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Booklet Tips From Paulette

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

Monday, June 30, 2008

Booklets, Cats, and the Mail

I got onto the mailing list for a catalog of cat supplies. Not sure how that happened since, although I do share my life with a delightful cat, I don't buy things through mail order for her. Regardless, my booklet brain was in gear as I saw the catalog arrive in today's mail. Several author clients of mine have, in fact, written excellent booklets about cats. If I were any of those authors, I'd be contacting the owners of that catalog to discuss with them the idea of licensing one or more of my booklets to offer as a gift with purchase from that catalog, much like I successfully did years ago with a consumer mail order catalog company.

Go take another look to see what gems were delivered to you today.

Until next time,
Paulette - trolling the mail on a regular basis

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Friday, June 27, 2008

What Do Your Kids Know?

Periodically someone tells me they are working on a booklet with one of their children. I think this is a completely untapped resource for writing and marketing booklets, plus an opportunity to engage with your kids on a whole different level than you might do otherwise. This is true for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors.

The content can be geared child to child or child to adult. Whether it's a hobby a child has or a particular level of expertise on a topic or a set of observations from a child's point of view, each of these and more can be useful and marketable. With many students on school break for the summer, consider taking some time to explore these possibilities.

Until next time,
Paulette - often fascinated by what kids have to say

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Evergreens are More Than Trees

An evergreen topic is one that has no time sensitivity. My booklet, "110 Ideas for Organizing Your Business Life," is an example of that, and it happened that way unconsciously. Although many strides have happened in techniques and technology for organizing a person's business life during the past two decades, my booklet has nothing about technology in it. And the techniques are all still as valid today as they were when I wrote it. Therefore, it never got outdated. And while certain times of the year seem to prompt an artificial season for getting organized, the truth is that it's a year-round deal.

There's many topics to which this applies. Think about that as you're writing your booklet. That doesn't mean it's the only booklet that would be appropriate for your business or personal expertise. It can, however, be a cornerstone of your product line. Look at some of the books that have had substantial longevity on the New York Times Bestseller List. One that comes to mind is the career-oriented "What Color Is Your Parachute." I can recall utilizing that book myself about 30 years ago. It had merit then, and still does now, regardless of the state of the economy or any advances in the world of career counseling. Your booklet can, too.

Keep your presence in the world and in the contents of your wallet ever green.

Until next time,
Paulette - lovin' the leveragin'

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bulk Sales Buyers Already in Your Booklet

While consulting with a book author yesterday about bulk sales for the book and its contents, I was reminded of how easy it can be to overlook the obvious. The author made frequent reference to certain things related to camping and travel and taking pictures. My mind immediately went to contacting camera manufacturers, camping equipment manufacturers, camp food manufacturers, and so on. As bright and marketing-savvy a person as I experienced this author to be, those ideas had never surfaced.

Whether you are referencing specific companies as I did in my own booklet with 3M and Post-It Notes (TM), or you feature certain items generically (taking photos = cameras), look back at your content. Look through different filters to see what prospects are right there, ideal to approach for buying your booklet and other formats of your content to use as premiums to sell more of their own product.

Until next time,
Paulette - encouraging you to be as creative as possible


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Reviving Prospects who Disappear into "The Black Hole"

Enjoy this Guest Post. Jill's topic is one that most of us have experienced!


Reviving Prospects who Disappear into "The Black Hole"

By Jill Konrath

Have you ever had hot prospects who suddenly stopped returning your call? Then you know how disconcerting it can be - especially when they'd expressed so much interest in your product or service only days before.

At first, you assume their lack of responsiveness is an isolated situation that will quickly self-correct. But after repeated failed attempts to connect, you start to question your own sanity.

You could have sworn they were interested, but their current behavior indicates otherwise. And, not wanting to appear too desperate or to come across as a real pest, you're stymied in terms of what your next steps should be.

Why They Disappeared

As a seller, it's always important to analyze what may be causing this behavior before taking action. In my experience, these are the typical reasons why prospects disappear into "The Black Hole." Jill Konrath

  • They're totally swamped. Without a doubt, this is the most common. In virtually ever company today, people have way too much to do and not nearly enough time to get it all done. They fully intend to continue the conversation, but not right now.
  • Priorities changed. This can happen overnight. Changing market conditions, bad 3rd quarter results, and new leadership are just a few of the possible root causes. But when this happens, it's darn near impossible to regain your momentum in the short term.
  • Lack of urgency. Sometimes sellers confuse a prospect's interest level with a desire to take action today. As such, they share all the glorious details about their offering instead of building a business case for immediate change.
  • Column fodder. Occasionally prospects just need comparative bids/pricing to justify their decision to go with another company.
  • They know everything. When prospects feel they have all the information they need, there's literally no reason to talk with you any further.
Different reasons call for different actions. Some you can prevent by doing things differently in your customer interactions. Always be open to this possibility since prevention is your best cure. Others you have no control over.

