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Booklet Tips From Paulette

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

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Your International Business

While being a professional organizer for many years, I would tell my colleagues that none of us had a local business even if we never provided service outside our own zip code. They looked at me like I had at least 12 heads.

The same is true for any business, including yours. There is no such thing as a local business. Even if you don't have family or friends anywhere outside of your small fish bowl, your neighbors know people located elsewhere. Someone needs a referral for something. Who do they ask? They ask trusted sources.

Back to the professional organizer for a moment. Let's say someone is moving from New York to San Diego and wants some help getting organized when they arrive and don't know a soul in San Diego. They do, however, know people in New York and ask for referrals. All of a sudden, the San Diego organizer had someone in New York market them to the person moving cross country.

Throw the pebble into the bigger pond and look at the ripples. You sold a copy of your booklet to a client in your same town. That client got on a plane for a business trip to Asia. The person seated next to your client notices the booklet, asks to read it, thinks it's ideal for the company they are going to in Asia, and want to know how could they get 100,000 copies? This is a completely possible scenario.

But you're right. You have a local business. :-)

Until next time,
Paulette -- forever seeing possibilities

Monday, October 30, 2006

Booklet Designs - Path to Instant Insanity

It's always telling to hear and see people's reactions to the range of booklet designs they see during my classes, sales presentations, and at the online ebooklet catalog. There's no getting around the fact (and yes, it's fact) that people respond to what they (we) see, and go from there.

As you can well appreciate, there is an endless path of possibilities. The author (you) have your ideas of how you want the booklet to look. The graphic designer has their own ideas of how they want the booklet to look, which is often different than what you had in mind. And the client has their own ideas of what looks good to them, which could be some of what you or your designer were thinker, or not. Given that terrific trio, it's a wonder there's ever a sale or any agreement at all.

This is, of course, before we even get to the content. What do the words say? How useful is the content and design to the decision maker who is thinking about using the booklet as a promotional tool for their own product or service? You thought the words were the big deal, didn't you? Well they are. However they are not the sole element in determining the usability of your product.

One solution has been to keep the design stark and simple, explaining that it is an easy easel to customize. That makes sense for some people, and it goes right past the understanding and absorption of others. As soon as the design becomes any kind of elaborate or stylized, there is room for conversation about what does and doesn't work about it, hopefully arriving at a successful solution.

The best suggestion to offer remains to err on the side of simplicity and express as well as you can that you can customize the design any way the client would like. Then ask for examples of design elements that appealed to them and the best communication possible to short-circuit the journey to insanity for you, your designers, and your client.

Until next time,
Paulette -- reminded of simplicity often being the best answer

Friday, October 27, 2006

Superb Seasonal Booklet Promo for House Topic

You probably get the no-cost Google Alerts like I do, set to send me anything related to tips booklets that reaches the media. Today brought notice of one of our own booklet authors who did an excellent tie-in with the Halloween season and home renovations. See for yourself.


Until next time,
Paulette -- enjoying the creative clients' minds

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Doing Business on the Road

Though no one will ever confuse me for a techno-wizard, that does not preclude a fine appreciation for that which makes it easier and better to do good business. Here's something that came in on a publishing discussion group that could be of interest to you.

I just discovered last night that PayPal now lets you send and receive
payment through your phone. A simple activation done online - if you
have participating phone services in Canada, US, and England - means
you can send payment through a text message to your mobile phone or
voice mail through PayPal's 800 number. As I'm going on tour for a year
this appeals to me - I won't always
have Internet access and will want to
sell books along the way. I could
strike up a conversation anywhere, sell
a book and do the transaction
on the spot.
Until next time,
Paulette -- who may eventually have to get a cell phone

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What's the Price?

How many booklet copies do you want? What kind of customization are you looking for? When do you need them by? What other uses of the content would make sense for you?

These are some of the many questions to get answered before going anywhere near saying the price of booklets. It's a great idea to answer a question with questions. After all, how else can you possibly know what number to say? A doctor examines the patient before giving a diagnosis. In this case, you are the doctor. You need to examine the situation as thoroughly as you can. Then and only then can you give your diagnosis (price). Otherwise you are shooting yourself in the foot and likely to lose the sale, often without ever knowing why.

