Making Money With Home-Made Booklets

Self-publishing home-made booklets and/or manuals is probably the easiest way to break into your own small home business. Even if you do not have training as a writer, you still can research information on an interesting subject and report its statistics.

Have you been afraid to self-publish because you thought you had to send drafts to publishers for acceptance? There is nothing further from the truth. You can self-publish just by typing your book or manual and having a competent typesetter place it in camera-ready format for you. (One typesetter we highly recommend is Much more Marketing, PO Box 50027, Reno NV 89513.) Or, do it yourself and save a lot of money! This is the 1990's - the age of computers. We don't have to have a minimum of 10,000 books printed and hire an agent to sell them for us anymore. In fact - the computer has made publishing affordable and easy for everyone!

Once the book or manual is ready for printing, ask your typesetter to print out 10 or 15 copies on their laser printer.You'll probably have to pay extra for the copies, but it's cheaper in the long run. If you want 50 or 100 copies, take the master the typesetter sends you and have them printed at the local copy shop.

A competent mail order printer will print them for you when you need 250 or more done; but keep in mind that the more you order, the more money you'll save. But once several copies are made and bound, you can begin marketing them. Advertise the book or manual in the 100's of mail order publications (if your book appeals to the mail order folk) or other publications geared toward the target market you are attempting to sell to. (In other words, don't sell a book about collecting dolls in Sports Illustrated.) Send sample copies to publishers who offer reviews and write-ups to take advantage of free advertising. You could even send a free sample to the publisher of a well-known tabloid and ask for a plug if they enjoyed the book.

Or perhaps you may want to try selling the book locally by taking it to flea markets or placing copies in convenient stores. Most mom-and-pop operations will allow you to place your book in their store for 40% to 50% of the cover price. This way, copies that don't sell won't cost you anything. All you have to do is check up on them once or twice per week and make sure they are easy to find on the rack to attract the eye of the potential customer. And if your booklet is filled with recipes or local folklore - local businesses will be thrilled to promote and carry your book on their shelves. Local people love to read books about their community and keep them as collectors items.

By marketing your own product - orders will come directly to you or be controlled by you. If you sell through the mail, you simply mail a copy of your book or manual with a cover letter thanking the customer for their order. Believe it or not - It's that simple! And best of all - you keep all the profits which is better than sharing the money with another publisher who dropships for you.

Yes, there will be some costs involved in advertising, printing and mailing to promote your self-published book or manual; but do you know the costs involved in sending drafts out to publishers for acceptance? Believe me, it runs into the $1,000's! And big companies who will publish your book for you start out with costs of $10,000 or more without the guarantee that you will even make one sell!

One of the easiest types of books to publish and sell through the mail are 5x8" booklets. To get a sample of one of mail order's most popular 5x8" publications, send $2 to Graphico Publishing, PO Box 488, Bluff City TN 37618 and request a sample copy of "The Grape-Vine Journal". Examine how it is put together and how it is printed.

If you really want to save money and put your own books together, simply have them printed and shipped to you. Then, you will collate the pages in the proper sequence, staple them in the middle (called saddle stitching), fold in half and you're done. The only office tool you need to invest in is a long-armed stapler. One can be purchased at your local office supply store or through Quill or Viking (two main mail order office supply companies.) The current price is around $40. A printer, Kem's Graphics, 549 Friendship Rd, Seneca SC 29678 specializes in low-cost printing of booklets but if you want to do-it-all-yourself, any good mailorder printer will print them and ship back to you. All you pay for is the 2-sided printing price.

Plan your next book, manual or other publication and enjoy the benefits of keeping all the proceeds. It's really a fantastic way to make some extra money while still keeping your job and your steady income.

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