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Millions and millions of full sized books and small booklets are sold  each year.  Most are produced by the  large publishing houses.   However, there are also several  million books  sold every year by   small,  unassuming,  one-person   publishing companies.   Many of these one-person publishers operate from a home-based office. And, surprisingly, some home-based publishers earn  excellent incomes.  (What's more,  some are even becoming very rich.)

In this report you'll learn how to succeed  as  a home-based publisher,  producing books,  booklets, reports and  manuals on nearly every subject imaginable.  And, if you have no desire to write  your own material,  you'll learn how to get authors to write for you.

Many authors have chosen to by-pass the usual publishing routes and,  instead, self-publish their own books.   Admittedly, this requires  more work,  but it could also mean more profits. There are many reasons authors decide to self-publish, including:

    1. It's very difficult to get a manuscript accepted by the giant publishing  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 a manuscript in such a manner that is unacceptable to the author.

    3. Often, the author can market his own book more  effectively than  a large publisher will. This is especially true  if  the material 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- publisher to  set up other profit center products that are related to the topic of the book.


    So,  as you can see, there  are many compelling reasons  why thousands  of authors have chosen  to  self-publish.  Also,  the availability of low cost microcomputers have made self-publishing much easier than in past years. This report will give you a step- by- step approach to self-publishing your  own book.

    Note:  this report is not about writing. It is assumed that you will  write your own booklets,  or hire a ghostwriter to do  the job for you.   So the following information will focus only  on the  steps you need to take to succeed (make money)  as a  self-publisher.


    (1) Generate book ideas and proposals, either your own  or  by hiring authors/ghostwriters.

    (2) Evaluate these ideas and proposals as to the feasibility of producing  a valued book,  and  reaching  a large  group   of prospective customers.

    (3) Evaluate the size of the market and  determine how  you'll reach that market. Also, research any competitive books.

    (4) Consider various related products that you could sell to the people who buy your book.

    (5) Write and edit the book, pay royalties to an author, or hire a 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.   (A "full-scale" roll-out should follow a test marketing  campaign. You want to make certain you have a truly salable product, and should spend little money to test the waters.)

    (9) Get printing quotes and have the final version of the  book ready  to print and bind as soon as you're sure  there will be sufficient sales to warrant these costs.

    (10) Sell follow-up products to your customers.


    All of these steps can be carried out quickly. You could easily have a fast-selling book on the market within 6 months, or less.


The  best, and easiest,  subjects for self-publishers to produce are of the "how to" genre.  Books, reports and manuals that tell readers  how to do something are among the  liveliest sellers. It's very difficult for a small publisher to be successful  with novels,  or poetry books.  So this report will focus on "how to" books.  However, you can apply many of the techniques discussed here to market other kinds of books as well.

To begin, you should publish material on topics which you  are most familiar. You should also have a market targeted and a plan for  reaching that market.   Example: you may have in mind to produce a book about how to make money with crafts—to be sold in  small craft shops,  craft fairs, craft magazines and through direct mail to people who make craft items.

It's not necessary for you to be an expert on a topic  if  you aren't  writing the book  yourself.   But  you do need to be knowledgeable enough to evaluate the book  proposals that are submitted  to you.   Otherwise, you'll have to hire an expert to evaluate the manuscript for you.

Most small publishers specialize in one  general topic.   For example:  crafts, income opportunities, computers, a particular hobby, 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 books to offer to the same customer.

Once you have a few potential  topics, these  ideas must be evaluated.  The most crucial question is, "can I sell  a book like  this and, if so, how will I sell it?" First, you need to evaluate the size of the market.  If there  are only a  few thousand  people who would be interested in your book, you  may want to reconsider.

Many small publishers recommend that you have a potential market of 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 that you can use?

Example: Book—HOW TO USE LOTUS 1-2-3 SOFTWARE Market -- 2

million owners of Lotus 1-2-3.   How to reach—mailing list of

Lotus  owners, special  magazines for  Lotus users, computer


You'll find that most self-publishers suggest that you  find  a market  niche that is not being adequately covered.   Here's  a sampling  of  marketing model  railroading,   self-publishers, writers, Apple computer owners, computer programmers, gardeners, health  enthusiasts and  hundreds of other  narrowly  defined interests. Each of these topics may only have a potential market of  50,000 to 200,000.  But this is often enough for you to  be successful. It's especially true if you have a good way to reach these people, and if you publish several books about the topic.

