- Explaining the Concept of Public Domains
- What Type Of Products Can Be Sold?
- The Copyright Act
- Easy Answers
- More Important Information
- Transforming Public Domain Products
- Locate Public Domain Products
- How to Select Public Domain Items
‘How to Make Money by Finding, Re-organizing, Reworking, and Re-selling Other People’s Profit Churning Articles, Books, Films, Photos, Manuals, Study Courses, Pictures, Songs, Posters, Movies, Music, and Other Creative Products Works … Create Any Number of Copies That You Want … NEVER Worrying About Royalties or Any Other Charges!’
Get your hands on a veritable gold mine of Public Domain material and other works of art with No Copyright, which are yours to claim and use freely … Obtain these items for FREE and sell them for Huge Profits … Add your copyright notice … Retain all the earnings without sharing with anyone else, ever!
On reading this report, you will unearth all the secrets about a lesser known world of the Public Domain, which provides you with a plethora of information, as well as other inspired works, with promises of infinite profit. Just a few days from getting your own copy of this report, you will have at your disposal a veritable treasure trove of items, which you can find in a matter of minutes, re-work in just a few hours, and then sell them with your own name. All in all, generating immense profits!
The Public Domain is great, and by taking advantage of it you to earn a huge income without the hassles of creating an exclusive product. Generating profits from original products and items is nothing new, but you do have to expend a lot of time, effort, and money into creating these works, or getting them produced by someone else. And after spending so much money and waiting for months to get your product ready, you then have to spend anxious days waiting and wondering if your exclusive item will be a bang or a bust. So, why would you want to do that when …
… There Is a Far Superior Option
What I am referring to is known as the ‘Public Domain’. This option gives you the chance to use books and information (among other products) created by others, and sell them as your own. You can copy the product as is or alter it a little, put whatever price you want on it (keeping as high a profit margin as you wish) and never have to be concerned about paying any royalty or charges to the original creator of the product. And the best part in all this – you can do all this legally!
Public Domain refers to information, books and many more original products that do not have any copyrights, or such copyrights (if existing) have already run out. These products are free-to-claim by anyone, including you. If any item is protected by a copyright, then it is the property of the person who holds the copyright. The exclusive right of using the product, altering it, and selling it for profit rests with the lawful owner and no one else can claim the product as theirs.
As is obvious, copyright is thus a priceless right, which is why people go to extreme lengths to protect their works, including legal action when their rights are violated.
Just as exclusive copyrighted works are priceless; similarly, public domain products too can be very valuable, sometimes even more so. The only difference being that no one owns public domain products, and they are anyone’s to use, copy, and sell for as much profit as they can.
It is no wonder then that more and more people are now looking at the Public Domain as their primary source of earnings.
Thousands of copyrighted works are coming to the end of their term everyday, and it is virtually impossible for anyone to re-use them all at once. However, the ones that have the most profit potential will be quickly grabbed by people who have expert understanding of the secrets of the Public Domain; the very people who would rather these secrets stayed uncovered.
But unfortunately for them, (and fortunately for you) we too have expert knowledge about the workings of the public domain. And because we make our money by disclosing well guarded secrets, especially those that have huge profit potential, we will show you exactly how to snap up the most superior FREE public domain products, and use them to generate huge income. And if you work fast enough, you may even monopolize a huge industry before people become aware of what you are doing and jump on to the bandwagon themselves.
In just a few days from reading this book, you will be able to put all this Closely Guarded Information to good use and immediately craft original materials such as ebooks, study courses, how-to manuals, membership websites on the Internet, pictures, photos, CDs, high profit videos, patterns and designs for do-it-yourself products (eBay, here I come!), posters, DVDs, etc. And not just create them, but also sell them as your own for HUGE PROFITS!
And picture this: at the same time as other people are grumbling and complaining about the fact that they have no products to sell and earn a profit, you will be creating new products from other people’s works, selling them, and earning handsome profits. The valuable information contained in this book will equip you with all the knowledge required to gain never-ending access to top quality goods from the Public Domain.
Yes, well; we sure won’t blame you if you are highly skeptical, as we were too. But then we came across what experts in the field of Public Domain had to say, and the rest as they say – is history.
- David Vallieres is a famous author, has sold many great info products (a lot of them on eBay) and is also an expert at utilizing public domain products for generating huge profits. He has used public domain works over and over to earn immense profits and has also authored a book on the subject titled, “How to Perform Certified Copyright Searches”.
- Allan Wilson is another great writer. He has his own Internet membership website and gives people access to many info products through his site. Quite a few of the books and information are original products created by him, but an equal number of info products are sourced from the public domain. To become a member of his website, you need to pay a one time joining charge, as well as a membership fee every month.
- He has profited immensely from his membership site, and this book will tell you how you too can launch your very own membership site for great profits. You will be shown an easy, step by step method to launch your site and provide great content, for which members are literally beating down your door and paying you good money to get access to information that you have put together in a matter of hours, and practically at zero expense.
- Rebecca Fine is another person who has made large amounts of money from the public domain. She was given a book which did not have a copyright and then used that book to launch an entire website and create a global business. The book titled, “Science of Getting Rich” was first published in 1910 and thus had an expired copyright. Rebecca utilized that book to get customers to her website, have them become a part of her mailing list, using which she sells various products and makes more money in a year than most people do in a lifetime!
- Matt Furey chanced upon a book about Catch Wrestling while going through various fitness magazines and books. This book was created more than a century ago and was thus not copyright protected. Matt got the brilliant idea of using the information in the book as a home-study course, and even included a great video with it. He generates so much money from this information that plenty of people have tried to steal it, but couldn’t because of some excellent systems that we have discussed later in this book. Matt also sells many other info products, most of which have been sourced from the public domain, through his website.
I have come across countless books and products at book exhibitions, bookstores, garage sales, even libraries, which do not cost more than a few dollars but have the potential to be converted into products that could fetch you thousands, even millions, of dollars. In this module, I go on to show how you can locate such public domain products and then re-package them for huge profits.
Not just informative books and periodicals, but you can also profit from craftwork designs and patterns from the public domain. Karensvariety is a seller on eBay who has profited in a similar manner. She sourced designs and patterns about knitting and crochet, and now sells these patterns (which have been converted into a visual CD) through eBay. I will show you how you too can create such niche businesses of your own, and attract repeat customers and generate good income.
Yet another example of a person who has used the public domain profitably is that of Russell Brunson. Through his website, Russell provides his members with numerous public domain books that have been found and re-packaged by Russell after thorough checking for any copyright issues by his copyright attorneys.
I myself sell countless books and info products, all of which have been located from the public domain and are about a wide variety of topics. For just a few hours of work every week, I generate profits in excess of thousands of dollars. Even though I have only recently entered the public domain business, I have already created a successful income generating business. And by reading this module, you can too!
This is a report which basically focuses on how to create new items and goods from original works sourced from the public domain arena. But in addition to the public domain, you can also get priceless items which are free from copyright issues, from other sources such as internet directories, personal quotes, news bulletins, free-to-use marketing materials, goods with re-sale rights, and many more. As these avenues too can be useful to your business and can help to generate good income, we have included some information about these sources in this book.
Explaining the Concept of Public Domain
The term ‘Public Domain’ typically refers to written works, musical pieces, and creative works of an artistic nature; works that either have their copyright expired and thus not protected anymore, or were not copyrighted in the first place. Although copyright rules may differ from country to country, they are quite simple to understand.
In spite of the fact that there are thousands of valuable products available in the public domain arena, almost all the people who are looking out for legitimate business prospects reject or simply fail to notice this immensely profitable idea.
