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Booklet Tips From Paulette

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

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Places to send free press releases

Thanks to Dan Poynter of www.parapub.com for the following list that was in his newsletter today. Thought you might find it useful. NEWS RELEASE DISTRIBUTION. Free places that you can submit a press release.
http://www.i-newswire.com/submit_free.php http://www.pr.com/ http://press.arrivenet.com/

Until next time,

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Your Own Advice

You're a personal or business coach, a consultant, a speaker, a parent, a friend, a partner, some flavor of human being. If you're like me, you're rarely at a loss when it comes to advice for another person's life. Every so often, I catch myself in the middle of one of those moments, the moments where I notice myself in a thought pattern about something in my business similar to what I've heard from my clients. Of course you understand I have no problem with suggestions for the client. It's great fun to turn the tables on myself though.

I've been writing a new teaching product recently. Periodically I've gotten stuck in what to say next or how to say something or other challenges that can be part of the writing process. Today I was looking at a teaching product someone had sent me, and I started getting concerned about what looked like an overlap in my vision of my own product. In the middle of my thought, I quickly realized a few things. First, the content overlap was minimal. Second, my vision for the visual presentation and packaging of my product is totally different. Third, my approach is one inch wide and two miles deep, rather than the reverse of that which is what I was seeing.

Bottom line (which is a place I always love), do my product anyway, no matter what. The world is huge. There are lots of people who will benefit from my product as well as the other person's, and just get on with it.

Ah, I feel so much better now.

Until next time,

Monday, August 22, 2005


Imagine an order for three million copies of your tips booklet. Having trouble with that image? Let's look at where the disconnect is for you about that picture. It might be that you're focusing on selling single copies, one at a time. It could be that you think there is some unattainable magic that happens somewhere in between the number one and the number million. Maybe you believe you don't know what the mechanics are for selling three million copies.

Imagine walking up to a director of marketing of some major corporation and simply said something like 'this booklet will help you sell more of your widgets.' And the director of marketing agreed with you. And the person wanted to know the price and delivery time. Would you need a new oxygen supply to keep you breathing or would you know what to do?

Connecting the dots between imagining and making it so consists of educating yourself on who it is that's a likely candidate, realizing what the production steps are, researching your costs so you can effectively price the product, and putting yourself into the position of having conversations with people who want what you've got. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?

What are you imagining and what do you want to do about it?

One major piece of education is found in "How to Promote Your Business with Booklets" in the Products section of http://www.tipsbooklets.com Or phone me and we'll talk about it.

Until next time,

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Public Broadcasting Model for Booklets

During their prime fundraising periods, Public Broadcasting radio and television (PBS) offer things like a hard cover book for a $100 donation, and a hard cover book plus some audio CDs or DVDs for a $200 donation and so forth.

You know and I know that the same hard cover book at a bookstore does not have a $100 price tag on it. There is a tax-deductible donation involved here with the person who paid the $100 or $200.

What does this have to do with booklets? It's been discussed in numerous venues about approaching non-profits and religious organizations to use a similar model. Sell copies of your booklet to these groups, at whatever your regular wholesale price would be. The organization then offers it out to their constituents with a slight twist on the PBS model. The offer is something like 'anything over $x is a tax-deductible donation to our general funds.' Churches, synagogues, and other non-profits have made substantial money as a result of such an offer.

Look around to see what inroads you already have in your community for your booklet(s). You help them and help your own interests all at the same time.

Until next time,

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Why Not Retail?

Anyone who has been around my work for even a short period of time notices I don't go anywhere near retail situations when it comes to selling booklets or teaching others about selling booklets. Well, let's put it this way, I don't advocate selling booklets to retail stores for the booklets to be resold.

"Why?" you ask? There's often little booklets right near the cash register at grocery supermarkets or pharmacies or bookstores or gift shops.

Well, my answer is quite simple, and it contains a couple of parts. The sale of your booklets to a retail store will be a small sale when it is with the intention of reselling them. So that's the first reason. How many booklets do you ever see in those point-of-purchase displays? Not that many of any particular title. Plus the stores purchase from distributors who have a large list of titles to sell.

