How to Run Your Own Publishing Bakery

—or, Why Baking Print is Better than Baking Cake

by Dr. Joe Vitale

I’m a bookaholic. I write them, read them, buy them, review them, promote them, collect them, and cherish them. You ought to see my office. It’s lined with books. And no doubt I’ll add more books to my vast collection. What can I say? I’m addicted to books.

Still, I often wonder if anyone realizes there is a better way to make money than actually printing their information in book form.

Printing books costs a terrific amount of money. Somebody must have placed yeast in the print industry’s pants. Just look at the rising costs of paper these days.

Plus the environmentalists aren’t crazy about all the trees being chopped down to print your grandmother’s recipes or your uncle’s memoirs.

And the competition for books is fierce, with 2,000 books being printed every single week. And you want to come out with another one?

Sheesh. Hasn’t anyone considered a better approach to this business?

I run what I call a “publishing bakery.” The idea isn’t new. Several people are running the same operation, though they probably call it “printing on demand” or some other less colorful description.

Here’s how it works:

1) You write a specific piece of how-to information for a specific crowd.

2) You store it on your computer.

3) You let that specific crowd of people know about your item.

4) When orders come in, you print the information and send it to them.

Easy, huh? But does it work?

Let’s see…Ted Thomas sold 627 information packages for $197 each in two months, which means he made $122,265 while sitting at his desk…Last January Russ von Hoelscher sold more than 500 units of his Internet course at $149 a pop, meaning he pulled in $74,450 in less than four weeks…Mark Nolan sells a $29.95 information product to the tune of 30,000 a year…The list goes on.

The numbers are simple: If you sell just one $299 course a day, you’d make $71,760 a year…Too expensive an item to sell? Okay. If you sell just one $29.95 item a day, you would make $10,782 a year. (You can use $10,782, can’t you?) Sell three of them a day and you blast your income to $32,346 a year!

Let’s get more specific.

If you browse through my on-line catalog, you’ll find all of my books, videotape, audiotape set, etc. You’ll also find free articles and special reports. And you’ll see that I have a “Confidential Online Marketing Strategy” that I sell for a substantial amount of money. I don’t stock that item. It sits, alert but resting, in my computer. When someone orders it, I call up the file, click my mouse, and print the item. I then send off the strategy to the person who bought it. Then I take a nap.

That’s how my publishing bakery works.

Here’s another example:

I have a colossal collection of special reports, sales letters, fund raising letters, and more packed into a hefty 400-page volume that I call (for lack of a better name) “Master Writer 397.O”. I don’t stock it, either. It’s too big, too bulky, too expensive. So I keep the original for it in a special place. When someone orders it, I take the master and make a copy of it. I then put the copy in a nice three-ring binder, add whatever I think is appropriate, and then fulfill the order. Then I take another nap.

That’s publishing on demand.

Here’s another example:

I just created an astonishing new sales and marketing training program called “Project Phineas“. This consists of six original tapes and a brand new workbook. Since it took me well over twenty years to gather and integrate the material into a home study course that works, I don’t give the system away. I charge $495 for it, knowing that people will perceive it as valuable because of the price, and knowing that it IS valuable, anyway. When an order comes in, I print out the workbook, put together a tape set, and send it off. And then I take a nap.

Again, that’s how I run my publishing bakery.

I still have regular books, of course. As I’ve mentioned in several places in my writings, you want a book that looks like a book for credibility. That’s why I have books published by The American Management Association and The American Marketing Association. I can’t self-publish or bake that sort of credibility.

But now that I have that credibility, I can make other information products, make a mold for them, and then print them as needed. This means I have no printer to pay, no warehouse to pay, no inventory to manage, and nothing to lug out to the garage for storage. It’s all on my computer.

Why can’t you do this, too?

Well, you can!

First: All you need is a specific item for a specific audience. It needs to be specific because people want definite how-to information. Tell them exactly how to grow herbs in their toilet tank, or how to teach their children Portuguese over dinner, etc. (I’m joking. Be sure your item is something a specific group of people want. Food, sex, and money are consistent winners.) You can even buy reprint rights to existing information products from other people.

Second: The item needs to be for a specific market so you can reach them by phone, fax, news releases, online, etc. You simply locate the crowd of people interested in your product by looking through a good catalog of mailing lists, for example, or by conducting searches online. You aren’t appealing to “everybody,” which is a market too big to target unless you’re Coca-Cola or rich. You want a specific group.

Third: Tell these people about your information. Send them mailings, let them know by phone, fax, or email, etc. Take out ads in the publications they read. Send those publications news releases. You get the picture.

Fourth: When orders come in, accept the money.

I told you this was easy.

Actually, I would rather see you do step two before step one. In other words, pick a specific group of people and give them more of what they are already interested in. Instead of forcing people to buy what you write, find out what people are already buying and give them more of it. People who bought popcorn recipes in the past will probably buy another popcorn recipe; people who buy books on gambling will probably buy another gambling book; people who buy courses on self-improvement will probably buy another self-improvement course. Find out what they are already buying, and then create a new “cookie” to “bake” for them.

Running a cake bakery would be full of headaches and nobody likes the calories in cakes. A publishing bakery, on the other hand, is clean, easy, fast, and healthy. Try it!