Yes it's true that your buyer has a budget or a perceived value attached to your product. Think about how often your buying decision has been made or changed once you realized how much more the product or service would satisfy in your life. The price became secondary. Save the price answer until you know everything you need to know.

Until next time,
Paulette -- patiently examining the patient

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

But What About Amazon?

Ever feel like you're pushing a rock up hill? Yes, of course you have. You're human like the rest of us. Today felt like one of those moments during a meeting to explore doing some business together. "But what about getting an ISBN number, and putting the booklet on Amazon, and selling one copy at a time, and, and, and."

Sure, there's some reasons to go that route as one of several marketing approaches. It's far from a particularly lucrative approach nor will it bring all that broad an exposure compared to other ways. That was where the person was in their thinking. Get the booklet onto Amazon. Period. It will surprise me if there is any movement from that position. Amazon is fine, and there is so much more.

And maybe some business will come from this meeting after all, as the parting words were "Thanks for getting me thinking in different ways." Maybe that's what the resistance was all about, just their style of traveling to some new mental territory. Time will tell. For now, there are other places to go, places where people immediately realize that there are tons of possibilities to get their message out and make substantial money at it.

Until next time,
Paulette -- whose mission is often to get people thinking

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Hustler -- Oh Yeah?

A client called me a hustler today, and I said thank you. Usually the word 'hustler' has a negative connotation. It was obvious that wasn't what the client was saying. In fact, he was indicating his acknowledgement of my seeing an opportunity and following through on it. And he was completely right. Could he have used a different word than that? Sure, I guess. However it was one of those delightful banters that I revel in with my clients. The tone carried the meaning, and, well, he was right!

Opportunities are all over the place, and, depending on the day of the week, the moment in life, how you are feeling, how distracted you are, and a plethora of other possibilities, you will see some and not others. And sometimes it takes someone else to point out an opportunity to you (and me). Talking ideas out with people frequently prompts a greater awareness of what is right there.

So you may or may not like to be called a hustler. I've been called worse and have survived to tell about it. You may prefer words like creative or inventive or ingenious or anything else. No matter what, keep looking at ways to leverage who you are, what you've got, and how to do it differently.

Until next time,
Paulette -- who isn't telling you what worse things she's been called.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Booklets Bump and Grind

Think of the last time you tried to convince anyone of anything, where you worked hard for them to see your perspective. And we're talking personally or professionally, about booklets or baby buggies, it matters not.

Then think of the last time someone just "got" what you were talking about, easily effortlessly, and enjoyably. What a joy and how lucrative, even when not measuring in cash.

Do yourself a huge favor and let go of chasing that prospect who simply doesn't understand what booklets can do for their business. Put your energy in a different direction. Be willing to say it just doesn't sound like a match, and move on. Sounds like common sense, doesn't it? You'd be amazed.

Until next time,
Paulette -- who is often thrilled with easily noticing amazing grasps of the obvious

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Booklet - Introducing a Niche

The other day I heard something that made a lot of sense tonce it sank in. The advice was to focus on benefits when presenting a hot new niche. Those words flowed past me on first hearing. Then some examples started presenting themselves. Here is one to share with you.

There is a booklet client whose focus is on Functional Medicine. The general population is not familiar with this specialty, nor was I when I met this client. And I am a living example of someone being responsive to benefits, prompting me to want to know more. There was a list of health benefits on a flier about a local seminar about to be presented. I mentally checked off each item on that list, personally relating to each and every one of them, wanting to experience those results. I didn't know nor at that time did I even want to know about Functional Medicine. What I wanted was the benefits, the results. We quickly became each other's client since we each had something the other viewed as beneficial.

As much as this client has wanted to share the depth of knowledge with people, I continue to suggest talking about benefits to which people can relate. Yes, lots of people want to know more details, more depth. And that's how a product line is built!

