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Booklet Tips From Paulette

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

Friday, June 29, 2007

Why Didn't I Think of That?

It happened this week. I was on the receiving end of an incredibly useful tip for something in my own life. It was such a simple idea, yet something that hadn't come to mind.

An interior designer bought some of my consulting time. I am not a designer or decorator, nor do I play one on TV. Before the clock officially started, I was lamenting about a recent purchase of a new comforter for my new bed. It was a different shade of purple (shocked by that, are you?) than what it was replacing, and I didn't know whether it really matched the old dusty rose bed ruffle I had or if it was just off a bit. Here I was, unhappily imagining myself shlepping a king size bed comforter around with me from store to store, attempting to match the color. The comforter was bought online and I didn't want the other colors the same place was offering. As I said, I am not a designer and this stuff is a bit of a stretch for me.

The designer quickly suggested I get some free-for-the-taking paint chips from a hardware or home store that sells paint, to determine the exact color of the comforter, and take the paint chips with me to go shopping.


This may seem an amazing grasp of the obvious to you. To me, it would have taken someone else's suggestion or somehow accidentally figuring this one out on my own who knows when. It has no bearing on my intelligence or other outstanding capabilities with which I've been gifted. I just didn't get the decorating and designing genes. To the designer, it was like rolling off a log, a case of "common sense."

Next time you find yourself undervaluing your expertise, remember that not everyone knows what you know, and write your booklet anyway!

Until next time,
Paulette - who can't wait to shop for more new bedding for the new bed!


Thursday, June 28, 2007

My Book Can't Possibly Be a Booklet

A few times a month, someone shares their point of view with me that their book really truly couldn't possibly have booklet potential, no way, no how, not gonna happen in this or any other lifetime. At first I enjoy my own private silent chuckle about it, and wait as long as I can ("pause 3 seconds for dignity," as one colleague likes to say) to respond with some form of "Oh yeah??? Really?? How very interesting. I have a different perspective than that."

My truth is that I have yet to see a book where there was no possibility of creating at least one booklet from or about it. Sometimes the tips are boldly sitting there, waiting for the taking. Other times it's necessary to look a little more into the copy itself to find tips hidden in there. And in fiction, it takes a moment or two to decide the best topic(s) to focus on within the story line of the book.

So far, there is no book I've seen that couldn't have one or more booklets created from or about it. I am more than willing to be put to the challenge if you think yours is the exception.

Until next time,
Paulette - who sees tips all over the place


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cost to Do a Booklet

A common question voiced by newcomers to booklet authoring is "how much does it cost to do a booklet?"

A typical answer is "It depends."

There's variables to the process, choices to make, thoroughness to consider. Here's an overview:
  • Educating your self through products, consulting services, workshops
  • Editor and proofreader - length of booklet and related pieces
  • Graphic designer - how simple or elaborate, what else the designer does at the same time
  • Printer - number of copies, with how many ink colors, photography, other customization
  • Office support
  • Office supplies
You may not need all of this, and your mileage will definitely vary. That's the stuff we discuss when you get personalized attention in a one-hour "Rent-a-Brain" with me. Details are at http://www.tipsbooklets.com/index.php?page=services1.htm
That investment is guaranteed to save you unnecessary expenditures and unearth huge new revenue possibilities.

Like I said, it depends.

Until next time,
Paulette - wanting you to spend only what's necessary and bring in more revenue than you need


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bundling Your Business

Bundling is a common business concept. You see it everywhere once you start noticing. Everything from "Bed in a Bag" (comforter, sheets, pillow cases all in one bag) to complete meals including eating utensils, to Office Suites of software. The price on the bundle is less expensive than buying all the components separately at different times. Bundling frequently makes it easier for the consumer than having to shop around for compatible items, and saves them time and money in the process if they know they will be buying most or all of the elements anyway.

Look at your own products and services to see how you can bundle your booklet, audio product, consulting services, and anything else you've got. And you can create different bundles if you'd like. You'll find an example of a variety of bundles at:

Until next time,
Paulette - making life easier and more profitable for all concerned


Monday, June 25, 2007

Stamp Out Anonymity

About 6 weeks ago first class postage in the United States experienced a price increase. For the second time in a few years, a consulting company with whom I am not familiar sent me a sheet of two cent stamps, intended to make up the difference in the postage increase. It was included in some promotional mailing from the consulting company. Of course I no longer have the mailing, only the sheet of stamps. And guess what? I have no clue who sent me those stamps. Their best intended promotional effort fell woefully short of the goal.

