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If you undertake publication of an ad sheet, be sure to consider possibilities of sending out 100 to 1,000 copies of your ad sheet to other mail order operators to rubber stamp their names/addresses as co-publishers and mail out for you. Thus, if you had 50 other mail order operators sending out 100 copies each of your ad sheet, you'd be talking about a circulation of 5,000 copies plus number of copies you mail out. If you can get this kind of program going, you'll quickly build your reputation as well as your circulation, and at bottom line, your profits.
Some ad sheet publishers, once they've established themselves and are putting out an impressive publication, set up distributor networks. Generally, they run ads calling for distributor/dealers and asking for a $5 to $10 registration fee. In reply to registration application, they send out a letter explaining that each distributor can buy at half price, so many copies of each issue of ad sheet, rubber stamp their name on each copy, and send them out as their own. In return, distributors usually get 50% of incoming advertising orders, a half-price ad for themselves, and an opportunity to sell subscriptions.
The bottom line relative to becoming a successful ad sheet publisher has to do with keeping your production costs -printing and mailing - as low as possible, while putting out a quality product that other people in mail order business will want to advertise in - while at same time using it as a advertising/selling vehicle for your own products.
My advice is that almost everyone involved in mail order selling should have some sort of ad sheet - if for no other reason than as a means to an end - an advertising vehicle for your own products, an extra income from advertising revenues , and as an exchange media with which to gain greater exposure for your own products in other people's publications. Once you've got an ad sheet, or any kind of publication set up and being seen by other mail order operators, you'll quickly gain stature and a certain amount of prestige.
As with any business, even home-based business, your ultimate success depends on your own feasibility studies, and your sharp-pencil planning completed before you order your first issue printed. Think about it, weigh pro's & con's, then go with your decision.
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