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Booklet Tips From Paulette

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

Friday, August 31, 2007

Transitions with Booklets

It's a common situation for people to see booklets as a tool for transition. And in fact it definitely can be. Many future booklet authors come to my products, classes, and consultation with exactly that in mind. Here are a few scenarios:
  • Going from employee to self-employed, seeking an easy bridge for that
  • Shifting the balance from time-for-money to product-for-money in a business
  • Using past experiences to create something during retirement or disability
  • Scheduling flexibility for earning while home with children/other care giving
  • Finding a non location-sensitive income source, for traveling or relocating
I personally made a cross-country move in 1996 without missing a beat in my business and I've seen others do the same thing. My booklet was originally written because the sales cycle was getting too long for workshops and consulting, negatively impacting my cash flow and my life!. Others have wanted to stay home rather than travel so much to work (i.e. speakers and consultants). Booklets are ideal for that. The flip side is that other people want the flexibility to travel for business and/or pleasure, and still need/want to generate income. Completely do-able with booklets.

Yes, a little 16-page booklet can do all of that, and more, once you get the booklet done!

Until next time,
Paulette - who took two of the most wisely-invested weeks of her life to write a booklet in 1996


Thursday, August 30, 2007

To Revise or Not to Revise

Someone recently asked me how often I've revised my only booklet, "110 Ideas for Organizing Your Business Life," since I wrote it in 1991. Revised it? Why would I do that? Every one of the 110 tips I wrote in 1991 is still completely 100% valid. Part of that was unwittingly, I must admit. It was early in my days on the computer and internet, and I am typically a late adapter of technology. So everything in that booklet is about offline, non-computer organizing of paper, time, and space. The content is what's commonly referred to as "evergreen." It's not time or content sensitive.

There are three things that have changed in that booklet -- my address has changed twice, and I modified the introduction because my business focus changed since I first wrote the booklet. The 110 tips did not change. Oh, and I fixed one typo.

Look at your own booklet to see if you are writing time-sensitive content. There's a good news/bad news element to it if you are. Something that does need updating allows you to announce a new version of your product to those who have already purchased from you in the past. If you have time-sensitive information that you don't update, you will lose your credibility and lose money with left over copies.

Your choices are to write evergreen content or revise on a regular basis. Either is fine as long as you determine which to do, and do it.

Until next time,
Paulette - still selling the same booklet written in 1991

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Recharging Your Batteries for New Energy and Ideas

Travel is one of the most important things any of us can do. It is a necessity not a luxury in my opinion. It positively shakes the status quo, opens up to seeing things differently, and refills the reservoir with new information. And sometimes it happens without consciously realizing what is going on.

Of the 11 days I was recently traveling to and in England and Holland, not more than a total of 2 days (if that!) was spent discussing business at all, much less booklets. Since everyone I stayed with during those days had been a client or colleague at some point, there was, understandably, some business conversation mixed in and among seeing the local sites, discovering new foods, and getting to know each other at deeper levels.

It was also a wonderful reminder that some things really truly can wait a week or two, without the world coming to an end. Yes, it can be frustrating when you are looking for an answer from prospect or a client or an adviser while you are 100% in work mode and they are off on holiday somewhere. I do know this break was beneficial, giving me more juice to give back out to those who are seeking it from me, and for initiating new ideas within my own business.

If you are currently in that place of frustration, you probably have a couple more weeks to go before people are back in gear again. In the US, this weekend is Labor Day weekend, a 3-day "bank holiday," if you will. Give it another week beyond that to expect people to be re-focused. Then be ready to go!

Until next time,
Paulette - remembering those frustrating moments all too well, and dealing with them differently now

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Distinguishing Yourself

In the past few weeks, the topic of uniqueness has been popping up all over my own radar. Some view uniqueness as a positive thing and revel in it. Others shy away from it, wanting to blend. I have my theories on who revels and who runs away, based largely on birth order! As a first-born, I am forever drawn toward uniqueness. Uniqueness makes a big difference in business.

Many booklet authors have expertise in topics such as networking, leadership, organizing, and customer service. In fact a couple weeks ago at the workshop I did in England, that was the comment from one of the people in the class - that lots of people have expertise in that person's area. I suggested looking at how that person approaches the topic when dealing with clients. Surely there was some way that made the approach unique. That appeared to help.

What if you are hard-pressed to effectively analyze your uniqueness? Maybe you aren't unique! Then what? I'm guessing you probably are, though, and just aren't seeing it. Regardless, one thing you can do is to look around you and beyond your own business for examples that can jog your creativity. One recent example I noticed is a couple of low-cost airlines are changing some ways they do business. Their ticket prices are very, very low. However they are charging for checking each piece of luggage, as well as any and all other services that other airlines give at no cost. This way people buy what they want rather than subsidizing services for everyone else. That's breaking with the traditional way of doing business for the airlines.

