Monthly Archives: September 2008

Beware Of The Time Wasters

One of the biggest factors in your success as a booklet author, if not THE biggest factor, is being able to manage your time in a manner that is both efficient and productive.

From the moment you get up in the morning the clock is ticking.  Your time is your most precious asset because it is irreplaceable.  Therefore, you must demand respect for your time, especially if you’re working a regular job and trying to manage your booklet business on the side.

You will find, however, that not everyone feels the same way about your time as you do.  These people are time wasters and they have no problem wasting your time because they have no problem wasting their own.  They will call you during the day or during your writing time, even when you’ve told them you cannot accept their calls during that time.  They will show up at your door to chat or go shopping.  And, if they are immediate family members, such as your spouse or children, they will find all kinds of ways to disturb you and interfere with your productivity at home, and they will expect you to respond to them because you’re the mom or the wife or the husband or the dad.

You must find a way to deal with these time wasters or your booklet business will suffer.  You won’t be able to complete your projects.  You won’t be able to market your products.  You’ll be too busy wasting time with the time wasters.

In my home, I deal with the time wasters by working in spurts.  My children know that I will make time for them when I take a break, but until then, unless it is an emergency, I am unavailable.  The same goes for my husband.

As for my extended family and friends, I’ve been at this for so long now they’ve gotten used to the fact that I am generally unavailable during weekdays.  They’ve learned to call me in the evenings or on weekends because they know I will not answer the phone when I am working.   Once in a while someone may forget, and then I give them a gentle reminder.  I’ll usually say something like, “I can’t talk with you right now.  Can we catch up this evening?”

People will waste your time to the extent that you allow them to.  Don’t let it happen.  Don’t allow anyone to waste your valuable and precious time.  Make your work time a priority.

To your riches!

Kim

Two Reasons Why Paying A Book Marketer To List Your Titles In Their Catalog Is A Bad Idea

Yesterday I talked about the book/booklet marketing gurus who want you to give them money to market your titles for you.  Today, I’m going to tell you why their catalog approach is one you should avoid.

These marketers often include your booklet in a printed catalog, marketing it right along side all the other booklets or books they have to offer.  This works against you for two reasons.

The first reason is that it is very likely that the intended recipients for the catalog will ever even see it.  They may not have opted to receive it, and so the catalog arrives in the mail and must first pass through the gate keeper’s hands before being passed on to the gate keeper’s boss.  The gate keeper’s job is to throw out all “junk mail” and unless the catalog was requested and the gate keeper knows it is expected, the gate keeper will perceive it as junk mail trying to sell something and throw it away.

Think about the catalogs you receive in the mail.  If you look through them at all, you probably thumb through them and then either toss them out or set them aside to look at again later.  But, for most of us later never comes, and at some point the catalog is tossed out.

The second reason is that these catalogs will have categories, and your booklet will be placed in a category along with all the other booklets that fit into that category – and these other booklets are competition for you.  It’s like the yellow pages – ever notice how many attorneys, doctors and plumbers there are in the yellow pages?  They are all there on the same page or pages, in the same category, competing together for your business.  If you choose any you will only choose one.  So, all the others lose out.  What is the chance you’ll be that one should a prospect decide to buy from your category at all?

Paying a marketer to list your titles in their catalog is a bad idea.  It’s like playing Russian roulette.  You’ll miss more often than you’ll hit, if you ever hit at all.  These marketers make it sound so wonderful – give them all the work and all the hassle and you can just relax and collect the checks.  Don’t be fooled, my friend.  It’s a gamble at best, and you stand to lose much more than you stand to win.  When it comes to marketing your titles, one size or broad category does not fit all.

To your riches!

Kim

Why You Shouldn’t Let The Book Marketing Gurus Market Your Booklets

Today I want to talk to you a little about marketing.  You may have seen some internet gurus offering to market your books or booklets for you.  They charge you a fee (usually a hefty one) to put your booklet in their catalog or sell it directly to a list of potential buyers, usually large quantity buyers.  This may seem like the easy way to sell your booklets, but please, my friend, heed my warning.  It is not.  Chances are you will be wasting your precious marketing dollars.  Here’s why.

