By Earl Marshal
Table of Contents
Today, there are hundreds of enterprising men and women who write simple research papers (known in the mail order trade as FOLIOS) and sell them by mail. In the pages that follow, I'll show you how you can do the same. I'll show you how to select a subject, how to research it, how to write it, how to get it printed, and how to sell it.
I'll show you the four ways to sell it. If you are new to folio selling, I'll show you which of the four ways would be the best for you. I hope you will read what follows very carefully and very thoughtfully. THERE ARE NO CATCHES. I have nothing more to sell you (unless you want to read some of the other folios which I have written). I hope the information which follows can be of real benefit to you. That is why I have written it!
EXACTLY WHAT IS A FOLIO?
A folio can be called a booklet, a pamphlet, a report, a newsletter, a guide, an instruction manual, a plan, a manuscript, etc. etc. A folio is simply an easy-to-understand manual which shows the reader "How To" do something that he does not already know how to do. Most folios show the reader...
* How to start or expand a hobby
* How to develop new abilities or qualities
* How to start a new business or expand an old one
* How to prepare for a new career
* How to make or save money
* How to spend leisure time.
A well written folio is authoritative, factual, and helpful. It should be written in simple, easily understood language. It can be anything from a brief two-page mimeographed report to a professionally printed book bound in hardback cover. People who purchase folios by mail are interested in the information they contain. Seldom do they care what brand of paper the information is printed on.
WHAT KIND OF FOLIOS ARE NOW BEING SOLD BY MAIL?
Pick up almost any magazine at a newsstand that carries classified advertising and you will find ads written by people who are selling their folios by mail. Here are sample ads from magazines lying here on my desk.
"Be secure, confident, successful! Learn the secret of personal power $2.00"
"Why grow old and die? Li Chung Yun lived 256 years. You could too! learn how - $2.00"
"Secrets of the Spirit World! Only 60 cents postpaid!"
"Guide to Witches Covens - $2.00"
"Traffic Tickets? Beat them, step by step method. $1.95 postpaid."
"Learning Bridge? Send $2.95 for small 20 page guide."
"Fluorescent Tubes rejuvenated at no cost. Instructions $1.00."
"Learn the secret of making every pair of slacks you sew fit perfectly, Only $1.00"
HOW TO WRITE A FOLIO
"10 Wonder Working Prayers. Enrich, strengthen your life! $1.00 guaranteed."
"Enjoy camping inside your Volkswagon. Do it yourself Plans - $2.00'
"Homemade Cheese! Hard soft, and cottage! Make it yourself! Easy. Delicious. Complete instructions, recipes $1.00"
"Toronto Area Job Opportunities - $1.00"
"Ship in Bottle. Instructions, Drawing. $1.00"
If you can produce a "How to Do It" Manual that is NOVEL, INTERESTING and genuinely HELPFUL, you can do what the advertisers above have done. You can print it yourself and sell it by mail!
WHAT SHOULD YOU WRITE ABOUT?
You should write
* ONLY on subjects that REALLY interest you, and
* on subjects that you already know something about.
For example, if you just love to cook, write a folio on cooking. If people like the first folio they buy from you, they will buy other folios in the future, as long as they are on the same basic subject. If you write on a subject that really does not interest you very much, you will be bored to death by the time you get to your third folio!
Ask yourself... what do I do with my spare time? Write a folio about THAT!
HOW DO YOU RESEARCH THE FOLIO?
Make yourself an expert on the subject! Talk to friends and neighbors. Ask questions. Read books, newspapers, and magazines on the subject. Ask your librarian for suggestions. As you read, KEEP NOTES ON EVERYTHING. When you have read everything you could lay your hands on, sit down and study your notes. Read them over slowing and carefully. Then lay the notes aside and think about the whole subject for a day or two. You will be amazed at what your mind will do with the subject if you have research it thoroughly!
HOW DO YOU WRITE IT?
Here's a tip from a professional writer. Sit down and pretend that you are a person who knows absolutely nothing about the subject. Write down FIFTEEN QUESTIONS that such a person might ask you. Then write out, in your own words, the answers to the fifteen questions. Do not try to be literary! When you are finished, lay it aside for a day or two.
