CREATE YOUR OWN INFORMATION PRODUCTS!Millions and millions of full sized books and small booklets aresold each year. Most are produced by the large publishinghouses. However, there are also several million books soldevery year by small, unassuming, one-person publishingcompanies. Many of these one-person publishers operate from ahome-based office.
And, surprisingly, some home-based publishersearn excellent incomes. (What’s more, some are even becomingvery rich. )In this report you’ll learn how to succeed as a home-basedpublisher, producing books, booklets, reports and manuals onnearly every subject imaginable. And, if you have no desire towrite your own material, you’ll learn how to get authors towrite for you. Many authors have chosen to by-pass the usual publishing routesand, instead, self-publish their own books. Admittedly, thisrequires more work, but it could also mean more profits.
Thereare many reasons authors decide to self-publish, including:1. It’s very difficult to get a manuscript accepted by the giantpublishing houses, unless you are a personality in some field,or are already a successful author. 2. Often, the large publishing companies will want to edit amanuscript in such a manner that is unacceptable to the author. 3.
Often, the author can market his own book more effectivelythan a large publisher will. This is especially true if thematerial is of a non- fiction or of how-to nature. 4. Self publishing allows the author to keep all of the profits.
5. There is plenty of opportunity for the author/self- publisherto set up other profit center products that are related to thetopic of the book. So, as you can see, there are many compelling reasons whythousands of authors have chosen to self-publish. Also, theavailability of low cost microcomputers have madeself-publishing much easier than in past years. This report willgive you a step- by- step approach to self-publishing your ownbook.
Note: this report is not about writing. It is assumed that youwill write your own booklets, or hire a ghostwriter to do thejob for you. So the following information will focus only onthe steps you need to take to succeed (make money) as a self-publisher. HOW IT WORKS AND HOW TO DO IT STEP-BY-STEP(1) Generate book ideas and proposals, either your own or byhiring authors/ghostwriters. (2) Evaluate these ideas and proposals as to the feasibility ofproducing a valued book, and reaching a large group ofprospective customers.
(3) Evaluate the size of the market and determine how you’llreach that market. Also, research any competitive books. (4) Consider various related products that you could sell to thepeople who buy your book. (5) Write and edit the book, pay royalties to an author, or hirea ghostwriter to do it for you. (6) Produce a camera-ready copy for the printer. (7) Begin your marketing effort by designing ads and brochures.
(Often, this step comes before, or during, writing the book. Your sales material can give you something to live up to. )(8) Launch a full scale marketing and publicity campaign. (Afull-scale roll-out should follow a test marketing campaign. You want to make certain you have a truly salable product, andshould spend little money to test the waters. )(9) Get printing quotes and have the final version of the bookready to print and bind as soon as you’re sure there will besufficient sales to warrant these costs.
(10) Sell follow-up products to your customers. All of these steps can be carried out quickly. You could easilyhave a fast-selling book on the market within 6 months, or less. SELECTING A TOPICThe best, and easiest, subjects for self-publishers to produceare of the how to genre. Books, reports and manuals that tellreaders how to do something are among the liveliest sellers.
It’s very difficult for a small publisher to be successful withnovels, or poetry books. So this report will focus on how tobooks. However, you can apply many of the techniques discussedhere to market other kinds of books as well. To begin, you should publish material on topics which you aremost familiar.
You should also have a market targeted and a planfor reaching that market. Example: you may have in mind toproduce a book about how to make money with crafts — to be soldin small craft shops, craft fairs, craft magazines and throughdirect mail to people who make craft items. It’s not necessary for you to be an expert on a topic if youaren’t writing the book yourself. But you do need to beknowledgeable enough to evaluate the book proposals that aresubmitted to you. Otherwise, you’ll have to hire an expert toevaluate the manuscript for you.
Most small publishers specialize in one general topic. Forexample: crafts, income opportunities, computers, a particularhobby, gardening, health and others. A home-based publisher,like you, will then produce several books on the same subject. Thus, greatly increasing sales because you’ll have related booksto offer to the same customer.
