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Booklet Tips From Paulette

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

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Answer Correctly and Get a Free Copy

You may have noticed yesterday's post on this blog. I offered a free copy of the 80+ page digital version of Booklet Tips from Paulette - Secrets, Strategies, and Resources Volume 1 to anyone who correctly answers a question I'm about to ask below.

You must email me your answer no later than this Friday, May 12, by 5:00 PM Pacific time in order to receive your gift. No late submissions will be accepted, no matter how good an excuse you provide. Please, one entry per person.

Here's the question:

What do I consistently call a booklet that is comprised of multiple yet related topics? I refer to it this way in all my written materials, teleclasses, workshops, and consulting. There is only one correct answer, no matter how logical you think others may be.

a) A collectible booklet
b) A sampler booklet
c) An anthology booklet
d) All of the above
e) None of the above

You must email me your answer, to Paulette@tipsbooklets.com by this Friday, May 12, by 5:00 PM Pacific Time in order to qualify. Everyone who meets that time frame with the correct answer will receive a copy of Booklet Tips from Paulette - Secrets, Strategies, and Resources Volume 1. Please only one entry per person.

Until next time,

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Get a Free Copy This Week

Would you like a free copy of the recently-launched 80+ page book, Booklet Tips from Paulette - Secrets, Strategie, and Resources?

You can win the digital version. (value $37, though actually priceless http://tipsbooklets.com/new/index.php?p=338 )

All you'll need to do is email me the correct answer to a simple question that will be asked on this blog before this week is over. Everyone with the correct answer will receive a copy. You will have to answer the question correctly by Friday, May 12, at 5:00 PM Pacific time in order to get your copy. One minute after that and, well, you snooze you lose.

Here's a quick clue for you: The question will have something to do with what I call a booklet that has multiple topics in one booklet.

Until next time,

Friday, May 05, 2006

Why Don't You Know What I Didn't Tell You? - The All-Important Second Sentence

You may be familiar with the writing formula I advise for writing tips. It's one sentence starting with a positive verb, followed by no more than two sentences explaining 'why' or 'how.' I cannot tell you the number of booklet manuscripts I see that include a number of one-sentence tips scattered throughout the document.

Think about when you were first approaching some new topic in your life. There were lots and lots of holes in your knowledge. Things you now know as common sense took time to learn. THAT is the purpose of the second sentence. It is an explanation to people new to your knowledge about why you are suggesting what you are suggesting, and a little about how to accomplish it.

Makes a lot of sense now that you think of it that way, doesn't it?

Until next time,

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Booklet Content - Original, Public Domain, or Someone Else's

You're probably like me, in that you hear and read lots of things about your topics of interest. When it comes to writing a booklet, it can be a challenge to know what you got from where. Was it something that you read or heard from someone else? Was it a notion you formulated all on your own? Was it a combination of things internal and external.

Now I am not an intellectual property lawyer, nor do I play one on television. I know there's not an original thought in my own booklet (now more than a million copies sold) and I know I have not stepped on anyone else's copyrighted materials. There are specifications about copyright law, which you can find at the Library of Congress Office of Copyright. Do a Google search to find their site. It's more information than you probably ever wanted to know in this or any other lifetime about rules governing copyright.

The short answer I give people about this is to stay away from anything that has a registration of service mark or trademark, for starters. And stay away from an acronym that someone has developed and has been associated with them consistently for a period of time. One example of this is as follows: one of the earliest Professional Organizers in the industry is a woman named Syephanie Winston. You may have heard of her. She created an acronym many years ago that described her approach to the only four things you could do with paper. The acronym was TRAF, which stood for Toss, Refer, Act, or File. If anyone uses that acronym and does not attribute it to Stephanie, she will have every right to legally come after you for copyright infringment.

Otherwise, use common sense and information in the public domain, things which are so basic that you cannot get yourself into any trouble in the process. And give a shot at what's on the US Copyright Office's site if you want some ironclad reference.

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Asking Your Customers to Be Your Focus Group

There's a particular article directory where I've posted some articles I've written in the past few years. Writing articles and posting them to such directories is an excellent and easy way to market your business and your booklets, especially when you can excerpt your own booklet into an article ("13 Ways to... -- straight out of your own booklet).