Most publishers are recommending  that  you stick  to  special subject books rather than broad coverage books.  It seems as if the day of the high page count,  broad topic books  are about over. There are also many groups of people who are interested in all kinds of narrow, specialized topics.

Other  factors to evaluate include:  are there any similar books already on the  market, how  is  your book different  (more valuable),  are there people who really want your book, is your information up-to-date and can you produce exciting  promotional material to sell your book?

It's important to consider your book's selling points.   If it's easy, write an ad for the book, that is, your material has many selling points, the book will be easier to market.   More about book marketing later.


The  title of your book can have a big effect on sales.  A good title will often result in increased interest as well as  higher profits. Example:


Here are a few more good examples of lively book titles:


A  good book title should: grab the attention of the  customer, clearly reveal the book's subject, arouse interest, define the area covered  by  the book and  promise   benefits  to   the buyer/reader.  Many books also have a subtitle.  The subtitle is usually about 6 to 15 words long and should reveal even more about 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 produce ads or direct mail pieces to promote  your  book, you  should consider a snappy,  upbeat title which can be also used as your headline.   The above book title, along with its sub-title,  in national full-page advertisements has sold thousands of  copies of the book,  Quick Cash. It's attention-getting, informative, captures the imagination of the proper prospect and  offers  a benefit.



There  are several basic decisions you must make concerning  the layout of your book. These decisions will influence the cost you pay for printing. For example:

    (1) Stick with standard sizes -- 5 ½ x 8 ½ inches or 8 ½ x 11  inches. (Some printers  may have slightly different  book dimensions.) But just make sure that you request a standard size that  your printer can easily produce.  Odd sizes will increase the overall cost of printing.

    (2) Number of pages—All book printers have optimum number of pages that they can produce. These are usually increments of 4, 8,  16, or 32 pages. You'll want to make sure your book falls on these increments or you'll pay extra for blank pages.   The page count does not include the cover.  Example: It may cost 10% more for 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 that make  up the text.  The most used typeface for books  is  Times Roman at 10 point size. If you use 12 point size, more pages are required,  8 point size will require less pages  but will be harder  to read.  Don't use some offbeat,  out of the  ordinary typeface. Make your book easy to read.

    (4) Type of cover—You can decide to use a plain, one- color cover or a glossy, 4-color cover.   If you're planning to sell through  bookstores, you'll  need  to  design  a fancier, eye-catching cover. For mail  order sales, customers  are buying information, not a pretty cover; so you can put less emphasis on cover 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  examining different books. Pick one that you like and discuss it with your printer.


Once the book,  or booklet, is written and edited, your first concern is to prepare a "camera ready" copy for the printer. The printer must have a good master copy of your book in order  to prepare plates for the printing press. The pages of this master copy must appear exactly as you want the final copy of the book to 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 your book  typeset. Unfortunately, typesetting can be expensive. You may  pay $20,  or more,  per page if you  hire  a commercial typesetter.  However, microcomputers can  reduce  the cost of typesetting. Here's what I mean:

    (1) Produce the book on computer and deliver a floppy disk to a typesetter who can typeset from your disk.  This saves the cost of having the typesetter key in your book's text, word by word.

    (2) Send the disk to a computer owner who has a  laser printer and  desktop publishing software and have  him/her typeset  the book for you. They will often do this for a reasonable fee of $1 to $3 per page.

    (3) Use a modem to transfer the  text  of  your  book  via a telephone to a typesetter who can handle modem transmissions.

    (4) Buy your own laser printer and desktop publishing  software and typeset the book yourself.


    If you already own a computer and are going to publish  several books,  then option #4 is the best way to go.   This  gives you complete control over the typesetting.  It also allows you  to perform editing changes quickly.

    There are two other options for typesetting your book. The first is to use a high quality typewriter to produce the text. You can also use the rub-on headline type that can be purchased from any office supply store. Unfortunately, this will not produce a very good looking book.  And, with today's competition and  readily available desktop publishing systems, this approach will leave you a step behind other publishers.

