Monthly Archives: June 2008

The Options For Booklet Sales Are Many

Are you wondering about the market for booklets? After all, once the booklet is finished copies will need to be sold in order for you to make money. There are an unlimited number of places where your booklets could be sold, and where you sell will depend on your booklet’s content and your goals for your booklet.

Personally, selling to individuals is not something I wanted to do with my booklets. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. The same goes for selling to bookstores and other retail outlets such as grocery stores. I chose not to sell to these places because I didn’t want the hassle of dealing with returns. This is something that is looked upon as part of doing business in traditional publishing, and if you don’t mind accepting some returns now and then, then it might suit you to pursue these outlets for your booklet.

I originally chose to sell mainly to large companies in large quantities. But, sometimes an opportunity comes up that you hadn’t considered. This happened for me when I found that hospitals and allergy clinics were interested in my latest title. Allergy clinics are smaller than the businesses I originally planned to sell to, but the number of them across the country is vast and can account for sales for many years to come. I can still sell to large companies, but the new outlet for my booklets is certainly a welcome one.

Don’t think like the traditional writer selling to the traditional market. If you do, you’ll be no better off than they are. Yes, a few make it and do quite well. Most do not. You can sell that way if you wish to, but you have other options. Why not take advantage of them?

The options available for your title will depend on your subject, but here are some ideas to get you out of the traditional way of thinking: museums, tourist shops, magazine publishers, banks, manufacturing companies, offices, corporate businesses, small businesses, website owners, restaurants, the government, auto repair shops, day care centers, churches, schools and just about any place else you can think of that would be related to your title.

Most booklets have more than one market available to them, and within each market there are many options for sales. Some of those options will provide very large checks. Others will provide a steady stream of smaller ones. The important thing is you’ll be making money, and you can still do the traditional thing if you want to.

To your riches!

Kim

What Is A Booklet?

It was brought to my attention today that some of you may not know what a booklet is or how it is defined for the purpose of this blog.

There are many different kinds of booklets. When you think about it, a magazine is really a booklet. Booklets have fewer pages than books, and are generally smaller in size. My own booklets tend to run around 20 inside pages, but it varies depending on what I’m writing and the needs of my clients.

The booklets I have been writing are promotional booklets. They help to promote other businesses’ products and services because the content ties into a theme that is of interest to the market those businesses serve. For example, my current title, “Simple Tips & Recipes For Feeding The gluten Free/Dairy Free Child” is of interest to the medical community – specifically allergy clinics who treat children with these allergies, as well as food manufacturers who produce products for the gluten and dairy free market. Had I written a booklet about improving your golf score, I’d be selling it to companies that sell products to golfers.

I used to have a tight definition of what a booklet should be, but I’ve learned that clients will always want to change what I create. One client told me he loved my layout and design, but that he needed full color throughout – which meant a complete re-design. Another client wanted to turn the booklet sideways so that it was bound from the top. And, although I’ve only written non-fiction booklets in the past, I came up with an idea today for two fiction booklets for children that tie in with the ones I already have – meaning they’ll appeal to the same market. Therefore, my own definition of what a booklet should look like or how many pages it should have is rather broad in scope. It depends on what the client wants, what you can afford to do, and what you want to write.

Keep your eyes open and you’ll see booklets everywhere. They’re in the grocery stores at the check-out counter, in bookstores, and I saw two offered with products in tv commercials today. Look around you and see what the possibilities are.

Have a great weekend, and if you like my blog tell someone!

Kim

There Are Riches In What You Already Know

Whether you’re a writer or just dreaming of being one, there are riches in what you already know.  You don’t have to be some kind of super genius to write a booklet.  You can write it directly from your own experience.  That’s what I did, and it’s how I was able to write my third one in only 3 days.

My son has been on a gluten free/dairy free diet for almost 9 years.  I knew there were plenty of books on the subject, but I remembered how overwhelming the diet seemed to me when I first put my son on it.  The books didn’t help with that.  They didn’t serve to simplify anything.  They only seemed to complicate the issue for me by giving me too much information to try to process.  But it wasn’t until all these years later, when my own family members still did not know what to feed my son, that I began thinking about writing something on the subject.

I wanted something I could hand to my mom that wouldn’t overwhelm her, but that would give her the facts in a fast, easy to read format.  My goal at the time was to be able to stop answering the same questions over and over again about what my son could and could not eat.  But, at some point, it occurred to me that I probably wasn’t the only one facing this problem.  There were many grandparents, aunts, uncles, caregivers, teachers, foster parents, and others involved in a child’s life who didn’t really need to know everything there is to know about the diet because the child in their life who was on it was not their child.  They would never become adept at implementing the diet because they didn’t have to.  They needed something that could help them feed the child while the child was visiting or in their care.

And so I wrote my booklet with the extended circle of the family in mind.  Parents who are new to the diet love the booklet as well, because it’s not overwhelming.  They know they can always get more information from a book or online, but the booklet is simple and easy to take with them to the store.  It’s also easy for them to give a copy to their child’s teacher or daycare person.

My booklet is now selling in the medical community, and I’ve got two different food manufacturers interested in purchasing copies.  If you would have told me just one year ago that I would be selling something – anything – to the medical community I would have told you that you were crazy, followed by all the reasons that I was not qualified to sell to the medical community.  Today I know different.  I know that what I know, and what you know, and what we all know is important to someone.

