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Booklet Tips From Paulette

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

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Booklet Expansion or Not

"I want to make a bigger booklet after I finish this one, and then I want to write a book."

These ideas are fairly commonplace among booklet authors. The most important thing about this thinking is to know why you are doing it. Having a broad product line is a Good Thing. It allows for people's budgets of time and money, accommodates various primary learning styles, and is often based on your own work style. Your own strength might be writing, so you want to keep writing and not create other formats of your content, much less get to the point of selling it. Or you may prefer to write something once and see how many different ways you can develop the same content and repeatedly sell it.

If you're in that latter category, you'll be interested in a Special Report, Write It Once, Leverage It Many Times.
It's a quick read that will get your ideas flowing and help you determine if writing that book makes all that much sense after all.

Until next time,
Paulette - who loves leveraging

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Booklets for Nurses

Google alerts are a wonderful tool. They send an email to you telling where something has been written about that includes whatever key words you choose. That's an easy way for me to see who is writing about booklets, tips booklets, tipsbooklets.com, and Paulette Ensign, for instance.

This week I saw a Google alert about a tipsbooklets.com client, Jackie Brookman. She's written several booklets after her "65 Tips for Foreign-born Nurses Working in American Hospitals" that I knew about.

Here's what a Google alert looks like, arriving in your email inbox. Oh, and visit Jackie's site to see how she's selling her booklets and if you have any interest in nursing.


Google Blogs Alert for: "tips booklets"

An Unresolved Conflict affects the Team
By supportfornurses
... a nurse can do—particularly one who is
committed to providing good patient care!
Want more good tips and strategies, check
out SupportForNurses.com excellent, top
quality Tips Booklets!


Until next time,
Paulette - always delighted to see what my clients are doing

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Booklet Failures

A colleague recently shared a perspective with me that's useful to pass along, and is applicable to all parts of your business and mine, particularly when it comes to your booklet. I don't know where this originally came from so cannot give any attribution. Here it is:

There are no failures, only experiments.

I suspect you're like me, that you've made many starts with your business and maybe even your booklet. It's not uncommon for me to speak with a booklet author or prospective booklet author who wants to be sure to do it all the "right way." Wanting to do it the "right way" can cripple any and all forward motion. There is no "right way." There's ways that work better than other ways, and you will find what works best for you.

When it comes to booklets, there are so many variables and so many approaches. I found some ways that worked for me. By the way, I also found a whole lot of ways that didn't work. That's the stuff that can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. There were things that seemed and still seem logical that never came to be. There were other things I never could have anticipated that were fabulous. I just kept going, experimenting with all kinds of things -- and still do.

My Collection of Experts tips booklet service is a prime example of about 4 years of experimentation until the right packaging and right pricing appeared. Before that it just never happened. Now it is, in a big way.

Go do some experimenting, and keep doing it.

Until next time,
Paulette - who built a business on one experiment after another

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Pricing Your Booklet

The following query was in this week's issue of a newsletter for professional speakers:

A client wants to buy copies of my booklet for all 300 attendees. It usually sells for $12. I said I would give them a discount, but didn’t say how much. What are people usually doing in instances like this?

My reply:

I saw your query. You're asking a question in which I've had 17 years of experience as my complete business, and have sold over a million copies of my own booklet during that time. First of all, there is no "usually" about this, even when it seems cut and dried wholesale discounting. Your client could be pleased as punch to have as small as a 10% discount off the $12, or be expecting and hoping for a 50% discount.

My suggestion is to view this as part of a larger picture, coming at it from a couple different directions. I'd start with a 10% discount. If your client balks, first ask what price she/he had in mind, and determine in your own mind if there's a reason for you to live with that. If so, one way to finesse a drop in price is to come back to the client with the news that you were able to bundle their order with a larger one for someone else, allowing you to give this client the benefit of the larger print run. In my opinion, this is admittedly a harmless white lie that allows everyone to have what they want.

