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Booklet Tips From Paulette

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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

You Just Never Really Know

You just never know the impact you have on someone's life. Yes, a booklet can do that. A consultation with a client this week brought a lump to my throat as I shared the impact one tip in her yet-unfinished booklet had on me when I read it. The tip was simply this: "Keep your "I Love You's" current." Six words stopped me in my tracks. I found myself thinking of everyone and anyone who matters to me - family, friends, associates, neighbors, and others I know - reflecting on when the last time was that I told them I love them. A very powerful six words for me, and now very likely for you, too.

Yes, indeed, a booklet can do that. It can be easy to lose track of the power of your knowledge when you find yourself saying and writing it a lot as part of your work. And this example is one of thousands out there, yours among them. It doesn't take a large volume of words to make a strong impact. Value your words. Others do.

Until next time,
Paulette - catching up on my "I Love You's"


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

An Inch Wide and a Mile Deep

An inch wide and a mile deep is often how a market niche is described. How this translates into information products is to develop many different formats of products that all address issues of a specific market.

There are literally dozens of product formats for delivering your information. Develop those before considering a series of booklets to different markets. Once you've created a booklet, an audio, a card deck, special reports, books, downloadable versions, and lots of other delivery methods, you can then take all of that to a new audience. Your first market might have been accountants, and your next is realtors. Your first market could be parents, and your follow-up market is teachers.

Refine the products first. It'll be easy enough to make some content changes for subsequent markets. Approach those new markets once you think you've gone as far as you can with one market, or you are bored!

Until next time,
Paulette - encourage focus at every turn

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Booklet Topics from Experiences

Many people write booklets based on the experiences related to their business expertise. After the past week's fires in southern California, it wouldn't surprise me that people have experiences they never anticipated, experiences that would make excellent booklets, regardless of what already exists out in the world:

A few ideas, in no particular order:

* Pet/Animal Rescue Preparedness - house pets to horses, what to do when a fire is looming
* Preparing a Fire-Defensible home - preparing the area around and inside your home
* Grab It and Go - what to take with you when evacuating your home and where to have it
* Communicate - establishing am emergency communication chain among family and friends

Things are getting back to some kind of normal now, with everyone that much the wiser a week later.

Until next time,
Paulette - happy to be home and cleaning away the ash


Friday, October 26, 2007

Overthinking Your Booklet

Writing booklets is easy, right up to the point where they get over-thought. The most difficulty comes in deciding what to put into the booklet. And I've seen it go both ways, believing that you don't have enough to fill 3,000-5,000 words, or having so much that you have trouble deciding what to choose.

For you who believes you don't have enough, notice the questions people frequently ask about your topic or things you are usually inclined to tell about your area of expertise. Aim for a basic level, as if the reader is being exposed to your knowledge for the very first time. It wouldn't be surprising if you suddenly find yourself in the second category -- having so much that you have trouble deciding what to choose.

And you who finds yourself already in that second category, remember that this is a tips booklet, not the consummate bible on everything you know on the topic. It is the introduction to your information, with other formats to deal with the more expanded treatment of your knowledge.

Like so much else in life, over-thinking can keep you stuck. Get started, allow for excellence rather than perfection, and check in with me if you need some guidance.

Until next time,
Paulette - who has been accused of over-thinking and over-analyzing once or twice in her life


Thursday, October 25, 2007

All Is Well Here in San Diego

In an unusual diversion from the topic of booklets, I want to thank the many people nationally and internationally who took a moment to express concern about my safety and well-being with the recent fires here in San Diego this week.

Fortunately I was little more than inconvenienced for 48 hours in a mandotory evacuation, representative of the stellar job the authorities did in this extreme circumstance. Many lives and properties were saved because of this. Some long-time dear friends of mine hosted me in their lovely home, while my cat stayed behind. I was confident all would be well and, in fact, it has been. I live 2 miles from the beach. The worst of it right here is a lot of ash all over the place. The air quality is improving and things are getting back to some normalcy for much of the area yesterday and today.

There are still large fires raging, to the east and north of San Diego. Our good thoughts are with the people who must rebuild their homes and their lives.

Until next time,
Paulette - ready to get back to work

Friday, October 19, 2007

Booklet Experiments

When was the last time you experimented with your booklet? That could mean anything. Here's just a few possibilties to get you thinking.