    A  slightly better option is a computer system together  with  a high  quality (24 pin)  multi-mode dot matrix printer. This will produce near letter quality text, justified margins, columns and proportionally spaced text.   These are features you cannot get with  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 system to  produce several  books.  However, if you  just  want  to self-publish just one book,  then consider using the services of a commercial typesetter.   Or hire someone who owns  a desktop publishing system.  This will allow you  to  produce the  best master copy for your printer.  And will result in a professional looking book. At a minimum,  you'll want the book's cover to be professionally typeset.


There are two phases of book editing.  The first step is to edit the book before typesetting, and before a printing  master  is produced.  This step is designed to eliminate the majority of errors.

The  second phase is to complete a final editing  of  the book after a master copy has been typeset. The purpose of the second phase is to eliminate any remaining errors.  A second purpose of this step is to cut out or add material and to adjust the length of the book, if necessary.

You may also wish to adjust the length of a chapter so that each chapter will begin on a right hand page.  You may wish to adjust the length of the book to save printing costs. For example: as I mentioned earlier, most book printers operate in set increments of pages. Many offer 16 page signatures.  Therefore, a 160 page book  would take 10 signatures.   A 164 page book would take  11 signatures and cost extra because of those additional pages.  So if you can eliminate 4 pages, you'll save printing costs.

Editing  a book takes a considerable amount of time.   There are many things to check for, including: spelling errors, sentences that are too long, misuse of words, punctuation errors, capital letters, nonsense sentences, factual errors, omissions of vital material  and so forth.   Eliminating spelling errors is usually the easy part.   If you have a computer, you can use  a spell checker program to catch most mistakes.

I  usually make about  three passes through  the entire book looking for errors. When an error is found, I'll mark it with a red  pen so it is easy to find.  When the entire book has been edited I return to the computer and make the necessary  changes.  Then  I'll print the book one final time  and  again check  for errors. Finally, I'll have another person make a last check for me.  Having another person make a final check of the book can be beneficial.   They will look at the book with a fresh  view  and catch errors that you may have overlooked.

One  of the most important parts of  editing is to check  the book's facts, and its completeness.  You must make certain that the  book contains no factual  errors  and that it adequately covers the topic.   If your book falls short in these two areas, it will most likely be a failure and a waste of your  time  and money,  as well as a waste of your reader's time and money.   So always double check each fact and make certain that all of  the important 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 to look  for small errors.   It's almost impossible  to  catch all errors,  but you'll want to remove as many as possible.  (Note: there  are minor errors in this report.  See if you  can find them. It'll be good exercise.)


Costs  to print a book can vary widely,  depending upon many factors and upon the printing company that you choose. Examples:

    (1) The type of paper used in the book and on the cover. There are  many different  grades  of paper  from  which to choose.  50-pound offset paper is commonly used for the interior of most books.

    (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, 1,000 copies printed rather than 5,000 or 10,000 copies printed.  But the number of books that you produce should also depend upon how many you think you can sell within the first year of marketing. You can always order an additional printing, if your book proves to  be a fast seller.   The price-per-copy usually decreases at about 2,500 to 3,000 copies.

    You'll want a sufficient  number  of  pages in your book to adequately cover the topic. Don't write in a "too wordy" routine just to add extra pages. Make sure that you have something worth saying ... then say it succinctly.  "How-to" readers  dislike rambling prose. So leave all "fluff" out of your book and get to the point.

    At the same time, you'll want enough pages in your book to suitably  impress the  reader that it contains an adequate coverage  of the topic.   You can't  completely  cover  a wide ranging subject in less than 100 pages. You may need 200 or 300 pages.   However, some narrow topics can be nicely covered in 10 to 50 pages. (This booklet is an example.)

    It's often acknowledged by self-publishers  that  "page count" determines the price you charge for your book.  But, in general, I disagree. To me, it's the value of the information you provide that should determines price.   For example, if you  have discovered  a unique,  fast, easy, low-cost way to make fuel for automobiles at home, and can relate that information in 6 just pages,  you can most likely sell your report  for a  very  high price.   Who cares how many pages  it  takes?  It's  the how-to information that's important.

    Once you have the complete specifications of the book, it's time to  get printing quotes.  You should contact at least  4 or 6 printers for these quotes.  Too, many printers will  give you samples of their work.

    Here's a typical request for a book printing quote:

    "Please  quote prices for the following  book, Cash From Your Computer.

    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,  including delivery  price. This book is to be finished within 30 days of receipt 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 few customer  references and don't be bashful about  checking with them about the printer's reliability and qualifications.