You’ve taken the time to write your booklet to a specific market – be that young horse lovers or parents of toddlers or women who practice yoga – and you have to reach that specific market.  But, these gurus rarely bother to tell you which companies they are marketing your booklet to.  They simply have a list of buyers and they market your booklet along with all the other books and booklets they’re marketing.  Your booklet is one of many, getting lost in the clutter, and you don’t even know if it is going to prospects who will truly be interested in your content.  If you have a tight niche for your title, the chances of a company who is reaching that niche being on that marketer’s list is very slim.

When you market your booklet, you need to market directly to those companies who reach your intended readers.  Marketers who market many titles at once have to market them to a broad, general category of buyers.  They can’t market to a specific niche because they have too many titles to market.  They don’t have the time to market your title to your niche.  So, they play hit and miss, sending all their titles at once to a wide variety of potential buyers, hoping some of them will bite.

There are two other specific problems with the catalog approach and I’ll tell you about those tomorrow!

To your riches!

Kim

How To Pay Your Bills While You’re Waiting For The Big Payday

When you’re selling to large companies, it’s a process.  Nothing happens quickly with the big guys.  There are many channels that your booklet will have to go through for approval before you receive a check.  In the mean time, you’ve got bills to pay.  What to do?

The answer is you sell to individuals and smaller companies.  The individual doesn’t have to make a decision about buying thousands of copies of your booklet.  They only need one copy, or maybe two.  For them, it’s a small purchase and therefore an easy decision to make, especially if your title and content are compelling.

Likewise, the smaller company can make a decision more quickly because they probably won’t need to order hundreds of thousands of copies.  But, even if they do, there won’t be as many channels for your booklet to pass through for approval.  It may only need the consent of two or three people, meaning you’ll see a payday much sooner.

As I said in my previous post, selling to large companies is something you should definitely pursue.  But, don’t discount smaller companies and individuals.  There are ways you can reach individuals in large quantity, and it can seem like it’s raining money when you get a flood of checks in your mailbox!

Sell to anyone and everyone who will buy from you.  Just be careful how you go about it.  I’ll talk to you more about that tomorrow!

To your riches!

Kim

The Big Secret Nobody Tells You About Selling To Large Companies

Some professionals advocate only selling your booklets (or books) to large companies.  Others focus on selling to individuals.  Listen to me, my friends, because I’m about to reveal something of great importance to your career as an author that nobody else is telling you.

The mega sales to corporations take time.  I know.  I’m doing it.  It doesn’t happen over night.  I’ve read promises from other “gurus” out there about how you can make thousands of dollars by selling your booklets or books to large companies, and you can, but it’s going to take some time and they never tell you that.

Large companies are like elephants.  They move slowly.  Nobody is going to give you a quick answer here.  Your contact will have to talk to many people, and each of those people may need to talk to many people before even a hint of a sale will be on the horizon.  There is, of course, always an exception to this rule, but this is the norm.  So, when you begin the process with a large company, you have to plan for the long term.  It could be at least a year or longer before you ever see a cent.  There is no way to get around this process.  These companies have their way of doing things and even if your contact is at the top of the heap he won’t be able to circumvent the process.

You should also know that you can begin the process with a company, and then at some point several months down the road, you lose all the ground you’ve gained and possibly the sale altogether.  This can happen for many reasons and they usually have nothing to do with your booklet.  Some of those reasons are your contact gets fired, gets transferred to another department or division, gets promoted, moves or dies, or the company suddenly decides to pull money from it’s marketing to use elsewhere.  It happens, and when it does you may need to start the process over again with someone new or you may not be able to make the sale at the present time.

I actually had the reverse happen.  My contact at a particular company didn’t like the idea of giving my booklet out to their customers.  But, I learned that she was going to be leaving the company within two months.  The person who replaced her loved my booklet and we’re now negotiating.  So, sometimes a contact leaving can work in your favor, but I know that it can just as easily go the other way.

Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for the gusto and forget about selling your booklet to large companies.  You really can score big on these sales, so you should pursue them.  But, you need a plan for eating and paying the rent or mortgage while you’re waiting for the big day.

I’ll be covering what you can do while you’re waiting for a yes from Mr. Big in my next post.