Many people are worried about violating copyrights and being sued, some think that people would surely not want information that might be several years old, while some who are aware of the public domain simply have no knowledge about how it operates.
The term ‘Public Domain’ does have some complicated explanations, but essentially it indicates the same meaning – items from the public domain, which include study courses, instruction manuals, books, periodicals, musical works, pictures, paintings, photos, motion pictures, posters etc, do not have any particular owner and are not the sole property of any person. They can be claimed by anyone, usually without paying any money, and the person claiming them then has the right to use the works, or alter them, and sell them for profit; basically using them in any lawful and just manner.
‘Lawful and just’ can also have several meanings; so we will discuss what they exactly mean in this regard, a little later. But for now, all you need to understand is that the countless products that are available in the public domain can be yours to do whatever you want and sell them for how much ever money you want. As is evident, public domain products can thus be a wonderful and highly profitable chance for you to have your own works and generate great profits in a short span of time.
As we understand it, ‘Public Domain’ refers to creative products which are not copyrighted or owned by any particular entity. Neither do you need to take anyone’s authorization to use them, nor is anyone going to hound or sue you for repackaging and selling the countless public domain products available currently, for a profit. Although there are many types of products available in the public domain; for now we will be concentrating only on those products that contain valuable information, mainly in the written format. These include books, courses, manuals and other text products. These types of public domain products enjoy immense popularity as they are very simple to re-format and convert into fresh new products and also have scope for high profits. Other kinds of creative products will be discussed later.
Unarguably The Best Product There Is – Information
The times we now live in are not called the information age for nothing. Just inquire of a few of the wealthiest businessmen and they will all tell you that their rags to riches story can be attributed to the business of providing information to others. For instance, Joe Karbo, who has written the best selling book, “Lazy Man’s Way to Riches”, will tell you without hesitation that information has helped him to accumulate vast wealth. Or, take the case of Robert Allen, a world famous real estate magnate, who tells anybody who is interested that through information items, he has made far more money than from any of his other endeavours.
The best part about being in the information business is that people are always in need of information, which is why your business will never die. Whether online or offline, info products are among the top selling products in today’s times. Thus, it is no surprise that numerous profitable ventures in recent times, all are built on the foundation of information products.
And perhaps the simplest manner, in which you too can hop on to the information bandwagon, is to locate all types of data from the public domain. Just take a moment to consider this – every piece of work on the public domain has been written by someone other than you, but by claiming these products as yours, you can instantly get into the publishing business. In fact, you may also be able to source some advertising and marketing information which you can revise to current standards and use to publish your info products.
And the icing on the cake – all the information that you source from the public domain can be had for FREE, or practically that. Since there are probably billions of wonderful items to take your pick from, you never have to worry about running out of information to repackage and sell. And as far as risk goes, there is practically none. On the chance that any of your reworked information products simply do not sell, all you will have lost out on are a few days of work, and maybe a few pounds. Unlike the situation where you spend weeks or months trying to create an original product, spend huge amounts of money on it, and then have it go bust. Now that can be very worrisome, which is something you never have to concern yourself with regarding the public domain.
Another advantage with the public domain is that it is an ever increasing arena. Hundreds of new and fresh information items are added to the public domain every day. You have such a wide variety to pick from, and yet very few people to compete with. And many people who do know about the public domain are not ready to invest the time and energy required to find great information. This means that your competition is further reduced.
So essentially, what the public domain gives you is this – a never ending supply of great products to sell, which virtually cost you no money, and hardly any competition to worry about. Seriously now, how many other business ideas will give you all this???
The Ideal Business Choice
At this time, I put out several information products (mostly books); all of which have been sourced from the public domain. Of these, there are about twenty five books that I publish which are related to horse breeds. Each and every one of these books has been compiled from a single source which was first published in the latter part of the 19th century.
What can I say; it is an amazing book, which covers various types of horse breeding and horse breeds. In spite of the fact that it was authored more than a century ago, the information contained in this book was not the slightest bit outdated or obsolete.
Since this book had no valid copyrights, I could use it as I saw fit. One way to do this was to simply publish the book in its entirety. But since a few others had the same idea and had beat me to it; I decided to publish different books, each with the focus on a particular breed. I did an eBay search and found which horse types had the greatest demand in the sports and horses categories, and then choose the sections accordingly.
A Useful Suggestion
It is a great idea to take a big book and break it up as I did. A huge advantage of doing this is that you only need a single item description template for all your books. Whether it is a web site template, a promotional letter, or an eBay listing; all of these need to be done only once.
Once you have all the templates ready for your first book (the first cat species in my case), you only need to interchange the areas that you are focusing on, and voila! Everything else falls into place.
For instance, take the example of the cover page of my book. Since it is a book about sea fishing, I have used pictures of various fish on it. Now, once I created the cover page with various species depicted on it, I simply changed the name of the species that appeared on the cover, and I could then use the same cover page for all my fishing books. Easy and effective, wouldn’t you say?
Not Only Horses!
OK, so maybe not everyone is a great horse lover like me, which is what I recognized early on and therefore published many more books on various topics, all from the public domain. But one thing remains the same; all my books cater to specific areas and people. They are not generalised topics but specialty topics such as – Intricate Stonework, Art of Magic 101, Ancient Natural Herbal Preparations etc.
I keep the price of my books really low, about $9.00 each, but I make a decent profit of around $7.50 on every sale. I sell them all over but turn a nice income from on eBay as ‘Buy It Now’ items, and because of their low price, they do really well. Since the books are quite cheap and economical, they draw people who are impulse shoppers, and don’t mind shelling out that much (or should I say little) money.
Now $7.50 may not sound like that much money, but in the long run, it really is. Just think about it; I spend around one day re-working each book and even if I sell just one book every day, I make around $225 every month. This in itself is still not a lot of money, but over an entire year, one book nets me more than $2,700 in profit; all this just for a single day’s efforts.
Imagine that you can find information and create about 100 fresh info books every year, of which you manage to sell just one copy per book every day. So what does that translate into?
Now in the next year, you keep publishing more books to add to the previous year’s publications. In time, you are looking at profits that are so enormous that it boggles the mind just thinking about it!
And since the raw material is in constant supply, you can keep producing more and more books for a never ending stream of income. Your topics are virtually endless as there is a host of information available in the public domain, about any subject under the sun.
And Why Stop At Only Books?
The public domain certainly does not stop at just books. Imaginative and informative products available in the public domain can be transformed into various other items including the following:
DVDs, CDs, Tutorials, Study Courses, Posters, Placards, Mouse Pads, Tea and Coffee Mugs, Adornments, Pictures, Photos, Prints, Craft Patterns, Films, Musical Pieces, Movies, Periodicals, Directories, Instruction Manuals, How-to Modules, Charts, Plans, Drawings, Prototypes, Blueprints, Templates, Theatrical Plays, Songs, Monologues, Dialogues, Speeches etc.
As you can see, it is possible to create just about anything from products taken from the public domain. In addition to creative works that have been produced by individual people and organizations, the public domain also contains many items that cannot be copyrighted.
For instance, the public domain has a lot of government information and official publications that have been created by the government or lawmakers of countries. These products are created for the general public and have also been funded with public money. Such products are thus the property of the general public and can be utilized by anyone. Anyone can copy such information and utilize it in any lawful manner. You can sell infinite copies of such products without having to shell out any charges or royalties to anyone.
However, you should check the regulations in your own country as they may differ from place to place. But largely speaking, such type of government information is free to be used by anyone. For UK residents, the book “Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook” is a wonderful resource for facts regarding UK copyright rules and also features copyright laws of foreign nations. This book can be obtained from any major UK library.
