As much as the media and the tech industry would like us to think everyone owns an iPad, a tablet, a laptop or a Kindle or other kind of reader, the fact is, more than two-thirds of us don’t. And even if we do, the paperback book or booklet is a long way from going out of style.
If you don’t believe it, just check out the number of magazines, books, booklets and other paper products in your local store, your doctor’s office, or even in the waiting room where you get your car fixed. Paper is not dead and it will be around for at least another decade or two.
I’m considering buying a new car in 2013. When I went to various dealerships in two towns the dealers offered me glossy paper brochures and booklets on their vehicles. There’s the website if I want that, but walking out of those showrooms with all those brochures connected me to their product in a tactile, immediate, physical way that no e-reader alone can do.
Last summer a friend of mine was building a Koi pond for his Koi (big goldfish). He spent time online looking up designs and various packages, but what caught his eye was an “Ortho’s how-to” paperback book he found at a home improvement store. It was the paperback book he took out to the yard and scribbled notes on and took back to Lowes when he was shopping for parts. Why? Convenience. Ease. He didn’t want his iPad broken or cracked around the construction site. He used it too, but the paperback book was the workhorse of the project.
I’m not saying people don’t use tablets and pads. They do. But there’s a huge advantage to being able to offer both the paperback and the digital version of a book, or to be able to hand your prospect a tangible chunk of personalized information in a format they’ll read.
Booklets (15-to-50 pages) cost, on average, about $2.15 apiece to print. They cost, on average, $500 to $2,500 to design, write and produce. That’s a small price to pay to be immediately share photos and information with an interested prospect, especially if you’ve priced the cost of a full-page, or even quarter-page ad in your local paper lately. Yes, digital is awesome, but only if your audience packs a tablet or iPad 24/7.
5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Paperback Book or Booklet
(1) Time. When you’re talking to people face-to-face it’s a lot easier and more practical to pull out a booklet than to turn on your iPad or Tablet. A booklet or brochure or paperback book requires no time commitment from either person, and it doesn’t require you be there to walk the person through the information.
If I’m talking to someone in line at the grocery or the bookstore, or wherever it’s much more practical to just say, “If you’re interested, here’s more information,” and then hand them the book to look at and take with them. With the tablet you’ve both pretty much got to commit to the next 10-20 minutes to stand there and flip through the tablet’s digital book. If you’re talking to two or more people who’ve expressed an interest, all the better to have a couple of copies on hand to pass out.
(2) Number of Readers. Newspapers and magazines count the number of subscribers and sales they have, then multiply by three. Why? Because on average, that’s the number of people in the household who will also look at the magazine or newspaper. If you only offer a digital copy of your book, chances are it’s not going to be shared, or sit on a table, or be given to someone else to read. If you have a paperback book, magazine or paper copy of your product and service once the person finishes with it, chances are there will be other readers who see it as well.
(3) Cost Effective Advertising. Because of the “print on demand” services of places like Amazon.com, CreateSpace.com and even Kinko’s and other office print shops, you only order the number of paperbacks you need or want. You don’t have to have 500 copies paid for and sitting around taking up space and becoming outdated. Are you a Little League Coach? Maybe you have a garden club or other organization you want to get information out to. Instead of having 20 to 30 parents telling you that they couldn’t print off your PDF of the rules booklet, why not create a 25-page book and hand it out? Charge them for the copy if you like. I promise that more of them are likely to take the book and toss it in their purse or kid’s sports bag for quick consulting rather than rely on a tablet. Their smartphone may be a great backup for some info, but there’s nothing like flipping to the page they need and then showing it to whomever they need to show it to.
(4) Credibility. The primary reason most speakers, coaches and business people come to me for a book is to increase their credibility with customers, potential customers and traffic on the web. Having a book, self-published or not, tells people you have it together enough to finish something. Given the choice of hiring someone who’s published a book versus someone who has not, the presence of a well-written, well-designed book is often the tipping point for the undecided buyer.
(5) Long lasting connection. Books, like t-shirts, remind us that we’ve experienced something, been somewhere, or have connected with someone, particularly if you personally hand someone a copy of your book. It’s tangible, personal and memorable. When I tell people to “Go to Amazon.com and check out my book,” few do. But everyone will accept a copy of the book. A physical copy of a book has value. They’re more likely to read the first three chapters I give them, get hooked and THEN go to Amazon to buy the entire book.
Some businesses are better candidates than others for a paperback booklet. If you’d like to know if your business could benefit from either a digital or paperback (or both) book, email me today to set up a time to discuss your options.