If you like statistics . . . if you love rummaging
through books . . . if you have a methodical mind,
and a knack for sifting facts . . . then there are numerous
ways in which your typewriter will bring
you extra earnings. In all fields of manufacture and
industry information is required on innumerable
subjects. You can gather that information. In some
instances your assignments will mean delving into
library volumes, in other cases personal interviews
are required. However, your typewriter equips you
with a glorious opportunity for pursuing the work
that you love while adding substantially to your income.
The typewriter is indispensable in transcribing
and tabulating the material and you must, of
course, have typewritten drafts for final presentation.
Authors' Research Bureau
"My friend, a successful writer, was in a mental
knot. 'How,' he implored, 'how does a Zulu native
say "yes"?' He was also bewildered about several
other facts to fill in for local color in an African
jungle story he was writing. At that time I had
just completed my senior year at college, and was
equipped with enthusiasm, time, a portable typewriter—and
no money. My friend's odd questions
supplied the prop that hoisted me into my own business
of 'Authors' Research Bureau.'
How It Works
"Of course, I didn't know an iota about Zulus or
African jungles, but did know where and how to
find facts in my local libraries. I dug up the information
needed, for which he cheerfully paid me and
then gave me further assignments. Soon I was doing
research for another local writer . . . and then another
. . . and now represent 15 different writers. My
assignments include sea lore for stories about sailors,
criminology for detective stories, and a wide range
of other subjects. And my typewriter is as great a
help to me in this enterprise as it was in college. It
helps me think out facts, correlate my material, and
finally, to submit the finished report in neat, professional
form. As I rummaged through many reference
volumes, another source of revenue also unfolded—sorting
unusual facts to be sold to authors
and writers as 'plot idea' material. For example, the
fact that baseball players are superstitious about using
the same bat as the previous batter supplies the
germ for a good story for some sports story magazine.
Writers are eager to get such 'thought nudgers.'
"My rates vary, depending on the subject and the
time required to find it. For short-story material, it
will be as low as $3.00, but for novel-size manuscripts,
it will come as high as $50. Plot ideas sell for
an average of $5.00 each."
Stamp Collectors' Pamphlet
His hobby of stamp and coin collecting led to a
profitable avocation for a versatile young bookkeeper
in Iowa. He issues a booklet listing current valuations
for stamps and coins of all varieties.
How It Works
It is important for almost every stamp and coin
collector to be "up-to-date" on current stamp values,
so that he may be sure to get best stamps for his collection
at lowest prices. The Iowan secured data on
such valuations by contacting his local philatelic
clubs and, in addition, through library research.
There are many informative books on this subject in
most libraries. He made up this material in pamphlet
form, first typing the information, then having
it mimeographed and bound. He sold the booklets
through philatelic clubs, allowing the club a 15 per
cent discount on each pamphlet sold to members. A
small advertisement in his local newspaper and,
later, in several national magazines, augmented his
list of customers.
His chief expenses consist of mimeographing and
advertising, averaging about 8 cents for each pamphlet.
Since he sells the pamphlets for 25 cents each,
his profits are still substantial. He issues a completely
revised pamphlet each year.
Almost everyone has a hobby, and almost everyone
is eager to make money. Inspired by these two
truisms, an enterprising young Chicago woman is
augmenting her income in her spare time by publishing
a pamphlet listing profitable part-time hobbies,
and explaining how they may be converted into
How It Works
She analyzed the kinds of hobbies that are most
likely to find a commercial market, such as woodworking,
photography, writing, needlecraft, metalcraft,
marionettes, etc. She then included brief "how
to do" facts about each of these hobbies, and suggested
where and how the products of this handicraft
could be sold. The material for this booklet was, in
the main, derived through research on the various
subjects in her local library. Contacts of local dealers
and manufacturers yielded much information as
to prospective salability of the products. She first
typed the booklet, then had it mimeographed, and
eventually it was placed on sale through local newsstands.
It cost her about 8 cents each to produce the booklets,
which sold for 50 cents each. Deducting expenses
of advertising, she was able to net $350 during
the first six months of sale of this booklet, and
it is still attracting a large number of customers.
"Delving into the 'family trees' of townspeople—and
supplying them with information concerning
their remote ancestry—has given me a splendid part-time
occupation to increase my income.
How It Works
"We all want to know about ourselves and our
ancestral origins. Whether your name is 'Tyrell,'
'Brown,' 'Henderson,' or any one of thousands of
names, a complete sketch of your family history is
available in the Genealogical department of your
local library (if you reside in a metropolitan area).
