Saturday, March 07, 2009

Even Fiction Writers Can Market with Tips Booklets

Those of you have followed my advice for a while know that one of the things I am most passionate about is marketing fiction and poetry. That's because so many people think it's impossible but also because I've been there, done that, and know darn well that it's possible. Today a very old friend I met when we were both speaking at a SPAN (Small Publishers Association of North America) conference in Atlanta agreed to let me use one of her articles on promoting with tips booklets. You'll like what Paulette Ensign has to say about their possibilities for fiction as well as nonfiction!


Guest blogged by Paulette Ensign

"My topic doesn't fit into a how-to tips format."

That comment shows up periodically, and did again this week. Even when a person has written a novel, there are ways to create a tips booklet that can help market that novel plus become its own new source of revenue. THOSE are the purposes of a booklet.

Let me back up a tad. A tips booklet is a way for the reader to test out the information of the author, to see if it's something that leads to wanting more of what the author's got. It's a way to gently approach a topic that may be otherwise overwhelming or brand new. It's one format of the material, which can then be embellished, expanded, or otherwise modified by the author.

A booklet is NOT the consummate reference on a given topic. A tips booklet, in particular, is NOT a narrative philosophical statement or observation of something. It's a tips booklet, with how-tos in it.

Let's say you wrote a novel, set on a rural farm in Midwest America, and you want to sell lots of copies of that novel, which common wisdom says is a challenge to do. One way to do it could be by writing a tips booklet about ways (tips!) to live a happy, fulfilling, and interesting life in rural America, or on a farm. That would certainly give the reader of your book more of a connection to what your book is about, wouldn't it, especially when you include some specific invitation that looks something like "for more about living on a farm in Midwest America, you'll enjoy reading our book, "Life in a Corn Field."

Or you are interested in featuring the accomplishments of some notable people of current or historical times. Instead of a treatise about them, it could be very useful to create a tips booklet that includes guidance based on what those people did to accomplish what they accomplished, for others to mirror in their own lives.

Once in a rare while there is a topic that simply does not lend itself to a tips booklet. It's usually something in science or math and focused on theory. It's at that moment you'll see a glaze come onto my face. Otherwise, let's talk about what your tips booklet is and can be.


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© 2008, Paulette Ensign
Paulette Ensign has sold well over a million copies of her own tips booklet, "110 Ideas for Organizing Your Business Life," in four languages and various formats without spending a penny on advertising. From her San Diego, California-based http://www.tipsbooklets.com, she assists individuals and groups transform their knowledge into tips booklets and other information products for marketing, motivating, and making money.


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog.

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