Once you have a few potential topics, these ideas must beevaluated. The most crucial question is, can I sell a booklike this and, if so, how will I sell it? First, you need toevaluate the size of the market. If there are only a fewthousand people who would be interested in your book, you maywant to reconsider. Many small publishers recommend that you have a potential marketof at least 50,000 people who would be interested in your topic. Next, you need to determine if these people are easy to reach.
Are there magazines, trade associations, or mailing lists thatyou can use?Example: Book — HOW TO USE LOTUS 1-2-3 SOFTWARE Market — 2million owners of Lotus 1-2-3. How to reach — mailing list ofLotus owners, special magazines for Lotus users, computerbookstoresYou’ll find that most self-publishers suggest that you find amarket niche that is not being adequately covered. Here’s asampling of marketing model railroading, self-publishers,writers, Apple computer owners, computer programmers, gardeners,health enthusiasts and hundreds of other narrowly definedinterests. Each of these topics may only have a potential marketof 50,000 to 200,000. But this is often enough for you to besuccessful.
It’s especially true if you have a good way to reachthese people, and if you publish several books about the topic. Most publishers are recommending that you stick to specialsubject books rather than broad coverage books. It seems as ifthe day of the high page count, broad topic books are aboutover. There are also many groups of people who are interested inall kinds of narrow, specialized topics.
Other factors to evaluate include: are there any similar booksalready on the market, how is your book different (morevaluable), are there people who really want your book, is yourinformation up-to-date and can you produce exciting promotionalmaterial to sell your book?It’s important to consider your book’s selling points. If it’seasy, write an ad for the book, that is, your material has manyselling points, the book will be easier to market. More aboutbook marketing later. BOOK TITLESThe title of your book can have a big effect on sales. A goodtitle will often result in increased interest as well as higherprofits.
Example:HOW TO GET RICH IN MAIL ORDER is much better than HOW TO GETSTARTED IN MAIL ORDER. Here are a few more good examples of lively book titles:HOMEMADE CASH, CASH FROM YOUR COMPUTER, IS THERE A BOOK INSIDEYOU, QUICK CASH — (129 WAYS ANYONE, ANYWHERE CAN MAKE $200RIGHT AFTER DINNER), HOW TO WRITE A MILLION- DOLLAR OPPORTUNITYBOOK, WHY S. O. B.
‘S SUCCEED AND NICE GUYS FAIL IN SMALL BUSINESS,CASH COPY, I’LL BUY THAT!, HOW TO MAKE PVC FURNITURE FOR FUN ANDPROFIT, CASH IN BY CLEANING UP, $200 A DAY WITH YOUR PICKUP, ADSTHAT SELL, HOW TO MAKE YOUR ADVERTISING MAKE MONEY, HOW I MADE$1,000,000 IN MAIL ORDER, HOW TO MAKE MAXIMUM MONEY IN MINIMUMTIME, SECRETS OF HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL MAILING LIST BROKER,HOW TO WRITE A HIT SONG . . . AND SELL IT!, HOW TO ADVERTISE FORLESS THAN THE COST OF A POSTAGE STAMP! And so on. A good book title should: grab the attention of the customer,clearly reveal the book’s subject, arouse interest, define thearea covered by the book and promise benefits to thebuyer/reader. Many books also have a subtitle.
The subtitle isusually about 6 to 15 words long and should reveal even moreabout the book. For example:QUICK CASH! How Anyone, At Any Time, Anywhere Can Make At Least$200 Right After Dinner. One more thing about book titles: If you’re planning to produceads or direct mail pieces to promote your book, you shouldconsider a snappy, upbeat title which can be also used as yourheadline. The above book title, along with its sub-title, innational full-page advertisements has sold thousands of copiesof the book, Quick Cash. It’s attention-getting, informative,captures the imagination of the proper prospect and offers abenefit. BOOK LAYOUTThere are several basic decisions you must make concerning thelayout of your book.
These decisions will influence the cost youpay for printing. For example:(1) Stick with standard sizes — 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches or 8 1/2 x11 inches. (Some printers may have slightly different bookdimensions. ) But just make sure that you request a standard sizethat your printer can easily produce.
Odd sizes will increasethe overall cost of printing. (2) Number of pages — All book printers have optimum number ofpages that they can produce. These are usually increments of 4,8, 16, or 32 pages. You’ll want to make sure your book falls onthese increments or you’ll pay extra for blank pages. The pagecount does not include the cover.