It's wonderful that you are able to expand your speaking fee with this sale of your booklet. However, 300 copies is a small bulk sale for what's possible out there. I go into this in great detail in my flagship product, "How to Promote Your Business with Booklets," found at http://www.tipsbooklets.com/index.php?page=prodlist.php&p=285&c=12


Until next time,
Paulette - expanding the pie

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Booklet Publicity Then and Now

Social networking opportunities, individual wikis, and article directories on people's sites can be overwhelming and overpowering to some of us, myself included. And I'm someone who enjoys marketing, unlike lots of people I know.

For the briefest of moments, I paused this morning to consider my earliest foray into marketing my booklet and the previous business that prompted that booklet. My first efforts, in 1991, were getting excerpts of my booklet into articles that magazine editors would write for their magazines. Yes, it, too, was time consuming to gather the contacts, mail out the booklet and cover later, and wait to see who published what and when. Based on today's standards, that process reached many fewer people than online marketing could ever do. And yet I sold about 50,000 copies of my printed booklet, one at a time.

I remember feeling like it took all day every day to get that ball rolling. And it did. Today there are many ways to streamline the entire process. Yet it can still take all day every day if you (or I) allow it. We are all wiser today, if not more frantic, in utilizing electronic and human resources. And for those folks like me who are admittedly late adapters of technology, my best bet is to do what I can and delegate the rest. There is no way any of us can eat the entire elephant without having a major upset stomach in the process!

Until next time,
Paulette - looking for a 15-year old to handle marketing through social networking

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Monday, April 21, 2008

What Do You Want Your Booklet to Be?

I got rough copy this morning from a potential booklet author. The content was all over the place. Yes, I could create a theme from what was sent. However, it wasn't up to me. That was up to the booklet author. When I posed the question of "what do you want your booklet to be?" the answer was immediately forthcoming. A working title came out of the booklet author's mouth, followed by "that's what my business is about." Exactly!

Look at what your business is about. That will let you surf through a large amount of content and be clear about what belongs in the booklet and what doesn't. Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it?

Until next time,
Paulette - who knows that sometimes it's little more than knowing the question to ask

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Booklets in Bookstores - NO

A booklet author emailed me this morning for my comments about an article in a newsletter suggesting that authors make themselves known to bookstores when said authors are traveling around --- and what did I think about that. A resounding "NO" was my reply.

Bookstores and the entire traditional publishing model are not anything I am about or teach people to do with booklets, or even books. It's a crazy model, first of all. It's an uphill battle for a book author to get their book into a bookstore to begin with. And once there, the book basically is on consignment for all intents and purposes. I don't know about you, but when I make a sale, the notion of returning whatever doesn't sale has zero appeal to me. Plus those returns are often not in salable condition. And the quantities sold are minuscule. Gee, where do I sign up?

It's much more satisfying and lucrative to sell large quantities to single buyers like corporations or associations, with no returns, don't you think? For all the details about how to do that, you'll want to have "How to Promote Your Business with Booklets" if you don't already own it. (See the Home Study Courses at my site) And if you do own it, and had a brain blip, then schedule some time on the clock with me to get you back on track! (Look at Rent-a-Brain in the Services menu of my site.)

Until next time,
Paulette - who agrees with Dan Poynter who believes bookstores are a lousey place to sell books

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Booklet is the Basis

I had dinner last night with a colleague whose personality, and therefore business style, are different than mine. Or so she thought. As I was telling her about the latest exciting development of bringing on someone who approached me to represent parts of my business, my colleague marveled at how I've stayed the course all these years since 1991. Yes, the booklet has been the basis of my business, and I've leveraged it in many related ways. The booklet has been the basis and the brand, in one way or another.

That doesn't mean I haven't tested some seemingly-unrelated directions over time, as my colleague has done. As she put it, she decided an apple tasted good until she saw some peaches that she tried, and liked them, until some apricots showed up, and those tasted even better. She's all over the place and still struggles many years later and with lots of formal credentials to her credit in addition to degrees from the School of Hard Knocks.

