Simon Kolz

A weblog by Simon Kolz

Make Big Profits from Small Booklets

What is your excuse for not being published? “I don’t know enough to fill a book.” “I don’t have time to write a whole book.” “It’s too hard to get an agent or publisher, and I don’t want to self publish.” None of these excuses apply to booklets. Anyone can write and publish an 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ booklet of 16 to 48 pages. Publishing a booklet is a good way to create an information product which will give you both credibility as an author and almost instant profits.

A few years ago, I was looking for a way to create a new income stream as well as to promote sales of my book, The Mystery Shopper’s Manual. I decided to create a 16-page booklet that would explain the basics of mystery shopping, and promoted it by sending copies of the booklet along with press releases to newspapers and magazines.

You can’t tell everything you know in a short booklet, so keep the topic narrowly focused. My booklet explained the basics of what mystery shopping is and how to get started. It had to give enough information that readers could become mystery shoppers with only what was in the booklet; however, people who wanted to know even more would be encouraged to buy the book.

Within a few months, with no advertising at all, I had sold thousands of dollars worth of booklets (at $5 each), and increased sales of The Mystery Shopper’s Manual. You can use a booklet to promote your products and services, as a way to create new streams of income, as a publicity generator, as a credibility builder and more.

Even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer, writing a booklet is simple. One format which works well is to answer frequently asked questions. Write down a list of the questions your customers ask (or should ask). You could write the answer to one question, couldn’t you? Then answer another and another–before you know it, you’ve got a booklet! Use one of the questions as your title, with a subtitle such as “The 47 things you must know about (subject).”

Booklets can be produced in small quantities at your local copy or print shop, usually for less than $1. Have covers printed on glossy paper or card stock. The copy shop can “bookletize” (fold, staple and trim) for you.

Your booklets can be sold at the back of the room when you speak, you can promote them on your web site, they can be an add-on item to your catalog, etc. You may even be able to place them in retail outlets and bookstores. Send them to media to get free publicity. Consultants can use them as a “leave behind” with potential clients

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