* Offering it free on your site as a bonus for making some other purchase
* Adding some affiliate links inside it to generate additional revenue
* Offering parts of it as a teaser
* Bundling several booklets together
* Selling ads inside the booklet to make money
* Joint venturing with some related or unrelated entity

These barely scratch the surface of experiments you could do with your booklet. Some ideas will appeal to you more than others. You are likely to come up with something that is your very own approach. Test it out. See how it works. There is no "right" way to do any of this!

Until next time,
Paulette - encouraging enjoyable experimentation

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Go Back to Your Clients

When was the last time you checked in with former clients to see what they need that you have? It could be a straight re-order of booklets. It could be a new order of booklets because your previous dealings had nothing to do with booklets. It was a service or some other product, or it was before your booklet was completed. It could be a re-packaging or re-pricing of your booklet and other related information products.

Common wisdom dictates starting with who you already know, especially if they have already bought from you before. Reconecting with them is likely to generate new business in some way, immediately or in the future.

Until next time,
Paulette - reminding myself to let everyone know about the repackaged and repriced Collection of Experts

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Way Around Sending Attachments

Here's a way around the concern of opening an email attachment when sending a PDF of your booklet to a journalist or other person unwilling to open an attachment. Place the PDF behind a link on a separate and hidden page on your website. Instead of sending the PDF, send a link to that page in an email. The link will take the person to the page and they can open the PDF right on your site.

Before you spend any energy worrying about how that link might be passed along without your permission and what about all those sales you'll lose, instead think about how many more people will learn about what you've got and want more of it!!

Until next time,
Paulette - living in the solution rather than staying stuck in a challenge

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

No Time to Sell in Bulk

Booklet authors often say there is no time to sell in bulk. The author is a speaker or has other products or has a "day" job. What's often overlooked is the concept of multi-tasking. Bring the bulk booklet sales topic into the conversations you're already having rather than starting new conversations with people you're not usually talking to.

Talk to the person who hired you to speak. Explore buying a copy of your booklet for each person in the audience. Or ask your contact to introduce you to someone else in their organization who is a more likely decision maker for such purchases. You might be dealing with human resources as a speaker. Ask that HR person to introduce you to someone in the sales or marketing department, who will love buying your booklet to use in a promotional campaign for one of their new product launches.

Or you're selling single copies of your book to people who you know are in some particular group. Let them know you also have discounting available for them to use your book as a fundraiser or promotional item. (get this gift with purchase, or when renewing your membership.)

You may be talking to the mom of a child in your own child's class while waiting at the bus stop or after school to pick up the children. Enthusiastically tell. the person what you're up to these days. Mention your booklet being available in bulk for community groups to sell. After all, you were already talking to that mom, and she just might find your booklet the ideal item for her group's project or her husband's office or her neighbor's seminar.

Think about who you already know, how you can be helpful to them with what you've got, and ways you can make great use of your time and talents.

Until next time,
Paulette - looking at leveraging life

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Who Is Your Market?

Do you assume you know what your client wants or who your client is? Sometimes you may be right on the mark about it, and other times you couldn't be further from the truth. You could be deciding that your ideal bulk booklet buyer is a particular industry. No matter how hard you try, no one in that industry is buying. That happened with my own booklet year ago. I thought the office supply industry would be the perfect market for my booklet about organizing your business life. Oddly enough, it didn't turn out to be. Instead. I had a lot of financial planners buy my booklet as an incentive for their clients and prospects to schedule a sales call. They were not the only ones. However, it did not turn out to be the office supply industry.

Test out a couple markets to see who really is the match for what you have.

Until next time,
Paulette - always willing to accept being wrong when right shows up

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Your Price is Too High -- OK, I'll Buy

Do you wonder how this sometimes happens? Rest assured it happens in your business and it happens in mine. Someone spends a lot of time saying how expensive something is, how they aren't making much money to begin with, how their budget just doesn't allow for the expenditure at this time, wondering if there is any leeway in the price, asking if you can give them a payment schedule, and on and on. You respond however you respond, either standing firm or bending. I am more inclined to initially stand firm when this pattern presents itself.

Then, before you know it, either on the phone right then, or a day or two later, or through your website shopping cart or an email or in regular mail, the order comes in.

