by Jack Thompson
The total number of books sold by small, part-time mail order entrepreneurs is growing each year. Total sales each year for the past five years have increased by almost 30-percent over the previous year's sales.
Two "new angles" have greatly contributed to this phenomenal growth in total sales.
One is the practice of offering a wide selection of books via "mini-catalogs" The other "angle" is the practice of sending these "min-catalogs" to prospective buyers as "inserts" in printed materials the prospect has already ordered.
Mini-catalogs are usually printed on 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper, then folded in half along the length, and simply slipped inside the covers of a magazine or the folds of a newspaper. Often-times, a mini-catalog is folded and sent out as a self-mailer. Both of these methods of obtaining circulation are very profitable.
A book-selling "mini-catalog" is made up of a "full-page commercial" on the front page. This is your main sales thrust, or primary attempt to sell a "featured" book with ease of your mailings. The second, third, and half of the last page of the min-catalog should be two columns of listings of other books you have to offer.
Each listing should consist of the title of the book offered, followed by a short description of either the book itself, or how the book can benefit the buyer. This is then followed by the catalog number of the book, and the price.
The bottom half of the page of your min-catalog should be devoted to your customer order coupon. The "mini-catalog" should be typeset, and printed on a different color of paper for each mailing. Recent sales results indicate that the better quality paper your mini-catalog is printed on, the more sales it brings in for you.
Two major publishers who are currently supplying ready-made catalogs for your use in generating business are;
PREMIER PUBLISHERS of Forth Worth, TX, and WILSHIRE BOOKS of N. Hollywood, Ca.
Write to them on your letterhead, and ask for samples of their promotional material.
Once you've got a mini-catalog with which to advertise your books, you must bring all your efforts to bear on the problem of obtaining maximum circulation of your mini-catalog among the prospective book buyers.
The easiest and least expensive method is as follows: Check at your newspaper offices for a listing of all their distributors and/or route carriers. Contact these people and ask them to give you a price they would charge to include one of your mini-catalogs with each paper they sell or deliver. Determine how many "min-catalogs" you'll need for this kind of distributors, have that number of min-catalogs printed, hand them out to your contracted distributors and newspaper carriers; then sit back and prepare to fill book orders. It's simple and easy, but best of all it really results in big profits for your book-selling business!
Another simple method would be to line up students from different junior high schools in your area, and pay them each $10 per thousand to deliver your min-catalogs door-to-door. If you have junior high school age children, this could be the easiest and least expensive method of distribution for you.
Major cities also have professional distributing services which deliver advertising material to the residents. Check your local phone directory for their names and addresses.
The orders which you develop through the local distribution method can be filled by mail.
To expand your market beyond the local area, you need to solicit the business by mail
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