The Grissim Guides to Manufactured Homes and Land

Q & A with John

Can I buy your books from a book store?
Practically speaking, no longer. For many years book stores could special order for you my books (both titles were listed in Books in Print), but this year Rainshadow Publications is transitioning from the traditional model of printing books in print runs of several thousand (and warehousing them as inventory to ship) to a print-on-demand print technology that allows a book to be printed when ordered by a customer. This 21st. technology model is ideally suited to online book publishers such as mine. However, it certainly could catch on with brick-and-mortar book stores (I hope they do). So stay tuned.
What are your qualifications to write these guides?
Back in 2001 I went through the experience of searching for, and buying, undeveloped land and purchasing a manufactured home to put on it, together with a garage, well, septic system, utilities hook-ups, road easements - the full nine yards. Building on the knowledge gained from that project, and having previously owned a site-built home, I spent over a year of full time research on the manufactured home industry to write the Buyer’s Guide.
As a journalist and investigative reporter for more than three decades (I’ve authored seven other books), I was able to put my skills to good use to dig up the facts and reveal a lot of industry secrets that consumers need to know. The Ratings Guide was an outgrowth of the first book and represents better than a year of full-time research and writing. For more background please see About the Author.
Why does your site carry no advertising or solicit sales leads?
Actually, you could say this site is one big advertisement for my books, but aside from that, having ads on this site would be like Consumer Reports magazine carrying ads in its pages, which it doesn’t. I believe carrying advertising would compromise the credibility of the consumer information being offered here. Same with soliciting sales leads (please see A word of Caution).
Are your books up to date?
Yes. I wrote them to be a standard reference guide that would be completely up-to-date between periodic revised editions. With the Grissim Ratings Guide to Manufactured Homes, I have gone one step further: Periodically as needed (in response to events such as builders going out of business, being acquired, or changes to product lines), I post on this web site updates and revisions which are available exclusively by password access to buyers of The Ratings Guide. Just click on the home page tile titled “Ratings Guide Updates” and follow directions to download a file in PDF format that you can print out and add to your copy. This way my readers are assured they have the very latest accurate information since the last printing of the guide.
How have your books been received by the industry?
I’d say mixed with positive encouragement here and there. Historically this industry has been unaccustomed to close scrutiny by anyone not on its payroll, let alone a journalist who exposes a lot of insider secrets. To their credit, reputable dealerships have welcomed my books as sensible guides that informs consumers and makes them better, more willing home buyers. (Please see What others are saying). However, some dealers detest the Buyer’s Guide since it exposes all the tricks that unscrupulous dealers use.
Have you received any compensation from the industry or anyone connected with it?
Nope. Nor have I accepted any freebies, junkets and gifts. And I intend to keep it that way. As a journalist I am fiercely protective of both my independence and professional integrity, as well as the credibility of my reporting. Thus, other than income derived from book sales, I neither solicit nor accept a dime from the industry about which I write.
Can I contact you if I have a question?
Sure. Email is best. I do my best to respond to all inquiries promptly.