In any case, you need answers! Is it "yeah" or "nay"? Are they still interested or not? Should you keep pursing them or find new prospects?

What You Can Do

When you don't know what's behind their silence, figuring out how to respond can be a dilemma - especially since you don't want to be a pest. Here are some strategies you can use in dealing with "The Black Hole:"

  • Just keep trying. Realize that prospects expect you to carry the "keep in touch" burden - so do it. It can often take 8-10 contacts before you actually reach them again. Don't panic. This is normal in today's business environment.
  • Make each connection valuable. Don't just say, "Hi Eric. Just getting back to you as I promised about your xxx decision. If you have any questions, give me a call.

    Instead, you might say, "Eric, Based on our conversation last week, I know how important it is to you to shorten your sales cycle. There's a white paper on our website that addresses this issue. I'll be sending you a link via email shortly."
  • Have a sense of humor. After 4-5 contacts, leave a funny message such as, "Eric. I know you're swamped. But I also know that shortening your sales cycle is important to you. That's why I keep bugging you. I'm looking forward to FINALLY reconnecting."
  • Leverage a variety of mediums. Mix up phone calls with emails, mailings, invitations to upcoming events, sending articles, etc. To position yourself as a resource, makes sure each connection educates, informs or adds insights.
  • Create multiple entry points. Never let one person be your total gateway to a company. Identify and nurture multiple relationships concurrently. When appropriate, reference others you're talking to in your messages/emails.
  • Re-evaluate your initial connection . How could you increase their urgency? Determine if you're just column fodder? Or, tie your offering more into their business priorities? In way too many cases, sellers have done a product/service dump when talking to prospects. Instead you need to on critical business outcomes and the difference you can make.
  • Plan your next step now. Never leave a meeting without a homework assignment (for you and/customer) and a firm follow-up appointment scheduled. If they're unwilling to do this, it's an indicator that something may not be quite right - which should prompt you to explore their need and urgency in greater depth.
  • Let them off the hook. Send an email stating that you thought they were interested, but perhaps you misjudged the situation since you haven't heard back from them in the last 6 weeks. Believe it or not, this strategy often gets a response & an explanation from a prospect who is feeling guilty about not reconnecting.
  • Reduce your contact frequency. If, after ten touches, you still haven't heard, start contacting them less often. A quarterly schedule might be more appropriate. Or, you might want to keep on top of what's happening in the account and reconnect at a more appropriate time.

By leveraging one or more of these strategies, you'll often be able to re-engage a prospect who has disappeared into "The Black Hole." Not always, but often. And, if you've continually provided value and focused on the impact your offering makes, they'll likely be ready to implement your solution yesterday.

Jill Konrath, author of Selling to Big Companies, helps sellers crack into corporate accounts, shorten sales cycles and win big contracts. She is a frequent speaker at national sales meetings and association events.

For more article like this, visit http://www.SellingtoBigCompanies.com Get a free Sales Call Planning Guide ($19.95 value) when you sign up for the Selling to Big Companies e-newsletter.


Until next time,

Paulette - who can think of more than a few prospects this article describes



Monday, June 23, 2008

What Not to Say - An Invite for Booklet Authors

In the past week I've seen two different article titles starting with "What Not to Say When ..." One was written by a booklet author who has been a client of mine and it showed up in a print magazine. The other was on CNN.com about what not to say during a job interview.

I see both of these articles as an excellent starting point to connect or reconnect with large-quantity buyers who may be hanging out in indecision in their purchase with you. In fact, I just emailed a booklet author client of mine who wrote an excellent booklet on tips for job hunting an recruiting. Referencing the CNN.com article of what not to say, then lead into pointing toward your own booklet going way beyond that, to help people in knowing what TO do in a similar situation. In this case, it would be about job hunting and interviewing. You know I am fond of giving people suggestions on what TO do rather than what NOT to do.

Use what the media gives you as yet another tool in your toolbox for communicating with clients and prospects. It's all right there once you notice it.

Until next time,
Paulette - grateful for gifts, regardless of their source

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Friday, June 20, 2008

The Economy is Great

And no, I haven't totally lost my mind. There are many industries and situations that are ideal for your booklet right now. Anyone whose expertise is about money, careers, creativity, stress, psychology, and lots of other topics are prime for making tons and tons of sales right now. And that doesn't even scratch the surface.

