This is meant to be informative only. This is not to be taken as legal advice.
Very surprisingly, only a small percentage of the U.S.A. population takes advantage of the wealth of informative material provided by the world’s largest publisher – the U.S. Government Printing Office.
Here is a source of priceless, accurate and official information which is reported and written by experts. Almost every conceivable subject has been reported upon in detail in some government publication – topics such as energy, employment, health, business, investments, science and technology, education, careers, transportation, veterans and personal benefits, consumer advice, foreign trade, law, space, food and diet, astronomy, gardening, medical, maintenance, housing, money management, equipment, hobbies, travel – the list goes on and on.
These publications are available to you upon request. In fact, you indirectly helped pay for them. A part of your tax contribution is allocated to operate the government printing office.
Many of these publications feature business sand personal matters that may directly help you make or save money. This report, however, will outline the most simple and ideal method to reap a huge financial gain from these publications – selling this information by mail.
You undoubtedly have noted ads offering reports on government surplus, oil lotteries, land acquisitions, energy, etc. These ads appear in many national magazines monthly. year after year. Such reports contain information extracted from government publications. Often they are copied word for word. The “insiders” know how and where to get this valuable information free, or at low cost, then use this material to earn huge profits for themselves.
Few people realize that government publications are not copyrighted. Anyone has the authority to use this material for his own personal benefit. That includes copying it word-for-word if desired, reproducing it, and selling the information in the form of books, manuals or reports.
From this vast source of published material are many thousands of ideas you can adopt to prepare an informative publication which can be profitably sold by mail.
The first step, obviously, is to find out which publications are available, what subjects they cover and where they can be obtained. The second step is to select topics which would inform, appeal to and attract a large number of people who would be willing to buy your information by mail. The third step, is to compile this information into a book, manual or report, get it printed, then go about the business of marketing it profitably.
Besides a huge volume of official documents, the government printing office issues about 25,000 other booklets and reports with topics that concern and interest the general pubic. The government also publishes guides which lists and describes new issues when they become available.
Write to the Consumer Information Center, Pueblo, CO 81009. Request to be placed on their mailing list to receive the “Consumer Information Catalog” which is issued periodically during each year. Also request to receive “Selected U.S. Government Publications” from: Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.
Many public libraries stock these catalogs and some government publications. You can check for titles of current and back issues and order anything that interests you or copy any information you need. You may also find copies at other U.S. and State agency offices and perhaps at your local chamber of commerce office.
Publications may also be obtained from government offices such as the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Agriculture, etc. These agencies offer many publications pertinent to matters in their field. For example, the Department of Commerce can provide data and information assistance in various business matters, foreign trade, etc.
The ruling powers in Washington are cutting funds to many agencies. It is likely that in future not as many free publications will be available as were printed in the past. The low cost of any government publication, however, is still a tremendous bargain. Never hesitate to pay a small amount for valuable information that could be the source of financial benefits for you.
Which topics to consider for your publication? What type of printed information will the public buy? Basically, to sell successfully by mail, your product must fill a strong need or desire. It must offer a specific appeal factor that will make the public want to obtain the product. Some of the strongest appeals are found in products which promise to help people:
Make Money Be Safe & Secure Have Fun & Enjoyment Save Money Eliminate Problems Find Out Where to Get Save Time & Effort Be Popular Something Beneficial Enjoy Comfort Do Things Better Something Useful Enjoy Health Gain Success
Thus, your publication should deal with the “How To” and “Where To” type of subjects. This is the main information the buying public seeks and will buy. The stronger information appeal your publication offers, the larger number of people will be attracted to you offer. This factor will translate into a greater sales volume and ultimately higher profits.
Emphasized again, the subject matter of your publication must interest and appeal to a large number of prospects. Among large group categories are: households, blue collar and white collar workers, opportunity seekers, investors, dieters, recipe fanciers, gardeners, teenagers, senior citizens, mail order aspirants, health and exercise enthusiasts, fix-it-uppers, hobbyists, sportsmen and many other specific classes of people seeking helpful information to fulfill their desires and needs.
When you decide upon a suitable subject or subject or subjects, you next step is to compile the information into your own publication. You can copy word-for-word from the government literature, extract portions of the copy, express the ideas in your own words, or add some of your own ideas and thoughts to enhance the subject and provide the reader with additional information.