This is not to say there aren't those moments once in awhile when I don't wonder what's next to keep me interested and thriving. It usually takes a very small period of stillness before the next variation on the theme presents itself in one way or another. The base remains constant -- for now.

Until next time,
Paulette - grateful for the theme, the variations, and the willingness to explore all of it


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Booklet Surprises

Being in the booklet biz since 1991, you can imagine I've seen a lot of things happen -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. It made me wonder about what I did NOT know about. What kinds of things have happened surrounding booklets that just never made it back to me?

  • What happy surprises happened with your booklet? - outstanding sales, production looking better than you expected, an introduction to someone because of your booklet, or anything else.

  • What bad things happened? I'll leave that up to you to fill in the blanks.

  • What out and out ugly things appeared? One digit of your phone number wrong in a print run of 2500 booklets, a large delivery that got lost along the way, or anything else?

Post your entries here at this blog. Something good will happen once you do.

Until next time,
Paulette - whose stream of consciousness takes her all kinds of places

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Handing Out Booklets

A client handed me a booklet over the weekend at an event we attended. The booklet had been well written, well designed, and well produced. The client said the booklet had been handed out to many people. Just from the way that message was conveyed, I could tell the author had not yet tapped going after large quantity sales and was disappointed the free distribution hadn't prompted sales. Upon further inquiry, my suspicions were confirmed.

Keep in mind that there are definitely valid times to hand out a booklet. Those valid times include doing it intentionally, to people who are likely to become bulk buyers and view that free booklet as a sample for review. It has to be planned rather than having a shotgun approach. The no-cost samples need to go to those who matter in the business context. They can be decision makers or influencers and have some connection with the content. It makes no sense to give the best booklet in the world about backyard in-the-ground vegetable gardening to a population who lives mostly in high rise apartment buildings.

So yes, distributing samples to a well-chosen group of people makes sense. Casting seeds randomly on a wish and a prayer makes minimal sense.

Until next time,
Paulette - who gave up vegetable gardening twelve years ago for the warmth, beach, and wonderful produce readily available in the stores of southern California


Monday, April 14, 2008

I Can't Use 1,000 Booklets

When a booklet authors asks how many booklets to print, I advise 1,000 as the magic number. 1,000 booklets sounds like a lot to a first-time booklet author. That's usually because the idea of bulk sales is so new to most booklet authors. Selling 100 copies to one person isn't as uncommon as you might think. 10 of those sales, and there's your 1,000 copies -- and that leaves you no copies to send as samples to the companies and associations who are likely to buy thousands and thousands of copies at a time from you.

The difference in price between printing 500 copies and 1,000 copies is usually so small that it makes no sense to print 500. Printing more than 1,000 copies for your house inventory is also not a good idea, especially in your very first print run. The odds are high that there's some "oops" in there or you discover something you reeeeeally want to add in that you forgot about, or something that just doesn't sit right with you. Having a couple cartons of that booklet that you don't feel 100% great about is far from motivating, no matter how good a print price you got for the higher quantity run.

If you decide to print your booklet at all for your own house inventory, please, make it 1,000 copies, not more and not less.

Until next time,
Paulette - who has seen the ugly results of ignoring this advice

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Book or Booklet, Book or Booklet?

Why do you want to write a book? No, seriously, have you ever really asked yourself that question? There's good reasons to write an entire 200+ page, 1000-hours, book. And there's plenty of reasons not to.

Sometimes it's crucial in certain fields. You have no credibility unless you've written that book. More often than not, it falls into an emotional decision, an ego trip, a "should." If you're looking to a book to make you money, that rarely happens. Using a book as a platform to brand yourself is certainly a reasonable consideration, though you can still accomplish that result without the 200+ page, 1000-hours book.

If writing that book is an absolute, well-considered decision, you may find it easiest to do by doing it in pieces. That's one of the many ways booklets can come in very handy. Each booklet you write is a ready-to-market-and-sell product as soon as it's completed. And it's a chapter of a book. Put them all together, and voila, you've got that book.

