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An Introduction to Self Publishing
By DeAnna Spencer
Any article, report or
book which is bought or sold with reproduction rights is generally referred to
as self-publishing material. Most commonly, this material consists of reports
or articles varying in length from 1 to 20 or more pages. This material
usually has a self-cover. In a self-cover, the same weight of paper is used as
in the text. Most books, on the other hand, have covers which are of a heavier
weight than the text of the book.
The seller offers self-publishing material including the reproduction right, at a price considerably higher than he would offer the material when sold without reproduction rights. Reproduction rights are granted when the holder of a copyright grants reproduction rights to the buyer. These rights can be unlimited, giving the buyer the option to re-sell reproduction rights for the material also. Or, they may be limited. In this case, the seller will generally allow the buyer to reproduce the material as he wishes, but restricts right of resale. Since the strongest demand is for material which grants full and unlimited reproduction and resale rights, it would always be advantageous to obtain the right to resell reproduction material.
There is a vast demand for this type of material, especially from newcomers in the mail order field. Since the stream of newcomers to this business is almost unlimited, it can be extremely profitable to market self-publishing material. The attractiveness of this material is due both to the high mark-up potential and the ease of handling. Once you own the resale rights to a given article, you can reproduce it for pennies and sell it both individually for a few dollars. or including the reproduction rights, for substantially higher.
Here's a typical example of purchasing and selling price. A five or six page article may have a purchase price of anywhere from $8.00 to $15.00. The same article, without reproduction rights, would have a price range of $3.00 to $5.00. Once you own the reproduction rights, you can have it reproduced for 20 to 50 cents a set, depending on how many copies you have made. But let's use the high price of 50 cents and a selling price of $4.00 without reproduction rights: profit $3.50 = 700%, or with the reproduction rights of $9.00: profit $8.50 = 1700%. Not shabby at all! It is especially impressive when you compare that margin to buying a book from a supplier for $3.00 and selling it for $9.00: profit $6.00 = 200%.
The other major advantage is the ease of handling of this material. You are the prime source. You carry no inventory. You reproduce in small quantities as you are selling the material. The material is inexpensively shipped, generally via First Class due to its light weight.
Supply and Demand
The supply and demand fo this type of material is plentiful, but that supply represents a small margin when compared to the incredible demand. It is usually the newcomer to the mail order filed who has to first establish his product line and supply who is the buyer. The seller, on the other hand, is more seasoned and has been in the business for a while.
If you are in the market and interested in acquiring self-publishing material, you should have no problem locating sources. You will see ads, mostly classifieds, throughout business opportunity publications. Small and medium size wholesalers and publishers in the mail order field also offer a variety of material. Since they generally charge an "up-front" distributor or dealership fee, the material they offer will generally be at much reduced prices.
Most of material offered will be of an instructive nature and this is also where the demand is. Articles or short manuals which are instructive in how to start a business or how to operate different facets of that business are in especially high demand.
Unfortunately, since there is a great deal of sub-standard material on the market, you should be careful in acquiring articles and reports for resale. The material may lack in any of these three areas:
1. The contents are incorrect, incomplete, etc., which is generally the result of poor research and little effort by the writer.
2. The writer'su se of language is incorrect.
3. The reproduction quality is poor.
If you do not know the seller or his reputation, protect yourself by buying just one article instead of several. If you like the quality and contents, you can purchase several more. Sellers of reproducible material will often not grant a money back guarantee. If you become a seller of reproduction material, it is strongly suggested that you consider adopting such a policy yourself. Unfortunately, there are some customers who will buy this material, reproduce it instantly and return it within days for a refund.
Write Your Own Material
If you enjoy writing and some limited research, you could create your own material and sell that in conjunction with the material you have acquired from other sources. We are not talking about the ability to produce literary works but just information-oriented material that is a service to others. This type of an effort can often be a joint effort. Your wife or husband may be the writer and you may be the editor or vice versa. There are also many qualified word processing services available who can edit your writing for a reasonable fee. Once you have created, it, you can generally sell it for many years to come. So, whatever your start-up investment is,, it can be recaptured many times over.
Copyright 2004 by DeAnna Spencer
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