Now there are probably thousands of these article directories online these days. However one, in particular, is distinguishing themselves from among the rest. That directory is www.EzineArticles.com owned by Christopher Knight. They distinguish themselves in quite a number of ways, as far as the services they provide.

Yesterday they did it again. They distinguished themselves one more time. They scheduled a Town Hall meeting on the telephone as a conference call. I have no clue how many of their article authors they invited to attend the event. All I know is that I was one of them. They scheduled it for two hours, and even though I was interested in attending, I didn't think two hours giving them input on their business would be the best use of my time. How wrong I was.

As it turned out, I stayed to the very last moment, every split second of the two hours. Yes, I had a couple of suggestions to offer, but that was not the brilliance in all of this, at least not for me. What I quickly realized was how much there was to learn through the prepared questions asked by the owners of www.EzineArticles.com and the other people on the call. I'm guessing there may have been a couple dozen of us.

There were hugely valuable features on the website I had never noticed or known about. There were ways to use articles that I had never considered. There were people on the call outside my regular circle of colleagues, as well as some names I recognized. And the people at www.EzineArticles.com did valuable market research in ways that couldn't otherwise accomplished, for much less than other methods would have cost in time or money.

The entire experience inspired me on various levels. It reminded me to utilize tools that are right under my nose, to go about it in ways that work, and to remember there is always learning that's available in every experience in life. This was so much easier to gather information from constituents than by sending out an email survey, and it allowed for on-the-spot clarification of all the people involved.

I am going to schedule one of these open town hall meetings on the phone in a couple of weeks and see what ideas and information turns up. There's no doubt in my mind that it can be nothing but good coming from it. What about you for your own business?

And by the way, post some of your own articles at www.EzineArticles.com as soon as you can. Costs nothing and they get results. The stats for my website traffic always show visitors to my site coming from www.EzineArticles.com

Until next time,

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I'm Saving Up to Do a Print Run of My Booklet

Have you found yourself in that mindset? If so, there is only one way to go as far as I'm concerned. And, even if you're not of that mindset, the same advice holds true. It is this:

License your booklet and its contents from a PDF file that's been formatted by a graphic designer. Your licensing deals can be much larger and your financial output much smaller. Not exactly rocket science here, is it?

Need more guidance on this? We've got it for you. Start with an hour of my time and then, as fast as you can, get the licensing package from the home study kit section of the website.

Until next time,

Monday, May 01, 2006

Return Policy Vital in the Booklet Business

Chatting with some booklet author clients today, I was reminded of the matter of having a return policy on booklet orders. Years ago, I used to have a money-back guarantee on my products. That meant home study courses and booklets and audio CDs (it was tapes in those days) and manuals. Many people in the US, especially within the publishing industry in the US, expect returns to be part of life. Sounds a bit crazy to me, and it always has.

Now I am also eager to always do the right thing by my customers, to the extent that it's possible. What that means is sometimes there is just no satisfying some people, no matter what.

Back to the return policy. I started noticing that some people wanted to 'kick the tires,' and were not really serious buyers at all. Then there were other people who, when they hadn't managed their cash flow as well as they would have liked, came to see if they could collect back what they had paid for something from my business to hold them over with their money requirements.

Ultimately I instituted the policy of company-credit-only. That includes all products and services. We will issue a company credit toward the purchase of any other product or service. Obviously I will do whatever is possible to correct a situation like damaged goods or some misunderstanding that happened due to my faulty communication in some way. However, money goes in one direction only, which, as harsh as it may sound, is not back to the customer.

The longer I'm in business, the more I hear of this policy being adopted by many companies, especially small businesses. As long as there is clarity about what the policy is, and it is announced (which is the case at www.tipsbooklets.com ), then the situation has been addressed. An international publishing rights consultant was mentioning recently that many countries around the world do not have a return policy in publishing that has become so much a part of traditional publishing in the United States. Interesting difference in cultures, isn't it?

It comes under the heading of 'you don't have to like what I say as much as know what it is I'm saying.' Clear communication rules all!

Until next time,