Until next time,
Paulette -- enjoying the benefits of Functional Medicine

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Email and Booklets and Your Business

Face it. Many of us rely on email as an integral part of life. Periodically it'll occur to me that there are also many people who never even sit at a computer, much less rely on email. However, I am among the former rather than the latter, and I suspect you are, too.

Sparing you most of the details, I've just come out of a few weeks of email hell. Thanks to the able assistance of several friends, the worst is now behind me. These weeks put a new perspective on things. Here's a few observations to share with you:

  • There's no way of knowing what never arrived unless someone chooses to communicate in a secondary way to confirm my receipt of their message.
  • There really are other ways to communicate besides email.
  • It's important to confirm delivery of a message rather than make any assumptions about the lack of a reply.
  • Email may be efficient and inexpensive, yet not always reliable
  • It's helpful to ask myself what I did before email became so central to everyday life.
When you contact someone about buying booklets or doing any other form of business with you, and, for whatever reason, you choose to use only email, consider some of the above observations. Yes, I know some of these things fall into the category of 'amazing grasp of the obvious.' That is, right up to the point where you are entertaining all manner of fiction as to why you haven't heard back from your star prospect.

I'm going back to clean out my inbox now.
Until next time,
Paulette -- who appreciated the reminder as the silver lining in all of this

Monday, October 16, 2006

Booklets and Passive Income

There was an excellent definition of passive income that came past me today: It's doing something once and making money from it, rather than doing the same thing over and over again.

The person who shared that insight started by saying something I've also frequently said: There is nothing passive about passive income. Getting your product started and continuing to make it known all takes work. The distinction is in not doing the same thing repeatedly -- other than watching the notices automatically arrive in your email inbox letting you know you made yet another sale!

Until next time,
Paulette -- always on the lookout for ways to leverage what's already been done once.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Booklet Author Who Gets It

The following is a recent email from a client who is in the midst of doing booklets and much more.


Thanks for your great advice and inspiration during our recent hour on the phone.

I'm moving ahead with a Product Sheet, and thus far am considering (in addition to the downloads and booklets in both Eng/Span) the following (also in English and Spanish):

- spiral-bound journal

- refrigerator magnets

- card deck

- CD

The printer is looking into the feasibility of putting the magnets on thin sheets and incorporating them as pull-out/rip-apart pages in the journal (and having the cards with the additional Scriptures on the back also incorporated this way). Thus the journal would come with refrig. magnets and bookmarks to help them focus on the "subject of the week." We will also research the feasibility of having the magnets and the cards as separate products as well.

I'm very excited about the CD! I have the perfect people for speaking and accompanying music. I'd like to move ahead quickly on this. Who can I contact for info on producing it?

Thanks so much.

Until next time,

Paulette -- enjoying the enthusiasm of people who are in the flow of it all


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Booklet Sales Speak

A booklet author client today asked whether it was better to present the price of booklets per unit or as a bottom-line number. My answer was the ever-famous 'it depends.' My client's prospect had already given a nod of approval to the first bottom-line number for 1,000 copies. The question came up when that person wanted additional pricing for a higher quantity order. My reply is to look at what you already know. If the client's client asked for no break-down of what the unit cost was and what the customization cost was and what the shipping cost was, then why go there? Seems obvious enough to me. It all comes under the heading of staying drama-free.

Until next time,
Paulette -- eager to keep things as simple as possible, particularly when it comes to sales

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Booklet Money Left on Table

Two experiences in the past two days made me wonder how much other money any of us leaves on the table. One situation was with an author and the other was with a house of worship. In both cases it really stopped me in my tracks realizing the difference in expectations.

In the booklet author's case, the conversation included an outright admission of a spouse bringing in more than enough money, leaving the author not particularly driven to make as much money as possible. Yet there was a certain level of guilt expressed to me on the phone, an utterance of "I should go after more money." I don't deal in shoulds, so I quickly quashed that one. However, the person had an awareness of the current reality and was pondering a change.

