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How to Churn Out Quick Profits Using the Public Domain

How to Churn Out Quick Profits Using the Public Domain

Idea No. 1: Simple Books

Although all the books that are available in the public domain have run out of copyright protection, many of these books have not gone out of style. In fact, quite a few public domain books are equally significant in today’s times as they were when they were first published.

From the hundreds of thousands of books available from the public domain, only a small fraction of them have been revised and made available to the current lot of customers. The remainder of the absolutely amazing titles are literally longing to be discovered.

The following examples are contributed by people who already use the public domain:

The Complete Feline Book by Vera Smith (circa late 1800s)

Coming back to the Complete Feline Book by Vera Smith, which I told you about earlier; this book was perhaps one of the first books of its time in which the author tried to record, explain, and demonstrate the various different species of cats that existed in the late 1800s. This book has run out of copyright since ages.

A first edition copy of this book can cost in excess of fifteen hundred pounds (that is if you even knew where to find it and I surely won’t tell!). The information contained in this book is very relevant even today and there may be plenty of people who want to benefit from this information, but can never afford to buy the book themselves.

But people like me, who have been able to source a copy of this book, have recreated it and made it available to readers today.

A big American publishing house used this book and reprinted it in its entirety. They did change the title of the book so that others could not locate it, but the text and images in the book have been kept as is. Since the title has been changed, and the publishing house has altered the colour and type of font, they now have exclusive copyrights to their creation.

There is yet another company which has used the book but has converted it into an educational CD. And then there are others (me included) who have broken down the book and created several smaller books dedicated to just one species at a time.

Even though the book has been used by several people, there still remains a lot of potential to convert the book into a profitable public domain product. You will have to be really imaginative and put in some dedicated effort, but you can end up with a product that can earn you money forever.

Don’t be deterred by the seemingly exorbitant price tag on the book (if you can find it, that is). The book has such immense scope that your initial investment is sure to be returned several fold. Although the book is in the public domain, I have yet to come across it on the internet or as a free product.

And yes, the revised versions of the book are available. But since these have been changed from the original version, they are now copyrighted to their owners and hence you cannot use them. But can’t I simply take the words and the images from the revised versions? How will anyone know the difference?

Well, if the words and images included in the revised version are exactly the same as they appear in the original version, then no one might know the difference. However, if they are even the slightest bit different, and you copy them, you are sure to get caught. So it is best never to copy from a copyrighted work. And why would you even want to bother with that? There are plenty of other fish in the sea, so why worry about the one that got away?

So, the only way to go is to locate an original version of some product that excites you and then revise that to come up with a money making product.

And all original copies that do come on to the markets need not be expensive. In fact, you can get an original copy for very little money, sometimes even for free, and then make huge profits from them.

Books on the Supernatural and Magical Topics

One of the hottest subjects on the Internet, specifically on eBay, is that of the supernatural. And when talking about magic or the paranormal, can Houdini be very far behind? Even though practically everyone knows that Houdini was a great magician, not many people are aware of the fact that he was also a great author. Houdini has written several books on supernatural topics, which include books on magical tricks and illusion.

Some of the books written by Houdini are available in the public domain. As there is already an established market for magic related products and even specifically for items related to Houdini, any of his public domain books can make for a wonderful revised product.

Two Down, Millions Yet to Come

On just two topics, magic and cats, I was able to access several great products from the public domain. And how much time did it take me to think of these two topics? Not more than a few minutes. Now just think about what all you can achieve from the public domain, if you set your mind to it!!!

Yes, you can take the easy route and republish a public domain book as is. It won’t take you much time and you may also get good profits from it. However, remember that a whole lot of people are reading this book, and many more will have access to it in the coming months.

A lot of these people could also be planning to do the easy thing and republish a public domain book in its entirety, perhaps even settle for the few ideas that have been mentioned here. But if you want the public domain to really make you rich, you will take the time to locate an exclusive product; one that not too many people know about, and then use this product to create a revised book that practically no one will be able to copy.

