I have been in the training business for over twelve years.
As I began writing how-to manuals, I naturally began
offering seminars on how to write how-to manuals. And I
still do. But I’ve found that by putting what I’ve learned
about this subject into print and marketing this manual,
I’ve been able to reach out and help many more people than I
ever could through seminars alone.
Above all else, writing, publishing, marketing and promoting
your how-to manuals is practical. Information products are
some of the easiest things to create and market (especially
over the Internet!) How-to manuals are a consistently
profitable market. Never mind if there are already twenty-
eleven things in print on your topic. If you have something
new to say on the subject, or some new way to say it, you
have a unique product that may fulfill the needs of others.
One of the things I love most about this business is that
its portable. You can write, publish, market and promote
your how-to manuals from virtually anywhere. I’ve written
how-to manuals while traveling almost full-time delivering
my seminars and training courses. When my wife takes early
retirement in a few years, she wants to move from the large
city we now live in on the West Coast to a small town in
northern New Mexico. No matter, I can still do my business
from wherever we settle next.
This business really has no limits! As I said above, even if
there are many other publications on a topic you want to
write your how-to manual about, don’t fret! Put your unique
stamp on the topic and/or market it in a new way, and you’ll
find plenty of buyers. Do you think Dr. Wayne Dyer was the
first person to write a self-help book? Absolutely not! But
the way he wrote “Your Erroneous Zones” reached people, many
of whom had never read a self-help book in their lives, in a
way that made him a best-selling author!
Easy & Cheap.
Its getting easier and cheaper than ever to produce your
how-to manuals for distribution, from traditional print
media to electronic formats that can be distributed over the
Finally, this is an incredibly profitable business! People
who need what you know will pay more for your 30- 90 page
how-to manual than they pay for a hardback book at the
bookstore! And the mark-up on your product can result in
substantial profits on even just a few hundred or a few
And thats the point I want to end this article with: one of
the biggest mistakes self-publishers make is that we tend to
underprice our manuals! Manuals that contain specialized
knowledge are virtually always priced higher than books in
stores. This is because you are making available specific
information that a specialized segment of the marketplace is
seeking. Your customers desperately want your information —
and they are ready, able and willing to pay for it!