February 26, 2024

Episode 59: Boost Your Book’s Success on Amazon​:

Savvy Strategies to Connect with Your Amazon Buyers

How a 52-Tip Product Can Market Your Book Before, During, and After It Launches

Episode 59: Boost Your Book's Success on Amazon: Savvy Strategies to Connect with Your Amazon Buyers

by Carma Spence | The Author Switch Podcast

Notes

In this episode of The Author Switch Podcast, I chat with Tips Content Strategist Paulette Ensign about the transformative power of tips and tips products in elevating your book’s success on Amazon. Discover the art of distributing tips to keep your audience engaged and your book sales climbing.

Recap & Takeaways

  • 03:06 What is a tip?
  • 11:20 How do you pull your tips out of your head?
  • 14:13 What kind of products and services are tips related?
  • 22:15 Using tips to market your books

Episode 59: Boost Your Book’s Success on Amazon: Savvy Strategies to Connect with Your Amazon Buyers (with Paulette Ensign)

CARMA SPENCE:

Hello, and welcome to The Author Switch Podcast. My name is Carma Spence and I help entrepreneurs write a lead-attracting book in 90 days or less and today’s episode is featuring my special guest Paulette Ensign.

 

A teacher by training and nature, she earned two music education degrees in her first career teaching elementary schools string instruments.

 

Paulette Ensign, Tips Products Publishing Agency founder, was clueless she’d sell two million copies of her 16 page 110 Ideas for Organizing Your Business Life in multiple languages and formats without a penny on advertising. That prompted subject matter experts in many topics to convert their knowledge to cash as tips booklets and other products online and offline.

 

Between teaching strings and developing tips products publishing agency, Paulette was a professional organizing and productivity consultant and speaker early in the organizing and productivity industry.  Paulette became an East Coast transplant to San Diego, California in 1996, living where snow is a choice.

 

Gosh, I wish I was doing that. And one she doesn’t make. Her mindset is wrapped in a mantra that she refuses to get old as she’s getting older. So far, so good.

 

Hi, Paulette!  Welcome to episode 59 of The Author Switch Podcast. Here is my wonderful, wonderful guest, Paulette Ensign, who I met many years ago when she was my roomie at a convention or conference.

 

I don’t know what you’d call it.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

Training.  Yeah.

 

CARMA SPENCE:

Yeah. So welcome Paulette. Thank you for joining me today.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

Well, it was time to revisit and reconnect, you know, so I was delighted by your response. 

 

CARMA SPENCE:

Yes. So you’ve been into tips products for like ages,

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

More than three decades. 

 

CARMA SPENCE:

So, wow. That is a really long time.  That’s awesome.

 

That’s awesome. And it’s great that they’re still doing well. And now you’ve kind of come up with a, a new way to use them, which we’ll be talking about today to kind of help authors sell their books and make more money before, after and around the book.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. 

 

CARMA SPENCE:

So that everybody’s on the same page. Let’s start off with the basics. What is a tip?

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

It is a soundbite that reflects your expertise. What it is not is it’s not necessarily the cure to cancer. Or rocket science.

 

And I’ll give you a couple of examples and go from there because there’s plenty to go to from there.

 

While I was a professional organizing consultant and productivity specialist a long time ago, the big thing certainly was clutter. So it could be all kinds of clutter. Paper, space, all kinds of clutter.

 

So here’s one of those tips. Take the biggest thing out of the pile first. It immediately reduces the pile. and motivates you to keep going.

 

Now, that has saved lives. Even though it sounds so incredibly simplistic, Carma, you might be amazed to know that these tips have nothing to do with our intelligence because each of us has a different body of brilliance.

 

CARMA SPENCE:

Absolutely.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

They just never thought of that, who are among the smartest people that we know. They just never thought of it.  And I’ll give you another example. 

 

I was at the county fair, which here in San Diego is a big deal, and I was with one of my closest friends, and we are total opposites in a lot of ways.

 

And I happen to have very hungry clothes, so things that are aimed for my mouth frequently make a stop on whatever I’m wearing, a shirt or whatever. And this was no different. So I’m walking along, it’s a hot summer day, and somehow this chocolate syrup managed to miss my mouth but landed on my white shirt that I had just bought.

 

And I was not thrilled, but I was not surprised either. And a few words that are not for publication. My friend looked at me and she said, I know you can’t imagine that. Right?

 

My friend looked at me and she said, “Don’t worry.” She said, “you know, white vinegar will get that out.”

 

And I looked at her like she had 12 heads and  I was confused.

 

And she said, “Oh, come on, you’re smart. You know that white vinegar will get that out.”