Had they sent a booklet with their name on the cover, I'd still have the booklet and would know who sent it to me. The same is true for everyone you sell your booklets to who get you to customize the cover. The imprinted booklet continues promoting them. The sheet of stamps without any reference to the source as anything other than the US Post Office does nothing for the consulting company. You be the judge.

Until next time,
Paulette - preferring professional name recognition over anonymity any day of the week


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Alphabet Soup Credentials in Your Booklet - So What?

When you write the introduction to your booklet, what do you think is the most important thing to include in it? Do you think it is the array of letters you've earned with every designation you've ever gotten in any and all of the fields you've ever been in? Nah, 'fraid not. Maybe a little bit about what gives you a bit of credibility to write what you're writing. The most important thing to write is how the reader can best utilize your booklet. How can your reader benefit from what you've written? That is far more important than all your degrees, certifications, and any other credentials, no matter how hard earned they were.

Until next time,
Paulette - who has two degrees in music education that have zero to do with today's professional activities


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Winning 'Em Over with Booklets

"In all honesty, at first I wasn't interested in booklets, brochures or pamphlets but as you went on I became fascinated with your presentation. My brain is teaming with ideas about this."

Monday night I spoke to a local group of writers and editors here in San Diego. The location or even the audience really makes almost no difference. Some theme and variation on the above comment is something I hear or notice at many speaking engagements I've done over the years.

I mention this to you today for one reason and one reason only. You may have people in your own life who have the same opinion of the booklet you're doing. I've written about this before, yet it bears repeating. My strong encouragement to you is to do your booklet anyway, regardless of the opinions surrounding you. You, too, may find those people become fascinated with what you're doing, and catch the enthusiasm you have, as my audiences do when I speak.

Until next time,
Paulette - committed to dispelling ignorance and apathy, one person at a time


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pre-Selling Your Booklet

A booklet author client of mine has pre-sold tens of thousands of his booklets before he's ever written a single word of them. He's done this several times. And these were not "writing for hire" assignments, either. He held the copyright (rather than the client) so he could sell them unrestricted in any and all ways that he wanted to in addition to the client who prompted them to be written in the first place.

In one situation, the pre-sales were made to a company with whom he already had a well-established business relationship. They knew that whatever he put together would be acceptable to them once they agreed to the content. In another instance, he provided a sample of a page or two, and the decision maker was comfortable enough to place a substantial order.

This can be a great way to get started or expand your cash flow rather than waiting until you've got a completed product.

Until next time,
Paulette - pointing to easily accepted alternatives for doing business


Monday, June 18, 2007

Booklets and Affiliate Links

A number of booklet authors are now utilizing the mechanism of affiliate links to earn additional income from within their booklet, especially within the online, PDF file version of the booklet. While I am a great fan of leveraging everything you do, including the various links to affiliates within the content of your booklet can be problematic for numerous reasons. Instead of including each of them within your booklet, a greater suggestion is to have one link to a page on your website that goes to "Useful Resources" or something like that. It affords you greater flexibility for adding and dropping an affiliate, and makes it easier to direct people to the range of affiliate companies with whom you do business. Some publishing colleagues have a page on their site or a entire site that is called www.PauletteSentMe.com (They fill in their own name). It make the obvious point that it's a referral situation, and consolidates all the referrals to one place, and it's an easy URL to give people when you're chatting with them.

Until next time,
Paulette - passing on some easy ways to make more from what you've got.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Booklet Bursts of Brilliance

You get an idea for a booklet topic. Or you get an idea of a great place to contact to buy your booklet in bulk. Or you get an idea of something to go into a booklet. Or you get another great idea about anything related to your booklet and your business.

Whatever you do, write it down!!!

Capture that gem. You don't even need to do anything about it today beyond storing it somewhere you'll be able to find it again. You know this has happened to you, that some spark appears in your thoughts, and you think you'll remember it when you want to access it later (ah the great "later").