Keep in mind, however, that you can still have author status, make lots more money, do it in less time, and leverage the living daylights out of it by doing a 3,000-5,000 word, few-hours booklet. You choose.

Until next time,
Paulette - who has made a living for the better part of 20 years on 16 pages of a tips booklet

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

How Close Are You to the Money?

John Kremer made an important point in his comment to yesterday's post here on this blog. The point refers to the return on your investment of time. John said he's basically a lazy man. I prefer to view it as being efficient. I like to get as close to the person who will buy the most as I possibly can. It's not always possible to do that in a straight line, and other times it is.

My earliest days in the booklet business were fueled by garnering publicity excerpts in magazines. It brought lots of single-copy sales plus opened the door to some much larger things in the way of bulk sales and licensing opportunities to expand my product line. Those publicity excerpts were not too different in concept from the end result of the social networking today. It's casting a lot of seeds without knowing which ones will take root and how they will develop. There's just more technology to do it. And you already know where I stand on technology (read yesterday's post).

Going after bulk sales to companies and associations can take longer (or not!), and, in a perfect world, is a direct route. I say in a perfect world because I've had experiences of being bounced around from executive to executive until the final buying decision was approved months later. However, that decision was usually a pretty substantial buy.

Bottom line is that what often works well with sales is like lots of other things in life. A balanced and varied diet maintains the health and well-being of your company. (and your physical health and your financial portfolio!).

Until next time,
Paulette - who loves the phrase, "Show Me the Money" as much as anyone else does
www.tipsbooklets.com -- where you can subscribe to my ezine and get a free report

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Booklet Promotion is Endless

I am admittedly a later adapter of technology. It's just how I'm wired. And once I do jump onto a particular bandwagon, it's obvious how helpful it turns out to be. My overwhelm with technology is something I see in many other people when it comes to both technology and marketing. I mention them together because they are increasingly part of the same thing.

Years ago, John Kremer wrote "1001 Ways to Market Your Book." I've got three editions of this book, each thicker than the one before it. John talks about a matrix of 5 -- doing 5 things to promote your book everyday. He added a lot about the Internet in his most recent edition that came out a couple years ago. John's book runs a gamut of book marketing approaches and his book is also very useful for booklet authors.

Between his book, and the increasing number of online possibilities, I go into overload. How about you? LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, my blog, everyone else's blog, and on and on and on. Yes, it could be time to find an intern who does nothing but social network promotion for me. Many people enjoy the technology, get a kick out of the marketing, and would love the idea of helping someone. Yup, I think that's my solution, at least for now, anyway.

Until next time,
Paulette - digging out from the technological avalanche

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Monday, April 07, 2008

The Other End of the Pricing Spectrum

Last week I shared a post with you about a major corporation wanting booklets and the right to use the PDF, all of which needed to "not cost a whole lot." Then several days ago I was at a meeting with a friend and colleague who sells books in bulk to corporations. A particular very large and well-known tobacco company is looking for quite a few thousand copies of a coffee-table photography book about Americana, in the $50-list price range.

Moral of the story? There's no accounting for anyone's financial tastes or abilities. So be careful about making assumptions on any level. I'm eager to see how both these deals pan out, aren't you?

Until next time,
Paulette - happy to share these confirmations with you whenever they show up


Thursday, April 03, 2008

How much is "not a lot of money" for a booklet?

A booklet author wrote me today saying that a prospective bulk buyer loved the booklet, wanted to print it and also be able to distribute the PDF version, and that they weren't prepared to pay a lot of money to do it. The prospect is a very large corporation. They wanted the booklet author to think about it and come back with a price for this.

My advice to the booklet author is that the prospect must say a number to define what "not a lot of money" means. And further advice to the booklet author is to be prepared to walk away from a number that becomes insulting. After all, the employees of this major corporation get paid for the work they do. Why shouldn't the booklet author?

Until next time,
Paulette - who is constantly amazed by what people want for "not a lot of money"