Another good resource that is rarely protected by copyright laws is directories. These have huge amounts of information which can be used freely. However, the specific layout and formatting of the directories is copyright protected, and so are any explanations and instructions that aid the readers in using the directories. You need to be very cautious when using any product and should never presume that a particular product is entirely in the public domain arena.
For instance, a wonderful new directory titled, “Directory of Public Domain Resources”, is a good example. Although this is a directory that features places where you can source public domain products from, the directory itself is not in the public domain.
The lists of places mentioned in the directory are all public domain addresses, but the main directory that holds all this information is not. Even the smallest detail included in the directory, such as a graphic, or a description of one of the public domain addresses, or even the foreword in the directory; all these are copyrighted and thus not free for use.
The reason I have given you the example of this book is to elucidate how public domain information, which can be used by any person, can easily be transformed into an original piece of work that belongs entirely to you and enjoys the complete protection of copyright rules and regulations.
Be very cautious and double check each and every piece of information before presuming that you are entitled to use it freely, or re-work and sell it. Verify the resources that are mentioned in this report and also all those that you obtain from other sources. Preserve all the information as and when you get hold of it. By doing so, if you ever receive any ill advice, or if you ever accept any counsel that others do not agree with, you will have an efficient resource to fall back on, which will explain where, how, and why you got access to the public domain info.
So, If Using The Public Domain Is So Simple, How Come Everyone Is Not Into This Business?
You may be inclined to wonder that with such enormous amount of information and various other artistic works that are available from the public domain, all of them easily accessible and with the potential of huge profits; then why is it that every Tom, Dick, and Harry is not into the public domain business?
Yet another question that begs to be asked here is that if all the public domain works are there for anyone to find, then why will anyone shell out good money to actually buy books and other products that have essentially been compiled from freely available public domain information? What’s to stop people from simply finding all this information on their own and benefiting from it, without paying any money whatsoever?
Well, there are basically two main reasons why this does not happen. Firstly, there are not a lot of people who are aware of what the public domain is or that it can be used profitably. As far as these people are concerned, the books that you publish (or any other product for that matter) using public domain information, are 100% your original creations and not recycled material. So if they don’t know that the information you are selling can also be had for free, the question simply does not arise that they will find the information themselves.
And secondly, even the people who are aware about the public domain hardly ever try and find the information themselves. This is because some don’t have the time to spare to locate the information, while others do not have the resources necessary to establish that the information available is indeed from the public domain arena.
Even if they could establish that certain information is from the public domain, they would then have to find the info in its entirety, replicate the info, make sense of the information, and re-format all of it. While all this comes easy to some people, it does not to everyone. And not everybody wants to spend hours or days to re-organize the information, with a chance that they would still wind up with data that does not make complete sense.
The raw information taken from the public domain needs to be edited thoroughly so as to be presentable. All errors need to be corrected and any vague information needs to be clarified. Sometimes you could be dealing with out of use language or expressions and you also need to change all that. After the information has been reformatted to perfection, you still have to transform it into its printed version (for offline sales) or into the electronic format (for online sales). Add to that the fact that promotional letters will have to be drafted, and a whole lot of things have to be accomplished before you are ready to sell your creation, and this is enough to send most people scurrying away from using the public domain works.
So what will set me apart from all these people? How will I be able to profit from the public domain if they can’t?
That’s because everyone does not know that doing all the things as mentioned above (locating information, verifying it, re-formatting it, creating sales letters etc) is not as difficult as most people believe. In fact, it’s actually quite easy, and becomes even more so thanks to this wonderful book that you are currently reading.
Fortunately for you, this report will teach you exactly how to convert public domain information into profitable products for resale. Don’t be surprised if you find all this much easier and simpler than even you imagined, and realize that almost anyone can use the public domain for earning a great income. However, we surely do not want everyone realizing that too, now do we???
This is another thing that you don’t have to worry about. Majority of the people concerned think that all this involves a lot of effort and hard work, and most people are turned off by the amount of research involved. Instead of working at it, they would rather buy whatever information they need from you, especially if you are selling your products for as little as I sell them.
What Type Of Products Can Be Sold Using The Public Domain?
This module contains various new ideas that will help you to profit from the public domain, including helpful suggestions, tips, and strategies for making money, and also shows you numerous ways in which you can locate public domain works.
However, we do not claim that this is an all inclusive and comprehensive guide to the public domain, which tells you about every aspect of the public domain. This is simply not possible because the public domain is a huge arena and is ever changing. Many materials come into the public domain every day as their copyrights expire; while many other products are included daily which are not subject to copyright laws to begin with. This includes a host of government information among other materials which are typically free from any copyrights, namely people’s views, cooking recipes, quotations, and public opinions etc; all of which are explained later on in this book.
And Since There Is Such A Vast Choice, Let’s Get Started Without Further Ado.
There is such a wide variety of public domain materials to choose from that people simply get spoiled with the huge choice available (But we’re certainly not complaining!).
Although we mostly give the example of books rather than other public domain products; all the information we provide in this report is equally relevant to all other original materials that are sourced from the public domain.
Starting With Books
Here’s looking at some of the ways in which you can take a book from the public domain and transform it into an exclusive product for current times; all without enduring a lot of effort or spending too much money.
- Locate a nice and legible copy of the creative book; get it xeroxed and then spiral bind it. The photocopier in your area usually gets the job done, but you may want to look at other copiers to get the best price.
- Prepare a WORD document of the original book by scanning the text and putting it in Word. Make sure you have a single page of the original book inserted into a single page of Word. You can then sell your book as a printed version or choose to sell it electronically. If selling as an ebook, you can convert the text into a PDF document.
- If you want to sell your book on the internet, you can convert it into a digital product that can be instantly downloaded through the web. Give your customers the choice of downloading it as a Word doc or as a PDF book. The PDF version is much better looking and is also a securer version than the Word doc, but not everyone may have the software necessary to download a PDF book.
- Instead of scanning the original book as is, you can manually type out the entire text into a Word doc. This way, you can also edit the text if required.
- Create a version that has a large font that can easily be read by people who have poor vision.
- An original public domain book can also be transformed into an audio CD; or perhaps even into a Braille version so that even those without eyesight can ‘read’ your book.
- Converting a written book into an audio format is great as it targets those people who cannot spare the time to read your book as they need their eyes for other activities, but can listen to your book while doing other chores. For instance, drivers, surveillance crew, busy mothers etc.
- You can also convert a large book into a study course with various modules. Each module can be offered separately, perhaps weekly or monthly, for which you can charge separately too.
- If the public domain book seems to have great potential, you can also copyright it with your own name. To do so, you simply need to add certain extras to the original book. These can be anything from headings and titles, added chapters, new formatting, updated information, complimentary reports with the book etc. By simply changing the book as mentioned here, you will be able to get copyright protection and can thus prevent others from copying your book.
- If you come across several small books or reports on the same subject, or related topics; then you can combine all these different books into one big book. With an attractive cover page and an attention grabbing title, you are sure to sell many copies.
- If the book becomes too large, you also have the option of converting it into a CD or DVD. And by doing so, you will have altered the original books and will therefore be able to get copyright protection for your creation.
- Apart from a written book or a CD, you have another great option for using several related materials. You can launch your own membership site on the Internet and give away all the books to your members through this site. In addition to getting an upfront membership fee from your customers, you can also charge a monthly fee for providing new and fresh products each month. And where do you get these fresh products from – the public domain obviously!
Various Public Domain Books Reprinted Of Late
Here are some instances of public domain books which have been brought out in recent times; all of which are enjoying immense sales and amassing great profits.