The second situation was in the context of my wanting to make a donation to a synagogue in memory of a friend's father who recently died. I first went to the synagogue's website since that seemed most logical to me. Not a single word there about how to make a donation of any kind. I phoned the office to ask their procedure. The office person said "You'll need to send us a check. Do you know which fund you want to donate to?" Strike one and strike two all in one breath. A check? Ah yes, I remember those. And where would I find the list of funds? She then went on to tell me what most people who were sending memorial donations in honor of this person were doing, which I decided worked for me. I just had to wonder how many people never made it that far, and how many dollars that synagogue wasn't getting because of some simple things they could have in place. And I know my way around synagogue procedures better than most.

How does any of this relate to booklet authors? Well, look at how easy you make it for people to do business with you. If you don't have a merchant account to accept credit cards, do you at least have a PayPal account? Do you have an easy-to-find list of ways people can do business with you? Are you motivated to keep the energy flow of money moving around as it's intended?

Simple changes can make a huge difference.

Until next time,
Paulette -- who prefers a clear table with no money left sitting on it

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Booklets and Offline Affiliates

An affiliate program is the modern day automated version of the referral fee concept that's been around for many years. It's ideal for many online marketers who deal in large volume and who produce a unique link for their affiliates to place onto a website or in an email.

So what happens when people make spoken referrals to your site or distribute your name or URL somewhere and somehow other than electronically? How do you connect the dots? Here's a simple way to complete the circle.

Suggest to anyone you know that they pass along some version of the following when making a referral to you and your work: "Be sure to tell Paulette I sent you so you get her special VIP treatment."

What's the VIP treatment? It can be anything that you decide to give above and beyond whatever they purchase from you. It can be some additional consulting time or a special report or a product. Make it something appropriate to whatever the purchase is. There's frequently no hard costs to you in the gift you give. This good will goes a very long way for the client, the referral source, and yourself. Then, of course, be sure to send the referral source the appropriate affiliate commission as if the sale had come through the electronic affiliate link.

Until next time,
Paulette -- ever thinking of how things can work better

Monday, October 09, 2006

Pork Chop Syndrome and Booklets

The author of the story below and his wife Dr. Andrea Brockman, are among my wonderful consulting clients. I pleaded with Dr. DiLorenzo ("Vinny" to those of us who know and love him) to write this up once he told it to me during a consulting session. They have written a series of booklets based on holistic dentistry. http://www.takethebite.com Think about how you view your booklets and marketing and anything else in your life as you read the story. In the meantime, thanks for sharing this, Vinny!

“Pork Chop Syndrome”

By Dr. Vincent DiLorenzo

I had always liked eating pork chops. I did until I became kosher that is. But pork chops have taken on different meaning for me besides the “other white meat” label.

It all began when I was a kid. My mom occasionally would create this magnificent pork chop dinner for the whole family. Pork chops…Uggh! I don’t want pork chops, I would whine.

She would “Shake and Bake” them. You know where you toss them into this plastic bag complete with all the crumbs and seasonings and shake it all up. Then she would bake them with loving care. The house was now filled with the sweet aroma of baked pork chops to which I found to be exceptionally pleasing to my very sensitive olfactory bulb apparatus.

My father, brother and sister anticipated the sumptuous pork chop dinner to come. I, on the other hand, no matter how good this smelled, was not going to go near them. Why? I have no idea. All the time before we sat down to dinner I had knots in my stomach and found myself in a deep state of panic. There was no way I was going to eat those silly little chops.

Finally the meal was served and staring out at me were those shaked and baked chops. I looked down at my plate and right there and then I realized that I was going to be very hungry that night. I went so far as to put them under my plate so my mom would have thought that I had eaten them already. As if she wouldn’t notice. “Eat your pork chops” my impatient father screamed.

Well, with eyes closed, I picked up one little chop and took my first bite with great trepidation. “Wow, mom, these are great! Can I have some more?”

You would now logically think that pork chops would be replacing pasta as my all time favorite food. I would be hooked on pork chops forever. Not! Would you believe that as the years went on and each time my mother would make those pork chops, I would go through the same silly ritual? But each time I ate them, I loved them. Pretty crazy, huh?

So what does this have to do with what is going on in my life right now? Why talk about pork chops and my nutty little quirks? Well, believe or not, I have come to the realization that I had been afflicted with what is known as the “Pork Chop Syndrome”. You won’t find this disease in any medical dictionary or written about in any scientific journal. But, believe me, it is quite real. However in my case it comes with a little twist.