Think about what you know.  Think about your experiences.  Is there something in your knowledge or experience that could help others?  I’m betting there is something, and that is where the riches are.

Kim

How I Turned A No Deal Into A New Deal

One of the great things about writing booklets is that there are so many ways they can be used.  This means that when opportunity stops knocking on the door, you can open a window of opportunity.  This is illustrated by my conversation today with my contact at the food manufacturing company that told me they wanted to order 600,000 copies of my booklet.

I knew from the start that this deal might not go through.  My contact wasn’t sure it was a feasible idea.  After speaking with him today I’m fairly certain this particular deal will never see the light of day.  The problem lies with their method of production.  They hand stuff their packages, and in order to add the booklets they would have to slow down the assembly line considerably.  Even then, it is quite likely that not every package would get a booklet inside.   Many would be missed.  My contact had even briefly considered adding the booklet to only every fourth box, but he quickly realized this was not a good idea.  I agreed.

I was neither sad nor disheartened at his words.  He had already paid me the highest compliment by telling me he wanted to order so many copies of my booklet.  He had told me that he felt it was extremely well written, put together and designed.  I knew he liked my product.  He just wasn’t able to use it in the way we had planned.

My contact told me he would speak with the plant manager again just to be sure, but I’m already looking at other ways this company can use the booklet.  I know they attend industry conventions and trade shows, and I know they send sample kits to certain stores.  I know they like my booklet and they still want to use it.  In fact, my contact even told me at one point that maybe they would order some just to keep on hand in their warehouse to use whenever they wanted to.

While I feel the door is closed on the 600,000 copy deal, there are several windows of opportunity open here, which I mentioned to my contact.  Thus, my no deal is now a new deal.  The best part is that this won’t be a one time deal.  I mentioned to my contact that I’m working on two spin-offs, and he’s interested.  He indicated that he wants to be kept in the know about my new products.

When I started talking with my contact at this company, and I knew he liked my booklet, I thought it would be a one time sale.  But now, that doesn’t seem to be the case.  It appears I’m going to have the luxury of having a long time client in this company.  While the 600,000 booklet deal would have been nice, I’d much rather have a client for life than a one time customer.

I’m elated about what transpired today.  I’ll be talking with my contact again at the end of August and we’re finally going to be able to talk about money and volume, not for the original deal, but for a new one.  Today was not the end.  It was a new beginning.

Kim

Booklets = All The Prestige Without All The Hard Work

One of the things I used to wonder about when I wrote my first booklet was whether or not people would take me seriously as an author.  I wondered if they would think of me as a published author with the same status and credibility as someone who wrote a full length book.

I’m thrilled to tell you that, in my experience, people don’t discriminate between the two.  They give me the same credit and respect they would any other author.  In fact, I’m truly amazed at the compliments I’ve received and how impressed people are with my booklets.  sure, they look great, but they are booklets, not some great tome on the subject.  But, that’s why people love them so much.  They get the facts fast, without having to dig through tons of information to get what they really need.

It almost doesn’t seem fair because I don’t have to work nearly as hard as other authors to come up with my material and make money from it.  But, it’s nice to know that people appreciate what I do, none the less.  After all, I do my best to write quality products for the marketplace as any author would.  I just happened to find a way to do it faster and more profitably.

Tomorrow I’m supposed to talk with my contact at the food manufacturing company – the one that wants 600,000 copies.  I’m hoping I’ll get an answer as to when this deal can be finalized.  I’ll let you know what transpires.

Kim

Another Check To Add To The Pile

Friday at last!  You know, I really didn’t work that hard this week, but looking back I’ve accomplished quite a bit!  That’s a nice feeling.

My contact from the local hospital emailed me today.  He’s placing the order.  I’m a bit surprised given that he’s paying almost sticker price for the booklets because he’s ordering so few, but I’m happy.  A client’s a client no matter how small.  And, he did say in his email that he might be able to convince his superiors to re-consider the licensing deal down the road.  I may not get the big check today, but that doesn’t mean I won’t get it tomorrow.  I’m hoping this will be the start of a beautiful, long term business relationship.

Here’s something to chew on.  I just sold 15 copies of this booklet, and most of the selling was done through email.  What if you could sell 15 copies of your work at one time to one individual or one company?  It beats selling onesies and twosies.  15 is a rather small number for me, but every check added to the pile just makes more riches!

Have a great weekend, and I’ll be back on Monday with more of the good stuff!

Kim

You Win Some, You Lose Some – On We Go!

I received an email today from my contact at the hospital that wanted my booklet for their database.  They decided they would like to order 15 hard copies instead – for now.  Once they see the price, they may well change their mind.   Such a small order is quite expensive.

I reminded them, once again, that I still feel we can negotiate the licensing deal so that it will work within their budget, and I told them if they have a change of heart to let me know.

At first glance, their email was a little daunting.  After working with them for the past couple of months and hoping for a more lucrative deal, seeing that they only wanted 15 hard copies was disappointing.  But, if they do place the order, they’ll eventually run out and need more.  And, eventually they may realize the error of their ways and decide to do the licensing deal, which would be much more cost effective for them.

A sale of 15 hard copies is still a sale.  It’s still a company telling me that they like what I’m offering.  And there’s plenty more companies out there for me to sell to.  So, we’ll see whether this company follows through and orders, and in the meantime, I’ve got plenty more such companies up my sleeve!

Kim