Carry a little notebook with you, or enter the seed of the idea in your PDA or your computer. Aim all future bursts of brilliance there, too.

Then, when you've got a moment where you're inspired to review that file or that page, you'll have the terrific tidbits all in one place. Yes, this does sound like a carryover from my many years as a professional organizer. It's coupled with observing human behavior and booklets.

Capturing these pearls immediately when they surface makes creating your booklet oh so much easier.

Until next time,
Paulette - streamlining your life and mine


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Airlines, Rental Cars, and Booklets

Reading an article this morning about factors contributing to the success of the low-cost Southwest Airline (aka the Small Business Owners' Corporate Jet!), I realized there were some useful messages in there for booklet authors. The one to share with you today is focused on "secondary."

Southwest Airlines has focused on serving secondary cities not well-served by the larger airlines. Southwest has done extremely well in doing so. Then there's Avis Car Rentals, who built a whole branding and marketing campaign on the idea that they were Number 2 (behind Hertz) in the rental car industry.

Rather than only approaching the leader in a particular field, what about contacting the second in line, that company or organization that labors to be first yet is not there? It's worked well for Southwest and Avis. It could be ideal positioning for you.

Until next time,
Paulette - who forever played in the second violin section of orchestras


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Whose Favor Is It Anyway?

Think about the last time you walked the floor or a trade show or a home and garden show. There were many vendors there who had a range of products. Some of those products were interesting to you on some level. Many were not. Of the things that were of interest to you, some might have been the perfect solution for some challenge you were having in your business or home. You were grateful to discover this solution and eager to own it. Admittedly, you were attending the trade show with the hope you would, in fact, discover some solutions for things in your life, whether it was a conscious intention or not. And you didn't have a personal connection to the products or their vendors. It was very pragmatic, very black and white. You liked/wanted/needed it, or you didn't.

Flip this around to your booklets and other products, and the people and companies who would be your clients. You have solutions for some of those people, something for which they would be grateful to know about and have. Then there's a whole bunch of other people and companies for whom your product just isn't a match. It's as pragmatic a thing as when you were walking that trade show, making decisions with each step of each aisle you walked of whether something was useful/interesting to you or not.

You are doing your potential and current clients a big favor by bringing them potential solutions to challenges they have. They are not doing you a favor by buying from you, or having an exploratory conversation about how your booklet can work well for them. Doesn't that all look different now?

Until next time,
Paulette - maintaining useful perspectives and passing them along

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Marketing vs. Selling

The biggest resistance I hear from booklet authors has to do with marketing. What they really mean is selling, asking for the sale in some way. Marketing deals with creating a presence for your product or service, letting people know what it is you've got and how they can get it. Selling is asking for the sale. In a perfect world, marketing automatically rolls effortlessly into selling.

Back to marketing for a moment. It's easy for me to be reminded about the many ways I choose to market my business when I look at where my ezine subscribers and my clients hear about the business from what they say on the subscriber sign-up form and the product order form. (Yes, I ask where they heard about us.). It's a wide range of mechanisms -- in-person speaking, teleclasses, books that others have written in which I've been included, someone else's website, an article I wrote, a friend or colleague's referral, radio interview, an online search, a party, the schedule of a conference they didn't attend, an article in a local paper, a post I placed on someone's discussion board or blog, and on and on. Does this take a lot of time? Nah, it's all bits and pieces, spread out over time. It's a rare week that I don't do something that is defined as marketing. It merely becomes cumulative. Yes, I make a lot of sales directly from these activities. And that's before I email or phone someone to specifically suggest I believe it to be in their best interest for us to exchange their currency for some product or service I've got. That last part is sales.

Until next time,
Paulette - finding new ways to have fun marketing

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Tips, Stories, and Quotes

Periodically a tips booklet comes in which the author really wants to include quotes or stories. It can work, depending on the length of the booklet without those quotes or stories. The guideline remains a total of 3,000-5,000 words in a booklet. Consider making two booklets or cutting out some of the content if you are a lot over that.

Keep the stories or quotes to a maximum of 80-ish words each, and have your graphic designer do some graphic treatment to distinguish them from the tips. That could be indenting the block of copy, italicizing it, making it bold, or framing it with some other graphic element. Scatter these quotes or stories throughout the booklet so the overall feel stays balanced. Be sure the booklet is enhanced by including these rather than merely being random filler.

