Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Reader Wants a Cut After Facilitating Deal

DEAR HARRIETTE: A client of mine contacted me recently to see if I would work on a project with her. It was a generous offer, but not a great fit. I do know someone that I think would be better for the project, and I told her that I would put them in touch with each other. There is potential for a lot of money to be made on this thing. I now think that if I introduce them, I should get a cut of the deal. Is that wrong of me to think? How can I go about getting myself in the finances of this thing? -- Want a Cut

DEAR WANT A CUT: It is true that some people broker relationships and formally introduce people with the understanding that if something comes of the deal, they should get a piece of it. In your case, that is not the relationship that you have with either party. I think it would be awkward to introduce the idea now. It also might give them a bad impression of you.

Instead, you can follow up with each of them to see if something manifested due to your connection. You can add that you hope that they keep you in mind if other projects come up that might be right for you.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I are cleaning out our house, and we realize that we have too much of everything, including books. We have hundreds of books that we have collected over the years, and there is nowhere to put them. We were going to just put them out, but then it occurred to me that I could sell them. We have flea markets in my city, or maybe I could do a yard sale of just books. Do you think that sounds silly, or is it viable? I know that people don’t read as much as they once did, but I bet there will be some people who will find a book sale appealing. I would discount the books in order to move them. What do you think? -- Book Sale

DEAR BOOK SALE: A book sale is a great idea. You can host one now, but you might also think about doing one right before the holidays. Books make great gifts. Categorize the books based on subject, genre and audience so that it is easy for people to review them. You can make the books an easy sell by keeping the prices really low. For example, you could price them anywhere between $1 and $5, no matter how much the books originally cost. Just make sure you have change so that the transactions can be managed with ease.

Look for opportunities where there will be some foot traffic, such as a street fair, bazaar, church fundraiser or other event. You may have to pay a small vendor’s fee, but the traffic might be worth it. You can do a yard sale if you live in an area where many people naturally pass by. The key to success in this endeavor is getting enough people to stop by to consider buying a book. When it is over, give the remaining books to your local library or community center. Do not put them back in your house!

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)