The second reason is the common business model of being able to return unsold copies back to you. I don't know about you but I like my sales to be one way not round trip. When I make the sale, I don't want to see that product coming back around to me. It's also quite common that the returned copies are in unsaleable condition. Not my idea of a good time by any definition, much less is it a great way to do business.

A better way to go when you think there's a match for you and a retail store is to talk with the store's buyer about purchasing a large quantity of your booklets for them to use as a promotional tool. It'll bring the store much more income than if they merely re-sold the booklets, you make a larger sale, and the sale has no possibilities of returned copies. The store can offer your booklet as a free gift to the first 'x' number of people who come to the store on an otherwise slow day of the week as a way to increase the store's traffic and ultimately their sales. Or it can be as a free gift to those purchasing above a certain dollar amount, or when someone opens an account, or buys a certain product. All of these ways and more are much more lucrative ways of using a booklet in a retail environment.

By the way, I've sold over a million copies of my own tips booklet, without ever spending a penny on advertising or having an ISBN number or bar code on it or selling a single copy in a retail store.

Until next time,

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

About Books That Also Works for Booklets

Thanks to one of our booklet authors, Peg Kelley, (www.facplus.com) , I share the following with you that was posted on someone else's blog, at http://www.reveries.com It makes for an interesting read and pushes those blinders open a bit more.

The Big Moo. "Our goal is to sell a million copies before the end of the year and to raise millions for three worthy charities," blogs Seth Godin, explaining his hopes for "The Big Moo," a new book which he co-authored with Tom Peters, Malcolm Gladwell, Guy Kawasaki and 29 other "big thinkers," known collectively as The Group of 33 (and that inexplicably includes some guy named Tim Manners). "Our bigger goal," Seth continues, "is to transform thousands of organizations: corporations, non-profits, community groups, whatever." Accomplishing that bigger goal, says Seth, requires finding a way to get "organizations to buy the book by the truckload," because "when a group buys 100 or 1,000 copies of a book, it gets talked about."Seth's strategy to make a million-seller out of "The Big Moo," is, of course, classic Godin: "For the first time that I'm aware of," Seth writes, "we're selling galleys to a book. The galley is the very expensive pre-publication, version of a hardcover book created to give reviewers a chance to read the book before everyone else." An "advance uncorrected proof," galleys are printed in soft-cover and are strictly "not for sale." Except this time: Seth persuaded the book's publisher, Portfolio, "to print 10,000 galleys, a huge number. And we're selling them at cost ($2 a copy)," he says. The catch is, Seth "only wants to sell the galleys (in sets of 50) to people who will give them to people who will buy a lot of copies of the $15 hardcover."In other words, Seth only wants to sell each "50-pack of galleys to people who will turn around and give galleys to people in organizations with the will and the ability to pre-order a hundred or more copies of the final hardcover." In other-other words: "Please don't order a set unless you know the right sneezers/connectors/influencers." But if you do, you can order a set of galleys here: http://www.sethgodin.com/bigmoo (assuming they are not sold out by the time you get there). Of course, if the galleys aren't for you, you can "pre-order the hardcover from various sites, see the bios of the co-authors and read about our charities. (Did I mention that Hugh McLeod is doing the illustrations?). And, again, "100 percent of royalties go to charity. "The Big Moo" won't hit the mainstream until October 20th.Historian v. Traveler. The relative fortunes of two best-selling novels by previously unknown authors illustrates "how relatively small differences" can give one book a big edge over another, reports Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg in The Wall Street Journal (8/15/05). The two novels in question, The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova and The Traveler, by John Twelve Hawks, were both thought to have blockbuster potential. It wasn't that either "was expected to be hailed as a literary masterpiece," but their respective "publishers thought they had major potential to reach mainstream readers in the tradition of authors Anne Rice and Michael Crichton. And that of course means "the power to spawn sequels, movies and other spinoffs." Both books got good reviews, but a funny thing happened on the way to Hollywood.

What do YOU think?
Until next time,

Monday, August 15, 2005

Minimums, maximums, and everything in between

What's your policy about the minimum number of booklets you'll sell? I didn't used to have a minimum. I'd sell a single copy to anyone who wanted to buy one. As far as the downloadable version, that is still the case. However, I will rarely sell a single copy of the printed version anymore. It's just simply not worth the time to process the order, and it's often not doing the customer any real service.

