Bob Baker's Book Promotion Blog
Sell Profitable Low-Cost Special Reports Online
One of the easiest and quickest ways to dip your toe into the world of independent publishing is to write and sell a short, 10- to 30-page special report on a specific niche topic. In fact, this is exactly how I started my own publishing journey.
Around 1990, I began producing short reports with names like "13 Low-Cost Ways to Promote Your Band or New Album Release." Cranking out these short titles allowed me to quickly get into the publishing game, albeit on a modest level.
One of these early titles, called "19 Ways to Make Money in the Music Business," I used to interest a small publisher in putting out my very first book, 101 Ways to Make Money Right Now in the Music Business.
That first book lit a fire that has fueled my publishing activities ever since. All because I started writing and publishing special reports to get my feet wet. So you might say that this report concept is near and dear to my heart.
Even if you already have full-length books out, publishing special reports is still a good idea. Why? Because you need to give potential customers options -- various points of entry into your sales process. (I write more about this here.)
And these reports can be profitable. Take a look at my own list of music-related books, reports and audio programs. Joan Stewart (the "publicity hound") has a collection of 51 PR-related reports she sells for $10 each, or $287 for the whole batch. And indie author/publisher Jeffrey Lant is renowned for the hundreds of reports he's been offering for years for $7 each or $17 for any three.
In fact, $7 seems to be the magic number on the low-price end of the report market. I just purchased a popular $7 Secrets report by Internet success story Jonathan Leger on ... you guessed it, how to publish and sell $7 reports. It's a great primer on how to enter this market -- with his unique viral twist on it.
I encourage you to check out Jon Leger's $7 report. It just might open up a new revenue stream for you -- and motivate you to get that book idea out into the world quicker!
One more thing about producing special reports ...
It's a great way to test market the appeal of a potential book title. Years ago, Marcia Yudkin wrote a report called Six Steps to Free Publicity. She was pleasantly surprised when it sold thousands of copies -- so much so that she sold the idea to a major publisher and expanded it into a full-length book.
There are a lot of good reasons to publish low-cost reports. Maybe you should get busy writing one now!
P.S. In addition to the $7 Secrets report, also check out Jeffrey Lant's awesome book on independent info-publishing. It was very influential in my early days.
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