Example: It may cost 10% morefor a 161 page book than it does for a 160 page book. Therefore,you’ll want to reduce your manuscript by one page. (3) Typeface — This is the style and size of the letters thatmake up the text. The most used typeface for books is TimesRoman at 10 point size. If you use 12 point size, more pages arerequired, 8 point size will require less pages but will beharder to read. Don’t use some offbeat, out of the ordinarytypeface.
Make your book easy to read. (4) Type of cover — You can decide to use a plain, one- colorcover or a glossy, 4-color cover. If you’re planning to sellthrough bookstores, you’ll need to design a fancier, eye-catching cover. For mail order sales, customers are buyinginformation, not a pretty cover; so you can put less emphasis oncover design. (5) Other factors that you may need to consider are: pictures,photos, an index, size of chapter headings and subheadings. You can explore various book layouts simply by examiningdifferent books.
Pick one that you like and discuss it with yourprinter. TYPESETTINGOnce the book, or booklet, is written and edited, your firstconcern is to prepare a camera ready copy for the printer. Theprinter must have a good master copy of your book in order toprepare plates for the printing press. The pages of this mastercopy must appear exactly as you want the final copy of the bookto look. In other words, it should contain: headlines, subheads,margins, justified text, any graphics or pictures and, ideally,proportionally spaced letters (typesetting). The only way to get all of the above features is by having yourbook typeset.
Unfortunately, typesetting can be expensive. Youmay pay $20, or more, per page if you hire a commercialtypesetter. However, microcomputers can reduce the cost oftypesetting. Here’s what I mean:(1) Produce the book on computer and deliver a floppy disk to atypesetter who can typeset from your disk. This saves the costof having the typesetter key in your book’s text, word by word. (2) Send the disk to a computer owner who has a laser printerand desktop publishing software and have him/her typeset thebook for you.
They will often do this for a reasonable fee of $1to $3 per page. (3) Use a modem to transfer the text of your book via atelephone to a typesetter who can handle modem transmissions. (4) Buy your own laser printer and desktop publishing softwareand typeset the book yourself. If you already own a computer and are going to publish severalbooks, then option #4 is the best way to go.
This gives youcomplete control over the typesetting. It also allows you toperform editing changes quickly. There are two other options for typesetting your book. The firstis to use a high quality typewriter to produce the text. You canalso use the rub-on headline type that can be purchased from anyoffice supply store. Unfortunately, this will not produce a verygood looking book.
And, with today’s competition and readilyavailable desktop publishing systems, this approach will leaveyou a step behind other publishers. A slightly better option is a computer system together with ahigh quality (24 pin) multi-mode dot matrix printer. This willproduce near letter quality text, justified margins, columns andproportionally spaced text. These are features you cannot getwith a typewriter. So you’ll end up with a fair quality book(but not near as good as that produced with a laser printer). My advice is to get, or rent, a full desktop publishing systemto produce several books.
However, if you just want toself-publish just one book, then consider using the services ofa commercial typesetter. Or hire someone who owns a desktoppublishing system. This will allow you to produce the bestmaster copy for your printer. And will result in a professionallooking book. At a minimum, you’ll want the book’s cover to beprofessionally typeset.
BOOK EDITINGThere are two phases of book editing. The first step is to editthe book before typesetting, and before a printing master isproduced. This step is designed to eliminate the majority oferrors. The second phase is to complete a final editing of the bookafter a master copy has been typeset.
The purpose of the secondphase is to eliminate any remaining errors. A second purpose ofthis step is to cut out or add material and to adjust the lengthof the book, if necessary. You may also wish to adjust the length of a chapter so that eachchapter will begin on a right hand page. You may wish to adjustthe length of the book to save printing costs. For example: as Imentioned earlier, most book printers operate in set incrementsof pages. Many offer 16 page signatures.
Therefore, a 160 pagebook would take 10 signatures. A 164 page book would take 11signatures and cost extra because of those additional pages. Soif you can eliminate 4 pages, you’ll save printing costs. Editing a book takes a considerable amount of time. There aremany things to check for, including: spelling errors, sentencesthat are too long, misuse of words, punctuation errors, capitalletters, nonsense sentences, factual errors, omissions of vitalmaterial and so forth. Eliminating spelling errors is usuallythe easy part.
