Have you ever had the following conversation with a friend or relative?
Your Friend: "Wow, you make this look so easy -- how do you do it?"
You: "It's easy -- I've been doing this for years."
Your Friend: "Well, could you show me how to do it? As a matter a fact, I have a few other friends that would be interested in this too....."
It's a fact -- every person knows something a little bit better than the next. Now, what can you do with this little bit of knowledge? I decided to ask booklet expert, Paulette Ensign, who is the Founder, CEO and Chief Visionary of Tips Products International.
Liz: Paulette, can anyone write a booklet and make money from it?
Paulette: Yes, by all means. I hold the belief that everyone has something they want the world to know about and that an informational tips booklet can be a great way to do that. All the information that has been part of daily life for years and years can easily be recycled into tips booklets that can function as a market tool, a source of income, or both.
Liz: How do you figure out what topic you should write about?
Paulette: Choosing a topic comes from what you know best. For those people who have their own business, write information that comes from your business. That will allow you a unified marketing effort of your booklet and your business at the same time. When your booklet IS your business, write about what you know, from any part of your life experiences. (X # of Ways to.....; The Do's and Don'ts of.....)
Remember that only you know what you know. Other people don't know what you know. Many people tend to minimize their own base of knowledge and take it for granted. Think about all the things you don't know about and all of a sudden, things take on a different perspective in valuing the knowledge that you do have. Bear in mind that there is also no such thing as a saturated market, in my opinion. After all, look how many cookbooks are published each year, with more coming out all the time. It will always come down to how you market your own unique information.
Liz: How long or short does a booklet have to be to be considered a booklet?
Paulette: I advise people to create a booklet that is 16-20 inside pages. It's a tips booklet, not The Great American Novel. :--) In my opinion, it is better to create several short booklets than one really huge one. That will keep people's attention as they read, and will have them coming back to buy more from you. Keep the actual information short and in bulleted tips format rather than narrative. Your readers can grasp a quick piece of information and create instant success for themselves that way. You then become even more of a genius to them than you already were :--)
Liz: Do you need special software to create a booklet?
Paulette: Unless you are reeeeeally good at desktop publishing, hire the services of a desktop publisher. That can be done very inexpensively and is well worth it for a good end product. In using the services of such a person, you can deliver your manuscript in a regular text file for them to then do the design work.
Liz: Okay, you write this great booklet, then what's the best way to market it?
Paulette: There are lots of great ways to market a booklet. I've sold over 500,000 copies of my own tips booklet without spending a single penny on advertising. Booklets can be sold by magazines and newspapers excerpting from your booklet, with contact and pricing information at the end of the excerpt. Many large quantity sales can be sold by directly contacting buyers of large quantities at corporations and other organizations. Some of the largest quantities end up being sold in the form of licensing the reprint rights to your booklet. The Internet is another way to sell, whether you have a website or not. No one way is "the" way to sell. It ends up being a combination of several sales and marketing methods.
Paulette Ensign, Tips Products International
12675 Camino Mira Del Mar #179, San Diego, CA 92130
Visit our new All About Booklets discussion board. Paulette has a variety of publications, classes and related services to fit any budget of time and money.
Liz Folger is Work-at-Home Mom Expert and author of, "The Stay-at-Home Mom's Guide To making Money". Her book is available at your favorite bookstore or by calling, 800-632-8676. Liz has also created a resource site for work-at-home moms at: http://www.bizymoms.com. When you visit don't forget to sign-up for the free e-newsletter just for moms who work from home. If you have a question that you'd like covered in a column, e-mail her at: [email protected].