If you live in a rural community, with limited library
facilities, you may secure this information
through the Congressional Library in Washington.
After gathering the information, I prepared my
paper for presentation to my customers. Another
source of revenue also presented itself. My local
newspaper, recognizing the 'reader interest' in this
data, purchased my material for a series of articles
regarding the derivation of townspeople.
"People are glad to pay $2.00 for each report in
this service, and I have been earning $13 weekly, in
my spare time through the enterprise."
"Gathering names has brought me big spare-time
dividends," states an enterprising Nebraska teacher.
She is one of a number of women engaged in this
profitable, fascinating work.
How It Works
"I classify the names according to 'buying habit'
and type them up neatly. They are then ready for
sale to merchants, industrial concerns, and professional
people who use them for mailing lists. The
names should consist of people or firms who are
prospective buyers of the customer's products or
services. The name lists are compiled through references
in newspapers, in city hall, courthouse, and
Federal records, income tax reports, trade directories,
and related sources. For example, names of
newlyweds will sell to furniture concerns, insurance
houses, clothing stores, and other businesses appealing
to those about to establish a new household.
Birth lists are salable to those who market juvenile
"Name lists sell from one to five cents for each
name depending on the value of the names and the
difficulty in obtaining them. The same list may be
sold to many concerns."
Gathering odd facts enables one Indiana housewife
to earn substantial spare-time income.
How It Works
She studies carefully newspapers, magazines,
books, encyclopedias, etc., and copies all items that
contain unusual information, whether they pertain
to people, plants, animals, trades, science, sports, or
a variety of other subjects. Using her typewriter, she
transcribes this data into neat short-paragraph form
and then sells it to popular-type magazines for use
as space "fillers" and, in addition, to appropriate
trade magazines. For example, an item about a plant
family that eats beefsteak will sell to a nature-study
or a scientific magazine; an item about some unusual
method for detecting criminals will sell to a detective-story
magazine, and so on. There is an extensive
and consistent market for such oddities. Another
approach is also possible. After you have compiled a
list of these oddities, classify them according to subject
matter, and sell these lists to writers for use as
story plot ideas.
Payment for these oddities is usually a minimum
of $1.00 each, but as high as $5.00 each when they
are exceptionally interesting.
Advertising Research Work
By day he was a store clerk in a small Pennsylvania
town. In the evening, however, his methodical
mind and his typewriter became the tools which enabled
him to make a good spare-time income as
advertising research man. If you like meeting people,
asking questions, and finding out the "why" of
things, here is a lucrative occupation which may be
pursued almost everywhere.
How It Works
The large advertising agencies and industrial research
organizations are constantly investigating
some phase of merchandising. This alert young man
secured a list of their names from the library, and
sent a typewritten letter to each of them inquiring
for any work in his neighborhood. He explained that
his business experience made him competent to ask
the questions they sent out, and ask them intelligently.
He offered to visit farmers, business men,
housewives or professional workers. Once he was accepted
by an advertising agency or other concern as
research worker, his services were solicited on a score
of subjects. He was asked to ascertain the kind of
breakfast food his neighbors used, on what day they
generally shopped, whether they liked conservative
or brightly-designed packages. This information enabled
the advertising agency to form conclusions
regarding the most suitable advertising campaign for
that community. After he completed this survey, he
typed up the results neatly for presentation. Eventually,
after he had gathered various data on different
aspects of the buying habits of his community, he
typed up a comprehensive analysis which he then
sold as an independent survey to advertising agencies
and to manufacturers of products dealt with in his
Prices vary according to the number of questions
and the difficulty in securing answers to them. Fifteen
cents a questionnaire is usually a minimum
A Cincinnati woman, fond of reading the latest
books, and skilled in writing reviews, hit upon a
novel idea for earning part-time money. She compiled
a book-review pamphlet, in co-operation with
local book dealers.
How It Works
She read the latest books, which she rented from
local rental libraries, wrote reviews of them in an
interesting, succinct style, and added biographies
and personality sketches of their authors. After compiling
these reviews she contacted local book dealers,
persuading them to sponsor a current book-review
pamphlet, to be distributed to their customers each
week, carrying their advertisements. This advertising
message proved effective, and stimulated book
sales wherever it was used. The book dealers were
responsive to the plan, and a number of them contracted
for her service.
She secured $25 for each page advertisement inserted
by a book dealer, and grossed $180 in all.
Deducting printing expenses of the pamphlet, she
averaged $90 monthly through this work.
