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Booklet Tips From Paulette

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

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Booklet - Do What You Can

There are so many ways to be an author, now more than ever. In order of word count, here are just a few possibilities to ponder:

  • Collection of Experts collaborative tips booklet (275 words for your page)
  • Articles - (300 or more words)
  • Tips Booklet (3,500 words)
  • Book (10,000 or more words)

Each format has its place and appeal, for you and for the reader. By having all of these formats, you broaden your reach with your message and increase your bottom line. Where is your starting point or your next step?

Until next time,
Paulette - who encourages you to do something

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Booklets - Creating Their Own Place

With technology advancing so much over the years, and self-publishing increasing more than ever, and more people writing more books, and social networking abounding, people often ask if tips booklets still have a place on the planet. The question is usually focused on printed tips booklets rather than downloadable ones.

Tips booklets never "had" a place. Tips booklets created their own place! Yes, there have been other small publications much earlier in history. And there have been instructional booklets, which aren't quite the same at all in my opinion.

Many people have written tips sheets (Top Ten Tips, for instance) to give away; they included tips in larger works; and sold or gave away single copies of their tips writing to end users, which is where I started, too.

Then a customer saw a copy of the tips booklet and decided to have it imprinted with their company name and contact information to send to their clients and prospects as that year's holiday greeting. And one thing led to another about ways to use the booklets to promote the corporate or association buyers' business. Little by little, tips booklets created a different place for themselves, as a promotional tool that educated people along the way.

As time went on, that place broadened. The tips were licensed for translation into other languages, or used in other contexts or formats. And it all started from a bunch of tips intended to educate people.

So, do tips booklets still have a place? More than ever!

Until next time,
Paulette - curious to discover what other places tips booklets can and will go

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Booklets - Again and Again -- and Again

Today's email brought, in part, the following from a new booklet author:

"I actually came across you about 6 years ago, shortly after I set up my business, and thought it was a good idea but never really got going with it at the time. Then I heard another interview with Robert Middleton a few months ago and took the decision to act on it this time. Whatever happens with [my booklet] series, I’m at least pleased that I have finally taken action and it’s given me a new focus and enthusiasm in what has been a very difficult period for the business."

Maybe your story is somewhat similar to that, or maybe you're still just reading and listening to information and have yet to take action on starting your own tips booklet.

The reason for mentioning this to you is not only to encourage you to take action. It's a reminder of what real-life human beings do when you are contacting them to invest in what you are offering. It takes more than one exposure, one contact, one consideration for many people to take action. I know it took me a couple times of looking at the booklet that prompted me to write mine before I actually wrote it. And it was during some dire times in my business, where I was eager for an ideal solution to move things forward financially and emotionally.

I assure you that I am speaking to myself as much as I am to you when mentioning this. I can't tell you how many times I've done some promotion and expected instant response from every single person who read or heard me. It doesn't work that way. Now it's been a matter of being around long enough that multiple promotions as the one referenced above finally prompt people to take action when they are ready.

Go back to your large-quantity booklet prospects several times after you first approach them. Just because they weren't ready before is no reason to say they won't be ready the next time. And some of them are bound to surprise you by saying yes the first time!

Until next time,
Paulette - eager to know how your actions paid off and what other actions you're ready to take

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Booklets - They Are The Perfect Buyer

Says YOU. And "they" see it differently. In fact, they see it so differently that they don't see it at all.

A person, company, or an associations seems like they would be the perfect match for your booklet, yet they just don't get it. You can re-word, re-frame, re-adjust all day long in an effort to educate and enlighten them. And nothing happens.

Have you had this happen in your marketing and sales experiences? I have, many times. While it can be tremendously frustrating if not exhausting, it is part of the process.

When I wrote my (only) booklet, "110 Ideas for Organizing Your Business Life," in the early 90's, I was highly involved in the Professional Organizing industry, in high level leadership roles in the professional association. That gave me easier access to the major office supply manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, those who would be likely prospects for my booklet. Even with all of that in my favor, there were many reasons why initial interest in the booklet didn't turn into sales.

