Joe "Mister Fire" Vitale is an explosive "results only!" marketing consultant, author and speaker. He has helped over 200 authors and publishers write, publish and promote their books. Joe's clients include small presses to large publishing houses, such as Doubleday Books in New York. He has also helped large companies, from The American Red Cross to Hermann Children's Hospital in Houston.
His books include
The Seven Lost Secrets of Success,
Turbocharge Your Writing, and
The AMA Complete Guide to Small Business Advertising.
Check out Joe's Mister Fire Web site.
Joe can be reached by e-mail at jgvitale@
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How to Run Your Own Publishing Bakery
by Joe Vitale
Why Baking Print is Better than Baking Cake
Marketing Consultant, Author and Speaker
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. (You can, on my
new video). 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
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 of people.
2. You store it on your computer.
3. You let that specific crowd of people know about
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
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
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
Copyright © 1999 Joe Vitale
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