It's also very possible that your topic/area of expertise has a twist to it that could make it a perfect match, too. It wouldn't be the first time that you (or I!) were too close to your own information to see the vast array of possibilities, with both the topic and the scope of the market.

There's community organizations (churches, synagogues, service organizations, etc) who could be ideal for buying your product and utilizing it as a fundraiser in the community. It's a benefit to all concerned.

Let's chat for an hour about how you, too, can go way beyond where you are right now in this particular part of the economic cycle, and help lots of people in the process.

Until next time,
Paulette - who usually sees many possibilities

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Who You Know Equals Booklet Sales

One of the more interesting ideas I like to explore with people is how to reach the right person when selling booklets and your other information products to corporations. Many booklet authors are public speakers or independent trainers. The department that hires them is often human resources or training or personnel. It is rarely the marketing or sales departments. It comes as a big surprise to many of these speakers and trainers to hear the suggestion about asking the people who hire them to make an introduction to the head of the marketing or sales department, which are frequently the departments who are the bulk product buyers of your booklets and other information product formats. These departments use your products as premiums or incentives to prompt more sales of their own products.

When you've got a good-to-excellent relationship established with someone in a department other than sales or marketing, simply ask them for an introduction to sales and marketing. It's so much easier to gain access (and make sales!) that way.

Until next time,
Paulette - utilizing connections to the fullest

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Jog Your Thinking About Selling Booklets

You may know of John Kremer, a leader in book marketing. He addresses many things in his "1001 Ways to Market Books that are definitely applicable to booklet authors. Here's an excerpt that will get you thinking about what you can do similarly with your booklets.


(Excerpted - with permission - from John Kremer’s Sixth Edition of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Contact John at http://www.bookmarket.com)

With in-packs, the premium (your book or excerpt) is offered inside the package. When the customers buy the product they get your premium, too. Alka-Seltzer has used excerpts from several books as in-packs to promote its “relief-giving” properties. During tax time, they gave away “Tax Relief” an excerpt from “J.K.Lasser’s Your Income Tax.” In another promotion, they gave away “Hot & Spicy Favorites” recipes excerpted from various Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks


Until next time,
Paulette - happy to pass along to you some specifics for you to tweak


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Narrative vs. tips booklets

Tips booklets are a starting point for creating a product line of other formats. Tips booklets are not the only way to do it, for all kinds of reasons. They do, however, allow a newcomer to your expertise to have a gradual entry point. You can give them more expanded information in the next format(s) of your materials. You can go to a special report or an audio product where, in both cases, the delivery will be more narrative.

You can also sell all formats of your products in bulk, regardless of the writing style. Your information may be historical non-fiction, with explanations, maps, and photographs. There's many places that would be interested in using your content to help them further promote what they are about.

Start with tips and expand from there. Yes, it IS always possible. You just may not be seeing it ...yet.

Until next time,
Paulette - who is not emotionally attached to your content the way you are

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Organizing Your Booklet

Yes, as a former Professional Organizer, you would expect a higher sensitivity here to how your booklet is organized. However, things like that really do matter with your booklet. Keep in mind that many of your readers are coming to your knowledge for the first time. Presenting your information in a logical sequence and grouping makes it so much easier for the reader. It also makes it more enticing for the reader to want more of what you've got when you are that much more approachable.

Until next time,
Paulette - reminding you it's more important than only alphabetizing the spices in your kitchen


Friday, June 13, 2008

Living in the Question

A colleague called today to discuss how a book could best be organized converting it from a long-running blog. We arrived at the content actually warranting at least two books plus a number of booklets, before even going into other product line extensions we'd discussed months ago.

The bigger piece of the conversation was the preference of the author to prompt the reader toward introspection and coming up with answers on their own, rather than providing "how-to's" in a relationship-oriented topic. My suggestion was to do that, plus add in a few direct "how-to's" to satisfy those folks who are less introspective.

Many people are looking for answers when reading a book, booklet, or other info product. That's why the writing style I recommend is based on telling the reader what to do. Asking questions on a blog is certainly a way to prompt some discussion. In a book, it's more like a self-therapy situation, in my opinion.

What do you think?

Until next time,
Paulette - telling it like it is


Thursday, June 12, 2008

A New Blog About Booklets

One of our booklet authors has just emailed to say she's started a blog called Writing For Riches With Booklets. Although she began it this week, you'll find the early chronicling of her current and recent experiences to be interesting, eye-opening, encouraging, and informative. Thanks, Kim!

Until next time,
Paulette - always happy to see others succeeding and sharing ideas

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Twelve is a Magic Number

The truth is that any number can be magical if you decide it is. I decided that twelve is -- this week. Twelve years ago this month I made a big change in my life. I moved from metro New York to San Diego. Many good things happened as a result of that change.

