It’s one of the most lucrative businesses ever, one requiring very little in the way of starting capital; yet surprisingly, few people have even heard of ‘Home Publishing’. Good news indeed for those business men and women currently earning anything from 1000% to 4000% profit on each and every sale they make, often charging o20 or more for an item that has cost o1, perhaps less, to produce.
Just how much home publishers make each and every week depends entirely on the time and effort they put into their businesses; into the analysing of advertising trends and techniques; into selecting suitable titles to offer their customers; into establishing a good and regular list of customer who, being satisfied with past purchases, will continue to buy from them in the future.
‘Publishing’, loosely defined, is the preparation an distribution of printed material, from which we can conclude that a ‘home publisher’ is a home-based entrepreneur, needing no special business premises, and requiring no stock other than one master copy of each publication he or she intends offering for sale.
Some home publishers deal exclusively in publications relating to one particular hobby or interest, for instance, consumer competitions or stamp collecting. Others deal in a wide range of subjects, from leisure interest, to self-improvement, to perhaps the most profitable line of all, namely that of information concerning business and income boosting opportunities.
Basically, the publisher selects and acquires those titles that form his or her stock, decides upon the means by which they will be advertised for sale, and subsequently place appropriate advertisements to which prospective customers are invited to apply.
He or she then forwards the publication or publications, where cash in advance has been requested, or else provides the potential customer with a detailed sales leaflet, from which the inquirer will decide whether or not to order the publication. The publisher usually takes the opportunity to include details of several other publications in which the potential customer might be interested. If the original enquiry does not result in a sale, there is every chance that one of these other publications will appeal to the inquirer.
Customer manuals and folios may be produced as photocopied versions of the master document, or in professionally printed form if the publisher desires. By shopping around for the best rates in photocopying, or else installing a photocopying machine at home, the cost of manuals can be kept extremely low, thereby making for far higher profit margins.
The market for information is vast, some would suggest unlimited, and the means of reaching potential customers are similarly many and varied, and perhaps best of all, inexpensive. Without costly business premises and similarly prohibitive overheads, the publisher can afford to concentrate his or her efforts and financial resources into reaching that vast clientele awaiting each and every publication brought onto the market.
To build and maintain a good customer list you must of course offer only quality information, and for this reason the prudent publisher will always chose the titles that form his stock with the utmost care.
It’s surprisingly easy to acquire a good, extremely saleable title for anything from #10 to #40 for reproduction rights; more of course for sole copyright, the latter affording an enviable situation indeed for the publisher to find himself in, for he alone will have authority to offer the copyrighted manuscript for sale.
Your titles may come from one or more of several sources; direct from the writer or his agent in the case of copyright; from the writer or agent, or other publishers in the case of reproduction and resell rights.
Reproduction rights as the name implies, allow you to produce and sell as many copies of the document as you wish, often at a price you yourself decide. If these rights come with ‘resell rights’ you may also transfer reproduction and resell rights to other publishers, thereby making very handsome profits indeed, and usually recouping the cost of your own outlay with your very first order.
With exclusive copyright you might, quite rightly so, feel reluctant to share your market with other publishers, which of course would happen if you decided to sell reproduction rights, with or without resell rights. Many publishers jealously guard their copyrights, especially in the case of titles much in demand. Such a title could well continue selling to the public for many years to come. With copyright the profits are entirely yours; pass on reproduction rights and the chain grows rapidly, until after just a few transactions your title is shared by many publishers. If selling by direct mail, remember too that the very same people contacted by you will almost certainly have been approached with the same title by several of your competitors – a huge waste of time, energy and money.
Home publishing is one of many sub-sections falling under the umbrella of mail order, and as such those rules, tips and techniques that make for increased profits in mail order apply equally to home publishing.
Arm yourself with as many books and manuals as you can on the art of advertising, direct marketing techniques, and standards of mail order professionalism in general. Remember to keep abreast of the times, never stop learning and never ever stand still.