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Booklet Tips From Paulette

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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Yes, Yes, and Yes with Booklets and Business

How many "yes" answers have you created with your tips booklets and your business? It gets easier to say yes when you're providing choices among your products and services at various prices, formats, and delivery schedules.

When someone has a particular price they are willing to pay, can you give them something that will satisfy them at that price? It may be a smaller quantity, part of a bigger package, or a different format. If they are hesitating about a booklet, can you suggest they may find it a better match to have that same information as an audio product, for instance?

You may be comfortable offering a multiple payment plan as another choice. Requiring an initial payment that covers your booklet production and shipping costs can be a good solution for certain situations.

Your other related products and services may be available in parts if someone isn't immediately able to buy the entire thing. Someone recently asked about making two payments with something that just didn't sit well with me. Instead, I was able to suggest a product that had part of the larger product, which was really all the person needed to accomplish the goal, at a price that was completely manageable. Offering that option as a "yes" was much better than saying "no" to the 2-payment request.

Look at your current products, services, and business model. What changes (minor or otherwise) can you make so you increase the number of "yes" answers you can provide? It keeps your clients coming back for more, and keeps your business healthy and prosperous.

Until next time,
Paulette - saying "yes" to you

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Book About Making Money Selling Books

There are only a few of us who teach about selling books, booklets, audios, and other information products in bulk to non-traditional buyers like companies, the military, and many other places.

Brian Jud is one of those people.

Brian and I have been colleagues and friends for almost ten years. We have similar yet different knowledge and experience that serves each other's clients well. That's why we frequently find ourselves in the happy position of referring people to each other.

Yesterday's mail brought my copy of the second book Brian wrote on this topic. It's called "How to Make Real Money Selling Books (without worrying about returns), and it's excellent.

He gives tons of specifics on how to approach these buyers, and contact information for reaching them. Brian addresses a wide range of non-trade retail markets. That means places that are not the typical bookstore - everything from museums, zoos, and aquariums to businesses, associations, government agencies, and the military. It's the ideal follow-up to his also-terrific first book,
"Beyond the Bookstore."

Most of the places he discusses use the publications either to re-sell to their customers or to give employees/constituents as gifts. That's a different perspective than I typically teach, of clients using booklets and any other information product format as a promotional item. However, the wealth of contact information and other overall guidance in Brian's book makes it worthy of my highest recommendation.

Although Brian generously mentioned me in the Acknowledgments section of his book, and made a reference to me by name on P. 116, my only compensation for passing this along to you is the good feeling I get in letting you know about this excellent resource. It's a must-have in broadening your sales possibilities and knowledge for any information products you create.

Go to his site today at www.BookMarketingWorks.com to get your copy of one or both of his books. Go on!

Until next time,
Paulette - always happy to recommend Brian Jud


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Booklets - Re-gift Your Holiday Experiences

"Re-gifting" is one of those words that has found its way into the language in recent years. The concept has probably been around forever, just without a name attached to it.

The December holiday season means many things to people -- some wonderful things and some less-than-delightful. In that variety lives opportunity, when you see it that way.

The gift giving, cooking, hosting, and travel (to name but a few typical holiday components) have many "how-to's" in them. And if you're concerned about creating a tips booklet of how-to's that seems off topic from your business or too seasonal to be useful throughout the year, look again. You can probably make a connection, whether through humor, as a metaphor, or both.

Think about what you go through with gift giving. You consider the recipient's interests along with your budget of money and shopping time. Don't you do the same thing when you're marketing your business? You consider the recipients' interests along with your budget of money and marketing time. Are you purchasing all the gifts or making some? (Outsourcing your product development or doing it all in-house?)

Your booklet can become X Lessons Learned About Marketing from Last Year's Holiday Gifting, or a more spoof-like title if you prefer.

When it comes to cooking, look at the range of ingredients to purchase, prepare, and serve all at the same time at the correct temperature. The same skills are important in launching a new product line. You need to identify the ingredients, gather them, and prepare them so it all works out exactly when you want it to.

Hosting - the balance between activity and rest, each of which is crucial. What happens when you're constantly in motion in your business and never or rarely take time to relax and regroup? Many people write about life balance. That topic can be spiced up when in comparison to hosting your entire extended family for two weeks at the holidays.

Travel also needs analysis of when to go, the best ways to get there, the cost of time and money, how much you can pack based on your mode of transportation. You didn't realize there were so many tips in there, did you? Oh, you did, huh? Well, re-gift that information to someone who needs and wants it, whether it becomes about business travel tips or turns into a metaphor about traveling life's journey.

Yes, someone does need and want information from the lessons you've learned. It may also become a cathartic experience for you, re-framing some possibly hectic times for something that speaks to the generosity of the season.

Until next time,
Paulette - marveling at how someone on Facebook told someone else to stop working and enjoy the holiday. Who is to say work isn't that person's form of enjoyment?


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Booklets - a Match for Every Style

With so many people focusing on gifts at this point in the year, the thought of matching the right thing to the right person or situation is highlighted more than ever. What seems perfect for one person couldn't be worse for another.