Until next time,
Paulette - making concessions as appropriate


Friday, June 08, 2007

Your Booklet and Your Church, Temple, or Community Group

Look around at any of the groups in your community that are important to you. Aren't they often in a fund-raising mode in some way or another? Your booklet and related information products can be an ideal vehicle for raising additional funds. Look at your booklet through different filters for a moment. The topic doesn't need to be religiously-based to be of interest to the membership of a church or temple. It can be about organizing your business life, investing your money, dealing with toddlers, making the most of your fitness workout, or anything else that pertains to the life of the members of the group. After all, does a car wash or bake sale have to do with the liturgy of a particular house of worship or the mission of a local community group? Yet those are two frequent fund raising mechanisms.

One way to do this is that your booklet or other related info products would be sold to the organization at your regular bulk price. The organization then lets their people know that anything over a certain price that they pay becomes a donation to the organization (often tax-deductible). I've heard of people paying $25 for a booklet, with $20 of that being a donation.
See what you can do to help a group that matters to you while contributing to your own checkbook at the same time.

Until next time,
Paulette - passing along additional ways to sell booklets


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Marketing Looks Lots of Ways

You may know I've been doing more face-to-face public speaking this year than I have in awhile. It's always fun for me to do, in spite of whatever traveling hassles are involved. Yesterday was a reminder about the power of public speaking as a marketing tool. If public speaking is absolutely, completely, totally not something you can ever see yourself doing in this or any other lifetime, then skip this post. Otherwise, read on.

Yesterday I got a phone call for someone who was calling me on behalf of a colleague. The call was prompted by seeing my name in the schedule of the Publishers Marketing Association University where I presented part of a session last week in New York City. The person phoning me did not know me or my reputation. He read about me and saw my topic: Product Line Extensions. I don't ever remember this happening before, in all the years I've been speaking. Someone who doesn't know me or anything about me, sees my name in a schedule, calls to check me out for the benefit of a colleague of his, and I've probably got a new client in his colleague as a result of all of this.

So, if you do public speaking, just realize your expertise can go further than your speaking, writing, and other product development. Like everything else about running a business, it's a matter of just staying out there, however that looks!

Until next time,
Paulette - noticing the reminders


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Niche Marketing - Narrow Not Small

The title of this post applies to your business and your booklet, as well as mine. You've read about taking a single booklet manuscript and making an entire related product line from it. That's narrow and certainly not small. You can choose a particular industry and do the same thing. And then go on to a different industry and repeat the process. My business is a one-person business, with many functions outsourced to other professionals. It apparently presents a different image to lots of people who frequently say they are surprised I answer my own phone. Yes, I have yet to be successful in training my cat to do that for me. By some definitions, it's a small business. However, it is international, with many products, with worldwide publicity, and some longevity at this point. Booklets are a niche market, with a narrow focus, and far from small.

What about your business and your booklet? Are you too broad in your approach? You can modify that easily by targeting a particular audience or a particular market. "110 Ideas for Organizing Your Business Life" can become "110 Ideas for Organizing Your Law Office." "How to Live a Stress-Free Life" could be "How to Live a Stress-Free Life After 50."

Narrow your market for bigger sales. Once you think you've exhausted that market, choose another one.

Until next time,
Paulette - more respectful of niches than ever before


Monday, June 04, 2007

Booklets Can Be About...


While most people in the world of tipsbooklets.com write on topics related to their business in some way, there's a whole bunch of other people who write tips booklets based on some important, meaningful life experience. This is a small example:
  • How to be your own advocate in the medical world
  • Downsizing a home
  • Tips for partners who have breast cancer
  • Working at home with children
  • Ways to lose weight
  • Sandwich generation- older parents and younger children
Everything a booklet author does to write, produce, and market a booklet based on their life experiences follows the same path as when writing a booklet based on their business. You still want to write it well, produce it professionally, and get the message out as widely as possible. The step-by-step guidance for all of that is in "How to Promote Your Business with Booklets" in the Product menu at www.tipsbooklets.com

What are you waiting for??
Until next time,
Paulette - encouraging you to set your clock to "NOW."

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