Look at how you approach your business and write about it in your booklet. Find ways to keep yourself distinguished from among the crowd by seeing how other businesses are breaking the mold in their industry. Even if you are not a first-born, you may want to experiment with new approaches anyway.

Until next time,
Paulette - delighting in being a trailblazer


Monday, August 27, 2007

Being Direct is Better

I've rarely been accused of being subtle or indirect. In fact quite the contrary, to the dismay or delight of those involved in the interaction. What's this got to do with booklets? Well, in the past couple weeks, I had the joy of being with some booklet authors in England as we shared the day exploring their interests in booklets.

One participant in the class came in with a metaphor as the basis for writing the booklet. You may recall the movie in which Forrest Gump talked about "life is like a box of chocolates." It was sort of like that. This metaphor would be the result of previous experiences in the person's life. We collectively agreed it was going to be a difficult leap for many people to make, from the metaphor to ways the content could be helpful in the readers' life. No matter what we all said that day, this booklet author remained intent on framing the booklet on this metaphor.

It'll be interesting to see how much of an uphill battle the sale of that booklet turns out to be, and whether the title gets changed at some point to be more direct. I'll let you know what I find out.

In the meantime, the 2-week trip to England and Holland was a good one, and I'm happy to be back.

Until next time,
Paulette - ready for action, directly


Friday, August 10, 2007

Vacation - Sort of

Are you in the UK or anywhere in Europe? Well, that's where I will be during the next two weeks. This Monday I'll be leaving San Diego for England, delivering a one-day public course on Thursday. (There's still room for you to register.)

After a few more days in England, I'll be traveling to Amsterdam, a place I've always wanted to visit and never have. Throughout this trip I'll be hosted by numerous people I know, who have been clients and have become friends, or who were colleagues in a previous career. I've known all these people quite a few years and am eager to see them all again. Visiting with people who were clients and are now friends will necessarily bring a combination of playing tourist while also brainstorming about business. In fact at least one person and I have been talking by email about some joint business ventures during the past few months.

I am certain the trip will bring renewal and refreshment and new ideas. It is very likely that no blog entries will be made while I'm gone, though any orders you place at www.tipsbooklets.com will be filled.

So go back and read the archives. There's plenty there to keep you out of trouble for awhile. Or, then again, you may well find some ideas that generate new energy for you, for your products, and your business. Have a great time. I know I will! I'll be back in the office again on Monday, August 27.

Until next time,
Paulette - realizing travel is more than a luxury

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Booklet Taking on Life of Its Own

Yes, a booklet can do that. It starts off as a first product or the first expansion of a product line. It quickly becomes the lead in your marketing and merchandising activities. It does have a way of doing that. It brings more (deeper) impact than even the best designed business card. It's less expensive in time and money than sending a book to professionally position yourself. It can be sold for literally tens of thousands of dollars in bulk. And it all comes from sound bites you've been saying forever. Yes, that booklet has, indeed, taken on a life of its own.

Until next time,
Paulette - respecting booklets for what they are and what they can be

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Contests to Promote Your Booklet

Joan Stewart, aka The Publicity Hound, always has great ideas in her newsletter. Yesterday was no different. She talked about how one of her subscribers was promoting a coffee table book about a favorite football team of Joan's, that if Joan would mention it, Joan would get a copy of the book, and the person who responded from the furthest away from where Joan is would also get a free copy of the book.

It got me thinking about some of the many ways booklet authors could create contests as a way to market booklets. I'll give you a few, and then invite you to contribute your own ideas here through the Comments feature on this blog.

  • The best idea for ways to use booklets to market a ____ kind of business.
  • The easiest companies to approach for bulk booklet sales and why.
  • The most creative, least expensive format for re-purposing a booklet.
So there's three. What ones can YOU think of?

Until next time,
Paulette - challenging all of us to stretch and succeed


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Start 'Em Young

You know that kid or grandkid or niece or nephew or neighbor kid who knows everything about everything, and you don't even have to ask? What about channeling all that knowledge into something that can be a wonderful project to work on together, giving the child the accomplishment of becoming an author, and teaching them about selling the booklet once it's completed?

It honors all that is good in the discovery process so natural to childhood, while providing an excellent bridge to the next phase of life. Look at the interests of that young person. Capture their knowledge in the context of teaching someone else about that information. You will each reap benefits that couldn't possibly be predicted.

Until next time,
Paulette - ever a teacher, by training and nature

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Thinking and Thinking and Thinking About Booklets

You may be a thinker -- about lots of things in your life. You may be thinking about your booklet, either about doing one or about what you've already written in it. And you're thinking, and thinking, and thinking some more.

Now I am personally a great fan of thinking. I do it, and do it often. Many times I even do it well. And the fact is I am also a great fan of doing.