To your riches!

Kim

Are You Avoiding This Requirement For Success? Part II

This post is continued from yesterday….

Then there is the third group of people (and hopefully this is where you see yourself!).  This group is able to dream of possibilities freely.  The sky’s the limit.  If you fall into this group, you have no problem imagining yourself in a new home or a new car.  You can easily see yourself on vacation, sitting on a beach somewhere holding a cool drink in a tall glass with a little umbrella on top.  You’re able to dream about sending your children to the best schools, and buying luxeries that were unaffordable to you in the past.

Naturally, you’ll have a healthy amount of skepticim to keep you on course.  You’ll question your abilities.  You’ll question whether your booklet will sell.  You’ll ask many what if questions, but you won’t make excuses.  Instead you’ll find the answers you need to move ahead.  And then, you will begin the work.  You’ll take action.  And if you run into a road block, you’ll find a way around it.

Three years ago I was faced with a choice.  I could have either embarked on a journey writing a booklet, not knowing how things would turn out, or I could continue to live the existence I was living, which included being broke most of the time.  My family was living on one income.  I had made the decision to stay home with my children, but I was paying a very high price to do so.  One winter I found myself in tears because I couldn’t afford a thirteen dollar coat from Wal-Mart for my youngest daughter, who was just two years old at the time.  I had to swallow my pride and ask for help from a family member.

So, when I saw a chance to have something better – to be able to stay at home and earn a living, and to do so on my own time and on my own terms – I didn’t have to think twice.  Even if things didn’t work out as I had planned I wouldn’t be any worse off than I was before.  I knew that if I wanted something different I would have to do something different.

Today, of course, I couldn’t be happier that I made that decision.  Things are very different for me now.  Looking back, I’m very glad that I’m no longer in that situation.  But if I had hesitated, if I had been afraid of failing, things would probably be even worse for me now than they were then.

No matter what you attempt in life, there will always be curves.  We can’t see what’s around the bend, but we can adjust our plans or our course when we run into a problem.

Most people will never take action.  They’ll continue living the life they have because they aren’t willing to do what it takes to make a change and make things better.  If you’re willing to take action and do what needs to be done in order to achieve success, then you’ll have many successes in life.  And you’ll have many riches too!

To your riches!

Kim

Are You Avoiding This Requirement For Success?

Yesterday I talked about clarity as a requirement for writing and producing a booklet.  I also said that focus is important as it works with clarity to help you achieve results.  But, there is another ingredient in the mix that you must have in order to be successful, and it’s one that most people avoid.

You can be completely focused, having blocked out all distractions to getting the work done, and completely clear on what you have to do to get that work done, but if you don’t actually DO the work, all the focus and clarity in the world can’t help you.

People are great at coming up with ideas.  In fact, we come up with some really great ideas more often than we know.  And then the thinking process begins.  Some of us will daydream about all the what ifs – what if my booklet sells a million copies?  What if I earn enough money to stay at home with my children?  What if I could take a nice vacation every year?  And on and on.

For some, that’s as far as they’ll ever go.  They’ll keep daydreaming, until one day they begin to think about doing the work.  And then, they’ll come up with all kinds of excuses.  Now isn’t the right time.  I don’t have the money for production.  My idea isn’t really that good.  I can’t fit enough time into my day to complete the writing.  And so, they give up before they start and continue to live in mediocrity, not really happy, but not really miserable either.  Just a plain vanilla existence.

Some people who come up with a good idea will skip the daydreaming and go right to the excuses.  They don’t even want to think about living a better life because they know it can’t happen for them.  Instead of daydreaming and asking themselves what if they were successful, they do just the opposite.  They ask themselves questions like “what if I fail?” or “what if I spend my time and money on this and it doesn’t sell?”  Then the excuses start, but not just to keep them from doing the project.  No.  The excuses start in order to make them feel better about not doing the project.  “What if I spend my time and money on this and it doesn’t sell?  Well, it really doesn’t matter because I don’t have time to do it anyway.”  The excuses let them off the hook and make them feel better about not taking action.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about the third group of people.  It’s the group I’m in and I hope you are too!

To your riches!

Kim