One person wants peace and quiet, while another craves more socializing. Some people want time to be at home with no professional responsibilities, while someone else eagerly anticipates the time to write, create, and plan for the coming year. One person is excited to be getting all dressed up to attend parties, and another is thrilled at the prospect of not having to shave for awhile.

One size never did fit all, no matter what anyone says. With limited choices, the conversation becomes either "yes" or "no," without other possibilities.

The same is true with booklets and other information products. While advocating a printed booklet that is 4" x 9" or 3.5" x 8.5" , that's not the answer for everyone. Sometimes a downloadable PDF of the same content is a better match, or an audio version of the content is the answer, or providing a tip at a time is the ideal solution. General design is another matter. A full-color cover matters in some situations and not at all in others. And on and on.

So what do you do? Create a small variety and go from there. Having different formats of your content increases the odds of having a "yes" answer. You can always customize the product after that if it's warranted. Every format you create becomes the best business card your business can have as it also becomes a greeting card this time of the year and beyond.

Until next time,
Paulette - who is getting lots done right now

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Booklets - Doing It Differently

Over the past almost two decades, many people have shared their opinions with me (and maybe with you, too) about booklets. The opinions range from "what a great way to (quickly and easily) become a published author" to some variation of "but that's not a real (credible) way to get published" and many other flavors in between.

Yup, they're all right, based on their individual perspective.

Some people caved in -- um, I mean heeded the advice of family and friends who discouraged them. Others politely or otherwise thanked those folks and went on to create excellent results, using one or more booklets to generate money and marketing opportunities.

Now there is increasing conversation in the traditional publishing industry these days about what to do with ebooks (not booklets) -- how to price them, at what point to make them available in the process of the printed versions, and all of that. Someone, and actually several someones, are taking the risk to do it differently than it's been done before. I personally applaud them for it. It's how progress happens. Those who are willing will stick out their neck so those who are more cautious will feel comfortable following the trail that was blazed. We've been doing ebooklets right along side of printed booklets for almost ten years!

The more reinventing that goes on, the more everyone benefits. You can see what some people before you have done so you can expand on that. As the calendar year is winding down, treat yourself to a bunch of printed booklets. Use them to expand your knowledge, to motivate you toward your next steps, to give as gifts, or to show your family and friends that others thought doing a booklet was a great idea! Go check it out now.

Booklet Mystery Grab Bag

Until next time,
Paulette - who loves showing how something CAN be done, a million copies later

Booklet Mystery Grab Bag

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Booklet Typos and Other Imperfections

Publishing has endless stories about typos, errors, and a range of production outcomes that cause someone to go "oops" in various languages and decibels.

More often than not, it is far from being the end of the world, regardless of what the person reacting in that moment believes.

That doesn't mean this is about condoning sloppiness, errors, or casual approaches to producing a high quality publication. It's about getting your priorities in order, completing a product so it can serve the people you intend to serve with the information, and making course corrections when necessary.

The exact shade of a color on the cover - does that REALLY matter? A missing comma or certain typos, well, yes, they can sometimes change the meaning of something. That's true. And today, with search capabilities as strong and available as they are, even the truly dreaded typo in a phone number or email address or website URL can be overcome.

My booklet had a misspelled word in it for the first 50,000 copies that were sold. Yes, and 50,000 copies were sold!

Decide what your greatest priority is so you can get your booklet and other products to those who value your knowledge.

You will probably find it useful to see what other booklet authors have done over the years. Check out the Booklet Mystery Grab Bag to take a peek for yourself.

Until next time,
Paulette - who ultimately learned how to spell the word "discern" in her booklet

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Booklets and Your Assumptions

As humans of any flavor, assumptions are part of the deal. Some assumptions are useful and productive, and others are counterproductive, particularly when it comes to creating and marketing booklets. Here are a few to ponder. Notice what happens, especially, when absolutes are included.

1. Everything has been written on my topic already.

Do you personally own every single resource that's been created on your expertise? Of course not, no matter how large a library you have. So create your product anyway, and do it now.

2. No one is around or in buying mode in companies during December, much less during the week between Christmas and New Year.

Not only are there people who cherish this often-quiet time in the office, many times there is still money left in the current year's budget that comes under the "use it or lose it" banner.

3. It's impossible to reach anyone at big companies who would be large quantity buyers.

Yes, it is often a challenge to reach people. It can be easier during slow times like holiday season. Another doorway in to finding the right person can sometimes be to ask the Customer Service department to give you the right name and way to reach the person you want.

4. The price is too high/too low to be attractive to my buyers.

Yes, it may be one or the other. Find out by doing some research before your launch and by carefully monitoring sales once you do launch.

5. A tips booklet is too small to attract interest and sales.

That is true for some buyers and completely untrue for others. In many cases, the booklet is the perfect entry point to your business and your expertise. In other cases, a buyer wants more information right away. Having you information in multiple formats satisfies more people, including you as the business own.

