours. We went from a "yes or no" answer to a range of possible choices, vastly increasing the likelihood of a sale, and each sale being at least four digits of money.

The same kind of thing happened with another client who was headed for a trade show, thinking her booklet could be saleable there somehow, and not quite sure how. Her situation was a little different. Her product line was already completely developed in addition to her excellent tips booklet. She has a number of audio CDs, a workbook, and a book (and maybe even another product I'm forgetting at the moment).

She had not yet wrapped her brain around the fact that her products could also be sold in large quantity to individual corporations, associations, and publications for any of them to use as a promotional item, a premium, not to be resold. She already had the structure in place for "Which of these is our best starting place?" Her learning came in making the transition from selling single copies, one at a time, to making very large sales, one at a time! She was also set up with a yes-no situation, just on each single product to buy one unit at a time. I can hardly wait to learn about her experiences at this trade show next week after she gets back.

It's such fun to hear and see you make these gigantic leaps, for the lightbulb to go on, to realize how much more is right there in front of you, waiting for you to notice it. Yes, you! I have yet to talk with a booklet or book author who has realized all the possibilities to sell more of what they've got. Why don't you challenge me to see what it is I can help you identify, to go from a yes-no possibility to "Which one of these is our best starting place?"

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

What do YOU think when you see this?

Here's an article from today's issue of an ezine I recently referenced called TravelMole.com What comes to YOUR mind, especially if you have anything related to weddings or newlyweds?
Marriott International, which recently added about 2,000 wedding-event planners to its payroll, is marketing its wedding business with free honeymoons.
The hotel operator says newlyweds who sign a contract for a wedding reception at one of its properties will get enough Marriott Rewards points on the spot to cover the cost of a honeymoon.

A $15,000 reception is enough to earn six nights in most of its high-end hotels. At $20,000, Marriott will pick up the tab for a seven-night Caribbean cruise, a trip on the Orient Express, or a week at one of its Hawaiian resorts.
Marriott, benefiting from the return of both the business and leisure traveler, is expanding the number of properties it operates and the services it provides to capitalize on positive industry trends. The company has forecast profit gains of as much as 22 percent this year and will add as many as 90,000 hotel rooms in the next three years.

Do you see this as a gold-plated invitation for you to contact Marriott? I would!