Self-Publishing Cash Machine Part I

The Success Margin

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Does the possibility of achieving fame, fortune and immortality appeal to you?

Just one business opportunity can make all these dreams come true.


In fact, the best business to be in today is self-publishing in my view. Especially with the advent of the Internet.

Here are some of the main reasons:

  1. Worldwide market. People everywhere are interested in expanding their knowledge. And a good book, CD, or DVD is an unbeatable “delivery system.”
  2. Proprietary products. As a publisher, no one can copy and rip off your products. Copyright laws in nearly every country protect writers and publishers. So, in a real sense you do not have competition.
  3. High profit margins. Especially with e-books,e-zines and software that you can deliver via the Internet. Customers are paying you for the information content, not paper or any raw material, etc. Therefore, you have zero cost of goods sold.
  4. Low overhead. Publishing makes ideal home-based business. No expensive office is necessary.
  5. No employees required. You can do much of the work yourself. Whatever else you require–such as editing, computer and Internet assistance,graphics–you can hire independent contractors to do.
  6. Writing skills unnecessary. While some self-publishers write their own material, others have earned fortunes without writing a single word.

    As a self-publisher, you can retain outside writers and ghostwriters on both a fee or royalty basis, or combination.

    Actually, there are a surprising number of experienced and capable writers available at all times.

    Plus, you can also buy rights to books and other intellectual property authored by others (this includes books, special reports, tapes and software), and market them yourself.

    The key to profitable products is, of course, how effectively you direct market your product.

    Let’s examine some key direct marketing issues.For simplicity sake, let’s assume you are publishing a book.

    The secrets to massive self-publishing success are knowing your market and how you develop your prospect mailing list on the Internet.

    Today I’m going to cover a basic self-publishing success principle that I see violated daily.

    Self-publishing, and all direct marketing success online or offline, depends on the quality and responsiveness of your mailing list.

    People who know you and trust you are always better prospects for new product offers than complete strangers will ever be. Therefore, no outside list will ever perform as well as your own.

Clearly, since it’s so important, you should devote a large portion of your efforts building the size and quality of your in-house list.

Two proven ways that I favor to build your Internet list are:

  1. Give away a free report, book, or CD
  2. Sell a book, report or DVD/CD recording

    The fastest way I as well as my clients have found to build a responsive list is by giving away valuable information or selling it at a low price, i.e. $20 or less. Especially online.

    Offering a free subscription to an e-zine (newsletter) you publish can be another powerful part of your strategy. Your e-zine should be published at least once a month. But weekly or biweekly can be even better. This enables you to stay in touch with your market.

    As to your first product, the initial question you need to answer on your success path is this:

    “What information do you possess or can acquire that potential customers whose values you understand would love to have?”

    The second question is, “What keeps these people awake at night?”

    Once you answer these questions, simply put this information together in the form of a product (write it, record it or have it prepared). And then make an offer where you give it away.

    Assuming your product satisfies and hopefully thrills your audience, the people who have it will become your most valuable and responsive list.

    On an ongoing basis you can then make continuous offers of follow-up (backend) products. This is where the big money and profits come from.

    Please be aware. The key to long-term success begins with the product you give away. To gain the trust and confidence of your audience, this lead product must be extremely useful. It must be well-prepared. It must establish you as someone with whom your audience wants to do business.

** Choosing a hot topic **

What your potential customers hunger for, and always will, is useful information.

To succeed in a big way, you need to find an underserved niche and provide information that is desperately wanted and needed.

One secret to finding profitable niches is to be as specific as possible in your marketing. This includes your domain names and product titles.

t’s extremely tough to succeed if your target market is too broad. Let’s take the broad subject of marketing for instance.

Unless you are a world renowned marketing expert, it’s tough to get anyone’s attention. This is far too broad in most cases.

Even if your target market is more defined–cosmetics, jewelry, cars, vitamins, vacations, home business opportunities, etc.–you literally have hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of very successful competitors already.

You increase your chance of success if you define and narrow your niche market in such a way to make yourself stand out.

For example, here are ways to further define your niche:

— Not real estate. Instead, condo marketing

— Not books. Instead, cookbooks

— Not cosmetics. Instead, anti-aging cosmetics

— Not watches. Instead, antique Rolex watches

— Not automobiles. Instead, classic Mercedes engine parts

— Not vitamins. Instead, cancer-fighting vitamins

– Not vacations. Instead, low-cost Caribbean vacations

** Testing your topic(s) **

Once you select a target market about which you are knowledgeable and passionate (you can’t succeed in any field unless you have passion for it), you can begin doing market tests.

The next issue of The Success Margin will include “Writing Tips that Work” and “Secrets of Testing.”

Dedicated to increasing your Success Margin,

Your correspondent,

Ted Nicholas

P.S. Click here for complete information on my best-selling book, “How to Publish a Book and Sell a Million Copies,”