If you have a computer, you can use a spellchecker program to catch most mistakes. I usually make about three passes through the entire booklooking for errors. When an error is found, I’ll mark it with ared pen so it is easy to find. When the entire book has beenedited I return to the computer and make the necessary changes. Then I’ll print the book one final time and again check forerrors.
Finally, I’ll have another person make a last check forme. Having another person make a final check of the book can bebeneficial. They will look at the book with a fresh view andcatch errors that you may have overlooked. One of the most important parts of editing is to check thebook’s facts, and its completeness. You must make certain thatthe book contains no factual errors and that it adequatelycovers the topic. If your book falls short in these two areas,it will most likely be a failure and a waste of your time andmoney, as well as a waste of your reader’s time and money.
Soalways double check each fact and make certain that all of theimportant facets of the topic are discussed. In other words,make sure that your book has something informative to say . . . and that it’s said correctly. After the book has been typeset, you can make one final check tolook for small errors.
It’s almost impossible to catch allerrors, but you’ll want to remove as many as possible. (Note:there are minor errors in this report. See if you can findthem. It’ll be good exercise.
)PRINTING THE BOOKCosts to print a book can vary widely, depending upon manyfactors and upon the printing company that you choose. Examples:(1) The type of paper used in the book and on the cover. Thereare many different grades of paper from which to choose. 50-pound offset paper is commonly used for the interior of mostbooks. (2) The book’s dimensions and number of pages. (3) The number of books printed.
You’ll pay a much higher cost-per-book if you have, say, 1,000copies printed rather than 5,000 or 10,000 copies printed. Butthe number of books that you produce should also depend upon howmany you think you can sell within the first year of marketing. You can always order an additional printing, if your book provesto be a fast seller. The price-per-copy usually decreases atabout 2,500 to 3,000 copies.
You’ll want a sufficient number of pages in your book toadequately cover the topic. Don’t write in a too wordy routinejust to add extra pages. Make sure that you have something worthsaying . . .
then say it succinctly. How-to readers dislikerambling prose. So leave all fluff out of your book and get tothe point. At the same time, you’ll want enough pages in your book tosuitably impress the reader that it contains an adequatecoverage of the topic.
You can’t completely cover a wideranging subject in less than 100 pages. You may need 200 or 300pages. However, some narrow topics can be nicely covered in 10to 50 pages. (This booklet is an example.
)It’s often acknowledged by self-publishers that page countdetermines the price you charge for your book. But, in general,I disagree. To me, it’s the value of the information you providethat should determines price. For example, if you havediscovered a unique, fast, easy, low-cost way to make fuel forautomobiles at home, and can relate that information in 6 justpages, you can most likely sell your report for a very highprice. Who cares how many pages it takes? It’s the how-toinformation that’s important. Once you have the complete specifications of the book, it’s timeto get printing quotes.
You should contact at least 4 or 6printers for these quotes. Too, many printers will give yousamples of their work. Here’s a typical request for a book printing quote:Please quote prices for the following book, Cash From YourComputer. 120 pages, trim size 8 x 10 inches, 2 color glossy cover,perfect bound, printed on 50-pound offset paper. Quote prices for 1,000, 3,000, and 5,000 copies, includingdelivery price.
This book is to be finished within 30 days ofreceipt of camera ready copy. Before you choose a printer, be certain to check on reliability,quality and length of time to produce your book. Ask for a fewcustomer references and don’t be bashful about checking withthem about the printer’s reliability and qualifications. You don’t always want to go with the cheapest price. Forexample, you may find a nearby printing company that will printyour book at a slightly higher price than a far away competitor.
But you can pick up the books yourself, thus saving the cost ofshipping which may lower the overall cost. The most importantthing you can do is to find a printer with whom you can easilywork. A printer who will readily work with you can provide a lotof help getting your book ready for printing, thereby saving youtime and money. While price is an important factor, I look forreliability, honesty, speed and service first. BOOK MARKETINGBook marketing efforts really begin before the book is evenprinted. You must define and identify your most likelycustomers, determine why they would want your book, designbenefit laden ads and brochures and direct your ads toward themost likely place your prospect will see it.