    You  don't always want to  go  with  the cheapest price.   For example,  you may find a nearby printing company that will print your book at a slightly higher price than a far away competitor.  But you can pick up the books yourself, thus saving the cost of shipping which may lower the overall cost.  The most important thing you can do is to find a printer with whom you can  easily work. A printer who will readily work with you can provide a lot of help getting your book ready for printing, thereby saving you time and money.  While price is an important factor, I look for reliability, honesty, speed and service first.



Book marketing efforts really begin before  the book is even printed.  You  must  define  and identify your most   likely customers, determine why they would  want  your  book, design benefit  laden ads and brochures and direct your ads toward  the most likely place your prospect will see it. It can also consist of  developing a wholesale program to dealers,  wholesalers and bookstores.

Other  marketing methods include:  sending publicity  releases,

       mailing  review  book  copies   to  editors  of   appropriate

       publications and, perhaps,  appearing on radio  or  TV  talk

shows.   There are literally hundreds of different ways to sell your books. One self-publisher sells 30 to 40 books every day by hawking  them on the street! Imagine ... no ad costs, no direct mail costs, no discounts, no postage ... just pure profit.

Some publishers go so far as to design an ad, or direct mail piece,  for their book before they even write it.   If they have trouble  writing a hard-hitting ad,  they  would probably have trouble selling the book.  Too, a pre-publication ad can  give you something to "live up to" as you prepare your book.

All  book ads, direct mail pieces and brochures should focus on the benefits that the  book  will  give the  customer.   These benefits  include: more money,  a better job, health, happiness, knowledge, love, luck, personal improvement, and so on. Your ads need  to  convince  your  prospects  that  they'll enjoy  these benefits  by buying your book.  Therefore, your ads  must  be eye-catching, descriptive and inspirational. If you don't want to tackle writing  your  own ads, hire a  direct  response copywriter  to do it for you.   The really goods ones can often bring  you more business than you can handle.   Look  in  direct response trade journals such as Direct Marketing magazine and DM News for copywriter listings.

Another  important factor to consider is the overall appearance of  your ads  and brochures.   Simply put, they should look appealing and be easy to read.   Make sure that you follow the rules  of  typesetting,  proper  graphic techniques and, most importantly, employ a stop-the- readers-in-their-tracks headline and use well written, compelling ad copy.

Many self-publishers who sell by mail order offer some form of money back guarantee.  Most offer a 30 to 90 day  refund  for returned  books. Owen Publishing always gives a full year.  A good,  reliable guarantee will definitely improve sales of your book.

Mail order book sales can also be increased by adding incentives such  as: 10% discount when buying before a certain  date; free report  with each purchase; buy four books get the  fifth one free;  or some other low-cost freebie.   A bonus for promptness almost  always increases book sales.   But remember, when you're mentioning  your bonus, relate the benefits derived  from  that bonus ...  not just the bonus itself. If you intend to sell your book  via mail order, observe the ads used by other booksellers and take time to read several books about mail order techniques.

One of the lowest cost ways to sell your book by mail is called the two-step method.   Using this strategy, you place low- cost classified ads to obtain inquiries for your book.  You then send to each inquiry a packet of information,  including an effective sales  letter. Most often, you'll want to send a  follow- up mailing to those who didn't buy.   And offer  an  additional incentive.

This two-step method is the lowest cost way to start.  It's used by  some very successful  companies, and  has led  many  self-publishers to success.  As time goes on, and your experience increases, expand into display ads and direct mail campaigns.


One  way to promote your book is by making personal  appearances at  book stores.  You can arrange a book signing party with the book store owner or manager. The book store orders 50 or 100 of your  book and advertises the  party.  The  author  personally autographs each book as it's sold.   Some authors go on national tours that encompasses  autographing   parties,  talk   show appearances, 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 to "book signing" events takes some doing. Your topic must be very, very interesting and you must be convincing enough to get your foot in the door.   It takes work, but it can be a lucrative way to sell books.

The  dealership  selling method works  well  for many   self-publishers.  There are many mail order book sellers who may be interested  in selling your books for you on a  dropship  basis.  The  mail order book dealer advertises your book(s)  in  his catalog and when an order arrives, sends you 50% (or whatever) of the retail price along with a shipping label addressed to the customer. You then ship the book directly to the buyer.