So I decided to celebrate the anniversary of that dozen years by making a special offer tomorrow, the 12th of June, for 12 hours, with a 12% discount on a particular product, so that you can make a big change in the way you do business.

The only way you can get this is by being a subscriber to my newsletter, Booklet Tips from Paulette. If you're a subscriber, you'll get the notification of the details of this sale tonight, shortly after 12 midnight Eastern time zone. If you're not a subscriber, get yourself over to the home page of www.tipsbooklets.com and subscribe immediately!

Until next time,
Paulette - in disbelief that it's already been 12 years in San Diego!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Life Without Email

Whether it's traveling to a place where there's no connection, or being at the mercy of a regular server that's gone down, or life events pushing online connectivity out of the way, it can be hard to imagine life without email. I've been reading more and more marketing experts talk or write about reintroducing OFFline marketing into the mix as a way to be seen, noticed, and distinguished from among the crowd. Yes, it's more effort, more money, and less immediate than online marketing. However, the past 24 hours in my own world have made the point.

Apparently the particular server on which my business' email is hosted has been the victim of someone's major spamming efforts. The result is that my regular email has been sporadic at best with both incoming and outgoing email. Yes, I do have some alternatives with gmail addresses that I can use. However, I have basically no access to the email coming to my main business address until this gets resolved by the host company. It's an eye-opening and humbling experience, at the very least, not to mention frustrating and annoying.

It reminds me of the many years I lived in the Northeast and would periodically lose electricity because of a storm. Soooo many things are powered by electricity.
We don't do storms in San Diego.

No doubt this will be fixed soon. In the meantime, I'm thinking about what offline ways make sense for marketing booklets and other related products these days, with a sense of back to the future -- 1991 here we are again!

Until next time,
Paulette - realizing there's always a good side to everything, even if it's not immediately obvious


Monday, June 09, 2008

Booklets and the Economy

I wrote my booklet in 1991, when the US economy was very much like it is now. It was in reaction to the sales cycle getting slower and slower for the workshops and consulting that provided my income at that point. There are so many more possibilities today to sell and license information than there were in 1991. For one thing, you (and I) were not yet online and the Internet had yet to appear. Hard to imagine, isn't it? Yet completely true.

Beyond not having the luxury of jumping on the "bad economy" bandwagon, it provides all kinds of opportunities to do it different. You can re-tool your content into other formats, choose different content that people are more likely to want, approach different markets than you have been, or all of the above.

The economy is what it is. It's not good and not bad unless you label it that way. It's merely a time to do things differently.

Until next time,
Paulette - examining different possibilities one more time

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Nearsighted or Farsighted?

The same way that human eyesight is often more nearsighted or farsighted, the same is true when it comes to seeing the product you create and the marketing possibilities.

I met a person last week at the publishing conference in Los Angeles who wrote a book about taking children to some particular destinations in North America. It is an interesting niche that the author senses has been exhausted. Looking at the topic, I easily saw a dozen more directions to go in marketing the book and in expanding the product line to develop other formats from the content of the book. As I shared just a couple of ideas with the author, it was obvious these were a breath of fresh air, and something previously not considered. I was not as close to the book as the author has been, so I could see many more possibilities.

There is new life, new oxygen, and new money (!) coming into the life of this author, and apparently not a moment too soon.

Until next time,
Paulette -- whose disposable bifocal contact lenses work reeeeeeeally well

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

New Clients, Old Clients, and In-Between Clients

One of the things frequently heard from new booklet authors is surprise over the business their booklet generates by going back to old clients. It can be easy to "write off" the people and companies who haven't done business with you in awhile. In fact, those are the very folks to contact when you have something new. The same is true for people who have never before bought from you. You may not have had the product or service that was what they needed at the right time.

It continues to amaze me how much after the fact people sign up for a workshop I'm presenting in their region. In the past few years, most of the attendees are people who have been clients or ezine subscribers of mine for years and years. It just wasn't the right time before that.

The same is true for people who have bought my home study kit. Years later they appear out of nowhere, wanting consulting services or suggestions about getting their booklet produced or are ready to look at licensing.

Yes, there are definitely people who jump in, hook, line, and sinker, and buy everything immediately, and get the job done. They are not in the majority, in my experience.

Stay in touch with your clients and prospects, even when they aren't buying today. They will surprise you, when you least expect it.

Until next time,
Paulette - happy that so many people know about and value booklets

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Promoting a 600,000 copy booklet deal

One of our booklet authors posted the following onto a discussion list yesterday. And it's not the first of this type of deal for this particular booklet author. What's your thoughts on the question?

