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Reach a wider audience - Write and publish a booklet.

Not everyone has access to the Internet and so books and booklets are still best sellers for small businesses and individuals to give information and advertise services.

This article will help you to create something long-term with your best writing in different genres and will, I hope, inspire you with new ideas to create more for other booklets. This is how I started on the booklet trail.

Every one of us has the potential to share our knowledge. Some people are natural teachers, passing on information to whoever asks free of charge. We all tend to underestimate and undervalue our skills. If you have expertise and enthusiasm in a subject or a certain aspect of life in general then you also have personal experience and could write a short textbook in the form of a booklet.

One of the reasons I started writing was to share my knowledge, what held me back for so long was confidence. No one can do my particular job like I can because it is a very individual subject. I had also learned to create pictures and scan them into my computer, write, format and create lists of subjects in some sort of order. So what did I wait so long for?

I had written a worksheet for every workshop that I hosted and another every week for my psychic study group. Eventually I collated all the articles into subjects then put them together into one file, added a few bits here and there to link them up, and bought some A4 card in different colours. The next step was to produce a cover with the card, sort the pages, staple them together, and voila! Published booklets that I could sell myself. Each booklet was written in simple language to cover all reading abilities and I had the information that people needed without the thousands of extra words that made other books just a book.

At the psychic fairs, where I worked as a reader, there were a number of stalls selling tarot cards, crystals, chimes and new-age things. My booklets were right in the middle and sold at fairs that I didn't even work at. Priced at £4.99, my friend who ran the stall got £1 from every booklet he sold and I got the other £4.

I hadn't appreciated what I had actually done until people started to telephone me saying thank you for writing in plain English. They told me my booklets were very easy to understand and follow and they loved the idea of my telephone number and an invitation to tell me what they thought or to ask questions about anything I had written. Some of those people later had workshops with me so it also became a form of advertising too. People wanted to know about my work, my experience and how and why I got to this stage in my career. Isn't that a good enough reason to be writing about your job on a regular basis? Why not start now?

To create an A5 booklet

Using a word processing package such as Microsoft Office or Star Office, open a new document. Go to ‘page set up’ and find the orientation panel to change to ‘landscape.’ In MSOffice this is under ‘file’ – ‘page set up’ – ‘paper size.’ You need to change the layout to two columns for A5 booklets. Remember that the left column of page one is the back and the right is the front cover. On page two the right side is page one of the white pages of your booklet and will be either a contents page or introduction. From here on you will need to place your writing on the pages that correspond depending on the size of the booklet or how much writing you have. Any white spaces can be filled with adverts or pictures to complete a professional looking booklet.

Before printing you need to check that each page will work out properly because you are printing two pages of your booklet, not one. So if your booklet has 28 pages the first printed page is page 2 on the printer (the first is the cover unless you save this as a seperate file,) and will be pages 1 in the right column and page 28 in the left when printed for your booklet. Take this printed page and place it back into the printer the other way so the second print is page 3 on the printer and will be page 2 of your booklet in the left column and page 27 in the right. Follow this until it is all printed and put them together in number order. Staple in the centre and fold in half then place under a pile of books to flatten it. Now you have your first booklet to sell.

My article on creating a valentine card will give you a better idea of the set up.

© Lynda Archard 2000