If I sense or learn that the potential single-copy buyer is someone who is planning to write their own booklet, yes, they have a model of what one finished booklet looks like. That's true. They don't have examples of others, or, more importantly, how to navigate through the production process, or how to sell the booklets once theirs is completed. So what real service have I provided that customer? They would get a copy of the booklet included when they buy a manual or home study course from me anyway, along with all the information they really need to be successful in what they plan to do.

Secondly, if I sense or learn that the potential single-copy buyer is looking for a sample with an expectation of making a large-quantity order, I'd sooner send them a PDF by email for them to see what the content is. They are usually quite satisfied with that, too. Once in a rare while, yes, someone wants to see a hard copy, and I'll put that in an envelope and mail it off to them. I'm not about to be a total stinker about that and shoot myself right in the foot.

Lately, I've been headed in the direction of a 100-copy minimum order. Even that is small for lots of places. It's worth it to me to fill a 100-copy order though. 10 or fewer of those orders go right through a 1,000-piece carton quite easily and effortlessly.

One of the greatest things about being in one's own business is the ability to make decisions, change your mind, and make new decisions.

How about you? What business policies don't seem to serve you anymore that you just haven't gotten around to changing yet?

Until next time,

Friday, August 12, 2005

Simple reminder of one word that brings big results

This is going to sound like it's straight out of any motivational book you've ever read or motivational seminar you've ever attended. I"m very sure of it. I'm going to do it anyway because I've been reminded today of what a huge difference this one word makes. Ready?


Yup, that's the word. You have brilliant ideas. I have brilliant ideas. Just about anyone who is breathing has brilliant ideas. And it comes down to a big 'so what,' doesn't it? Why have I sold a over a million booklets and many of my authors have not? I took action, in the face of all kinds of things that easily could have dissuaded me.

Simple, yet not always easy.

It's very simple. Like the Nike tag line has said 'Just do it.' You and I both know the mind chatter can bring reasons why not to do something. It can take a lot to quiet that chatter.

Back to those ideas again. Look at one idea you've had. I don't care which idea it is, how great you think it is (or not), or any other story you care to tell about it. Take that one idea and do it. It probably moved you forward in your business in some way.

Do you think I sold over a million copies of my booklet all at one time? In case you're wondering, no, I didn't. That doesn't mean it's impossible. There are certainly organizations that have a large enough universe to warrant a purchase of a million booklets. That just isn't what I've done, at least not so far, anyway. I did take action, many times, to reach that over-a-million mark, you can be very sure of that.

I tell you all of this as much as I tell it to myself. I've recently started writing a new instructional product that will become a manual and entire home study course. It's taken awhile for me to get a new product of any kind in motion. It's now been started. I'm not sure when it'll be done, though I've set myself a daily goal to write a certain number of words. I originally thought I'd have it done by my birthday (September 22 for those of you who love to acknowledge these things -- I do enjoy receiving the good wishes). Now I'm beginning to think it'll be later than that. However, I'm writing something in it every day. I'm taking action. It will be done when it's supposed to be, I'm very sure of that.

How about you? What action are you taking?

Until next time,

Monday, August 08, 2005

Teleclass on Tuesday - August 9, 2005

Ever been to one of my teleclasses on the telephone? Or has it been a long time since you've been to one/some? They're very different than most people's teleclasses. How? Well, come find out for yourself.

Treat yourself to this week's session on Tuesday, August 9 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time. I'm doing a joint venture with Suzanne Falter-Barnes. The title of the session is How to Build Your Platform with Tips Booklets. You can register for it at my website, http://www.tipsbooklets.com/teleclasses

Until next time,

Friday, August 05, 2005

Easily Expand a Generic Booklet

"103 Ways to Have a Fit Body" - Let's say that's the title of a booklet. Seems pretty straightforward, doesn't it? And you've sold it to every fitness center in every country in the English speaking world. And you're not ready to record it or expand the product line with other products. Then what do you do?

One of the quickest things is to expand it by markets. Use the model that the Chicken Soup guys, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanson did. "103 Ways to Have a Fit Body as a Mom," "103 Ways to Have a Fit Body as a Baby Boomer," "103 Ways to Have a Fit Body as an Executive," "103 Ways to Have a Fit Body as an Entrepreneur," and so forth. It will take you a long time to run out of different markets, while your sales skyrocket. Don't worry if you don't know tips that are best suited for a different market. Other people do. Ask them.