Then re-read it with a red pencil, crossing out all unnecessary words and sentences, inserting a new point here and there. REWRITE the whole thing, and you will be amazed to discover that your folio is ready to be published!
HOW DO YOU GET IT PRINTED?
Type it as neatly as possible on 8 1/2 x 11 WHITE typing paper. Single space it, leaving two lines between each paragraph. Take it to a local PHOTO-OFFSET printer who will make a few hundred copies for you, very reasonably, usually within 24 hours. If you have more than four pages, have it printed on both sides of the paper. It will lower your printing costs slightly, and it will save you extra postage in the future. To give your folio a professional touch, have it printed on canary yellow, pink, or light green paper.
HOW DO YOU SELL IT?
There are four ways:
1. DIRECT FROM ADS IN MAGAZINES AND TABLOID PAPERS. If economically possible, sell it for $1.00 or $2.00 per copy. (Occasionally $3.00.) Write a brief, eyecatching classified ad asking those interested to send their orders directly to you. If your ad is novel, believable, and of genuine interest, you will be surprised at how many people will do this. If your folio is about stamp collecting, advertise it in the stamp collecting papers. If it is about Astrology, advertise it in the Astrology magazines - to do otherwise is fatal. Be sure to run your ad in at least three issues. If you have never sold folios by mail, I sincerely suggest you use this method.
2. ADVERTISE FOR INQUIRIES. If your folio is quite elaborate and must be sold for $3.00 or more, use this method. Write a brief, tempting ad describing your folio, and offer free details. Then mail literature describing the folio to those who answer the ads. Don't expect more than one inquiry in ten to buy it from you.
Here are ads placed by folio writers in a recent issue of the National Enquirer, who use this method:
"Never Won anything? Anyone can win sweepstakes contests! Free details." "Overweight? I lost 53 pounds. Easily. (Permanently!) New Method. Information Free.
"Troubles? God can help! Free information." "Make money clipping newspapers at home spare time. Details Free."
3. DIRECT MAIL. If you have written a folio showing how to get inventions patented, you could purchase a list of amateur inventors, and mail your sales literature to each individual on the list. If you are lucky, you'll sell your folio to about one person in every twenty-five. Direct mail can be very effective for experienced mail order operators, but it is usually far too costly for the beginner. It can easily cost you several hundred dollars for each one thousand letters you mail.
4. SELLING THROUGH AGENTS. If you are willing to sell your folio in small wholesale quantities, or if you are willing to drop-ship folios for mail dealers, then you might find this the most effective way to market your folios. Below are some ads placed by folio writers in a recent issue of Specialty Salesman.
"Sell Health Books Mail-order! Write"
"Sell Books by Mail! 400% Profit!"
"Sell Books by Mail. Complete dealer set-up. 25 cents"
"Free Newsletter! Sell Books by mail! We wholesale, drop ship."
Some of the above ads have been running ten and twenty years, indicating that this could be a very successful way to market your folios.
500 NEW FOLIO IDEAS!
Over the past two or three years, I have been jotting down ideas for folios that could be developed and sold by mail. I'm now printing the whole list for your use. I honestly feel that any idea on this list could be marketed by mail, if a person had the ambition and ingenuity to develop it.
You are free to use any idea on this list. I have NOT checked to see if any of the titles have been copyrighted. If they have, create a new one. Also, you are free to change the titles around to suit your own situation. For example, "Summer Jobs in Nevada" could become, "Summer Jobs in New York City". I'm sure you get the point.
Good luck to you!
Plan your Wedding Now!
Plan your Honeymoon
What to Wear at your Wedding
Cooking Tips for Newlyweds
Do you need a Marriage Counselor?
Living on a Budget
How to Survive Divorce
How to Get a Divorce
Teach your Husband to Cook!
Organize your Housework
Alimony Laws Made Simple
How to be a successful Father
How to Win a Fight with your Husband
Marry a Man with Money
Poor Men make Better Husbands
FAMILY AND CHILDREN
So, You're Expecting a Baby!
Does your Child take Drugs?
Don't Spank your Child!
Select the Right Names for your Baby!
Inspire your Child to Learn
Can your Boy Defend Himself?