"The spirit of inquiry hits all of us . . . Questions
are always popping up in our minds and we'd like
them answered. Many of these questions are statistical,
requiring research. This inspired me with the
idea of conducting a question-and-answer bureau
which has since brought me splendid financial returns.
How It Works
"I began by inserting an advertisement in my local
newspaper, offering to answer all research questions
for a fee of 25 cents each. As I got into the swing of
this work, I became more and more adept. I visited
my local newspaper editor and offered to conduct a
bureau, answering all the various questions sent in
by his readers. The charge would be 10 cents for
each answer, which would pay me for my research.
The editor agreed to the plan, since it featured a
column composed of the most interesting items, at
no cost to him.
"Inquiries sent to us are accompanied by self-addressed
envelopes and average about 200 per day.
I have been earning $60 a week, and enjoy my work
Producing a pamphlet describing current contests
throughout the country has been the means of a
nice part-time livelihood for an active woman in
How It Works
Thousands of people are interested in answering
contests, and she realized that such a directory
should find widespread sale. She obtained data concerning
current contests by checking the latest
magazines and consulting the writers' trade magazines.
After being neatly typed, copies were available
for sale. Customers for the pamphlet, distributed
monthly, were obtained through advertisements in
the classified columns of her local newspaper and
several writers' magazines.
The listing sold for 50 cents. Her actual expenses
being only for typing and ads, she netted $45 a
month for just a few hours work.
Selling Sales Information
A business-minded housewife in Kansas has made
substantial and consistent part-time money through
the fascinating work of selling sales information.
How It Works
"I typed out a group of questionnaires with questions
on equipment possessed, such as vacuum cleaners,
refrigerators, automobiles, heating equipment,
stoves, radios, pianos, furniture, washers, etc. I then
canvassed the townspeople, giving each householder
a questionnaire to fill out, thus learning just which
products these people did not have, and were in the
market to purchase, which would make their names
extremely valuable to merchants handling such
products. Later contacting these merchants, I was
able to secure a good price for the list. To explain
your call at the various homes, and to make the person
more responsive, you might caption your questionnaire
with some imposing title such as "Burlington
Home Equipment Survey," or explain that you
are gathering the material for a local newspaper (the
newspaper will gladly print a news summary of your
findings). People will thus be more responsive to
you than to commercial canvassers. You will find
that every call will offer you a lead for at least one
dealer, while some calls will give you a lead for five
or six dealers.
"Because of the value of these leads, since each
prospect is in the market for expensive merchandise,
each lead sold for 35 cents. Thus by making thirty
calls a day, and averaging two leads for each call,
you can net $15."
Who's "in the money" in your community? This
information is contained in state and county tax
digests which present incomes of people within each
locality, as a means of computing and assessing taxes.
One alert young woman is "cashing in" by listing
names of the wealthy people in her community, and
selling them to merchants interested in securing
How It Works
She took her portable typewriter to the county
seat and copied tax assessments. She included the
name, address, district, and amount of money indicated.
When completed, the list covered some 80
pages; she then rented a mimeograph machine, ran
off sheets from the stencils, bought colorful cardboard
folders at 20 cents each, had her books bound
by a local printer, at a price of 75 for $5.00. Her
next step was to contact merchants in the town most
likely to want these names; this was done through
personal visits and through correspondence.
The books sold for $5.00 each and, on the basis of
75 books sold, she earned a net profit of $255.
Thousands of magazines, newspapers, photo syndicates,
and certain industrial concerns, are always
in the market for photographs on every subject. A
young woman in Arkansas is netting herself $25
weekly through the compilation of a pamphlet giving
all the photo-purchase markets.
How It Works
"It struck me that there are thousands of camera
'bugs' in this country snapping pictures everywhere,
who would naturally be glad of the chance to cash
in on their hobby. I also recognized that professional
photographers would be interested in regular
sales outlets. As a result I determined to compile a
photograph market handbook, which has netted me
swell dividends. Data for the pamphlet was secured
through study of the various writers' magazines and
writers' market guides. After typing up the information,
I rented a mimeograph machine, running off
the material in the form of pamphlets. The information
gave the name of the prospective purchaser,
kinds and sizes of photos that he wants, and
"Finally I inserted ads in writers' and photographers'
trade magazines explaining the contents of the
booklet and offering its sale. The pamphlets sold for
50 cents each, and I sold some 1,000 of them within
Advertisers' Production Handbook
A printer's assistant in New York compiled an
"engraving and printing handbook" for advertisers
and advertising managers, which is netting him a
How It Works
"While working as printer, I noticed that so many
advertising people knew very little about production
work, such as printing, engraving, etc. There are
various aids and short cuts in this game which, if
one is familiar with them, will insure a better job
and help save money. This prompted me to publish
a handbook on the subject. The booklet gave
elementary facts about printing and engraving, listing
them in a practical, brief manner. For example,
it told how to save money when ordering engravings,
how to compute paper costs in printing, how to submit
drawings for engraving, and many other facts.
