How to Become a Successful Self-Publisher


Tuesday, November 18, 2003


Today’s topic is about two little-known action tips that will help you succeed in the world’s most ideal business.

I know there is huge worldwide interest in what constitutes an ideal business.


When I first wrote about this subject in my news-letter in the early nineties, I received more feedback on it than any other topic.

What constitutes the ideal business?

1. Enjoys low overhead.

2. Products can be sold throughout the world.

3. Is portable—can easily be moved and operated anywhere in the world.

4. Requires little capital or major investment in equipment.

5. Enjoys high profit margins.

6. Has minimal labor requirements.  Can be operated with few or no employees.

7. Can be operated from home.

8. Is relatively free of government regulation and control.

9. Is highly respected in the business community.

10. Sells on a cash basis instead of offering extended credit.

11. Competitors cannot duplicate.  Creation of  product is legally protected.

12. Is fun for you while satisfying your intellectual needs.

13. Help make the world a better place.

Self-publishing best meets the above criteria for the ideal business.

Tip: Publishing unique, helpful information can be an unbeatable marketing tool. Further in this issue I’ll show you how to use it successfully for any business.

Let’s briefly look at what self-publishers and conventional publishers typically do when they decide to market a book or special report.

1. The book is written, taking up to two years of effort. Little or no thought is given to the marketing process.

2. The title is decided by some editor often over lunch in less than 20 minutes.

3. The book is published. Absolutely nothing happens. This has been called “the calm before the calm.”

Here are the two most important actions I always take.  I recommend both as an indispensable part of your action plan.

1. Write an ad to sell the book before a single word is written.

Tip: The result is the eventual book will have the best chance to do what it should–serve the readers’ self-interest. (Most books are incredibly dull and boring and are an ego trip for the author.)

Plus, of course, you can use the ad to market the book.

More than 90% of your time as a self-publisher must be spent on marketing. For my book HOW TO FORM YOUR OWN CORPORATION WITHOUT A LAWYER FOR UNDER $75, I’ve written more than 120,000 words of advertising copy.  The book has just 32,000 words in it. Sales are nearly 2,000,000 copies to date.  The reason for all the success is not the book itself, but all the marketing.

As Tom Watson, the late founder of IBM, said so well, “Nothing happens until a sale is made.”

2. Create a great book title. A book title is actually a headline for the book. It’s crucially important. When I create a book title, I write a huge number of potential titles.  For my books HOW TO PUBLISH  A BOOK AND SELL A MILLION COPIES, MAGIC WORDS THAT BRING YOU RICHES, and HOW TO TURN WORDS INTO MONEY,  I wrote over 120 titles for each before choosing the final one for each of these best sellers.

Best-selling authors like Harvey Mackay, author of  “Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive” and “Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt,” invest about $60,000 in fees for an expert to create each title for their books. They know how important it is.

Tip: Here is a business-building blockbuster. Regardless of the business in which you are engaged, whether you market online or offline, you can use books and special reports as free bonuses to build your sales.  Here are some examples of businesses and the type of material they could publish that could dramatically boost their business.

Real Estate Developer:
“Seven Easy, Low-Cost Tips Which Will Increase The Value of Your Property”

“How to Stop Leaking Faucets Yourself in Less Than 60 Seconds”

“How to Build The Beautiful Home of Your Dreams Below Budget”

“How to Prepare Ten Terrific Gourmet Meals in Less Than 20 Minutes”

Vitamin Distributor:
“Maximum Health Secrets On a Minimum Budget”

Tip: Your information should be written in such a way that it is (A) immediately useful to the reader, and (B) you do not directly benefit in any way.

What you are seeking is a special feeling of reciprocation on the part of the reader: “I got so much out of this special report, when I think about possibly availing myself of your type of product or service, I will think about you first.”

The result in increased sales will delight and astonish you.

Stay tuned for more tips on self-publishing success.

Warm regards,

Ted Nicholas

P.P.S. “The secret to success, in life and in business, is to work hard at the margin. Relentlessly.  It’s as powerful as compound interest, the eighth wonder of the world Those little marginal extra efforts will inevitably grow into something big.”–Bill Bonner

Little things mean a lot.

“God is in the details.”