Today, there are hundreds of enterprising men and women who write simple research papers (known in the self-publishing industry as MANUALS) and sell them by mail.

In the article that follows, I’ll show you how you can do the same. I’ll show you how to select a subject, how to research it, how to write it, how to get it printed, and how to sell it.

I’ll show you the four ways to sell it.

If you are new to manual selling, I’ll show you which of the four ways is the best for you. That said, I hope you will read what follows very carefully and very thoroughly.

There are no catches. I have nothing more to sell to you (unless you want to read some of the other manuals which I have written).

I hope the information which follows can be of real benefit to you.

That is why I have written it!

Exactly what is a manual?

A manual can be called a booklet, a pamphlet, a report, a newsletter, a guide, an instruction manual, a plan, a manuscript, etc.

A manual is simply an easy-to-understand report which shows the reader “How To” do something that he does not already know.

Most manuals show the reader … How to start or expand a hobby; How to develop new abilities or qualities; How to start a new business or expand an old one; How to prepare for a new career; How to make or save money; How to solve personal problems; How to spend leisure time.

A well written manual is authoritative, factual, and helpful. It should be written in simple, easily understood language.

It can be anything from a brief two-page photocopied report to a professionally printed book bound in a hardback cover.

People who purchase manuals by mail are interested in the information they contain. Seldom do they care what brand of paper the information is printed on.

What kinds of manuals are now being sold by mail?

Pick up almost any magazine at a news stand that carries classified advertising and you will find ads written by people who are selling their manuals by mail.

Here are sample ads from magazines lying on the desk.

“Be secure, confident, successful! Learn the secret of personal power. $2.00”

“Secrets of the Spirit World! Only $2.00 Post-paid!”

“Traffic Tickets? Beat them, step by step method. $1.95”.

“Fluorescent Tubes Rejuvenated at no cost. Instructions $4.00”

“Why grow old and die? Li Chung Yun lived 256 years. You could too”.

“Guide to Witches Covens – $12.00”

“Learning Bridge? Send $12.95 for 20 page guide.”

“Learn the secret of making every dress you sew fit perfectly. Only $3.00”.

“10 Wonder Working Prayers. Enrich, Strengthen Your Life. $2.50”.

“Home Made Cheese. Hard, soft and cottage. Make it yourself! Complete instructions, recipes, $2.00”

“Peterborough Area Job Opportunities $2.00”

“Ship in Bottle. Instructions. Drawings. $3.00”

If you can produce a “How To” manual that is novel, interesting and genuinely helpful, you can do what the advertisers above have done. You can print it yourself and sell it by mail!

What should you write about?

You should write:

* only on subjects that really interest you, and * on subjects that you already know something about.

For example, if you just love to cook, write a manual on cooking.

If people like the first manual they buy from you, they will buy other manuals in the future, as long as they are on the same basic subject.

If you write on a subject that really does not interest you very much, you will be bored to death by the time you get to your third manual.

Ask yourself – what do I do with my spare time? Write a manual about that!

How do you research the manual?

Make yourself an expert on the subject!

Talk to friends and neighbors. Ask questions. Read books, newspapers, and magazines on the subject. Ask your librarian for suggestions. As you read, keep notes on everything. When you have read everything you could lay your hands on, sit down and study your notes. Read them over slowly and carefully. Then lay the notes aside and think about the whole subject for a day or two. You will be amazed at what your mind will do with the subject if you have researched it thoroughly. How do you write it?

Here is a tip from a professional writer.

Sit down and pretend that you are a person who knows absolutely nothing about the subject.

Write down fifteen questions that such a person might ask you. Then write out, in your own words, the answers to the fifteen questions.

Do not try to be literary!

When you are finished, lay it aside for a day or two. Then re-read it with a red pencil, crossing out all unnecessary words and sentences, inserting a new point here and there.

Rewrite the whole thing, and you will be amazed to discover that your manual is ready to be published!

How do you get it printed?

Type it as neatly as possible onto A4 white typing paper. Single space it, leaving two lines between each paragraph.

Take it to a local copy/print shop, who will make you however many copies of it, very reasonably, within 24 hours usually.

If you have more than four pages, have it printed on both sides of the paper. It will lower your printing costs slightly, and save you extra postage in the future.

To give your manual a professional touch, have it printed on canary yellow, pink, or light green paper.

How do you sell it?

1. Direct from ads in magazines and tabloid papers.

If economically possible, sell it for $2.00 or $3.00 per copy. Write a brief, eye catching classified ad, asking those interested to send their orders directly to you.

If your ad is novel, believable, and of genuine interest, you will be surprised at how many people will do this.

If your manual is about stamp collecting, advertise it in the stamp collecting papers.

If it is about astrology, advertise it in the Astrology magazines- to do otherwise is fatal.

Be sure to run your ad in at least three issues. If you have never sold manuals by mail, I sincerely suggest you use this method.

2. Advertise for Inquiries.

If your manual is quite elaborate, and must be sold for $5.00 or more, use this method. Write a brief, tempting ad describing your manual, and offer free details. Then mail literature describing the manual to those who answer the ads. Don’t expect more than one enquiry in ten to buy it from you.

Here are recent ads placed by manual writers who use this method:

“Never Won Anything? Anyone can win sweepstakes contests! Free details”.

“Troubled? God can help! Free information.”

“Overweight? I lost 53 pounds. Easily – Permanently. New Method. Information Free”.

“Make money clipping newspapers at home in spare time. Details free.”

3. Direct Mail.

If you have written a manual showing how to get your inventions patented, you could purchase a list of amateur inventors, and mail your sales literature to each individual on the list.

If you are lucky, you’ll sell your manual to about one person in every twenty-five.

Direct mail can be very effective for experienced mail order operators, but it is usually far too costly for the beginner.

It can easily cost you over two hundred and fifty dollars for each one thousand letters you mail.

4. Selling through agents.

If you are willing to sell your manual in small wholesale quantities, or if you are willing to drop ship manuals for mail dealers, then you might find this the most effective way to market your manuals.

Below are some ads placed by manual writers.

“Sell Health Books Mail Order! Write”

“Sell Books By Mail. Complete Dealer Set Up $2.00”

“Sell Books by Mail! 400% Profit”

“Free Newsletter! Sell Books by Mail. We wholesale/dropship”

Some of the above ads have been running for over ten years, indicating that this could be a very successful way to market your manuals.

Good Luck

By: Andy Ballentine And Merlin-publishing.com

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