Listen to Your Child
How to Raise an only Child
Teach your Child to Read
Choosing a Babysitter
Loving an Adopted Child
Keep your Child Busy!
Tell your Child about Sex
How to Select a Baby Doctor
Understanding your Teenager
Which Summer Camp for your Child?
Teach your Son a Trade
Facts about Childbirth for Husbands
A Parents Guide to Dangerous Drugs
Save Money on your Clothing Bill
Mother's Guide to Thrift Shop Buying
Where & How to Apply for a Loan
Better Health through Better Eating
How to Trace your Family Tree
Families without Fathers
Does your Child Eat Right?
What Unwed Mothers Should Know
Ten Ways to Close a Sale
Sell it at the Flea Market!
Is selling for You?
Ten Successful Selling Tips
How to Improve your Sales Technique
Why People Buy
How to Sell Sporting Goods
Positive Thinking makes the Difference
Directory of Direct Selling Firms
How to Get Leads by Telephone
How to Recruit Salesmen
ENTERTAINING AT HOME
How to Throw a Cocktail Party
24 Ideas for your next Birthday Party
Make your next Shower a Real Success!
How to be a Gracious Hostess
The Office Party Guide
Turn an Ordinary Meal into a FEAST!
How to Make Better Cocktails
Glamour Tips for Teenagers
Beauty Tips for the Expectant Mother
Every Woman Can be Beautiful
Apply Make-up like a Professional
Your Personality makes the Difference
What Color is Best for YOU?
How to Achieve the Natural Look
Choosing the Right Hair Style for You
How to Chart your Horoscope
Selecting a Career through Astrology
Astrology and your Marriage Mate
Apply Astrology to your Daily Life
Astrology Made Simple
Your Future is in the Stars!
How to Read the Zodiac
Build your own Greenhouse
Grow what you Eat!
How to Grow Gorgeous Roses
Beginners Guide to Landscaping
How to Grow Food in an Apartment
Introduction to Antique Collecting
Facts about Antique Auctions
How to Sell Antiques
Let's Go to an Antique Show
How to Become an Antique Dealer
Directory of Antique Publications
How to Detect Fake Antiques
How to Restore Antiques
Writing Mystery Stories
How to Write Poetry
Writing Gags for Television
How to Write for Newspapers
Start a Writers Club
Opportunities in Ghost Writing
Can you Write Science Fiction?
How to Write for Trade Papers
Writing for Children
Today's Market for Short Stories
How to Write for Religious Magazines
How to Plot a Novel
Write Pornography! It Sells!
Selecting a Literary Agent
How to Write Book Review
How to Review Plays and Movies
Become a Music Critic
What they NEVER Tell you in Writing School!
Decorating Tips for Your Bedroom
Thirteen Ways to Beautify your Kitchen
How to Decorate your Windows
Decorate Like a Professional!
Patios Can be Beautiful
Beginner's Guide to Drapery Making
Wallpaper makes the Difference
Glamour in your Bathroom
Selecting Plants for your Home
Repair your own Camera
Photo Retouching for Beginners
Become a Professional Photographer
How to make Better Home Movies
Selecting the Right Camera for You
Build your own Dark Room
Become a Wedding Photographer
Where to Sell your Photography
Sermon Outlines for Busy Pastors
Fund Raising Ideas for your Church
Twelve Ways to Increase your Church Attendance
Projects for Vacation Bible School
How to use Chalk Talks Effectively
How to Prepare a Sermon
Put some ZIP into your Church Bulletin
Every Parishioner - an Evangelist!
Choir Practice Can be Fun
Keep the Older Members Happy
Teaching Tips for Sunday School Teachers
Have you been Called to the Priesthood?
Religious Vocations for Women
Plan a Prayer Breakfast
How to Tune you own Car
Save Money on Auto Parts
Revitalize your Transmission
How to Test a Car Before you Buy!
Repair the Brakes Yourself
How to Raise your Kitten
Tricks your Dog can Learn
Build your own Aquarium
Fashion Tips for your Poodle
How to Operate a Dog Kennel
How to Start a Pet Shop
Dog Grooming Opportunities
How to Win at the next Dog Show
Do Snakes make good Pets?