6. "Such and such" is the only market for my booklet.

Probably not. It may be a logical starting point, and is rarely the finish line. Buyers can and do show up from places you'd never expect, and the places you expected may never end up buying at all. Brainstorm to identify other directions to go with what you have.

Look at just these 6 assumptions as a sample of your overall thinking. As soon as you notice yourself going to "all," "every," "always," "only," and other absolutes, the odds are high that your assumptions are not serving you or your people very well. You may be in for some very happy surprises once you let go of those assumptions.

Until next time,
Paulette - continuously amazed by the delightfully unexpected


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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Booklets - It's About Time

December often brings reflection on where the year has gone and what will come next, especially for cultures based on the 12-month Julian calendar of January to December. In some ways, it's an artificial structure. After all, you can start a project at any point and have it last for any length. You probably already noticed that to be true in creating and marketing a booklet or any other information product.

Let's look at 5 best times related to booklets and your business

1. Best time to map out a business development overview -
now, no matter when "now" is. And revisit this on a frequent basis. Whatever seemed ideal to you when you set down your initial plan will definitely have things changing. You'll have different information, inspiration, and inclination as part of traveling life's path. Expect the inevitable change and use it to your advantage.

2. Best time to write your booklet
- when you're ready, either prompted by internal or external motivation. You may be encouraged by your muse, your altruism, your checking account, or your next buyer who wants what you have yet to create. And it'll take you as long to write the booklet as it takes you - overnight or over years.

3. Best time to seek input about your product - before and during the development stages. Not only is it likely that you're too close to your own content, there are people in your circles who can give valuable suggestions for you to incorporate or discard. Everyone charges for this in some way, either in money or their expectation that you take their advice or that you return the favor. Sometimes the money is the least expensive.

4. Best time to declare your booklet "done" - when you realize you and everyone you know has reviewed it umpteen times and you're all sick of looking at it. A missing period, a misplaced comma, or a wrong digit in your telephone number may still survive all those reviews, and it won't really matter. It will get fixed and people will find you and buy from you anyway. It is not the end of the world.

5. Best time to market your booklet - any time and all the time. There is always some company, association, or website who has a need, a challenge that your booklet can solve. Depending on the industry you're approaching, some times of the year are better than others, based on their cycles. Someone needs what you've got at every point through the year.

You probably found yourself smiling or giggling as you read some of those, didn't you, as if your deepest innermost thoughts were being broadcasted to the greater world? Well, if you've been using your opinions about time that differ from any of the above as reasons NOT to move forward, please accept my personal invitation to view it from a different perspective. Just take a moment, that's all. See what it looks like. Experiment with just one area, as most tips booklets suggest to readers. Incorporate one thing from the above list and see how your results change. After all, it's about time, isn't it?

Until next time,
Paulette - who wonders when the best time is for you to invest in the Booklet Author Success series


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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Introverts and Tips Booklets

Over the years and just this week, there has been a continuous conversation about introverts and sales. A couple of useful quotes from two highly respected colleagues:

  • "I love helping people who hate to sell minimize their reluctance." - Patricia Weber
  • "I'd rather go to the dentist than to a party." - Marcia Yudkin

Marcia also made this point in her ezine this week:
"A quieter style can be strong, creative and alluring.  Too often, though, introverts swallow the myth that they compare poorly with chatterboxes when it comes to bringing in business."

When considering how you approach your booklet buyers, whether through web marketing promotion, by telephone, or in person, remember there are ways to work with instead of against your personality to bring the solutions you have to those who want them.

And by bringing those solutions to your buyers, you reward yourself with increased sales. Your booklets become the best business cards for everything you do.

Until next time,
Paulette - who understands and completely agrees with Marcia's point of view

Follow me www.twitter.com/pauletteensign

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

My Booklet is a Good Product - Why Isn't It Selling?

Whether you are selling single copies as an online booklet or hard copy, or are selling large quantities to companies and associations, sometimes your best web marketing promotion and direct sales approaches are not providing the results you want and your booklet isn't selling.

You put everything you have into creating a booklet. What gives??

Here's some of the most typical realities:

  1. It takes time - for the brand to take hold and/or for the buyer to make the decision.
  2. It takes multiple times of asking for the sale.
  3. The buyer prefers a different kind of delivery of the content (i.e. audio vs. text).
  4. The buyer doesn't like the cover design (i.e. your photo is on the cover, the color is orange, etc.)
  5. The title doesn't say what the booklet really is.
  6. The price is too high.
  7. The price is too low.
  8. The booklet is too long.
  9. The booklet is too short.

... and on and on and on.

What the heck are you supposed to do? After all, you believe in your product and think you've got a winner.

One of the easiest things to do is to ask your market what it would take for them to invest in your product. You may be very surprised by what you learn. It could be something very simple or something you never would have considered in a million years. Regardless, ask them.

Until next time,
Paulette - often amazed by how big a deal the little things can turn out to be

Follow me www.twitter.com/pauletteensign

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