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October 2010

The Beauty of Booklets - How They Can Benefit The Nonfiction Author

By guest author Dana Lynn Smith

Booklets are a wonderful way for nonfiction authors and experts to earn additional revenue while promoting their other products and services. If you're not familiar with booklets, they are short printed pieces, usually sized to fit in a business envelop, that are filled with useful tips on a particular topic. Booklets (also called tips booklets) are often sold in bulk quantities to organizations that give them out as gifts or incentives to customers, prospects, members, etc.

The beauty of booklets is that you can earn money by selling the booklets, then get free advertising to everyone who reads them through your resource box at the end of the booklet.

Let's say you're an expert in home staging and the author of a book about how to prepare a home to sell quickly for top dollar. You create a short booklet with tips on this topic and sell it to realtors, who give it out to their prospects and clients. On the last page of your booklet is information about you and your book.

People who receive and read your booklet may buy your book. If the booklet is distributed in your local area, homeowners may hire you to help stage their home for selling. At the same time, you are building your expert reputation and realtors are benefiting from homeowners following your advice. This is a win-win for everyone!

Think about how you could promote your own book or business with booklets, while earning extra income. Who could benefit from using your information? What type of businesses and organizations could benefit from providing your booklet to those people?

Authors can learn more about profiting from booklets in How To Promote Your Business with Booklets, by Paulette Ensign. Know as The Booklet Queen, Paulette has sold more than a million copies of her own 16-page booklet, 110 Ideas for Organizing Your Business Life, and she teaches others how to succeed through booklets.

[Dana Lynn Smith is a nationally recognized book marketing coach and author of The Savvy Book Marketing Guides.]


How Self-Publishing Can Give You "The Edge"

By guest author Jake Olvido.

Every writer's dream is to get published, and today's technology has created a plethora of publishing opportunies. The birth of e-books, print on demand, online marketing tools and redefined ways of information dissemination has opened multiple doors of publishing. The result? More and more people are engaging to bag the prestigious title of being called a published "author." And most are doing it through self-publishing.

Here are five reasons why self-publishing can be an edge over what historically has been done.

1. Complete hands-on.

As a self-publishing author, you have the option to either do everything the publishing process requires yourself or obtain assistance through a variety of sources and resources. You have the opportunity to master the craft and process of self-publishing.

2. Do-it-yourself marketing.

Who else would be a better master for selling your own book but you? As the author, you know your book's purpose and for whom it is written. You can plan your own book marketing strategy. You have the opportunity to reach closer to your readers and build relationships better than anyone else. You won't just be selling your books, but you'll be selling yourself as an author.

3. No waiting.

Competition is fierce in the publishing industry. Your book may be great, but you could end up searching and waiting for years to find a publisher. In fact, you might never find a publisher (willing to work with you). But with self-publishing, you plan your own adventure and launch it according to your schedule.

4. It's worth the risk.

Self-publishing will require you to invest money. But no one gains without taking risks. Remember that self-publishing is a business, and your results will be defined on how you've played the game. When you decide to solely publish, you decide the price of your book and, as a result, will keep 100% of the profits.

5. It's more than a challenge.

Managing your own business will take you to greater heights than those who only wait for royalty checks. Moreover, you can help other fellow authors or aspiring authors through sharing your experiences or conducting consultations.

Every writer's dream is to get published. And self-publishing can be a great way to accomplish your dream.

[Jake Olvido is a book marketing specialist and can be reached at Bookwhirl.com.]

How to Increase the Success Potential of Your Book

It's a proven fact that testimonials, forewards, endorsements and quotations (or "blurbs") sell books. Why? Because word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful forces in marketing. And testimonials, forewards, endorsements and quotations are all forms of word-of-mouth.

Anything you say about your book is self-serving, but words from another person are not. In fact, when readers see the quotation marks, it can shift their attitude and make them more receptive.

For example, author Harvey Mackay placed 44 testimonials in Swim with the Sharks. He had endorsements from everyone from Billy Graham to Robert Redford. Did these luminaries buy the book and write unsolicited testimonials? Of course not. Mackay asked for the words of praise.

If you want to learn more about how to obtain testimonials, read Steve Manning's article How to Get Testimonials for Your Book. It has a lot of good information.

To make your book as successful as it can be, your mission is to get the highest-place, most influential opinion-molders talking about your book. Consider these two things:

  1. You have more control than you think over whom you quote, what they say and how you use their words.
  2. Testimonials, endorsements and quotations are not difficult to get. You just need to ask.

To help your endorser come up with a pertinent, targeted testimonial, send your manuscript or part of your manuscript with a letter saying: "I know you are very busy, so I was thinking of something like this..." Then draft a suggested statement for them.

You give them the words, and they will thank you for it - and you will have a dynamite endorsement!

[The post was created from excerpts from Successful Nonfiction, written by Dan Poynter]

The Importance of Your Book's Front and Back Matter

If your book is nonfiction, the main body of text will be enclosed not just by it covers, but by "front and back matter" - content which can have a dramatic impact on your book's review potential and sales record. Front matter can include the foreward, preface and introduction. Back matter can include an appendix, bibliography, glossary, index and an order form. Each of these book parts offers opportunities to enhance the value of your book.

  • Foreward:  A foreward written by an important and well respected person in the field of your book's focus can boost your book's sales appeal considerably.
  • Preface: Typically, you will write your own preface. It outlines your reasons for doing this book and helps establish your credibility. Reviewers frequently draw their material from the preface, so it is important that you give them good ammunition.
  • Introduction: The introduction is where you lay the groundwork for the book and give any specific directions. Some writers might include their introductory remarks in other front matter, but from a sales potential point of view, the introduction should be a separate entity. And place it immediately before the first chapter.
  • Appendix: An appendix is used for lists of sources of additional information or for quick-reference summaries. The inclusion of an appendix can add greatly to a book's overall usefulness.
  • Bibliography: Bibliographies or recommended reading sections are very helpful additions for readers who want more information on your subject. If you wish, you can list not only those publications from which you drew material, but also other relevant works.
  • Glossary: Some nonfiction books can benefit from a glossary. When a reader comes across an unfamiliar term, it is comforting to be able to turn to the glossary for a quick explanation. Glossaries can also provide a ready source for technical definitions, if such are needed.
  • Index: An index is to a nonfiction book what butter is to bread. You may not need it, but it's so much better with the added ingredient. Librarians are much more likely to purchase your book if it is indexed. And if you hope to sell into educational markets, an index is almost mandatory. An index is a great tool to help readers quickly find answers to specific questions.
  • Order form: If you are selling your book, you book needs to have an order form. Also inform your readers as to where they can purchase a copy (such as websites, telephone numbers, etc.).

When creating the content for your front and back matter portions of your book, think of how each section can compliment your core material as well as be value added in the eyes of a reader and prospective buyer.

[This post was created from excerpts from The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing 5th Edition, co-authored by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier.]