- Playing Cricket
- How to Play Poker
- What Does Your Handwriting Say About You
- Tips On Creating Humorous Tales
- How to Be A Multi-millionaire
- Complete Guide to Tennis
- What Your Dreams Indicate
- How to Build Determination
- Becoming An Expert Orator
- Healthy Living with Healthy Eating
- How to Sketch and Colour
- Teachings of the Bible
- The History of Submarines
- How to Build Self Belief
- The History of Money
- Art of Being The Perfect Gentleman
- Charisma and Sensation
- Building and Using Cable
- Secrets to Wedded Bliss
- Tricks to Penning a Winning Book
- What Are Your Stars Telling You?
Other Public Domain Materials
I have already mentioned that other than books, many more artistic and original materials can be sourced from the public domain, such as pictures, prints, musical pieces, movies, posters etc.
Now I will tell you about a couple of my creations which have been found from the public domain.
1) Old Picture of Manchester United Soccer Team
I found a really old, but very nice looking picture of the Manchester United team of yesteryears. It was first taken to be printed in a newspaper alongside an article about the team. I was lucky enough to get a copy of the picture at an auction, and was luckier still when I found out that it was in the public domain.
There were a few more photos with the one I chose, but that’s another story. Realizing that the picture had good potential, I used it to create posters, prints, T-shirts, and also put the picture on small magnets which could be stuck on refrigerators. Needless to say, these various items sold really well on eBay, all thanks to the picture of the Manchester United team.
There was a bit of wording on the original picture, but I simply deleted the original wording and put some of my own in place, depending on what product the picture was going to appear on.
2) Locket Featuring a Period Motif
I chanced upon a book from the early 1900s, which had these amazing pictures of pendants and lockets, all with beautiful oriental designs and motifs on them. Even though each and every design was 100% original, there was no copyright to contend with and I could thus use the motifs as I wanted.
Although I could use the beautiful designs and patterns in any way I wished, seeing the breathtaking beauty of the lockets, I decided to use the unusual motifs on jewellery itself. I brought out an entire range of lockets, pendants, and other accessories using these designs, and let me tell you, they were a smash hit! This unique range of jewellery has given me immense profits and continues to do so.
Other Items That Are Hugely Successful On eBay
I am citing the example of eBay here simply because it is the largest market for all kinds of products and items. Let’s just put it this way – if you cannot find any particular product on eBay, then it’s safe to assume that such an item simply does not exist.
eBay is a marketplace for all kinds of works that have been obtained from the public domain and re-sold here. Whether just inspired from public domain materials, or entirely re-worked public domain material; everything is sold on eBay. Here’s a look at some of the public domain items that are currently being sold on eBay.
Example One: Providing Information about How to Make Money from the Public Domain with Readymade Goods
I came across one eBay seller who was making a lot of money by selling information to others about how to make money using the public domain. He was not providing information about the public domain or how it works (as is the case with this report), but is instead providing an enormous collection of ready-to-use books from the public domain.
This is a very tempting offer as buyers do not have to spend any time or money finding and re-working public domain books. They can simply buy these titles and are ready to re-sell them. This is definitely a very smart idea and something that you too can do by compiling a large selection of novels in saleable topics.
Example Two: Song CD Containing Public Domain Music
A particular listing on eBay offers melodious songs and music in a neat CD. There are a few original songs included in the CD, but largely it consists of public domain music. The seller had to just source this music and re-packaged it to produce a best selling music CD.
Repackaging is tackled later on in this report.
Example Three: Pattern and Design CD
One eBay seller was selling a nice little CD that contained various knitting patterns and designs. The patterns were sourced from the public domain and were then scanned and converted into a Word document. This was then transformed into a PDF file, which is very easy to do thanks to the various PDF creators available nowadays.
The CD did not take much time or money to put together, but the sales of the CD sure generated good money!
Example Four: An eBay Power-seller of Re-published Pictures, Posters, Maps, etc.
The eBay power-seller ZZL releases amazing photos, pictures, posters, prints, and maps on the Native American Indian theme. All these are reprinted from public domain works and are best sellers. I personally buy a lot of stuff from this seller as and when I need something concerned with the mentioned theme.
The Public Domain: A Veritable Treasure Trove of Ideas
There is no doubt that the public domain is packed with wonderful ideas that can make you some good money. Once you have come to realize that this arena is arguably the largest market for profitable goods and information, you will find yourself coming up with fresh and exciting ideas everyday. Some of these ideas may be 100% original, whereas some may be inspired from other people’s thoughts.
If using someone else’s idea, you need to be very cautious so that you do not infringe on any copyrights. While someone’s item may contain public domain information, their re-worked ideas and packages are exclusively theirs and cannot be copied.
You can locate the same public domain information and products yourself and then use them in your own way, but you cannot copy someone else’s work, or you would be in violation of the copyright laws.
Let me make this clearer with an example.
Example Five: An Awesome Illustration of a Repackaged Public Domain Item
The example is of a great book titled, “101 Ways to Get Rich”. This book has been created by Timothy Ryder and the copyright is in the name of Internet Solutions Inc.
Along with the reprinted version of this book, the creator is also selling you the original public domain book from which this book was sourced. Both the versions of the book, the old public domain version and the new reprint, were transformed into PDF files and include a foreword from the printer.
This essentially makes both the versions of the book copyright protected. However, the original version in its print format (not PDF format) is still available in the public domain. If you wanted, you could get a copy of the original book and make your own reprint from it. But since this has already been done, not to mention that the original untouched version is also available; why would anyone take the trouble to do the same thing, especially when there are thousands of other great books that you could re-create.
So the smart thing done by Internet Solutions Inc. was to give their customers access to both the formats of the book. With the original public domain format out there for anyone and everyone to use, it simply would not make financial sense to recopy the book yet again.
And finally, because this version of the book is a brilliant reprint, hardly anyone will think of producing a similar edition, which may not be up to the mark of this reprint.
An Important Aspect of the Public Domain: The Copyright Act
No single law or particular rule applies to the public domain as far as copyrights go. There is no definite and all-inclusive law which helps to judge whether a particular item is from the public domain or not.
Copyright laws differ from nation to nation and take into consideration the kind of item created, the place where it was created, and also the time of its first appearance.
Although it is impossible to determine the precise scope of the public domain, there are some rules and guidelines that help you to check the enormous numbers of original products available and determine if they are in the public domain or not.
Important: We do not claim to provide any kind of legal guidance. All information given here is obtained from comprehensive research and is offered with good faith. This information is true to the best of our knowledge and is founded on products that are definitely included in the pubic domain in the nation where they originated. Any item or information that catches your eye should be checked thoroughly to determine that it is indeed from the public domain. A product which seems like it may be in the public domain may actually be copyrighted as a derivative item, which means that it has been derived or sourced from the public domain, even though there may be no hard proof of the fact.
Let’s just rewind to something that we mentioned earlier regarding including some new features or formatting to a public domain product to make your exclusive copyrighted item.
Coming take the example of Vera Smith’s, “The Complete Feline Book”; let’s say that I have reprinted the book in its entirety without breaking it up into the smaller books. I have kept most of the original formatting in the book, so much so that my new creation also looks the part of an old book. And I have not even included my name in the new book, nor have I included a notification of copyright.
But what I have done is brought about a few small alterations by including some new photos, updating some information, and adding an introductory chapter. Someone happens to purchase my book at a local auction, and since it looks quite old and there is no copyright notice, they simply assume that it is from the public domain. They go ahead and re-publish it without making even one minor change. So what happens next???
They have violated the copyright laws as the book is my exclusive creation. Yes, they did it quite unknowingly and did not mean to rip me off; but the bottom line is that the copyright rules have been infringed.