The greater part of this information may be mastered
by anyone familiar with printing, through discussions
with some local engravers and printers, or
by research in books devoted to the subject. My next
step was to contact paper houses, printing companies,
engraving companies, etc., interested in selling
their products and services to advertising people.
I pointed out to them the great value of placing their
advertisements in this booklet. They readily agreed,
since it reached a concentrated buyers' class, and the
booklet had permanent reader's interest. I then
typed letters to advertising agencies announcing the
sale of the book, and the response was good. Every
advertising man appreciated the value of the booklet.
On the basis of promised ads, a printer consented
to finance printing.
"I netted some $725 in two months on this one
book. Here's how. The booklets cost me 10 cents
apiece to publish. Some 1,000 copies were sold at
25 cents each to advertising agencies. In addition I
received the equivalent of 15 pages of advertising
at $50 each page."
By learning to analyze handwriting and thus give
personality and vocational counsel, an enterprising
Detroit clerk has cultivated a profitable part-time
How It Works
He studied several books on the subject of handwriting
analysis, until he became familiar with the
subject. When he felt thoroughly competent, he inserted
a small advertisement in his local newspaper,
and in several magazines of general appeal, offering
to analyze character and vocational possibilities
based on handwriting. The applicant would submit
a specimen of his handwriting along with information
concerning himself, such as age, place of birth,
and present occupation. A 500-word typewritten report
would then be prepared, giving him full analysis
of his handwriting with suggestions on basic
aptitudes and self-improvement. Since most people
are interested in improving themselves, the response
was widespread. Later, a local daily asked the man
to conduct a column analyzing the handwriting of
Each handwriting analysis secures a price of $2.00.
The main expense is advertising for customers and
it is possible to earn in excess of $30 weekly doing
this part-time work. Newspapers paid regular column
As secretary to the head of a large industrial concern,
a young Chicagoan aided his employer in the
writing of weekly "pep" letters to the several hundred
factory employees within the concern. These
letters were inspirational and instructive, intended
to increase the employee's efficiency and enjoyment
of his work. An Idea! Why not represent other concerns,
and write "Employee Letters" for them?
How It Works
These bulletin letters covered a variety of subjects
of interest to the employee, such as factory
safety, production efficiency, personal improvement,
news notes, and similar subjects. He compiled a
series of these letters and visited a number of large
concerns, explaining the advantages of supplying
these bulletins regularly to their employees. Information
to be placed within the letters was secured
through individual study of the organizations subscribing
to the service, and also through library research
in books on sales management, factory production,
marketing, etc. The letters were written up
in chatty, intimate, readable style, just as if the employer
were talking to the employee personally.
The service is sold on a subscription basis, $75 a
year for one letter each week, or 52 letters in all.
With 10 different organizations as his clients, he
nets a substantial amount for part-time work.
Operating a general research bureau to supply
facts on many different subjects has brought a good
part-time income to a librarian in Michigan.
How It Works
"As librarian, people asked me thousands of different
questions on all kinds of topics—and that's
what started me in this work. I realized that many
people, including writers, scientists, students, etc.,
would be in frequent need of such information. I
announced my services through an advertisement
in my local paper, and the inquiries came in at the
rate of ten a day. Library research provided me with
data covering all these inquiries. It's surprising how
much information one can obtain through proper
use of library facilities.
"Rates for my services depend on the length and
difficulty of the topic. Minimum is 50 cents, while
intricate questions bring a price as high as $3.00
each. Since most of my customers would submit their
questions to me regularly, I built a splendid year-round
Many people have a moderate number of books
which they have accumulated over a period of years.
Frequently they want to refer to a particular volume
for some specific passage, but become discouraged
after going through several books. This fact formed
the nucleus of a profitable part-time business of
library cataloguing for one Minnesota librarian.
How It Works
First starting out with her friends, and doing all
their cataloguing, she then secured additional customers
through an advertisement in her local newspaper.
She cross-indexed the books on neat 3 x 6
index cards, according to author, title, and topic.
This compares with the system employed by most
Her charges vary from $2.00 to $10.00 for each
cataloguing job, depending on the quantity of books.
She is earning $60 a month for part-time work, and
has secured a consistent patronage.