Just a few of the things I learned were:
  • having a single format of the material limited the sales possibilities
  • lead time for decisions could be as long as a year
  • decision makers changed course mid-stream to go in a different direction
  • logic may have nothing to do with anything
After you give it a fair shot, and have gathered as much information about what the prospect wants or why it isn't a match, move on. Go to a different organization, a different person in the same organization, a different industry. It's a huge world out there. Many other people want what you have. Sometime it just makes no sense, too.

Until next time,
Paulette - recalling all too well those learning opportunities

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Booklets - Sell More Books

Many people who become aware of tips booklets have already written a full-length book. The question they ask is some variation of how can a tips booklet help them?

A tips booklets can be:

  • the ideal introduction to your expertise, whetting the appetite to want more, leading to your book
  • a less expensive purchase so that you make some sale rather than no sale
  • a value-added item that gets bundled as a gift when buying your book
  • a learning tool to accompany your fiction book, teaching things about a lifestyle, location, or something else in your book

These are just a few ways a tips booklet can and will help you sell more books, today.

Until next time,
Paulette - broadening horizons at every turn

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Booklets - It Has to Be a Certain Way

Over the weekend, one of my closest friends was sharing with me how overwhelmed she is feeling in anticipation of making some major changes in her business life. She rattled off a list of things that had to be in place and be a certain way before she felt she could move forward and get out of a current situation that is causing her nothing but angst.

We have been close friends for about 25 years, and we know each other well. Like any two people, we take risks in different ways, place different values on things, and have different goals and work styles. All of that considered, her struggle to make this inevitable professional change served as a bug reminder to me of how paralyzing it can be to live life based on rigid requirements of how things have to be.

Getting back to the land of booklets, I continuously suggest things that have worked in the past -- as a starting point. Some of those things will work better in certain situations than others. The components can and sometimes must be modified to work even better in a particular context. One size does NOT fit all, no matter what myth some female clothing manufacturers like to foist upon consumers.

Look at the beliefs and opinions you have about how things have to be in order for you to take your next steps. Is what you're thinking actually true? Do you really have to have a (perfect or any) website before you can sell your tips booklets, or can you have a conversation with a decision maker who thinks your booklet is the perfect tool to help sell more of their own product? Do you have to have a zillion copies of your booklet printed before you can put the content in front of that decision maker? Is the XYZ industry the only one that is appropriate to buy your booklets or would a highly unlikely company in the ABC industry also find your booklets useful for their purposes?

Be willing to do it differently. It may not be necessary to completely abandon your current beliefs as much as add on some additional ones. And if you're not careful (which is meant both literally and as a figure of speech here), you may just find yourself happier and with more money than you had holding onto the belief that things have to be a certain way. Let us know how that works out for you, would you?

Until next time,
Paulette - who has had many happy surprises over the years from things outside that "certain way"

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Booklets - Time, Money, Neither, Both

Many booklet authors have great ideas and small amounts of either time, money, or both. When I wrote my tips booklet in 1991, it felt like I didn't have much of either. Whatever time I had was spent figuring out how to generate the money I didn't have. At a certain point, I chose to invest some time to generate some money. It was a slow start, and then it got faster and better. It's amazing what you can do when you realize how much you enjoy the basic creature comforts like eating and having a roof over your head.

Today there are more ways to generate something out of whole cloth than there were in 1991. There are sites like www.elance.com, www.odesk.com, www.fiverr.com, and more, where you can pay nominal amounts to at least get things going. Sometimes it becomes an excellent entry point to really wonderful service providers who can travel the journey with you as your resources increase.

You can also contact colleges and universities to explore having your requirements handled by a capable student who needs to build a portfolio and is willing and able to do your work at no cost in exchange for the course credit they need.