This is just one of many ways in which you can innocently violate copyright laws by assuming that something is in the public domain. As it is quite easy to make these errors in judgement, you should check carefully if any product is copyrighted or not.
- There are quite a few websites that host public domain items and let people read their products and even download them. However, these websites may not allow readers to print their materials or copy them. So, it is important to be careful and never presume that people will not find out if you utilize their materials. Most public domain products are added to or modified before they are hosted on websites, thus making them readily identifiable in any subsequent versions.
- There are many websites which offer you public domain materials to use, but then ask you to pay them a royalty on any money that you earn by making use of their materials. You should thus understand the rules and regulations of such sites carefully, and avoid using any materials till you are completely sure of your legal liabilities.
- In order to be safe rather than sorry, you should only download materials from those websites that do not have any reprint or copying limitations.
- You can also locate a physical copy of any item that you are interested in, ensure that it is a first edition, is indeed in the public domain, and then copy it.
- There are many instances when original works that were not renewed with their copyrights at the right time, or which do not have any notification of copyright are believed to be from the public domain. But is such a product really from the public domain? Perhaps, it is. But you should still check to make sure. There have been times when the page that had the copyright notification was simply torn off from the book, which has lead others to believe that a copyright does not exist. Ensure that you are not mislead in this manner.
- It is best to pick products that you know for sure are in the public domain. There are countless such products, and by choosing these you can rest assured that you will not have to face any adverse consequences of violating copyrights by mistake.
The next section gives you information about how to determine whether an item is in the public domain or not.
Products That Are Definitely from the Public Domain in Their Place of Origin
- As of today, any products that were published in the United States prior to 1923 are definitely included in the public domain. Such products can be used or copied by anyone as they please.
- All products that were originally published in the United States from 1923 to 1963, and if their copyright was not restored in the 28th year of their first publication, then such items now fall in the public domain.
- All products first published in the United States from 1923 to 1978 and which are not accompanied by a legal notification of copyright, are automatically deemed to be in the public domain. Here you need to be extra careful and watch out for any missing portions or pages where the copyright notice could have been. Books and written texts that have all their pages intact, with page numbers showing in the right sequence, can be assumed to be in the public domain if no copyright notice exists.
- However, if there is even one page missing, then it is best to avoid using the book before establishing whether it is copyrighted or not. You never know, the missing page may be empty, or contain information of no real value, or there could be just a typo in the page numbering. But since it could have contained the all important copyright notice, you better check carefully.
- All creative works originally produced in the United States later than 1st January 1978 are protected by copyright for the entire time that the author lives, as well as for 70 years after the author has expired. This US law is quite similar to the UK law which is discussed later.
- All works originally created in the United States from 1st January 1978 and 1st March 1989, and which do not have any copyright notification as well as registration, are considered to be in the public domain.
- As far as UK copyright laws go; a copyright usually stays intact for 70 years after the original creator of the works has expired. The 70 year term does not begin from the exact date that the creator died, but from the last day of that calendar year in which the creator passed away. There are some other limitations as well; all of which are better described in the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook which can be obtained from any major reference library. This book describes the limitations in a concise and easy to understand manner, and also includes US copyright rules and other related global copyright topics.
- All creative works, which were originally produced when there were no copyright laws in existence, fall in the public domain.
- All works that have been given to the public domain by the producer are so deemed. Any author or producer of a creative work can choose to contribute their creations to the public domain; on doing which they surrender all rights to their work, thus enabling anyone to utilize their creation, alter it, copy it, or sell it as they please.
Even in current times, authors are giving key rights in their work to other people allowing them to alter their works and also put their name as creator. Although this is similar to dedicating your work to the public domain, it is not exactly so. These authors give you several info products to select from, which can then be reworked, reformatted, packaged together with additional products, and sold as your own.
UK COPYRIGHT RULES IN BRIEF
The 70 Year Regulation Of British Copyright:
As of this current year (2006), all British creative works come into the public domain arena 70 years from the expiry of the original creator of the works; or if the works are a joint creation, then 70 years after the last joint creator of the works has died.
Here’s a clear cut example of this rule.
The British 70 year copyright rule is of paramount importance to anyone who wants to use the works of the creator Archibald Thorburn (perhaps the finest bird painter ever) who died on 9th October 1935, which was confirmed easily by doing a google search for the keyword phrase ‘death anniversary of Archibald Thorburn’. It has been 70 years from the time of his death and thus all his works are now available in the public domain.
Even though the artist died on 9th October 1935, the 70 year law does not begin on that day but at the very end of 1935. Thus, the 70 year term has expired with the end of 2005 and hence his creations now fall in the public domain.
If we were still in 2005, say 15th October 2005, then even though 70 years would have passed from the day Archibald Thorburn died, his works would NOT be in the public domain yet as the 70 year rule begins from the end of the calendar year in which the creator dies.
I have chosen to give an example of this artist because his bird paintings are the finest of his time and are still sought after today.
Easy Answers to Difficulties and Problems
Different nations have their individual copyright laws, because of which a particular creation may be protected by copyright in one nation but free from all copyrights in another and thus available in the public domain.
With so many different rules applicable, there are plenty of grey areas regarding copyright laws. And with the Internet making the entire world one big global market, the copyright laws are getting more blurred by the day.
For instance: Because of the Internet, it is very easy for anyone in the United Kingdom to get a copy of an original book from a seller in the US. Although the original book may be in the public domain in the US, it may very well not be in the UK.
Theoretically speaking, the person who purchased the book in the UK could end up breaking copyright laws and may also have to suffer legal consequences of it, which has known to happen in certain circumstances. However, public domain specialists do say that such problems arise in very rare cases, if at all. And by exercising a little caution, you can even avoid those one or two problematic cases that may come up.
Majority of the possible troubles typically relate to products that have just come into the public domain in one nation, but are still protected by copyright laws in another. Items that have run out of their copyright protection since many years rarely have such problems.
Copyright rules and laws are too vast and too multifaceted to discuss in full, but with the handy suggestions and valuable added information that is given below, you will be able to avoid getting into trouble with the law, which can happen by wrongly interpreting the copyright grey areas.
Always bear in mind – whenever there is any ambiguity about any product, you should either reject that item and start looking for another that is surely in the public domain, or hire an expert to carry out a copyright search on the product that you wish to use.
In the last few chapters of this book, we have also listed several resources that can help you to carry out such copyright searches on your own.
- The basic difficulties arise when you are trying to sell a book that is copyrighted in one nation but in the public domain in another. Experts in this area suggest that all products that are in the public domain in a particular country should be sold through websites of that country, with payments being accepted through that country’s payment options itself.
- For example, if you wish to sell a book that is copyrighted in the UK but not in the US, you should sell it through a US website and use an American merchant account for receiving payments. So what you essentially do is – sell through an American site such as eBay America and accept payments through ClickBank. You should also specify that your book is in the public domain in the US, but could be copyrighted in another nation.
- This piece of advice should help you to thwart any possible problems arising from copyright violations. However, the best way as mentioned previously would be to avoid using any item if you are not sure that it is in the public domain, or get that search conducted.Public domain specialists also say that with the vast number of products being offered on the Internet, it is practically impossible to implement copyright laws, more so because of their varying nature.
- British people are relatively protected if they choose public domain items through a rule called ‘The Rule of the Shorter Term’. In Britain, copyright protection typically extends to 70 years from the original creator’s demise. But, the Rule of the Shorter Term states that in the case of original items that are copyrighted in a foreign nation, the copyright law which applies to British citizens is this: If the item has differing copyright protection periods in Britain and the other foreign nation, then the period which will hold up in Britain is the shorter term of the two.
