Why do you need a catalog if you don't carry a line of expensive books, and are only starting in business selling nothing but short reports? You need a catalog because if you are selling only one or two reports, you will soon be out of business, no matter how good your reports are. You need an entire product line, even if it is made up of short reports. Let's use as an example twenty reports as the minimum to put into a catalog. The reports should all be for a similar product (selling information by mail), so any customers for one of the reports is also a good prospect to buy several more.
All you need to do is publish an inexpensive catalog that is large enough to describe all your products. This can be a one-page mini-catalog or a four or eight page catalog. At the beginning of your business, you cannot go for an expensive catalog, but if your test ads are working out well, then you may start thinking about a catalog printed in newsprint which is the cheapest material you can use.
If your eight page catalog is working out well, you may want to try for a sixteen page catalog, but you will need about 70 items to sell. This is the other dimension to the catalog business that will enable you to print a catalog of as many items as you want. YOU CAN ALWAYS ADD PRODUCTS SUCH AS REPORTS OR BOOKS THAT YOU CAN GET FROM OTHER MAIL ORDER PUBLISHERS.
Every mail order dealer, with very few exceptions, will drop-ship his books for about 40-50% commission, which means you don't even have to carry his books in your stock. All you do is place his titles and prices in your catalog. This is actually costing you nothing, so you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
To get the names of the mail order book dealers who want you to sell their books, just look in the usual money-making, opportunity sections of the proper tabloids, magazines, etc. You should also be getting their literature in your own "junk mail" collection.
There are many dealers as you will find out, so you can easily fill up your catalog with as many books as you have room for. Again we must repeat "you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by carrying other dealers' books and publications.
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