Then there is always the age-old barter or exchange concept. A colleague has something you need/want, and you have something that's useful to them. When the agreement is clearly defined, and everyone does what they say they will when they say they will, it's a beautiful thing.

While I am far from suggesting you scrimp in your business, the point I am making is that you can always (yes, always) get what you want/need to get done by getting creative. That has opened more doors for me over the years than had I only paid for services every step of the way. Part of the description of my success is that I've personally sold well over a million copies of my booklet in various languages and formats without spending a penny on advertising.
That happened because I didn't have the money to advertise when I started out. It turned out to be one of the bigger gifts in my process!

So whether you have more time than money, more money than time, or small amounts of either, get creative and look at things through a different perspective. You're likely to arrive at a better result because of it.

Until next time,
Paulette - who knows that having more time or more money isn't always the answer

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Booklets - Your Unknown Impact

Over the weekend I got a Facebook message that was profound for many reasons. It was from someone who was part of my first (of three, so far) careers many moons ago. I've included it here in its entirety. Not only is it quite touching unto itself, it's a huge reminder of how impossible it is to know the impact any of us makes on anyone in our life. For your viewing pleasure and consideration when you find yourself hesitating in sharing who you are:


Dear Mrs. Ensign,
Many years have past since we last saw each other (about 32)
and I have been wondering if I would ever get the opportunity
to speak to you again. My name is Dan Higgins and I was a
student of yours at Kendall Elementary School in Norwalk, CT
from 1976-1979. I was the lone violist in my grade level and
consequently my lesson time with you was one on one. I swear
on all that I hold true, that I remember every lesson and musical
thing that you ever taught me. I became a music teacher myself
and almost daily, I open my mouth and your voice comes out!
There are now thousands more students running about the state
of CT remembering the order of their sharps by chanting “Fat
Crabs Go Down And Eat Bugs” and their flats as “Bald Eagles
And Dogs Get Colds Fast”. I cannot thank you enough for being
such an amazing role model and for helping me to find my place
in this world.

At this stage of each school year I spend a small part of my
vacation wondering if I am reaching my students as profoundly
as you had impacted me. Another small portion is spent catching
up with friends. I was floored when I searched for your name
and on the first hit found your profile. I hope this letter finds
you well and someday, maybe 30 years from now I will receive
a similar one from a student I helped to motivate. All great
music teachers in this world deserve such affirmation.

Dan Higgins

Until next time,
Paulette - who is almost speechless (hey, I said "almost")

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Booklets and Finding Endless Ways to Expand Your Product Line

You may already know I suggest creating an entire info product line from a single tips booklet manuscript. The most basic suggestions are to do an audio recording and to create a card deck. Let's say you've done some or all of that, or it doesn't appeal to you or you generally want to see a larger scope.

Well, there is a very easy way to give you more ideas than any one person can ever implement in a single lifetime. And it is this: do a Google search on the term "advertising specialties." That deals with the full blown industry of everything and anything that can be imprinted and used for promotional purposes. It starts with the generic and well recognized applications of coffee mugs, pens, and tee shirts, and then goes miles and miles and miles beyond that.

Some of the advertising specialty companies boast having access to 850,000 products or 120,000 promotional advertising products from 10,000 suppliers, or many more. This will get you thinking about other formats for your content to be utilized...and sold. One of my most favorite application of recent years was when I saw that
M & M's candy finally decided to open up their print capabilities to offer anything else besides their age-old M & M logo to be printed on their candy. I've gotta wonder who finally noticed that untapped opportunity in their company and what has happened since.

Now, before you go producing endless products, test first. Pick some that resonate for you and develop a product sheet that can be a PDF file and/or printed sheet. Send that out to prospects and see what kind of response you get.

And by the way, this is for hard copy products only, before we re-visit the endless ways your content can be licensed for sale online and in downloadable applications. Is your head spinning yet? If so, like anything else, start with one thing and go from there.

Until next time,
Paulette - who often delights in blowing your circuitry with ideas you hadn't considered