Due to the varying public domain rules in different nations, a lot of uncertainty can arise. Let’s take a look at some cases where varying copyright laws have given rise to unavoidable confusion:
1) The wonderful tales of ‘Peter Pan’ are still protected by copyright laws in England, but have long been in the public domain in the United States.
2) Certain pictures that are well known as Cottingley Elves are copyrighted in Britain but are available in the public domain in America. In the United States, all works first published prior to 1923 are now in the public domain. But in Britain, the copyright for the same works will extend for 70 years from the demise of the creator.
The said works were first published in the UK in 1920, whereas in the US they were released in 1922. Since they were published prior to 1923, these works are public domain property in the US. However, the talented women who photographed the images died in the 1980s, and thus the copyright for their works will expire only in the 2050s, as per the UK 70 year rule.
It goes without saying that this kind of vagueness and confusion is something that no one needs or wants. People have tried to circumvent any problems by selling such products from an American site; and prohibiting people, who live in places where copyright still exists, from downloading them. As we said before, it is a grey area indeed and we would rather reject such products outright and go find something less confusing instead.
Important Public Domain Information
- If alterations are made on a public domain item, such that they are enough to get it copyright protection, then the item so created is called a ‘Derivative’ product.
- If any public domain item is translated into another language, the created item is a derivative product and has adequate creative changes to enable it to enjoy complete protection of copyright rules.
- In the United States, it is a criminal offence to add any kind of copyright notification on a public domain product.
More Important Information about the Public Domain
In the course of several years, I have come to know about different laws about the public domain and have spent a lot of time in scrutinizing these laws and clearing mistaken beliefs. All this was done to protect myself, and my customers, from taking wrong actions which could lead to serious and expensive consequences.
Here I am sharing the knowledge that I have gained over the years. But please remember that rules and laws are subject to change; what is in force currently may well not be in the future.
- You should not mix up the public domain with duplication or production rights. For instance, if someone gives you duplication and production rights to their original book, this does not imply that their copyright is obsolete or that a copyright does not exist. Duplication and production rights are an allowance, which is typically bestowed by the owner of the item, thereby enabling other people to copy their original work. However, the passing of these temporary rights rarely means that copyright is also given to the other person. Where public domain rights extend for an infinite term, duplication and production rights are usually for a prescribed period of time and can be taken back anytime.
- Public domain products can be used by any person and they can alter them, rework them, or repackage them as they see fit. Their copyright does not belong to any one person. But this is not the case with duplication and production rights. Duplication rights give you the right to use the product, but the creator will practically never allow you to change the product or alter it in any way. And the copyright always remains with the original creator.
- The mere ownership of an original product does not necessarily mean that you also have the copyright in that product. For instance, if you are the proud owner of a breathtaking painting or of an exclusive final version of some music score, or even a book; this does not automatically indicate that you own the copyrights of these products too.
- And if you do not own the copyright, you do not have the right to alter or sell the products, even if you do own the original item. In a recent case in point, the creator of an original painting sold his creation and received a huge payment for it. Signed prints of the painting used to fetch him a huge profit. Thus people were surprised why he had relinquished the rights to such a profitable item by selling the original painting from which the prints were made.
- The artist said that just because he sold his painting, that did not mean he had automatically passed on his intellectual copyright of the painting. Even though the painting was no longer his; as he was the original creator of the painting, all copyrights were still his, which meant that he could reprint the painting as and when he liked. People did not immediately believe that what he said was true, but subsequent legal clarification proved that it was.
- Simply because a product is ‘out of print’ does not mean that it is in the public domain. Being out of print indicates that the publisher has simply stopped printing any more copies of the product for his own reasons, and not that it is free for anyone else to print.
LEGAL INVESTIGATIONS OF PUBLIC DOMAIN ITEMS
If you are not sure whether a product is in the public domain or not, you can check its status by conducting a legal investigation. The procedure is not very tough and is not too expensive either. At the completion of the process, you will be given an official statement that clarifies whether the creative product is in the public domain or not.
As there are many people conducting such legal investigations, you may have to wait for a considerable period before you get the official results. And it is very surprising that even with the availability of so many wonderful and profitable products that are surely in the public arena as per the rules mentioned before; people still waste their time searching for other products that may not be half as good.
Transforming Public Domain Products into Original Items with Copyright Protection
Even if it took you just a few seconds to obtain a public domain item from the Internet, you can still convert it into an original and exclusive product that can be copyrighted and will be 100% yours. There are many ways to ensure that you get full copyright protection so that others cannot profit from your hard work.
Let’s take an example of an original book. The text of the book (the written words and the information contained in it) can be used by you but you cannot get a copyright for the text. However, if you have added any formatting, changed the language, or added any extra information to the book, then your creation can be protected by copyright.
A majority of the works that are available in the public domain are in a printed version. So, by simply converting the works into a digital format, you can get a copyright for your digital creation. You do not even need to add anything to the works and simply need to change the format. Since your digital creation will be copyrighted, no one will be able to use the text contained in your version as they will then be in violation of the copyright laws. If they were to obtain a copy of the original print version, they could use the text. But they cannot use it from your digital version.
However, there may be some confusion here too. There are many products that are in the digital format as a result of products being contributed to the public domain arena by modern authors. It can be tough to prove that your digital version was created before someone else’s and that they have violated your copyright. Thus, it is best to make some modifications to the product, so that you can definitely prove that it is your creation.
A lot of computer software is available that will allow you to date your documents, so that the date and time of their creation is preserved. You can use such dated documents to prove that your product was created before someone else’s. As soon as you have finished creating your version, you should add the date to it, make a couple of backup CDs of your creation, and dispatch these backup CDs to someone who will keep them safe for you and who you have complete trust in. Make sure to send it by registered post so that you have further dated evidence. If a situation arises that another person claims to have created the same works before you, the dated and unopened backup CDs will testify that you created the product on the mentioned date and time and that the copyright is rightfully yours.
Here is a list of very easy alterations and modifications that will help you to transform a public domain item into your original creation:
- Add a fresh title to the works. With a different title, you can get the work copyrighted in your name. And since the original title does not appear on your creation, it will also make it that much tougher for someone else to locate a copy of the original product and use it themselves.
- Include some images and pictures if you can.
- Proofread the text and correct all spelling errors as well as all grammatical mistakes. If some words or phrases are not in use anymore, you should update these words and phrases. Modernizing the language will also help to alter the text sufficiently.
- If there are many short sentences, you can join them and make longer sentences or vice versa. The layout of the paragraphs can also be changed easily as can the formatting on the pages.
Making all these changes will definitely make it hard for your creation to be copied by other people.
Eligibility of Products for Copyright Protection:
To be eligible for copyright protection, a product must contain the following three major features. The product has to be:
- An Original Item
- Adequately Creative in Nature
The first important criterion is that the item should be tangible in nature. By tangible we mean that it should be a fixed item and should be physical in nature. You should be able to touch the item, or at least see the product. Simply having an idea in your brain, or an amazing thought is not enough to get copyright protection. Once the idea or thought is converted into an actual product, it can then be copyrighted.
Some examples of tangible products are: books, CDs, digital items, written documents, website content, DVDs, posters, prints, photos, paintings, graphic images, musical notes, original songs (when penned on paper), movie scripts, charts, maps etc.
Any product that is simply a figment of your imagination cannot be copyright protected. Take the example of a song. If the words are written on paper then the song can be copyrighted. However, if it is only in your mind, or if you have sung it somewhere and someone else has put the words on paper and copyrighted it, then you cannot get copyright for something that was in your head, even if it was your original idea.
