The life of Joe Karbo, the greatest mail order book writer and self-publisher of all time, has some valuable lessons, which will make all the difference between success and failure for any online writer.
Joe Karbo's life is not only a great inspiration but can also be highly instructive to any would-be online writer.
Joe Karbo's Biography And Desperate Online Writers
Joe Karbo was virtually bankrupt in 1973, the year he wrote and published his famous book, Lazy Man's Way to Riches. It is a fact that many online writers today hardly have anything to show for their efforts. There are those who work very hard in return for a handful of dollars and there are those who cannot even find any assignments online that will earn them even a few dollars. In this group, there has to be those who are desperate and bankrupt. Folks who launched their online writing careers to try and get themselves out of the deep hole they are in.
Joe Karbo's brief biography will prove to you that it can be done. It will also show you exactly how. I admit that that this is quite a loaded statement, especially when you consider the fact that Karbo died before the World Wide Web came along.
Because Karbo was in such a desperate financial situation in 1973, he was keenly aware of a few hard facts. Firstly he needed a product to sell that would give him a very high mark-up, but also one where he could create a selling system for that would generate an endless supply of sales leads and then turn as big a percentage as possible, of those leads into actual sales.
Joe Karbo was to later admit that the 10 dollar paperback that made him rich cost him only 50 cents to produce.
One thing he had going for him was that during his checkered career up to that point, he had developed a keen understanding of human nature. This is the most valuable asset that any writer can have.
There are two possible things that can happen to a desperate person. Either they get very confused unfocused and start running around in circles (sound familiar?). Or they can focus very sharply on one particular thing that they believe will help get them out of trouble. And they then hang on to it, so tenaciously that you will have to kill them first to get them off it. This second option has resulted in many inventions and the pure genius that has birthed many great life-changing ideas.
For Joe Karbo it not only made him rich and famous but he was able to achieve a record that to this day has yet to be broken. Lazy Man's Ways To Riches sold well over 3 million copies without seeing the inside of any book store. It was all sold via mail order.
The Joe Karbo Self-publishing Technique
But let's back-up a little to see how he did it because it will help any online writer to learn something that they can immediately apply to their online writing and self publishing enterprise.
Karbo started off with a single tiny ad (all he could afford) crowded with lots of tiny text. The typical direct marketing ad and the sort of thing that makes any ad designer want to throw-up. Fortunately folks who read his ad did not want to throw up.
In fact for the next seven years, Karbo carried that same tiny advertisement without changing a single comma, in all sorts of newspapers and publications across the country. He always carefully measured his results. He constantly wanted to know exactly how many people responded to each single advertisement. As the cash in his bank account rapidly accumulated, he graduated to his famous full-page ads and his sales just went through the roof.
Joe Karbo was to later say, "You bet your sweet patootie I've made a bundle sharing my information. And why not? I invested a lot more time and money in my 'education' than most doctors and lawyers." This statement confirms our earlier point about concentrating and focusing all your efforts and creativity in one single project and learning all there is to learn about it and then some. Inevitably the results of this kind of laser beam focus will always show in the end.
Karbo's offer was also his amazing selling system and calls for close studying by any online self-publishing writer who wants to make it big. Karbo offered a free trial. The message his offer sent forth was that he was so sure that readers would like his book that he was prepared to risk being ruined by sending them the book without having received any money. That in itself was powerful.
But then he did not want to spend all his time chasing his customers to pay. So he requested them to send him a post-dated check. Karbo promised that he would not cash the check for 30 days. Until they were absolutely satisfied with his book and its' contents. His customers were free to cancel the order by canceling their check at any time within that 30 days period.
Customers loved this offer so much so that Karbo's offer has been widely copied.
Joe Karbo died at the age of 55, a certified millionaire. And a lazy millionaire at that because he never wrote any other book. He didn't need to.
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