 

I said, “yes, I am smart. However,  I want to give you a reason why I don’t know that.  If you took the top thousand descriptors of my mother,  nowhere on there would be anything remotely related to cleaning skills.  Something that she didn’t know”  it’s as simple as that.

 

CARMA SPENCE:

Yeah.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

I know a whole lot of stuff. I’m more common sense basic  salt of the earth kind of knowledge. Grassroots stuff literally and figuratively.

 

My friend. She I’m sure eats at least one meal of statistics a day  So she knows a whole bunch of different stuff that I really don’t care about. And in some ways vice versa. But there’s the point that you may know things that are useful, things that are obscure, things that and I know you enough to know, you know, I’m not just shooting in the wind, you know, in the breeze here that, you know, very different stuff than I know. Doesn’t make it right or wrong.

 

And by the way, those lots and lots of folks  who are subject matter experts and thought leaders. are very concerned about the value of these tips. Like, you know, this is not a book.  I know, I said, I understand that. However, we’ll talk in a moment about people’s learning styles.

 

So here’s the three very likely values that a tip, like the one about Take the biggest thing out of the pile first, which by the way  could be laundry or it could be paper It’s very very versatile. Take the biggest thing out of the pile.

 

CARMA SPENCE:

And digital.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

Absolutely. Yes.  So you may not have even thought about that. I have lots of, lots of friends who just never thought about that. Just didn’t surface in their thinking.  Doesn’t make them a bad person.

 

So the second possibility is you knew the information, but you haven’t used it in a while. So you forgot about it.

 

And the third possibility I personally love.  When you hear it, it’s confirmation from an expert that what you already know, some expert is just telling you also. So it’s great confirmation.

 

Those things are all valuable. And they’re valuable beyond that. They’re valuable in the way of your subconsciously finding trust in the person who’s telling you about it, because it’s a bite sized piece of information that’s easily digestible. That is easily executable. That is a foundation to build on so that you can go in a graduated way, more advanced, more advanced, more advanced. Which is great for your business too. Because when you give too much too soon, it is a sure path to disaster. And the likelihood is you will never ever see that person again. Just imagine if you and Christopher, the first time you ever talked, one of you gave your entire life history.

 

CARMA SPENCE:

I may have.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

Well, I doubt it. I doubt it. Because no matter how long you were sitting together, you couldn’t possibly have told everything about all the years up to that point. That is a crucial thing. It’s okay. And in fact, it’s preferred to leave them wanting more, leave them wanting hungry.

 

You know that you’re hungry for more information, so they will come back to you because you’ve already built some trust with them. You are dispensing the information in easily graspable  format, so that that person’s self confidence in that area that they’re coming to for the first time  Oh, yeah, I can do this.

 

I don’t have to be worried or embarrassed or any of those things. I’ll give you another example, just for grins and giggles here. Imagine you’re at a social event,  and the inevitable question of, What do you do? comes up from somebody.

 

Well, this one person there is just chomping at the bit to be able to, Have somebody ask her and she said, well, I’m a financial planner. And right now I’m writing like a 500 page book on every financial instrument that currently exists.

 

Now there’s this half circle of people and her audience standing there, being as polite as they can while silently in their head, they’re going. Yeah, I know I should be investing and learning how to do that. I can barely balance my checking account and know just only about how to make deposits and withdrawals. One by one, these people excuse themselves.

 

That’s not doing a favor to anybody to start with a 500 page book on every imaginable  financial instrument available in that moment. I’m not saying never.

 

I’m saying it’s not the starting point. The starting point is basic. You would not teach a five year old child about really  convoluted and, you know, complex concepts as the first thing out.  You would not give them  more than a simplistic taste.

 

Because otherwise it’s just going to not work. And I like to talk in positives rather than in negatives. So whether you felt like you told Christopher everything about you the first time you talked, my guess, knowing you is you probably didn’t. It may have felt that way, but no.  So what else you want to know for me today?

 

CARMA SPENCE:

Well, one question came up while you were talking is, so I’ve got this head full of tips,  but I, I know them. I take them for granted. How  do you pull those tips out  when you just take them for granted? 

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

Perfect question. Perfect.  That is such a typical thing to surface. Because we’ve all been in our, we’ve been swimming in our pond for quite a while.

 

And there are people that aren’t even sure they want to swim, much less in that pond. However, something’s appealing.  To the best of your ability, and I’ve got a couple of answers to this question, to the best of your ability, think back on when you started. Because none of us came out of our mothers knowing what we know today.

 

It just didn’t happen that way.