The size of your publication will depend upon how many words are necessary to fully cover the subject. Provide every essential and important detail so the reader will completely understand and benefit from the information. Don’t skimp, but don’t include anything that is superfluous or inappropriate to the subject. Give the customer at least what he expects – more if possible. A happy, satisfied customer is a confident prospect for your future offers.
For example, a publication entitled “Second Opportunities”, explaining a large number of money-making activities, might require a booklet form of many pages. A publication entitled “How to Grow Prize-Winning Roses” might be a report of just a few pages.
As stated previously, you can reproduce any government printing, even page for page, if that size would fit the style of your publication. to test your offer, you can get initial copies mimeographed, but the best-looking reproduction can be provided by an offset printer. He can reproduce printed copy. Type your own copy on a machine with carbon ribbon. It will provide clear, dark copy which the printer can reproduce with sharp results.
Adopt a title for your publication that will create attention. The title in a descriptive circular, or stated in a classified or space ad, can affect sales. The title should explain the subject matter in as few words as possible. Bring out as many of the appeals listed in Step 2. Yet, keep the title short without sacrificing any word or phrase that might keep a reader form becoming a customer. Look through magazines for titles of books and reports sold by mail. You will get ideas for preparing titles to attract the mail order buyer.
What price to charge for your publication? Only testing can determine the right price. The right price is the selling price that brings in the most profit Not total sales necessarily, but profit… the bottom line in any business activity. Set a price initially based on the suggestions in the following paragraph. Later tests may determine that you can make more profit by charging more and selling less. Or, tests may prove that by lowering the price and selling more units, you earn more total profits. Often the introduction of a new mail order product requires testing… and testing again… until the most effective sales copy and the right selling price is established to provide the most profit from each promotion.
To make big money selling information by mail, consider pricing your publication at least 10 times its cost. And, that’s just the norm for a multi-paged publication. A report of just a few pages must be sold for 15 to 20 times its cost to realize adequate profits from promotions. To start, get just a few copies printed. but, don’t base your selling price on this cost. Request the printer to quote you on 1,000 and higher quantities. This will be the volume you will be purchasing if your publication is successful and that cost should be the basis for initially pricing your publication.
To promote sales of your publication, use one or all of the usual mail order methods… classified ads, space ads and direct mail.
Classified ads are seldom productive if the advertiser solicits orders for items priced over $3.00 directly from the ad. Classified ads are mainly used to obtain inquiries for higher-priced items. So what can you do with a publication that must sell for $5.00 or $6.00? You should promote this publication through space ads or include the publication in a descriptive circular or catalog featuring this publication among other offers of your own or that of other publishers.
Space ads are what the terms implies; they feature more space than a classified ad. This greater space allows for bold headlines, more details about the offer and inducements for the reader to send in an order. If space permits, an order form is included in the ad.
Direct mail consists of sending your offer to a list of names. These names could be your customer list or names obtained from a list broker. Use only name lists that will be responsive to your offer. For example, an offer for a gardening publication should not be sent to a list of auto mechanics. Such a mailing would stand little chance for success. Also, it would hardly pay to send out a mailing for a $5.00 or $6.00 offer. Use direct mail to promote $10.00 or higher items, or send circulars or catalogs featuring several publications to receive orders for multiple items and higher dollar average per sale.
Selling information by mail profitably, requires application of the basic methods used by other successful mail order operators. This report, of course, cannot provide a complete course in mail order techniques. Obtain some books which explain how to operate a mail order business efficiently.
To summarize, check over the list of government publications that might provide suitable material for your own book or report. Then send for it. Determine if the contents can be the basis for a publication with strong appeal to a large group of prospects. Compile this information into an interesting book or report. Promote your offer slowly and carefully at the start. If promotional tests are favorable you can increase your advertising and promotion efforts, sell larger volumes of your publication and earn larger profits.
Follow these procedures faithfully and you could be on you way to earning a fortune – making your start with free government publications.
Copyright 2004 by DeAnna Spencer
Note to editors:
To show my appreciation to the editors that use my articles, I offer a free solo ad. Simply send an email to me by using the form on the contact me page on my website to tell me the url the article was used on or send me a copy of the ezine it was used in.