What the heck happened?? My theory is they came to their senses. I don't mean it as harsh as that, as much as they saw the value in what you have, matched up against what they wanted. Yes, want, not need. People (including thee and me) buy what they want, not necessarily what they need.

They want their promotional campaign to be a success and they decid your booklet would bring them that. They want to increase revenue and they determined your booklet is the bridge to that. Something you said on the phone gave them the courage or confidence to go ahead regardless of their initial reaction to your price.

So in spite of the resistance at the beginning, keep the person engaged so you can hear what they really want. Once you find out what they want, you can give it to them.

Until next time,
Paulette - still amazed, yet appreciative, when this happens

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Success Without a Platform

It's happening more and more. Or maybe it's just becoming more and more known. Publishers of all kinds of publications -- books, booklets, audio CDs, DVDs -- are selling hundreds of thousands and even millions of copies of their products and no one ever heard of the author. In many cases the products were self-published or published by a small publishing company. The authors weren't public speakers or celebrities or anyone of particular public notoriety. They were John or Jane Q. Public, people like you and me. Yes, they (you, I) have some expertise. So what happened? How did they do it?

They sold in bulk to single buyers who wanted to use those products as gifts, as promotional items, buying thousands or millions in a single sale. There was no particular need for the author to be well known in most cases like this. It was more a matter of the publication being a good fit for the message the company giving them wanted to make. Nowhere are we talking about traditional distribution channels in publishing. This is not bookstore sales, nor book club sales. There's no returns of products. It's a one-way sale each time.

So no, no "platform" is required to be highly successful in selling your publications in bulk to corporations, associations, publications, and websites. All you need is vision, persistence, and a decent product.

Until next time,
Paulette - who sold over a million copies of her booklet and most Americans (or people in any other part of the world) still don't have a clue who she is


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

When Was the Last Time You Experienced This?

I'm not usually so big on quotes. A long-time colleague sent me this one today. It expresses what I've heard many booklet authors describe when discovering booklets as an ideal vehicle in the next steps to getting the message out there.

"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations. Your consciousness expands in every direction. And you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be."

-- Patanjali

Until next time,

Paulette - currently experiencing my own moments of transcending limitations



Tuesday, October 09, 2007

How Much to Charge

This is an unending topic. It is also art not science. So many things go into your pricing decision. I've changed my quantity pricing for booklets at least 4 times in 16 years. Some of it was based in my production costs. More of it had to do with my customers. They told me how much they would pay. Yes, I tested the waters every so often to see where there was resistance. And I made sure the decision was based on more than just one customer's reaction.

Your market will be different than another booklet author's market. Your content is more or less in demand. Your own approach to the prospective client will be different than that of another booklet author. One of you is likely to have more confidence than the other about what your booklet is worth and how that lines up with your customers' perception.

While I offer a range of suggested prices to guide booklet authors, I've heard some far-reaching results reported back to me, completely stretching the norm. When everyone is in agreement, I say good for them! It's what that particular market will bear.

You may decide to charge some multiple of your cost of printing as a starting point. Note, I said printing. The graphic design is generally a one-time expense that makes no sense to include as the basis for your costs ongoing. You may also find that your client literally tells you what they will pay, which you will either accept or reject. That can frequently be more than you were originally expecting to charge them, and can be a pivot point for you to raise your prices.

Pricing is an art, not a science. Charge whatever the market will bear, and test that periodically.

Until next time,
Paulette - who likes to leave as little money on the table as makes sense


Monday, October 08, 2007

Send Only What You Can Follow Up

It can be a great inclination to do a large mailing out to potential bulk buyers of your booklet. After all, it's all about quantity, isn't it? Yes, there's something to be said for "throwing it against the wall to see what sticks."

The more profound reality in selling booklets in bulk to corporations, associations, publications, websites, and other entities is that you absolutely, positively must do follow-up. As much as the recipient of your mass mailing thinks your booklet will be the ideal gift with purchase for their upcoming product launch, or perfect handout at a trade show, or any of the other ways booklets can be used, those decision makers are busy people. They'll put your booklet onto their desk, with the best of intentions, and life happens. The booklet gets buried in a pile, other decisions take priority, and, well, you name it and it'll happen.

Call or email them. Calling often works better when you can reach them. It lets you explore possibilities together that email just doesn't allow.

