How Do I Start Selling Physical Products?

One of the big advantages of selling physical products is that they usually come with a high perceived value. In other words, you can charge more for them.

And here’s something else…

Selling physical information products, like books, tends to help establish you as an expert in your niche. That’s why people like speakers or politicians who are looking to be taken seriously often publish physical books.

So that brings us back to your question: just how, exactly, do you get started selling physical products? Here’s a crash course for you…

Step 1: Consider Which Products Will Convert Well

Not every digital product you own will convert well to a physical product. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the digital product have a lot of links? Links are useful and easy to click in a digital product. But when a physical product is full of links, it becomes an annoyance to the reader.
  • Does the digital product have a lot of graphics? If so, do these graphics need to be in color in order to convert well? Keep in mind that adding color to a physical product tends to significantly increase the cost of the product.

TIP: Keep in mind that graphics in physical products need to have a higher resolution than graphics in digital products. If you don’t have a copy of the graphic that’s suitable for printing, the end result is going to be poor.

  • Is it worth the cost to convert? Finally, you’ll need to calculate the cost to print a product, and compare it to how much the digital version goes for. Then you can decide if it’s worth the effort to convert and sell.

Once you decide which products will convert well, then move onto the next step…

Step 2: Pick a Platform

Now you need to figure out how you’re going to turn that digital product into a physical product. You’ll make this decision based on pricing, where you intend to sell the product, and how you intend to fulfill orders. Here are some good options:

  • com. If you intend to sell the product primarily on Amazon.com or through other bookstores, then this is one option to pursue.
  • com. This is a business that specializes in duplication and fulfillment of CDs, DVDs USBs, and a variety of information products (books, workbooks, etc). This is a good choice if you’re selling a home study course.
  • Check print shops. If you plan to print, store inventory and fulfill orders yourself, then you might check rates with your local print shops. You might also compare pricing by searching for print shops who accept orders online.
  • Use a print-on-demand service. There are a lot of print on demand services available, and the one you choose may depend on the type of book you’re selling, if you need distribution services, whether you want to order a large number to stock inventory, or whether you want customers to order through the service. Examples include Lulu.com. iUniverse.com, HillcrestMedia.com, and IngramContent.com’s Lightning Source service.

Note: In some cases, you may decide to use multiple services. For example, if you do “back of the room” sales at seminars, then you may order several hundred copies of your book for these events. Meanwhile, you might also decide to go with a fulfillment service to take care of single orders from customers.

Step 3: Format Your Product

Now that you know which service you’re using, you’ll want to read their formatting guidelines. Keep in mind these guidelines vary across services, so getting your product set up for one service may not be the same as getting it set up for another service.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • Follow the guidelines carefully. Some services (such as CreateSpace) are very particular about how you format your book. Follow guidelines carefully to ensure your product turns out well.
  • Use high resolution graphics. You need to make sure your cover graphics as well as the graphics inside your product will convert well into print. For example, a graphic with 72 DPI may look good on the web, but you may need something close to 300 DPI for it to look good in print.
  • Check your links. Don’t use long links in physical books, because no one will take the time to type them in. Whenever possible, replace long links with short links.

A Few More Thoughts…

As mentioned, physical product tend to naturally carry a higher perceived value. If you’d like to really make as much money as possible with your physical product, then the best thing you can do is turn your premium products into physical products.

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