( Originally Published 1902 )
Within the past few years booklet advertising has become wonderfully popular. Every line of business now appreciates the benefits to be derived from booklets, and although many booklet efforts sadly miss the mark of excellence, yet some are beautiful specimens of literary, artistic and typographical skill.
As I said before, every branch of business can use the booklet to advantage. It is the mean between a circular and a catalogue. Generally the former is valueless because it says too little, and is done to death, and the latter is too expensive. The booklet can tell your story well—it can detail your business as no circular, poster or newspaper ad can—it does not cost so very much, and if gotten up rightly is likely to be welcomed by the recipient.
Take for instance a summer hotel. The proprietorat this time is looking about him for some good way to advertise his resort. The newspapers and magazines are good—he knows that by the past experience of himself and others. But they are mighty expensive, and he can say very little about the merits of his rooms and table—the accessibility and situation of his hotel—the surroundings, etc., etc. The road out of the difficulty lies through the booklet. Let him get up a twenty-four or thirty-six page booklet of medium size, with half-tone illustrations showing exterior and interior views of his hostelry, interspersed with bright, interesting letter press. Let him have this booklet attended to by a good writer, artist and printer, and he will find very satisfactory results from the same. An edition of five, ten or twenty-five thousand—as the case may require—can be issued, and the lot sent to a list of selected names which he can procure from metropolitan concerns which make a business of securing such lists.
Take again a shoedealer. He has a good store, good stock, and a satisfactory trade. His spring stock in footwear shows many styles that are new in his district. His spring and summer stocks will be more complete and interesting this season than ever before. He is burning with a desire to let his vicinity know all this. He can do it through the booklet. Let him get up a neat, illustrated booklet with a tasty cover—if in colors so much the better-have every page illustrated with two or more footwear designs. Speak in an entertaining way about the new stock and the popular shapes, and put it in the hands of every man and woman in his town and vicinity. If the booklet is gotten up as it should be, it will not be thrown away. On the contrary, every member of the household will glance at it to get a few pointers on shoes.
Same way with clothing. There strayed to my hands last fall a booklet on fall and winter styles in clothing and furnishings from the celebrated Gotham concern, Rogers, Peet & Co. I have that booklet yet. I did not save it from the fact that I am an advertising man and love to look over good specimens of advertising. No, I can honestly say I did not, but rather from the fact thatit gave me several valuable pointers regarding a winter wardrobe which several young friends and I have used to advantage in securing clothing and furnishings. It is my belief that men keep these booklets and occasionally glance in them when they want a pair of trousers, a pair of shoes, or anything to add to their wardrobes.
The department store can well utilize a series of booklets speaking of its different departments. Prices should always be given in booklets as well as full descriptions of the goods.
There should not be too much talk. The sentences should be short and full of point. The paragraphs should not be too long. Better have two or three paragraphs on one suggestion, than one long-winded paragraph on the same thought. Short sentences—short paragraphs—but long enough to give full meaning to every thought, should be the writer's rule.
If the paper permits use half-tones or wood engravings. In the eyes of some they may not be as artistic as pen and ink drawings, but in the eyes of the many they are stronger and bring out the points of the goods better.
When you start to get up a booklet, start with the idea to get up a good one. It does not pay to scrimp on the paper, printing, illustrating and writing. A booklet is supposed to be kept and remembered, and to be thug kept and remembered it should be attractive in appearance and contents. The newspaper is for a day, the magazine for a month. All advertising is short lived, but that which lives longest is probably the booklet rightly gotten up.
When a retailer issues a booklet he should be careful to speak only of the lines which he is certain will remain in stock for at least six months. Most newspaper advertising refers to goods that will be disposed of over the bargain counter inside of a week. Booklet advertising speaks of the lines you will carry right through the season.