5 STEPS TO WRITE AN IRRESISTIBLE TIP SHEET
Just back from New York editing "The Tome" with my editor at HarperCollins. When we get through with it there will be 200 less pages than there are now. I was lucky enough that I had a fantastic agent to sell my book for me, but you don't need an agent to write what you know. If you haven't written anything yet start now.
Remember, once you're already making money with your e-books, it's much easier to keep your electronic rights once you get a big publisher to print your work, than if you never published anything at all.
For those of you who are already writers there is quite a movement afloat to keep the rights to your work. It's always been an issue, but with the Internet, there's much more at stake. Check out FORMER Boston Globe columnist Linda Weltner's case against the newspaper of the same name to keep the rights to her work at
www.shore.net/~weltner. You'll be privy to a fascinating fight about who owns what and why.
Since this month's newsletter is focused on writing I'll share ways to write a tip sheet that, if done correctly, has an excellent chance of being printed verbatim. Here's how to make yours one that an editor can't resist....
A tip sheet is a list of 5-15 points that highlights your expertise while providing solutions to personal or professional problems. It begins with one or two short paragraphs followed by numbered tips.
1. Number your titles.
- 8 things every business person should know about the Internet.
- Help! My doctor is killing me: 6 strategies to save your life.
2. Keep to a format.
Clever title.- Gains the readers attention instantly.
- Explains what you will cover.
- Outlines informative and entertaining data gathered from your expertise that benefits others. Include anecdotes, quotes, statistics, stories, and facts that support your findings.
3. Make a statement with your style.
if you already have a recognizable style or voice, use it. Editors prefer substance with style over flat facts.
4. Use examples of the kind of clients you prefer.
This is one valuable piece of information that will help you to write a tip sheet so it will bring you the business you want without having to blare it. In other words the right people will be attracted to what you have to give. Use examples that include the kind of clients or experiences you want. I remember one of my jewelry designer friends telling me a particular pitfall when selling a line of earrings. She had one type of dangly thing a ma gig readily available in red and yellow both of which the buyer ordered. She then asked the buyer, "Would you like to buy them in purple also?" The buyer responded, "I don't know, show me the purple." She realized that the buyer couldn't make the visual leap to imagining the earrings in purple. This buyer is not alone. Many people, no matter what their profession, don't see how you can help them unless you state it explicitly. Odd as it may seem it must pertain to them or their business exactly for them to understand you're a match with what they need.
5. Nudge that funnybone.
Humor makes a piece more attractive to journalists. They want to entertain their audience even if the subject is serious.
Write your tip sheet today! Send it to me and I'll either use it in my next newsletter or include it in my book if possible.
If you want a copy of a tip sheet I wrote on sound bites for the San Francisco Examiner that got me a top dot com company as a client. (They contacted me the same day the article came out). Put the words "dot com" in the subject header and reply to this email and I'll send it to you.
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