 

CARMA SPENCE:
It may feel like it at times.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

Yeah, yeah, however. And then there’s a way to really test whether you’ve simplified it or not.  Find someone, and it could be of any age.  Find someone who you view as fairly intelligent, to begin with. Maybe not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

 

However, they’re above average intelligence. And  tell them a tip.  You know, or ask them something about your expertise.  And see what they answer. See if they understand what you might have shared with them.  Even though they’ve never had any experience in your area,  once you’ve gotten, and I’ve done this for a bunch of people where  I, I own the fact that I am above average intelligence.

 

However, there’s a whole lot of things I do not know about. A lot of things I don’t even want to know about.  I am not somebody who easily leans into technology, for instance. So I am the perfect guinea pig to make sure that a person who’s a tech nerd  speaks plain simple English for the totally uninitiated.

 

So find someone, it might be a family member, it might be a friend, it might be a colleague, and just run it past them.  And be willing to return the favor when you decide that they also need to have some exposure to my work  so that we can get their tips. And  just cooperative stuff, you know, so that everybody ends up  putting out information that is both a marketing tool and a revenue stream at the same time.

 

How’s that for doing great double duty?

 

CARMA SPENCE:

That’s awesome. Now, I know that you started off with tips booklets, but you’ve expanded beyond that. And I think most people are familiar with a tip booklet, but what other kind of products and services are tips related?

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

Yes. I definitely will easily tell you that.

 

And what you just said is kind of interesting because  I know in the, in the, Just the quasi intelligent English speaking people in the world. There’s no way we could ever reach everyone who would be our client. So thinking that a lot of people might know what a booklet is, there’s so many definitions of it that I want to make sure that we have clarity around the one that I do.

 

So I appreciate you, you pointing that one out.

 

That could be an assumption on my part, just cause I know you. 

 

Yeah, right. Exactly. So  four by nine inches in North America, that’s a number 10 envelope. That is a very standard size and it doesn’t need to be more than that. The template that I have come to create over time  is 52 tips.

 

Now, some people jump right at it as to what that 52 is about. Other people look at your head and go, 52? Hmm. I don’t know, I was thinking 101. No, not 101. 52.

 

CARMA SPENCE:

One a week.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

Yes. One a week. Yes. You win the prize yet to be determined.   Uh,  52 tips. It is so flexible in what can be made from that.

 

And the delivery formats can be both either or. online or offline or both. And there’s some situations where it makes sense to have both. It is possible to do an unlimited number of delivery formats. The more easily identified ones are booklet,  both printed  and as a PDF, a designed PDF by a graphic designer, a professional graphic designer.

 

See, I’m sticking words in here because people can make an assumption. And they go, Oh, I know how to do Photoshop and I know how to do InDesign. And it looks like crap when they do it.  That is a high price to pay for cutting corners to save a buck. And there are so many people now, and we’ve found a couple of really great ones who do a really excellent job and it’s not a second mortgage to pay for it.

 

So, it’s worth every bit of it because when you see the direction that I’m going to be pointing about the sales model, the business model, you’ll see why it’s really important to have a good representation of how you do business. That you are a professional. That it doesn’t look like it’s homemade. That the information in there is valuable and worthy of very vast distribution.

 

So. Second thing, as far as formats, the easiest second thing to do is audio.  And with that, you get to do a little more conversational because there needs to be some bridge when you’re speaking it between each tip  to read, do this, do that, because tip two, do that and do this and do that because  it would sound like a robot. Or it could easily say robot. It’s more conversational. 

 

So that also addresses the concern that some folks have about, but I like narrative, good, I’m not saying no or never. I’m just saying not now . There’s plenty of time and space for that. 

 

The third possibility is a card deck with a tip on each card.

 

Yes. And those are very popular, very popular.  Each of those three things that I said so far  can be done  tangible and they can be done digitally.  I got a real dressing down from some of my close friends about how nobody is printing audio CDs anymore.  Now, I haven’t lately. Yeah, right. And I’m going to really antiquate myself if I try to put that out there.

 

Okay, fine. For those people that are driving older, used cars, Yes, you still do have a drive in your car for an audio CD. However, I have given up the ghost on that and I’m no longer suggesting that because there’s still a whole lot of other delivery formats that you can do.

 

You can do puzzles,  jigsaw puzzles and or crossword puzzles, online or fully produced.

 

We’ve done some magnificent puzzles, crossword puzzles and jigsaw puzzles.

 

CARMA SPENCE:

Which adds gamification.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

Yes, exactly, in public.  Um,  gamification in public, yes. Um, I had a children’s author for the first time a couple of years ago, and I was looking to see if, in fact, everything that I had done with non fiction authors worked for children’s books and it did.