I've got a deal in the works for my latest title with a large company
that wants to include it in it's product packaging. They need about
600,000 copies. They've already said yes, now it's just a matter of
formalities (them re-designing their packaging to alert consumers to
what's inside, Deciding on a time frame, etc.).

I really want to take advantage of this opportunity publicity wise,
but I'm a little overwhelmed as to what to do or how to start. Since
there is nothing signed yet and I don't have a check, I'm not quite
sure how to proceed. I want to be ready when the deal goes through
and things have firmed up.

I really need publicity ideas. I am sure the company I am dealing
with will probably want to do some publicity of their own, and they
have told me that they believe in giving credit where credit is due,
so I will probably be included in some of that publicity. They had
the option of pulling my name off the cover, but they are going to
leave it on. So, at the very least I would be promoted as an
author/expert through their packaging, but since they're marketing to
consumers and I market to businesses, I really need to do some of my
own publicity.

I just need a game plan and an idea of what to do when. I know about
press releases, newspapers, magazine articles, etc. But, right now
it's just a jumbled up mess in my head. If you had a deal like this
that could go through anytime from next week to sometime in January,
what would you do? Oh, and to complicate things a little further,
I'm not sure if this company will purchase all 600,000 copies at once,
in which case distribution would be over a one month period, or if
they will do it in spurts - through different distribution centers
across the country a little at time over a few months.

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I really want
to use the publicity to promote my company and my other products.

Until next time,
Paulette - delighted when clients surpass my own sales results

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

What's Your Reason?

As various people are commenting about their experiences at last week's Book Expo America in Los Angeles, it's a great reminder of how a particular event can have so many purposes.

I read on a discussion list this morning that one of my colleagues loves books. I mean really loves books. That was a reason for going. Someone else went to observe trends in the publishing industry. Another went to find a distributor. Some others went to connect and re-connect (network) with people for both the social and professional elements. Yet others went to cut deals. Some were there to exhibit their books at booths.

All of that, and much more, was available at this and similar events. As a non-traditional publisher, I was curious to see how I might be able to benefit from what is primarily a major trade show in the traditional publishing industry. Yes, there were deals to be had. Not with everyone, though with enough.

For the person who commented about loving books, it gave me pause, to explore what I am equally passionate about.

Until next time,
Paulette -- who loves finding opportunities where others see none


Monday, June 02, 2008

Broaden Those Blinders

In case you missed me, last week I was in Los Angeles for most of the week, immersed in publishing, publishers, and publications from Tuesday until Saturday. Welcome to those of you I met for the first time. Go to the home page of tipsbooklets.com today to subscribe to my monthly ezine. This month's goes out tonight.

It was a pleasure meeting some people in the public workshop I presented Tuesday, people who have been clients and subscribers who I'd never before seen face to face. I usually offer one of these classes whenever I travel.

It's easy to come up with dozens of reasons NOT to go to a conference and a major, potentially overwhelming trade show, even though the show is the largest publishing show in North America, only two hours up the road from me this year, and even though I'm a non-traditional publisher. And the same is true for attending and participating in a conference where I've heard many of the speakers before.

However, it's also easy to come up with dozens of reasons why I'm grateful to have gone to both the conference and the trade show. I always learn from my speaker colleagues and this year was no different. Brian Jud of www.BookMarketingWorks.com always shares something about bulk sales or publicity or marketing that I just never knew before, even though we frequently exchange ideas throughout the year. Among the luncheon keynotes were some representatives from the US Department of Commerce, talking about their purpose in helping publishers do more business overseas. Who knew? I chatted with another colleague who put a completely different spin on an idea I've been developing. I'm not sure I fully agree with his perspective, though it's definitely worth considering.

BookExpoAmerica (the major trade show) provided some important connections for joint ventures and bulk booklet sales. I met new people and reconnected with some I'd already known. My body did scream at me for a couple days after walking the floor of that massive trade show at the Los Angeles Convention Center. I'm fine now, thanks. (note to self: replace current tennis shoes).

Yes, it was time away from the office and my own bed and kitchen. Yes, it was getting up earlier than I tend to do. Yes, it was dealing with lots of people with a wide range of interests, personalities, and temperaments. And yes, it was worth every bit of it.

I've returned renewed, invigorated, with a handful of sales and prospects, and very pleased to have gone. Of course there's never a guarantee that each experience will be beneficial, much less in the ways you anticipate. What I do know is that broadening the blinders minimizes the chances of a really bad headache, literally or figuratively!

Until next time,
Paulette - delighted by the new experiences

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