The Successful Way to Raise Rabbits
Overcome your Fear of Flight
How to Obtain a Passport
Vacation Planning Tips
Travel Tips for Honeymooners
Let's Go Camping
Ghost Towns you should See
How to Survive in the Wilderness
Vacationing in the Desert
Plan a Hiking trip
How to Become a Blackjack Dealer
Job Opportunities in Las Vegas
Gambling Secrets Revealed
Win at the Race Track!
How to Play Keno
Baccarat for Beginners
Roulette Self Taught
Why Gambling should be Legalized
Handbook for Poker Players
How to Win at 21
Improve your Pinochle Game
How to Cure a Compulsive Gambler
How to Paint Landscapes
Make your own Picture Frames
Oil Painting for Beginners
Working with Acrylics
Introduction to Water Colors
How to Exhibit your Paintings
How to Buy Art Supplies
How to Model for Art Classes
How to Sketch Portraits
Working with Chalks
Start a Stamp Collection
Stamp Mixtures can be Fun
Organize a Stamp Collectors Club
How to Find a Stamp Collectors Club
Stamps by Country or Topic - Which
How to sell your Stamp Collection
Let's Visit a Stamp Auction!
How to Sell Stamp Packets by Mail
Start an Approval Business for Stamp Collectors!
Recognizing Rare Stamps
Investing in Stamps
Working with Leather
Pottery Making for Beginners
Make your own Jewelry
How to make Beautiful Dolls
Introduction to Metal Enameling
How to make Puppets
Making a Potter's Wheel
Craft Projects for pre-school children
Profits in Indian Jewelry
How to make Stained Glass Windows
Like Working with Beads?
Make your own Christmas Cards
Directory of Wholesale Handcraft Supplies
How to Build Doll Houses
Christmas Decorations You can Make
Knitting & Crocheting Ideas for the Beginner
Selling Handmade Crafts at Art Shows
Candlemaking for Beginners
Weave your own Rugs
The Art of Shellcraft
Selling Handcrafts on Consignment
Needlepoint for Beginners
The Art of Papier-mache
An Introduction to Ceramics
Conducting Handcraft Classes
Create your own Ear Rings
54 New Quilt Patterns
Making Gifts from Throw-aways
The Basics of Macrame
Decoupage: An Introduction
What you can make from Macrame
Christmas Crafts for Children
Bread Dough Art for Beginners
How to Ask for a Raise
Write your own Resume
Earn Money Tutoring
Dance your Way to Stardom
Your Future in Physics
Careers in Astronomy
How to Dress for Job Interviews
Become a Professional Astrologer
Raising Funds for Profit
Gun Repairing as a Career
Opportunities Unlimited for Commercial Artists!
Have Fun! Be a Ski Instructor!
Job Opportunities in Law Enforcement
Can YOU Manage Apartments?
Become a Book Finder
Writing for Small Town Newspapers
Opportunities in Advertising
Become a Professional Librarian
Are you a BORN Mechanic?
Is there a Place in Television for You?
Show Business Opportunity Guide
Your Place in the Electronics Industry
Your Aptitude and your Job
A Career in Nursing for You!
How to Break into Public Relations
Air Freight - Transportation of the Future
Be a Management Consultant
Your Future as a Travel Agent
Opportunities for Part-Time Workers
Wanted! Aviation Mechanics
How to Succeed in a Job Interview
Summer Jobs in Nevada
Job Opportunities for Women in Alaska
Can you Counsel Alcoholics?
Guide to Professional Acting Schools
How to Become a Recording Artist
Finding Satisfaction in your Job
Should you be a Social worker?
How to be a Strip Tease Dancer
MONEY MAKING IDEAS
How to Run a Garage Sale
Making Money with old Comic Books
Start a Shopping service
How to Start a Trade Paper
There's Money in Turquoise
Cash in on Today's Hobby Market!
Investing in Real Estate
Twenty Ways to Get Rich Quick!
How to be your own Boss
Turn your ideas into DOLLARS!
Your Town Needs a Typing Service!
Open an Art Gallery
How to Start a Delivery Service
Collecting Bills can be Profitable
How to Start a Mobile Home Park
Start a Bookkeeping Service
Penpals are Big Business!
