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Media & Publishing

Community Business Maps

Guide tourists to local attractions and points of interest but don’t be surprised if you get lost in the profits.

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Business At A Glance

Community Business Maps

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Community business maps are simply mapsfeaturing information about local attractions and points of interestwithin a community, as well as highlighting the participatingbusinesses that sponsor or advertise on the maps.

Typically, businessadvertisers will receive a display-size advertisement on the back ofthe map, and the advertiser’s business location will be featured on thefront of the map. The maps are given away free of charge to touristsvisiting the community, of course with the intention that the touristswill take notice of the advertisers on the maps and purchase theirproducts or services. The maps are generally published once per year,and expanding the business is as easy as introducing the mapadvertising strategy to new communities.

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Media & Publishing

Self-Publisher

Don’t want to deal with agents? Become a self-publisher.

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Business At A Glance

Self-Publisher

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Not too long ago, self-publishing was looked down upon as the venueonly of people whose work was truly awful. Now, however,self-publishing is not only respectable but ‘in.’ Major publishers areconcentrating their efforts on mega-blockbusters, leaving the midlistor smaller writers out in the cold, which has led to the advent of theself- and small-press publisher as a solid professional group.

Andthere’s definitely a market out there for well-written books. As aself-publisher, you’ll not only write your book, but also see itthrough all the details the publishing house attends to–editing,choosing cover art, working with the graphic artist, getting it printedand, perhaps most important, getting it marketed so that it finds areadership. The main advantage to this business, of course, is inseeing your book in print. But that’s not the only one. As aself-publisher, you’ve got far greater control over every aspect of thefinal product, from paper to artwork to the blurb on the back jacket,than you would at the hands of a traditional publishing house.

You cango on to publish other works of your own, or publish other writers’materials. You get far more of the revenues–up to 50 percent–than ata traditional publishing house, which pays royalties of 7 percent to 10percent of sales. As a final advantage, if your book does well, you cansegue into related products like audiobooks, videotapes and a widevariety of licensed products. And it’s not unheard of for a majorpublisher to snap up your book once they see that it’s a success.Before anything else, you’ll need the talent to pen a really good book,whether it be fiction, nonfiction or a children’s picture book. Youshould have plenty of marketing smarts, a working knowledge ofpublishing contracts, terms and conditions from distribution rights towhat constitutes intellectual property, and the ability to pulltogether the varied elements of a pre-production manuscript into aprofessional final product.

The Market

Your customers will be the readers who buy your books, but inpublishing it’s not quite that simple. Unless you sell through mailorder, you’ll have to go through intermediaries like bookstores, whichmakes them your first line of attack in the sales and marketingprocess.

Large chain bookstores rely on a complex distribution systemfor their stock, which means that even if the manager loves your book,he can’t sell it. Bottom line–you’ll have to capture the distributors’interests or sell to smaller, independent book stores. You should alsoaim for alternative sales sources–for instance, if your book dealswith gardening, try selling it to garden centers and nurseries whosecustomers already have an interest in your subject.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a computer, a laser printer and a fax machine, the usualoffice software, and desktop-publishing software. In addition, you’llwant the usual tools of the writer’s trade: plenty of reference books,such as a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a thesaurus and style guides.

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Media & Publishing

Online Studio Musicians

Help produce tracks for musicians from far and wide.

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Business At A Glance

Online Studio Musicians

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

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Media & Publishing

Specialty Greeting Cards

When people need to say more than “Happy birthday, Mom,” they turn to specialty greeting cards.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Specialty Greeting Cards

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

Millions of greeting cards are sold annuallyin the U.S., and starting a business that designs and producesone-of-a-kind custom greeting cards for clients is a terrific desktoppublishing business to set into action. In addition to a high-qualitycolor printer, you’ll also need a computer and design software.

Ideally, marketing efforts should be focused on potential customersthat would send a lot of greeting cards each year, as well as clientswho’d benefit the most from sending customized greeting cards.Potential customers would include corporations, associations,organizations, professionals and individual consumers who would beprepared to purchase the specialty greeting cards in minimum orders of50 at one time.

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