This method works very well if you have camera-ready advertising brochures for the dealer to insert with his  catalog or other mailings.  The dealer will put his  name  and address  on  the brochure and have several thousand  copies  printed.  He then distributes these  brochures along  with  his  other  sales literature or, perhaps, even runs ads for your book.

Dealers  can be found by placing small,  inexpensive ads in  the opportunity-type  magazines, and by adding the tag-line "Dealer Inquiries Invited" to the bottom of your own sales materials.

There  are many self-publishing groups that work together in co-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  the country where you can exhibit and sell books directly, or make contact with wholesalers.


Here are a few other ways your book can produce money for you:

selling  through book clubs, selling subsidiary rights,  movie rights  (wasn't there a movie called  How  To  Make  Love  To  A Married Woman, or something like that,  based on a  "how-to" book?), or by selling foreign rights.

Anyway,  all of these methods can produce some excellent profits with  little extra work on your part.  It is suggested that you  get involved  with a local self-publishers or writer's  group where you can develop different ways to make money with your book.

One of the best ways to produce additional income from your book is by selling products that are related to the book's topic. If you're  selling a book about making money with computers, for example, you should include a catalog other computer  books or shareware software.

When you get an order for your main product (your  book),  you ship  the order along with a catalog  of  your  other products.  Since the customer has already expressed an  interest  in  your topic by buying your book,  a certain percentage of those buyers will also be interested in your other related products. That is, of course, assuming that your customer was satisfied.   You can get  these other products by developing  them  yourself, or by acting  as a dealer for other companies.   Some  self-publishers make more money from these "bounce back" catalog sales than they did from the original book sale.

As your sales increase, you'll need to keep a customer mailing list.   You can then mail catalogs or information on your latest book throughout the year to your  buyers.   Whenever  possible, you'll want to include discount coupons or other sales material in the book itself. Why? To capture many of the names of people who  buy your book through bookstores or from  dealers.  You'll notice  that many smart publishers include sales  literature  or catalogs on the last few pages of the book in order to  generate additional sales.

Another important aspect of marketing is the manner in which you operate your business.  You should always bend over backwards to treat the customer respectfully.  Answer all complaints and ship all refunds promptly. Process all orders fast and reply to every inquiry  the same day, if possible.  You want to develop a good reputation for your company,  if you  ever  expect  to  harvest repeat orders.


Many self-publishing authors have become millionaires. Most make an  above average living.   Writing and marketing your work, the essence   of  self-publishing,   takes   learning,   practice, perseverance and determination.   The work is "easy." It's  not like mining 16 tons of coal.  But your brain must be engaged at all  times and you must constantly seek ways to better market your book. About 5% of your efforts will be tied up in producing your book ... the other 95% will be marketing.

Understand this: No matter how good your book is, now matter how well  written, no matter how timely or  interesting the  topic, nothing  will happen until you lead your proper prospect to  the point of taking out his or her checkbook and actually buying.

So keep in mind that,  not only must you prepare a salable book or 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 can send your earnings sky high.

The potential for earning is staggering.


Writer's Digest magazine at your newsstand

How To Write "How-To" Books & Articles by Raymond Hull Writer's

Digest Books

Writer's Resource Guide Edited by Bernadine  Clark Writer's

Digest Books

Writer's Utopia Formula Report by Jerry Buchanan TOWERS Club USA

PO Box 2038 Vancouver, WA 98668

How To Make Your Advertising Make Money by John Caples Prentice


Ads  That Sell by Robert Bly 174 Holland Ave.  New Milford, NJ


The Secrets of Mail Order Unlocked by Ed Simpson Owen Publishing

Company Battle Ground, WA 98604-0010

The Self-Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter Para Publishing PO Box

4232 Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Publishing Short-Run Books by Dan Poynter (address above)

Plus, you'll need a good dictionary, thesaurus and a book on the elements of grammar.


Self-publishing  your own book,  like most worthwhile endeavors, takes some amount of preparation.   You can hire experts to do part  of the work for you (design covers, typesetting, editing, indexing, ghostwriting, etc.). It is recommended that you do much of the work yourself in order to save money  and to help you learn the ins and outs of book publishing.

You can save yourself some problems by preparing an overall plan for producing and marketing your book.   You'll  also  want  to gather additional products related to the book's topic that  you can sell for additional profits.

Thousands of successful authors have found that  self-publishing is the only route to take. Why not you?