It can also consistof developing a wholesale program to dealers, wholesalers andbookstores. Other marketing methods include: sending publicity releases,mailing review book copies to editors of appropriatepublications and, perhaps, appearing on radio or TV talkshows. There are literally hundreds of different ways to sellyour books. One self-publisher sells 30 to 40 books every day byhawking them on the street! Imagine . . .
no ad costs, no directmail costs, no discounts, no postage . . . just pure profit.
Some publishers go so far as to design an ad, or direct mailpiece, for their book before they even write it. If they havetrouble writing a hard-hitting ad, they would probably havetrouble selling the book. Too, a pre-publication ad can giveyou something to live up to as you prepare your book. All book ads, direct mail pieces and brochures should focus onthe benefits that the book will give the customer. Thesebenefits include: more money, a better job, health, happiness,knowledge, love, luck, personal improvement, and so on. Your adsneed to convince your prospects that they’ll enjoy thesebenefits by buying your book.
Therefore, your ads must beeye-catching, descriptive and inspirational. If you don’t wantto tackle writing your own ads, hire a direct responsecopywriter to do it for you. The really goods ones can oftenbring you more business than you can handle. Look in directresponse trade journals such as Direct Marketing magazine and DMNews for copywriter listings. Another important factor to consider is the overall appearanceof your ads and brochures.
Simply put, they should lookappealing and be easy to read. Make sure that you follow therules of typesetting, proper graphic techniques and, mostimportantly, employ a stop-the- readers-in-their-tracks headlineand use well written, compelling ad copy. Many self-publishers who sell by mail order offer some form ofmoney back guarantee. Most offer a 30 to 90 day refund forreturned books.
Owen Publishing always gives a full year. Agood, reliable guarantee will definitely improve sales of yourbook. Mail order book sales can also be increased by adding incentivessuch as: 10% discount when buying before a certain date; freereport with each purchase; buy four books get the fifth onefree; or some other low-cost freebie. A bonus for promptnessalmost always increases book sales. But remember, when you’rementioning your bonus, relate the benefits derived from thatbonus .
. . not just the bonus itself. If you intend to sell yourbook via mail order, observe the ads used by other booksellersand take time to read several books about mail order techniques. One of the lowest cost ways to sell your book by mail is calledthe two-step method.
Using this strategy, you place low- costclassified ads to obtain inquiries for your book. You then sendto each inquiry a packet of information, including an effectivesales letter. Most often, you’ll want to send a follow- upmailing to those who didn’t buy. And offer an additionalincentive. This two-step method is the lowest cost way to start.
It’s usedby some very successful companies, and has led many self-publishers to success. As time goes on, and your experienceincreases, expand into display ads and direct mail campaigns. OTHER SELLING TECHNIQUESOne way to promote your book is by making personal appearancesat book stores. You can arrange a book signing party with thebook store owner or manager.
The book store orders 50 or 100 ofyour book and advertises the party. The author personallyautographs each book as it’s sold. Some authors go on nationaltours that encompasses autographing parties, talk showappearances, speeches, seminars and trade shows. It should be mentioned that this way to sell your book is, in reality,difficult.
Getting book store owners or managers to agree tobook signing events takes some doing. Your topic must be very,very interesting and you must be convincing enough to get yourfoot in the door. It takes work, but it can be a lucrative wayto sell books. The dealership selling method works well for many self-publishers. There are many mail order book sellers who may beinterested in selling your books for you on a dropship basis.
The mail order book dealer advertises your book(s) in hiscatalog and when an order arrives, sends you 50% (or whatever)of the retail price along with a shipping label addressed to thecustomer. You then ship the book directly to the buyer. This method works very well if you have camera-ready advertisingbrochures for the dealer to insert with his catalog or othermailings. The dealer will put his name and address on thebrochure and have several thousand copies printed.
He thendistributes these brochures along with his other salesliterature or, perhaps, even runs ads for your book. Dealers can be found by placing small, inexpensive ads in theopportunity-type magazines, and by adding the tag-line DealerInquiries Invited to the bottom of your own sales materials. There are many self-publishing groups that work together inco-op marketing, either through book shows or by direct mail. You may want to take advantage of these co-op efforts.