However, there have been some cases where the law has granted copyrights to intangible ideas, if such ideas were conveyed to other people through talking, singing, or non-verbal communication. But since this can be very hard to prove, it is best to get all your ideas and thoughts on paper.
The second criterion for copyright eligibility refers to an ‘Original Item’. By this term, we mean that only that part of the product can be copyrighted by you which has been created by you. For instance, if you have created a book, of which each and every word was written by you (or someone you paid to write), then the entire book can be copyrighted in your name. However, if only certain portions of the text have been penned by you, then only those parts can be copyrighted in your name.
For instance, if you republish a public domain book with some added text, then only the portions which you have added can be protected by copyright as they are your original creation, and not the text which was taken from the public domain book.
The third criterion for copyright eligibility refers to ‘Adequately Creative in Nature.’ What this essentially means is that the product should be a result of your own ideas or some personal skills that you have. These could be drawing ability, sketching ability, writing talent, etc. Enough creativity should have been pored into the final product so as to make fit for copyright protection.
But how much creativity is adequate creativity? Now that is where the ambiguity lies. Let’s look at an example which makes this point clearer.
If you have simply typed out a song, verse, or a food recipe from some book which is in the public domain, then such an effort will not be construed as being creative enough and you may thus not get copyright protection. However, if the same items were sourced after meeting with different people and asking them for their favourite song or a tasty recipe, and if these were then put together along with some photos, a title, and perhaps a foreword, then the final product will definitely be creative enough to be eligible for a copyright.
So essentially, the more effort and time you put into reworking any public domain product, the higher the chances that your derivative product will be eligible for copyright protection.
Broadly speaking, the products mentioned below are generally not eligible for copyright protection as they do not fulfil all three criteria for eligibility. These products are:
- Food Recipes. The ingredients mentioned in the recipe as well as the method of preparation is typically not copyright material but the text and words used in the recipe to describe the cooking process can be protected by copyright.
- Factual information.
- Technical rules or math formulae.
- Thoughts and ideas.
- Any government papers or official information.
- Titles and headings. However, if a title incorporates any trademark, then it can be copyright protected.
- Any kind of data, orders, commands, directions, or patterns and designs that have not been put down on paper or verbally recorded on tape.
- All words that appear in a dictionary as well as all which do not. This rule makes exceptions for registered trademarks.
- Phrases and idioms.
List of Places to Locate Public Domain Products and Additional Resources for Free-to-Use Fictional and Artistic Items
The information contained in this section will amaze you, more so if you are just a beginner in the public domain arena. You are soon to learn about so many places where you can find copyright free products which you can assert as yours, that you will be astounded at the long list. Prior to getting this information you may have found it very difficult to find even one copyright free item. But with this information at hand, you will have at your disposal more items than you can possibly use in your entire lifetime.
In reality, you just need to locate that one great product which can form the basis of an enormously profitable venture. With this information, the product will not be tough to locate, but you will have to choose carefully from the many available items so as to pick out a winner. Take the time to ensure the right selection and then use your creative abilities to come up with a product that cannot be matched. It is not as hard as it seems; which is why several permanent businesses have been started on the basis of a single copyright free product.
Best sources for vintage lovers
In case you like this style and you are thinking on start similar project using various vintage illustrations like I did, be prepared of spending hours and hours searching on internet to find the best sources.
There is tons of public domain vintage images, but it is not always easy to find the right sources. To help you a little bit, here are some of my favourite sites and collections.
This impressive collection is stored on Flickr and all images are taken from from 17thC 19C Books. Images are vaguely arranged by theme and it is not easy to find the right image you want. For example just the Flora album has over unsorted 1,393 images!
This archive with more that 3,000 line drawing from illustrated edition of Shakespeare’s Work in the Victoria era wasn’t very useful for me personally, but it is amazing source with a Creative Commons license. If you are into Victorian era line drawings, you will appreciate the advanced searching and great categorization and tags for each image.
Amazing collection of historical water colour digital library. You can browse through over 80,000 images that are dated before 20st century. There is quite a lots of collections that allows you to use the images freely, but other are under full copyright, so be aware of this when searching. The search on this site is detailed and amazing, but I personally missing the search by copyright, that would make searching much easier.
Here’s a concise list of places where you can locate public domain products, as well as other free-to-use items:
- Old book stores
- Old trunks in your attic or basement
- Public domain sites on the web
- Offline public domain repositories
- Used book stores
- Antique shops
- Garage sales
- Membership sites selling public domain materials
- Local auctions
- Flea markets
- Consumer exhibitions, especially of old items
- Collectors’ exhibitions
- Libraries housing really old books and materials
- Country specific websites such as eBay UK etc
- Newspaper archives
- Television archives
- Items contributed to the public domain by their makers
- Government offices and their archives
- Speaking to people who may have information about useful products and items
- Miscellaneous Sources. This refers to other places where you can find items that can be used by you to make good money, but which are not exactly in the public domain and you may not get copyrights for such materials. However, you can use them profitably and will not have to shell out any charges or royalties for using them. Some of these sources are:
- Re-distribution and resell rights to books and products.
- Repackaging items.
- Sourcing products such as books and articles from current authors.
- Offline and Online directories, schedules and listings.
How to Select Public Domain Items
There are a lot of ways in which you can determine what the most profitable books to choose are; much before you actually start poring through book titles and locate the public domain item that will eventually make you rich.
The systems which I prefer to utilize are called Google Keyword Planner which are online keyword selection tools that generate a long list of keywords that are related to the topic you are searching for. Here’s a brief explanation of how these tools work.
You enter a term, keyword, a phrase, or a topic (that you want to search keywords on) into the search box of the tool. Once you start the search process, the software will search billions of web pages and give you a list of related keywords or keyword phrases that people have actually searched for on the internet.
The keywords so generated are accompanied by a number, which is the amount of times that the particular keyword has been searched for in recent weeks. Thus, by using a keyword generator tool, you can find out exactly which topics and terms people are searching for. Once you have this information, it is then quite easy to find titles and products that match these keywords.
Overture is evidently the most used keyword selection tool and is utilized by thousands of individuals and organizations to find the best keywords to optimize their content for and which to base their advertising and promotional campaigns on. However, Overture is equally beneficial to people who want to locate public domain products as it helps them to determine what will be a hot selling product that people are interested in currently.
My next example will elucidate how to use Google Keyword Planner
Example Six: Using Google Keyword Planner to Determine Ideas for Public Domain Items
You then have to type some keywords into the white box where it says ‘Enter your search term below’. I typed in ‘Christmas’, largely because it is a festival that is celebrated by millions of people and is that time of year when people are willing to spend money and looking for great products as gifts.
I simply entered ‘Christmas’ into the search bar and the following example shows the results that I got.
Example Seven: Search Results
Here are the first 15 results that I got back:
- Santa Claus
Each of these categories can further be searched for sub-category results. I clicked on the first category (Christmas) and this is what I got:
- Christmas Books 169408
- Christmas songs 95413
- Christmas tree 810611
- Christmas music 79710
- Christmas cards 78876
- Christmas Dinner 68622
- Christmas carols 68130
- Christmas trees 57824
- Christmas pictures 57663
- Christmas lights 57345
- Christmas wallpaper 57247
- Night before Christmas 46987
- Christmas games 36070
- Christmas gifts 35808
- Christmas crafts 25685
As you can see, in just one month (January 2006), which is right after Christmas has passed, there were about 169408 people who searched for the term ‘Christmas books’. Further down, ‘Christmas cards’ were searched 78876 times and ‘Christmas crafts’ was searched 25685 times. All in all, the number of searches for the main word Christmas runs into the millions. No wonder that Christmas is such a great topic for public domain products.