I’ll describe the symptoms as follows: When I am asked to do something that is a little out of my comfort zone that darn ritual shows its ugly head. “I don’t want to go to that party” or “I am not going to like that movie” or “I don’t want to go out to dinner with them”, I will whine. Those disturbing knots, deep in the pit of my stomach, astonishingly reappear, the way they did during the early pork chop years. I then practice the art of avoidance, like putting the pork chops under my plate so I won’t see them. However, when I go to that party or see that movie or go out to dinner, I love it! Go figure.

You would think that as time went on, I would have learned from these experiences, allowing myself to become more open and my symptoms would disappear. But nobody told me about the menacing nature of this syndrome. It seemed like it would always raise its ugly little head again… and again…and again. You get the picture.

So what could I do? The first thing was to admit that I had this illness. I needed to confront the enemy within that was keeping me from experiencing life’s joys. I realized that I did not want to become imprisoned or be enslaved to the “Pork Chop Syndrome” anymore. So I fought back.

I went out and got help. My wife, who received the brunt of the disease’s effects, would patiently and gently urge me to “get over it”. Constantly forcing me into new situations and face this devil. I sought out the advice of psychologists, self help books, meditation, energetic healers, my rabbi and a host of others. I went deep inside myself to find the cure.

I got better. I began opening up to new ideas. I mentally prepare myself every day now to fight my illness and it seems to be working. I don’t get those annoying knots in my stomach any more. I became a better person. I was on the road to recovery. I was getting over my Pork Chop Syndrome. Not totally, but well on my way.

What bit of advice can I impart onto all of you who suffer, like I do, from the nasty effects of this insidious affliction? After all, Pork Chop Syndrome may be more prevalent than we think. Perhaps you are among the unfortunate. Look around you and let those loved ones so afflicted know that there is hope. Let them know you care. Let them be comforted in the idea that it really is OK to eat those pork chops. As long as you are not kosher, that is.


Until next time,

Paulette -- who will one day soon tell you her cabbage leaves story


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Product Line Extensions

The call came today, as it has for the previous four years. It was an invitation to once again speak at the annual Publishers Marketing Association University in late May 2007 in midtown New York City. (Note this date since I'll also be doing a public workshop immediately prior to it.) I digress.

The requested title for the session is Product Line Extensions of Your Book. The Powers That Be for this event have a pretty good idea of what I'm about at this point since this will be my 5th consecutive year presenting at this conference. The thing I found interesting about how this invitation was put forth was the notion of 'both/and' rather than 'either/or.' They know I love to address the idea of slicing and dicing a book into booklets and other formats. The request is that plus keeping the book intact and developing other products to literally extend the product line. That includes things like audio and text CDs, workbooks, tools, toys, gadgets, and on and on. No problem. We can do this.

How this relates to booklets? Well, is there any reason not to treat this the exact same way, except starting from a smaller product and going bigger and different? It just so happens this will be at a conference of people who relate best to books, that's all. Take your booklet, and create all manner of product from it.

Each and every time I address this topic, it's impossible not to think back on some visits to Las Vegas in the past 10 years. No, not the gambling part (or anything else I'm unwilling to share here with you. After all, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?) I recall seeing two 5-story stores -- one with all things M & M and another with all things Coca Cola. Everything and anything you could put their logo on was there, five floors' worth. Yes, anything and everything! Truly the ultimate in product line extension and branding. A marketer's delight.

Consider what you can do to extend your product line. All things are possible.

Until next time,
Paulette -- imagining how far a product line can be extended

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

How Much Am I Making?

It amazes me how often a booklet author has no clue how much they are making from their booklet. That not only includes direct revenue from the sale of the booklet. It also means 'back end' sales of their other products and services.

Keep in mind that it's not uncommon for a booklet author to ask how much they CAN make from a booklet when going into it. Some interesting disconnects here, wouldn't you say?

Until next time,
Paulette -- counting the continuing dollars on a regular basis