Get the booklet done!! It is a booklet -- a marketing tool, a revenue stream, a way for people to get a taste of your expertise. You can always go back later and make changes in the next print run or the next PDF.

Yes, I am talking to you. Even if you are typically a doer like I am, you and I both know there are those moments we get stuck in the thought process. Consider yourself to just now be nudged by me to take that next step. I want to see what your booklet looks like, and so do a lot of other people. I promise!

Until next time,
Paulette - encouraging you every step of the way.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Pre-production Sales

You have a whole product line in mind, whether it's a series of booklets, a range of formats, or just getting your first booklet written. There are many situations where products (whether information products or otherwise) are marketed and sold before a single thing has been done to start the production.

There's several reasons why this is done. Here's a few:
  • Test the market for interest before putting time and money into development
  • Generate income to fund the development
  • Seal a bigger deal with multiple products, only some of which have already been produced
You can do this verbally, by suggesting other products or formats. Or you can do it visually, by producing a printed product sheet, developing a page on your website, or both. You must be clear about the terms of payment and delivery to remain legal and within integrity. By receiving a client's money, you agree to deliver by a certain date otherwise return their money or renegotiate the delivery date.

This can be an ideal way for you to create and expand your product line and your bottom line.

Until next time,
Paulette - looking beyond where you are now

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Sale is a Sale Leading to a Sale

A big company places an order of 100 copies or 500 copies or 1000 copies or even 250,000 copies, and you wonder why that's all they ordered. You know they have a universe of hundreds of thousands or millions, yet they placed this small order.

It can be because they are testing. They are testing the responsiveness to offering your booklet as a promotional tool to sell more of a particular product. If the response is good, they can come back and order many more.

Or it can be because they are attaching that booklet as a gift to a particular campaign or effort that has a very small universe. They decided they wanted to use the booklet as an incentive for their own staff to complete a questionnaire.

Ask your buyer how they are using your booklet so you can gain insights about what to anticipate for future business with them. Plus you may learn about a new application for your booklet in the process. One company who bought several thousand copies of my booklet used the booklet to thank people for letting the company know they were getting duplicate mailings of promotional pieces. Giving the booklet as a gift was much less expensive than continuing to send duplicate mailings to people.

Until next time,
Paulette - putting up the sails to go for more sales


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Two Hardest Parts of Writing

The following article was written by John F. Harnish, Special Projects Director, Infinity Publishing. While John is speaking here about books, basically everything he's said applies to booklets. See if you recognize yourself.


The two hardest parts of writing are starting and stopping. Folks come up with all kinds of reasons not to start a writing project. Once started, they have a difficult time stopping.

Writers can come up with an endless list of excuses for not starting that range from the believable to the totally bizarre. Such as: my research is incomplete; I’m waiting for a call back from my agent/editor to clarify the assignment; I’m thinking it through in my mind before I start putting words on paper; it’s Thursday and I never start a new project on a Thursday or Friday; I’ll start as soon as I finish doing my laundry; my dog ate my writing hat and I’m waiting for a new one to come from L.L. Bean; the phase of the moon is wrong and it might rain; my fortune cookie said I’m about to begin a long journey so I’ll plan on starting when I get back; Venus is rising!!!

Sometimes you simply have to excuse yourself from the “excuse phase” and just start writing. I’ve always found the pay check waiting for me at the completion of an assignment to be a great motivator to get started. The sooner I got started, the sooner I got paid!!! Carl Sandburg was once asked what his basic approach to writing was, and he simply explained that he started by just putting one word after another, and then another, and another, and so on. This same technique is used by all writers, but you need to prime the pump with a few words and then begin to build on those opening words.

Once started, there is often a deluge of words flowing forth to fill (and sometimes overflow) empty pages. At times, it’s as if your vast idea pool gates have opened and all kinds of sensational concepts are surging out. Suddenly, mind-blossoms are blooming as you see more ways to enhance your work-in-progress.

Now the hard part is stopping!!! With a surging flow of ideas to consider, there is a clear and present danger of overwriting. This is when you need to self-edit the content so you are presenting material that’s directly associated with the topic. If it doesn’t fit, you must cut it out. Stop prolonging the process by rewriting and rewriting and rewriting. Far too often rewriting and rewriting again drains off the sparkles of pure creativity that worked so well in the first draft. Stop second-guessing yourself by pondering if this word is better than that word. You know when you’ve adequately covered the topic and that’s when you’re finished – so be done with it and just stop and send the piece off on time.

Enjoy starting…John

NOTE: You can subscribe to Infinity Publishing's free, monthly, commercial free ezine for writers and authors, "The Author's Gazette," through a sign-up box in the bottom left corner of their home page at www.InfinityPublishing.com


Until next time,

Paulette - encouraging you every step of the way