 

So we got beautiful puzzles from the artwork of the book, which was very beautifully designed to begin with and just did all kinds of great stuff.

 

Crossword puzzles. The tips can be the clues for the words and it can be done online  and it can be done to print out and do by pencil or pen, wherever you fall in the crossword puzzle syndrome. So yeah, lots and lots of different.

 

And by the way, I’m not going to go further in the kinds of delivery formats. What I am going to say, though, is it could be an easy assumption to make. That’s only in English.

 

CARMA SPENCE:

Oh, yeah.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

Oh, yeah. I like to do a little pregnant pause there because once it goes in, it’s like, oh, Spanish and in Rhode Island, Portuguese and in around up and up in Canada, certain places, French, and  it’s a rinse and repeat, my friends.

 

Once you’ve got the stuff in English.  You can make it available. You can respond to an inquiry from a serious  person, this decision maker, to  translate it  at a professional level.

 

So the extent of what you can do with one 52-tip manuscript as a Word document, and we’ll get to that in a second too.

 

CARMA SPENCE:

Yeah.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

What’s next?

 

CARMA SPENCE:

Well, I want a break for a quick commercial, and then when we get back we’re gonna tie this all in to authors and what they can do with it.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

Yeah, absolutely.

 

<Commercial Break>

 

CARMA SPENCE:

Welcome back to The Author Switch Podcast. We are talking to Paulette Esign. The Tips, products, queen! And before the commercial, we were talking about what a tip is and how you can pull it from your head and put it out into the world in multiple formats. And now I want to bring it all together. And how does a tips product help your book before, during, and after the launch.  Go Paulette.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

And now you say, go.  Because if I had ideas to share with you, before the book is started, and it may never get started, I’m not trying to do anything to dissuade people from coming to you to create their book. However, I think it’s, we, it’s common knowledge that some people say, someday I’ll write a book and they never do.

 

And that’s okay because we have alternatives for the people that say, yeah, I really want to write a book and I’m going to in the process before you even start writing a single word of the book,  create a 52-tip manuscript of tips because you can use those tips before they’re produced any further, just in a word doc.

 

You can use those to lay a trail of breadcrumbs to announce the topic that you’re dealing with. And with 52 Tips, you can drop one a week on a list or on a group or on your social media or lots and lots of other places. Any interviews you’re doing, just like this, where you announce, in essence, your expertise and you’re giving valuable information and you’re not with your handout, as far as asking for somebody to buy something from you. All you’re doing is saying, Hey look, this is coming, this is coming, and subscribe to this because blah blah.  And the more  that you do, maybe five or six at a time, one at a time, but five or six and then maybe a call to action. But in each one those drops of a tip, goes your domain name.

 

Visit our website to get a free bonus  and that free bonus is something downloadable. It could be an article, it could be all kinds of things, downloadable though. So it’s automated and not requiring your attention or the attention of a virtual assistant.  And in exchange for their email address, you’re giving them something.

 

And as you build and build and build, you’ve got the ability to build relationship with them, which is crucial.  Absolutely crucial.  You’ve got speaking gigs. You’ve got friends. You’ve got colleagues. You’ve got family. Some of them you still speak to. You’ve got people all over the place. You’ve got neighbors.

 

Yeah, you heard me. Um,  invite them to go to your website. And it’s not a hard sell by anybody’s definition.  So that’s what happens before. And by the way, that 52 tip manuscript can help you organize your book.  Because I’ve got a formula that works that really truly makes it easier for you to then flesh out what is a skeleton  in the 52 tips and it makes life so much easier for you and whoever the brilliant advisor is who’s guiding you.

 

Like Carma.  So that’s the before. Yeah. Don’t you love it when a client comes to you and they may be a newcomer to writing. However, they prepared whatever they can within the construct  of who they are, what they understand, what they can manage to do.  It doesn’t matter if the spelling is off. That’s an easy fix where the grammar sucks. You know, those things are easy. Once we get the structure of what it is. That’s, that’s a whole different ease to moving forward.  

 

Let’s go on and talk in terms of what happens while you’re writing the book.

 

When you are in the midst of writing the book or a section, you can also do shout outs or call out, get what they’re called, right in the body of a page where it will stand out as something you want to really reinforce. You can use a tip that way also, and you can,  you can use those tips again to flesh out more if you feel it’s really, really important to reinforce something.

 

So that can be the starting point, the springboard, to flesh out content that you might be struggling with, but somehow it’s easier when there’s part of it already written.  Those are some things that can be done while you’re writing the book. And again, each and every time,  make sure, like a broken record, You are saying please visit our website to collect a free gift because the point is you want to get them back to your site and you want their email address.

