Tips on Profiting from Tips Booklets

July 2009
by Paulette Ensign

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Would you like a marketing brochure on steroids? Try a tips booklet.

Tips booklets can be derived from full-length book manuscripts to whet readers’ appetites and guide their hunger toward your book. Each booklet presents 3,000 to 5,000 words as a sample of your book content, written as action-oriented suggestions. And people pay for the booklet or receive it as a gift from someone who did pay for it. Imagine people paying you for your marketing materials! It doesn’t get much better than that.

Here’s how this works: A person reads some or all of your tips booklet, internalizes your information, wants more, and sees something like this on the booklet’s last page: “For more in-depth information on this topic, you’ll want to have our book [Title]. Purchase the book at our Web site or via our 24-hour toll-free line [phone number].”

You can sell tips booklets one at a time to end users from your Web site, at speaking events, or otherwise, and you can sell them in bulk to customers such as companies, retailers, associations, Web sites, and the military. Large-quantity buyers often purchase customized or noncustomized booklets as incentives to prompt other sales and for internal distribution.

Content Possibilities

To create booklets, look for obvious divisions in your book. Chapters are a good starting place. Each chapter may be grist for an individual booklet. Or you might decide to do a sampler booklet with tips from each chapter that give the reader a taste of the entire book.

A booklet is a way for the reader to test out your information. It’s a way to gently approach a topic that may be otherwise overwhelming or brand new. It’s one format for the material, which can then be embellished, expanded, or otherwise modified.

Fiction too?

You may be thinking, “My topic doesn’t work in a how-to tips format.” Relax; you can create tips booklets from many kinds of nonfiction and even from novels.

Let’s say your novel is set on a farm in the American Midwest. How about a tips booklet about ways to live a happy, fulfilling, and interesting life in rural America, and/or on a farm? That will help connect readers to what the book is about, especially when you include a specific invitation: “For more about living on a farm in the Midwest, you’ll enjoy reading Life in a Corn Field.”

Or suppose the book you’re working with is a biography. A tips booklet that offers guidance based on how its subject achieved goals could be very useful for readers in their own lives.

Once in a rare while a topic simply does not seem to lend itself to a tips booklet. It’s usually something in science, math, or philosophy and focused on theory within that discipline. Otherwise, tips booklets are excellent additions to book merchandise and marketing activities.

For Sales Heading Up Toward the Millions

Keep in mind that every person who reads your booklet is a ready-made marketing representative for you and your company. As a result, while selling single copies of a booklet often makes for a very slow journey to the financial goals you’ve set, it does sometimes make sense. A single-copy booklet buyer could be a decision maker for a company or group and could also influence purchasing decisions by colleagues, associates, suppliers, distributors, family, friends, and neighbors.

And then there are those companies, associations, and other organizations that purchase large quantities of booklets as promotional tools or to give to their employees or members. Sometimes their orders run into the millions; often they’re well up in the thousands. Imagine a major calendar company, for instance, that produces millions of calendars every year. And they want to include a copy of your tips booklet with each calendar they offer for sale, as a value-added item to help them sell more of their calendars. Yes, that’s a real scenario.

And remember: With every publication of yours that they distribute, they promote you and your company, because your name and contact information appear in each booklet.

These large-quantity buyers may be prospects you initially approached about your book, and they may love the book, realize it’s priced well, and view it as an ideal match for their needs. But they may not have the funds to buy it in bulk. When you have a tips booklet derived from the book, you can immediately suggest that they purchase it instead. This makes a sale rather than no sale. It leaves your buyer feeling good about you because you offered a workable solution. You greatly increase the odds that this buyer (and people the buyer knows) will make future purchases from you.

Publicity and Other Ripple Effects

Initial booklet buyers and the readers they reach may be or know reporters or producers who can schedule print, radio, television, or Internet interviews and/or other media coverage. They may have contacts in another country or a community in your own country that might want to license your booklet—or your book—for publication in another language or a different physical format. They may be interested in consulting or training services you can provide, or in talks you can give.

In short, booklets open many doors for you more conveniently, less expensively, and with fewer time lags than a full-length book would. At the very least, booklets give you choices to offer people, based on their interest, budget, learning style, storage space, and desired Wow factor. The conversation becomes “Which of these is our starting point?” rather than “Do you want to buy this book or not?”


Paulette Ensign has sold well over a million copies of her own tips booklet, in four languages and various formats, without spending a penny on advertising, and she reports that she has numerous clients who have topped her numbers. To learn more about her products and services, visit tipsbooklets.com.

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