Booklets. They’re not a new phenomenon. They’ve been around for a long time. You purchase a new blender. It comes with a booklet that explains how to use it and contains a few recipes in the back. Or, you purchase a new stereo and you receive a booklet telling you how to set it up and trouble shoot. Booklets of this kind have been included with purchases for many years.
And then there are government booklets of every type you can think of – from how to apply for financial aid for college to how to become a US citizen. Most, if not all, of these can now be found online as well as in printed form.
But, booklets within the publishing world – as in authors creating them and publishing them for the purpose of selling them to their own audience – is virtually unheard of. What aspiring writer hopes to become the author of a booklet? Isn’t it every writer’s dream to become the author of the next great American novel? Doesn’t every writer hope to get on the New York Times best sellers list?
Only a tiny handful of authors will ever become famous for writing a great novel. A few more will make the best sellers list but the fame and glory (and money!) from it won’t last – leaving these authors to try and do it all over again. Consider J.K. Rowling. While she’s certainly had great success with her Harry Potter series, I can’t help but wonder about the kind of pressure she has been under to continue creating that kind of momentum. Does she worry about her next title being a flop? What if the public suddenly decides they like something else?
As outside witnesses to her fame, we see her success. But, success is never easy. It comes only after hard work and usually a fair amount of stress.
And so it is with booklets too. Success won’t be overnight. And it won’t be easy. Writing booklets is no more for the couch potato than is writing the next Gone With The Wind. Writing booklets takes less time, and you can make money faster than you can with a book, but it isn’t easy. There is still work to do. The one who is ready to dig in their heals and do what must be done is the one who will make it. Wimps need not apply.
But, faster money aside, there is another advantage to booklets – the advantage of being able to start small. If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by the process of writing a book and getting it published (published via any means available), chances are you will welcome the opportunity to downsize to a booklet. Starting small is often a much wiser proposition. It allows you to test your audience, your market place, before creating a larger and more costly product. It allows to you start where you are and grow from there.
When you write a booklet you’re not just creating a smaller publication. And you’re not just saving yourself time and money. And you’re not just making things happen faster for yourself. You’re also giving yourself the time you need to mentally process what you’re doing and where you want to go. You’re allowing yourself time to plan, and then you can see where that plan will take you. You can start with just one booklet and use it to build your audience. From there you may decide to create more booklets, or you may decide to branch out in other areas – from full length books to speaking to a range of products and services in between.
There’s nothing wrong with starting small. Often it is the wisest thing you can do. Large corporations will often test a new product or service in a small area before going national with it. Movies are usually viewed at film festivals first, before going into a handful of small, independently owned theatres, and from there to theatres nationwide. We see it over and over again – new products introduced slowly and/or in small quantities, or in some cases only for a limited time. And when these new offerings are snapped up or rejected by the market place, the sellers of these items are behind the scenes taking notes, making plans to reintroduce the offering at a later time as well as related products and services.
Booklets are small, but they are a beginning to something big. What that something will be is up to you.
To your riches!
PS: For more information on how you can make money with booklets, check out my FREE ecourse, “12 Ways A Booklet Can Turn Your Writing Into Cash”.
My ebook “Publish Outside The Box” is available here.