 

I’m going to keep saying that because it makes the difference and that’s where we’re going to land today. In how you can build a strong relationship with the people who are buying your books on Amazon. 

 

So I think we can jump right ahead to what happens once it’s done Because then i’m going to go in and flesh out and fill in the blanks here that i’m purposely skipping over.

 

Once it’s done, you can think oh my gosh, the book is done now I really can’t do any of these additions that I could have done earlier.

 

Well, don’t despair.

 

There are some very brilliant book advisors who come in all kinds of names as far as a book Sherpa, a coach, a consultant having to do specifically with books.  I’m using an overarching generic term of book advisors. There’s some very astute, well informed book advisors who know that putting in the bonus invitation in that book is important.

 

And putting it in more than once is even better. Putting it somewhere in the very, very beginning of the book is the best, because it looks, see, I’m confirming what you already know.  Don’t you feel an even bigger shot than you already are?

 

That’s what it is, yes. 

 

So the reason for having that in the front of the book as close to the front as you can is because when your book buyer is going to buy your book and they click on the preview, they may see that invitation before they even end up buying the book.

 

And then they go back and they give you their email address and you’re in good shape with all of that. So let’s just say that you weren’t working with Carma. First of all, it’s a bad idea  to work with  somebody that is less fabulous than Carma is. And she’s not paying me to say this. I know this for a fact.

 

And she’s paying me with kindness. Um,  you can  go in there, you can have your graphic designer go in, and it won’t be a ton of money,  to add that right into one of the empty pages of the book. Now, if that doesn’t sound too enticing, That’s okay because we still have other options.  Remember that 52 tip manuscript you did?

 

You can produce that into a tips booklet  and you can put it both in the Kindle section and in the book section to sell it.  So you’ve got even another revenue stream. And your contact information’s all over those suckers. So that is totally doable. Plus Amazon’s going to love you even more because they’re going to get some more money from you from the people that buy that, that buy the booklet, that buy the audio. And it gives you something to bundle.

 

Now, what’s the big deal here about  Amazon books. Well, I recently had a conversation with somebody who said they sold 1, 300 books on Amazon last year. And the person said, that’s supposed to be really good. I said, in that context, yes, it is. I said, got any idea who bought any of those books?  Oh, no, I don’t.

 

Oh, so how are you going to build a relationship with them to stay In touch and offer them more of your good stuff.  Gee, I don’t know  Huh,  so that’s one of the many reasons and one of the reasons it’s stuck in my brain And when I realized that I do have tools for you to be able to cross that situation in a high integrity very honest legal, moral and ethical way to do it  So that’s probably the biggest, biggest thing. Now, I know we’re getting close to the… I think we have just a little bit more time left, right?

 

Are we over?

 

CARMA SPENCE:

We’re probably over but  It’s okay.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

Okay.  So for the folks who are coming to your website and downloading, you can stay in touch with them now, and that doesn’t mean every time you reach out, you want to sell them something because you’ve got educational marketing tools now.

 

Where you provide them education every fifth or sixth one, maybe you’ll show them an opportunity to invest in something you’ve got,  which leads me to an opportunity. I want to make available to you. Today we had a  basically 30 minute window and what you paid for to do this was a half hour of your time for which I greatly appreciate your choosing.

 

On the 24th of February, I am going to be doing a master class that is the same title as what this interview is about. Now, I know some of you who are listening to the replay, it might have, you might be listening to it later than February 24th. But fear not, I am going to be scheduling this again, and probably again, and again.

 

The very next one from when we are recording this live will be February 24th. When you go to tipsproducts.com and you go to the shop, the very top of it, it says there’s a link there for upcoming events and the link that says Savvy Author, which of course you are. Click on that.  It’s my gift to you and I will go into greater depth on the things that we didn’t have time for today.

 

What I will tell you is this, the business model that I teach and that I live by is bulk sales, and content licensing. I do not sell single copies and that’s a big differentiator and a better way to make money and help more people. So I would love to have the opportunity to teach you more.

 

This has been such fun, and I hope you’ve had half as much fun as I’ve had doing this.

 

CARMA SPENCE:

Absolutely, thank you so much. Again, what was that website? 

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

TipsProducts.com. Don’t lose your S along the way. T I P S P R O D U C T S dot com. And if all is lost,  Google my name, you know, that’ll do it.

 

CARMA SPENCE:

And I’ll put a link to it in the show notes as well.

 

PAULETTE ENSIGN:

Terrific. Thank you so much. 

 

CARMA SPENCE:

Awesome. Well, this is the end of this episode of The Author Switch Podcast. This is your host, Carma Spence, saying ciao for now.

 

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