Cash in on the Nostalgia Craze
Form your own Rock Group!
Start a Resume Bureau
Teach Children How to Dance
Profits in Auctions
Business Enterprises for College Students
Collect Coins for Fun and Profit
Chess: Self Taught
Boat Building for Beginners
Let's Go to a Boat Show!
Bicycle your Way to Better Health
How to Repair your Bicycle
Let's Motor Bike!
How to Join a Motorcycle Club
How to Repair your Motorcycle
How to Enter a Chess Tournament
Start your own Chess Club!
How to Collect Military Medals
200 Things you can Collect
Collecting Paper Weights
Gun Collecting as a Hobby
Collecting Nazi relics
Guide to Antique Car Collecting
How to Collect Gems and Minerals
Become a Silent Film Buff
Model Railroading: An Introduction
How to Collect Old Postcards
How to Build Model Airplanes
Go Fly a Kite!
How to Perform Magic Tricks
Gardening - America's Number One Hobby
Guide to Seashell Collecting
Tips for Radio Hams
Collect Bottles for Fun and Profit
How to Collect Autographs
Collecting Old Automobile Manuals
Do you Collect old Magazines?
Book Collecting for Beginners
Protect Yourself from Muggers
Protect your Home from Burglary
How to Handle Obscene Phone Calls
How to Say "No" to a Salesman
Defend Yourself from Rape
How to File for Bankruptcy
How to Sublet Your Apartment
How to Sell Your Home
Investing in Jewelry
What YOU Should Know about Banking
How to Buy Stocks and Bonds
Get Creditors Off Your Back
What Credit Bureaus Know about You
How to Balance Your Checkbook
How to Save on Your Hospital Bills
How to Enter Professional Football
Improve Your Swimming Strokes
Can You Handle Racing Cars?
How to Play Better Baseball
Wrestling Holds: An Introduction
Guide to Ski Resorts
Amateur Boxing Guide
Know Your Hunting Rifle
Let's Go Trout Fishing
Tennis for Beginners
Keep in Shape! Bowl!
Treasure Hunting Can Be Fun
Let's Go Deer Hunting!
The Thrill of Salt Water Fishing
Jog Your Way to Health
How to Lift Weights
Build Your Own Gym!
Ice Hockey: An Introduction
Are You Interested in Wild Game Hunting?
Body Building Tips
What to Wear in the Jungle!
Witchcraft Secrets Revealed
True Mystical Experiences
Your Handwriting Reveals the Real You!
ESP for Beginners
Yoga for Beginners
You Can Change Your Destiny
An Introduction to Hypnotism
Relax! Learn to Meditate
The Hitchhikers Manual
You Can Be a TV Contestant!
Facts Every Inventor Should Know
How to Enjoy the Opera
Living in a Mobile Home
How to Read Blueprints
How They Make TV Commercials
Are Your Employees Stealing from You?
How to Prepare a Publicity Release
Understanding the Stock Market
Effective Lecturing for Beginners
All about Mutual Funds
How to Pass a Lie Detector Test
Get Free Publicity for your Business
How to Pan for Gold
How to Select the Perfect Gift
How to Remove Tattoos
How to Learn Tattooing
Sewing Tips (From a Professional!)
Make Your Own Cheese
Directory of UFO Groups
Build Your Own Canoe
How to be a Ventriloquist
The Florida Flea Market Guide
101 Ways to Decorate a Cake
How to Identify Counterfeit Money
Guide to Professional Cooking Schools
Facts about Franchises
Twenty Ways to Get your Name in the Paper!
How to Meet Celebrities
Guide to Radio Talk Shows
How to Adjust to a New Neighborhood
Recipes for Homemade Jelly
How to Conduct a Political Campaign
How to Hold a Fashion Show!
How to Move - Easily, Economically
Handbook for Street Musicians
How to Mold Public Opinion
How to Spot a Potential Suicide
How to Train a Hunting Dog
Ten Old-Fashioned Cold Remedies
Facts about Arthritis
My Life with Polio
Ten Ways to Cure Insomnia
Recipes for Diet Candy
Fasting is Good for You
Are You Facing a Nervous Breakdown?
How to Care for your Skin
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