On the topic of Christmas, you can come up with:
- A book with Christmas crafts
- Novel Christmas games
- Music sheets with Christmas songs
- A short book of tasty Christmas recipes
Your product ideas need not be restricted to books. You could find some wonderful Christmas pictures and use them on mugs, or maybe create Christmas stockings with some great images of Santa Claus. As you see, the list of products that can be revised from public domain offerings can be as long as your imagination allows.
The next example discusses how you can use Overture in the same manner.
Example Eight: How to Use Google’s Keyword Tool
Type in any word in the search box provided and you will get a list of related words along with the number of times they were searched in that month (January 2006 in our case). I typed in the keyword ‘American Indian’.
I choose this topic because my experience has shown me that it is a very popular topic with book lovers and also lends itself to other great products.
The next example tells you about my search results.
Example Nine: Results for ‘American Indian’
- 79903 american indian
- 63334 native american indians
- 55976 american indian jewelry
- 53040 american indian movement
- 42610 american indian name
- 42529 ancient american indian art
- 32286 american indian art
- 32141 picture of native american indians
- 31957 american indian picture
- 31866 american indian tribe
- 31638 north american indians
- 21560 national museum of the american indian
- 18440 american indian history
- 16395 american indian museum
- 13052 american indian tattoo
- 12705 native american indian dog
- 11270 native american indian art
- 10257 native american indian tribe
- 7004 american indian artifact
- 5824 american indian photo
You will notice that there were 55976 people who searched for ‘American Indian Jewellery’; 42529 for ‘Ancient American Indian Art’; 18440 for ‘American Indian History’ and 13052 for ‘American Indian Tattoo’; all in just the course of a single month.
I next went on to see what I could locate from the public domain about ‘American Indians’. I decided to go with www.gutenberg.org as you can use it very easily, but there are many other public domain resources that you can use.
I clicked on ‘Choose’ and typed in the words ‘American Indians’ in the white search box that is located at the top of the page. I was disappointed to find that my search resulted in just a handful of results. So I typed in other related keywords as returned by Overture, and also used other public domain information sites. Finally, I came up with an impressive list of available public domain works on the topic of ‘American Indians’.
Example Ten: Gutenberg Search Results
The very first book that I came across was a great book about the ancient American Indian civilization and their way of living. I was also able to source some fascinating photos from other places and used these in the revised edition of the book. I added some interesting content to the book, mainly about ancient American Indian history and culture (again found in the public domain) and thus turned out an amazing book which is sure to be a huge success.
Some More Exciting Topics from the Public Domain
I’m going to continue using the example of Gutenberg for some more time so that you can appreciate the true extent of this wonderful public domain source.
In the middle of the Gutenberg site homepage, there is a link for ‘Recent eBooks’ and another one for ‘Top 100 Books and Authors’. By clicking on these links, you will get a list of the recent ebooks available in the public domain as well as the top 100 books of all times. By examining this list, you will be able to find some wonderful titles related to the topic you are looking for.
This list is renewed on a daily basis, so you can get exciting and different titles each day.
List of Top 100 E-Books
- The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci — Complete by Leonardo da Vinci (325)
- Kamasutra by Vatsyayana (297)
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (267)
- Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great — Volume 01 of 14 by Elbert Hubbard 231)
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (206)
- The Art of War by 6th cent. B.C. Sunzi (194)
- History Of Ancient Civilization by Charles Seignobos (190)
- Project Gutenberg “10K” DVD (186)
- Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases by Peter Mark Roget (185)
- Great Britain and Her Queen by Annie E. Keeling (181)
- The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (179)
- The World War and What was Behind It by Louis P. Benezet (175)
- Ulysses by James Joyce (167)
- The Doré Gallery of Bible Illustrations, Complete (166)
- Roget’s Thesaurus by Peter Mark Roget (161)
- Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (156)
- King Winter by Anonymous (154)
- The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (152)
- Gordon Craig by Randall Parrish (139)
- Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm (136)
- Beacon Lights of History, Volume 11 by John Lord (134)
- How to Speak and Write Correctly by Joseph Devlin (128)
- The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (121)
- The Illustrated Alphabet of Birds by Unknown (120)
- Putnam’s Word Book by Louis A. Flemming (120)
I have listed only the first 25 of the top 100 books, but you can access the entire list on Project Gutenberg. I have also highlighted the titles which I think will make for great revised products, but since there are several others to choose from, you can make your own decision based on your ideas and skills.
Moving on to the ‘Recent Books’ section, I decided to choose a subcategory for my search. The subcategory I picked was ‘Pictures, still’. The search returned an entire list of pictures such as official American pictures, images of French cave paintings, and also illustrations from Alice in Wonderland. The cave paintings and Alice in Wonderland pictures gave me several ideas for great products.
I then went on to do the ‘Advanced’ search and decided to locate books on dogs. Since I already have an entire collection of feline species books, I thought it would be nice to have some titles for dog lovers as well.
The next example will show you what I found for both my searches.
Example Eleven: Recent Books Search Results from Gutenberg
Results for search on Pictures, still:
- LandSat Picture of Washington, DC (Landsat Pathfinder, U.S)
- French Cave Paintings (No Author Listed)
- Tenniel Illustrations for Alice in Wonderland (Tenniel, John, Sir, 1820-1914)
- LandSat Picture of Washington, DC (United States)
- Radar Map of the United States (United States)
Results of advanced search on the subject of dogs:
- Rab and His Friends (Brown John, 1810-1882)
- Baree, Son of Kazan (Curwood James Oliver, 1879-1927)
- Three Men in a Boat (Jerome K Jerome (Jerome Klapka), 1859-1927)
- White Fang (London, Jack, 1876-1916)
- A Dog of Flanders (Ouida, 1839-1908)
- Beautiful Joe (Saunders Marshall, 1861-1947)
- Bruce (Terhune, Albert Payson, 1872-1942)
- Further Adventures of Lad (Terhune, Albert Payson, 1872-1942)
- His Dog (Terhune, Albert Payson, 1872-1942)
On the Gutenberg site, you can select the title, the author, or the subject for your search. As it is unlikely that you will know the names of the authors, it is best to type ‘Dogs’ in the subject line or perhaps in the title line to get better results.
The Gutenberg site also features an RSS feed that gives you information on public domain titles and is refreshed everyday. This is another great resource.
All this talk about the Gutenberg site may have surely led you to believe that it is my most favoured resource on the Internet. That is not necessarily the case though. I have simply given you all this information to show how easy it is to use the site and also what a great resource it is. However, there are plenty of such resources for public domain products; many of which are listed at the end of this book.
An Essential Piece of Advice:
Choose your keywords for performing searches in a thoughtful manner. Various keywords can be used to access products and titles on a particular topic, so you should try out all related keywords and not just stick to one or two.
For instance, I was trying to find some titles with the keyword ‘Stonework’. I also decided to use the keyword ‘Brickwork’ for the same subject. I was surprised to find that there were an equal number of people searching the two different keywords, and both the keywords returned different book titles. Thus, all appropriate and related keywords should be utilized the best combination of results should be used
Being inspired from the results for my ‘Christmas’ search, I decided to search another festival, that of Halloween on Gutenberg. To my great surprise, there was not even a single result for my search!
I obviously found this very strange indeed, but then it struck me that I should use some other keyword. Through a little trial and error, I ended up entering the word ‘Hallo’ instead of the entire word.
Surprise of surprises, I was given an entire page of matching results. Although all the titles were not related to Halloween, I did find two great books: ‘Hallowe’en at Merryvale’ and ‘Games for Hallow-e’en’; both of which were then converted to profitable revised public domain products.
Many people are like a wheelbarrow… they go no further than they are pushed.