Send out the number of mail pieces that you can readily schedule in for telephone follow-up. You'll be glad you did.

Until next time,
Paulette - remembering earlier times of mass mailings that fast became useless


Friday, October 05, 2007

Tips Writing

It's a source of fascination to see the challenge some people have in following a formula I suggest for writing tips. Although this is a topic I addressed recently, it bears further attention.

Here's the formula, plain and simple:

"One sentence starting with a positive verb (action word), followed by no more than two sentences explaining "why" or "how."

"Use a spiral notebook for capturing random ideas, to-do lists, and notes of phone conversations. The notebook creates reliability and consistency, and is far superior to the back of an envelope."

This tells the reader what TO do (instead of what NOT) to do, and explains why, in all of 32 words.

I frequently see less useful tips starting with "don't," or "If...then..." or some philosophical statement about something without suggesting a direct action for the reader to take or some absolutely using words like "always", "everyone," "forever," or "most." Worse yet, one of my biggest pet peeves, "You should..." My immediate reaction to "You should..." is "how do you know what I should do??"

Then there's the writer who puts a dozen direct statements into what is intended to be a simple tip. It's like someone barker orders at the reader, without giving any reason of why to do something or how to do it.

Use the simple formula --
"One sentence starting with a positive verb (action word), followed by no more than two sentences explaining "why" or "how."

It really does work.

Until next time,
Paulette - keeping it simple


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Write a Book in 90 Days - How Many?

An email arrived this week announcing a teleclass being presented on how to write a book in 90 days. Things like that always capture my attention. The promotional copy for the teleclass was well written, and I got all the way to the bottom of the email. That's where it said about 3% of the teleclass presenter's clients have finished their book in 90 days, and that most take 6 months to a year, making it two to four times easier for the author. I personally appreciated seeing reference to this reality base.

It's not uncommon for people to ask me how long it will take them to write a booklet. I've had clients lock themselves into a hotel room for 24 hours and get it done, and I've also had clients tell me they did a booklet 13 years after first having the idea. There is no right answer.

My point? It takes you however long you let it, based on whatever your motivators and personality style dictate. Was that you breathing a sigh of relief just now?

Until next time,
Paulette - who did her booklet in two weeks, because that's just how it went for me


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I Met You a Year Ago and I'm Ready Now

Yesterday I was on the phone with someone who has decided to participate in a Collection of Experts. I knew the person's name was familiar to me, yet couldn't quite place why or from where, in spite of my above-average memory. As we chatted, the person told me where and when we had met, and I immediately recalled that meeting.

At the time, I had no clue what might be purchased from me, if anything, and certainly didn't know when it would happen, hence no particular spot in my memory. The person was invited to participate in the Collection of Experts by a colleague we both know.

The point of all of this is to basically remind you and myself to keep on keepin' on. You truly never do know who will be ready to buy whatand when they will be ready to do it. I happened to have been at the event where I met that person to ultimately sell my products and services. What I often forget is that many times sales happen way after the fact in settings like that, when I am a workshop speaker at a conference. That may be the case with you, too, or be some theme and variations of that.

Bottom line, keep on keepin' on. Do your marketing, introduce new products and services, connect however you can. People will tell you they met you a year ago and be ready to buy from you now, when you have what resonates for them, and they had a positive connection to you initially.

Until next time,Paulette - appreciating people telling me they enjoy the varied ways I sign these blog entries :-)


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Monday, October 01, 2007

Consistency - Highly Overrated?

My former life partner was fond of saying consistency is highly overrated. Note, he's my former life partner, and this is one of many things on which we had differing opinions. As much as I thrive on variety in life in general, there are some places I believe it's better to be consistent. Writing and promoting your booklet are among those places.

There's a particular writing style that is very effective, which I strongly encourage:"One sentence starting with a positive verb, followed by no more than two sentences explaining why or how."

On promoting your booklet, I subscribe to John Kremer's approach of doing a little bit every day or as frequently as makes sense for you. Contact 3 or 5 places to marketing and promote your work 3 or 5 days a week. John's signature book is "1001 Ways to Market Your Book." By his own admission no one can do everything in the book.

Is consistency overrated? Nah, I don't think so.

Until next time,Paulette -- who really did learn lots of good things from her former life partner, as well as a few not-so-useful things


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