Until next time,

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Painless Ways for Associations to Fundraise with Booklet Anthologies

A booklet anthology is a one created cooperatively by a group of people each contributing tips to a single manuscript. The manuscript is organized by appropriate section headings. Each contributor receives attribution for their tips, including their business identification when applicable.

In a member association, there's many ways for the association as well as its members to make mission-related revenue from the sale of the booklet anthology. This can be done without adding an entire new department to the association or a huge new set of responsibilities for any current (or future) association staff member.

An idea that seems most obvious is to sell single copies of the booklet whenever and wherever possible -- at the association's website, at any events, and through whatever advertising and promotional activities that are already part of the overall association's plan. The single copies are sold most often at a stated price. In some places, organizations position the booklet as a fundraiser, stating a minimum price for it, while inviting people to pay whatever they'd like above that price as a contribution to the association. This, of course, is governed by the prevailing charitable contributions laws.

The next idea that can also be obvious is to offer a discounted sale price to those people who contributed tips to the booklet. After all, they have a vested interest in distributing those booklets, either as a give-away or as a product to sell through their own company. In some cases, the tips authors have no other products currently in their business or have none at that end of their pricing structure or in that particular format. The authors are both a ready market and a sales team all wrapped into one.

The third place to look is to any current or potential sponsoring companies of the association. The tips booklet is the perfect promotional vehicle for many companies. The topic of the tips booklet anthology is aligned with the interests of those sponsoring companies. The price of booklets is also usually less than other sponsorship opportunities available within an association, allowing some sponsors to pay less to play, and reap good rewards in the process. It is also highly possible that a very large sponsoring company wants to make a very large purchase of the booklet, allowing money to basically and happily fall into the lap of the association. Sales to multiple sponsoring companies is also possible, especially when the companies are not direct competitors.

The second and third ways (above) of selling tips booklet anthologies are often untapped and not considered when thinking about how booklets can be a sizeable mission-related, non-dues source of revenue.

Look at your own associations to explore doing a booklet anthology and bringing new revenue to your group and to your own business. Contact me to learn more about how easy this is to do, with basically no work at all for the tips contributors!!

Curious? Then let's talk.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

How Long It Takes to Write a Booklet - and then what.

I had a conversation yesterday with someone who promotes the idea that a booklet can be written in a day. Actually, I'm not convinced it was really a conversation. It may have been two parallel monologues. You've had those with people, haven't you?

And yes, of course it's true that literally, a booklet CAN be written in a day. How complete it is, how thoughtful it is, how representative of a person's expertise it is -- well, I think all of that is up for debate.

Then we moved on in this parallel monologue situation to the idea of ok, let's say a booklet is written in a day. Then what? What about producing it so it looks like something? And then once it's produced, where does selling get handled?

Well, this same person is not big on utilizing the services of a graphic designer and prefers to get the booklets printed from a Word document. Ok, I'm not a graphic designer and I don't play one on TV. Even so, I am well aware that the difference is like night and day with even the most simple design and layout done by someone who knows their way around a desktop publishing software package like a graphic designer does.

Back to the parallel monologues -- The Word document gets printed, 1,000 booklets get delivered from the printer, and THEN what? Well, we THEN talk about marketing and selling booklets. I sighed. The output looks unnecessarily amateurish, and many buyers are stopped in their tracks right then and there. Besides, many booklet authors love to write and write and write and never have to concern themselves (yourself?) with selling.

I thought back on the experiences of delivering some full day workshops in the past couple years, where 75% of the day was focused on marketing and it still wasn't enough. How well is this other person serving anyone's best interests?

By now I'm sure you've gathered what my opinion is on the matter. And I promise this is far from sour grapes of any kind on my part. As the saying goes, it's a big world out there, and big enough for everyone to do their own thing. Yes, you can write a booklet in one day. It's only part of the deal though. Take whatever time you need, and do it in a way you feel good about doing. It's not necessary for it to take lots of money or time. There are ways to put out a good product without robbing any bank to do it.

Until next time,
Paulette - who believes in spending money and time when and as appropriate