Also,there are many book shows going on all the time throughout thecountry where you can exhibit and sell books directly, or makecontact with wholesalers. ADDITIONAL INCOMEHere are a few other ways your book can produce money for you:selling through book clubs, selling subsidiary rights, movierights (wasn’t there a movie called How To Make Love To AMarried Woman, or something like that, based on a how-tobook?), or by selling foreign rights. Anyway, all of these methods can produce some excellent profitswith little extra work on your part. It is suggested that you getinvolved with a local self-publishers or writer’s group whereyou can develop different ways to make money with your book.
One of the best ways to produce additional income from your bookis by selling products that are related to the book’s topic. Ifyou’re selling a book about making money with computers, forexample, you should include a catalog other computer books orshareware software. When you get an order for your main product (your book), youship the order along with a catalog of your other products. Since the customer has already expressed an interest in yourtopic by buying your book, a certain percentage of those buyerswill also be interested in your other related products.
That is,of course, assuming that your customer was satisfied. You canget these other products by developing them yourself, or byacting as a dealer for other companies. Some self-publishersmake more money from these bounce back catalog sales than theydid from the original book sale. As your sales increase, you’ll need to keep a customer mailinglist. You can then mail catalogs or information on your latestbook throughout the year to your buyers.
Whenever possible,you’ll want to include discount coupons or other sales materialin the book itself. Why? To capture many of the names of peoplewho buy your book through bookstores or from dealers. You’llnotice that many smart publishers include sales literature orcatalogs on the last few pages of the book in order to generateadditional sales. Another important aspect of marketing is the manner in which youoperate your business. You should always bend over backwards totreat the customer respectfully. Answer all complaints and shipall refunds promptly.
Process all orders fast and reply to everyinquiry the same day, if possible. You want to develop a goodreputation for your company, if you ever expect to harvestrepeat orders. INCOME POTENTIALMany self-publishing authors have become millionaires. Most makean above average living.
Writing and marketing your work, theessence of self-publishing, takes learning, practice,perseverance and determination. The work is easy. It’s notlike mining 16 tons of coal. But your brain must be engaged atall times and you must constantly seek ways to better marketyour book.
About 5% of your efforts will be tied up in producingyour book . . . the other 95% will be marketing. Understand this: No matter how good your book is, now matter howwell written, no matter how timely or interesting the topic,nothing will happen until you lead your proper prospect to thepoint of taking out his or her checkbook and actually buying. So keep in mind that, not only must you prepare a salable bookor report, you must begin to master the techniques of marketing.
The two skills, writing and marketing, can be easily learned. And, as you progress, you’ll discover pockets of profit that cansend your earnings sky high. The potential for earning is staggering. SOURCESWriter’s Digest magazine at your newsstandHow To Write How-To Books & Articles by Raymond Hull Writer’sDigest BooksWriter’s Resource Guide Edited by Bernadine Clark Writer’sDigest BooksWriter’s Utopia Formula Report by Jerry Buchanan TOWERS Club USAPO Box 2038 Vancouver, WA 98668How To Make Your Advertising Make Money by John Caples PrenticeHallAds That Sell by Robert Bly 174 Holland Ave. New Milford, NJ07646The Secrets of Mail Order Unlocked by Ed Simpson Owen PublishingCompany Battle Ground, WA 98604-0010The Self-Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter Para Publishing PO Box4232 Santa Barbara, CA 93103Publishing Short-Run Books by Dan Poynter (address above)Plus, you’ll need a good dictionary, thesaurus and a book on theelements of grammar. CONCLUSIONSelf-publishing your own book, like most worthwhile endeavors,takes some amount of preparation.
You can hire experts to dopart of the work for you (design covers, typesetting, editing,indexing, ghostwriting, etc. ). It is recommended that you do muchof the work yourself in order to save money and to help youlearn the ins and outs of book publishing. You can save yourself some problems by preparing an overall planfor producing and marketing your book. You’ll also want togather additional products related to the book’s topic that youcan sell for additional profits.
Thousands of successful authors have found that self-publishingis the only route to take. Why not you?