An Awesome Resource for Public Domain Titles: eBay

Well, what can I say about eBay? Suffice it to say that in addition to being a great site for buying and selling practically any product on the face of the earth, it is also a great resource for public domain books. Here’s a look at what eBay has to offer in this regard.

There are many country specific websites of eBay, but since eBay.com is the largest eBay website, I have chosen to look here..

I logged on to www.ebay.com and clicked on ‘Books’. And since I was searching for old books, I clicked on ‘Antiquarian Books’. I noticed here that there was an option to select the year when the books were first published. And to give myself the best chance of finding books that were copyright free in America (pre 1923 rule) and in the UK (70 year rule), I decided to go with printing year 1800-1849.

Although I did not need to go that far back according to US copyright laws; in order to make sure that all books would have satisfied the UK 70 year rule as well, I went that far back.

Here are the categories that are included in the ‘Books’ section:

  • Accessory books
  • Antiquarian & Collectible
  • Audio books
  • Catalogues
  • Children’s Books
  • Fiction Books
  • Magazine Back Issues
  • Non-fiction Books
  • Educational Books
  • Wholesale Bulk Lots
  • Other Books

Within each category of books, there were various subcategories. The subcategories that were there under Antiquarian and Collectible are:

  • Americana (207)
  • Art & Photography (22)
  • Biography & Memoir (145)
  • Children’s (72)
  • Cooking, Food, Wine (3)
  • Exploration & Travel (320)
  • Fraternal, Social Organizations (4)
  • History (401)
  • Illustrated (96)
  • Law & Government (126)
  • Literature (576)
  • Military & War (37)
  • Natural History (46)
  • Philosophy (55)
  • Reference (126)
  • Religion & Spirituality (702)
  • Science & Medicine (133)
  • Sports (2)
  • Vintage Paperbacks (1)
  • Other (198)

Alongside each sub-category, the figures represent the number of items available in each sub-category.

Going one step further, I entered the keyword ‘magic’ into the advanced search box for ‘Antiquarian and Collectible’ books. The next example will illustrate my results.

Example Twelve: eBay Search Results for ‘Magic’ in Antiquarian Books

As you can see, my search returned only two books. But both these books are definitely in the public domain, are not that expensive (the first one being really cheap), and definitely have the scope to make a lot of money.

But you must be careful and check that the versions are original versions and are not simply re-printed copies with their original titles intact. Before copying or using the books, a complete investigation needs to be done to ensure that they are original copies.

After my search on magic, I decided to search another topic that I had mentioned earlier – ‘American Indians’. Go on to the next example to see the results.

Example Thirteen: eBay Search Results for American Indians in Antiquarian Books

Amazing, isn’t it? I have at my disposal 7 great books, all of which are available at ridiculously low prices. Specifically, the book about the rare old American Indian races excites me a lot as it seems to have potential for huge profits. But once again, I was careful to check that all these books were copies of the original version and not reprinted copies published at some later date.

Where to Find Physical Prints of Public Domain Books

By now you must have probably realized that it is best to get a physical copy of any book that you are interested in to determine whether or not it is actually in the public domain. And even if you know for sure that a particular book is in the public domain, you still need to get a physical version of the book, which you can copy from freely.

There are some wonderful sites on the Internet where you can source original physical copies of books from. Here’s a look at one such site, which is called Abebooks.

Abebooks www.abebooks.com is a website where you can search for books according to their titles and authors. If you want to get a physical copy of a book that you know about, you can search in this manner. But, if you are looking for various books on a particular topic, you then need to perform an advanced search. Next I’ll show you how you can do that.

Log on to www.abebooks.com and click on the advanced search link which is in the middle of the home page. You will then be directed to a page where you begin your search. You must enter the subject that you are searching books on, and it is also a good idea to specify the year of publication. I choose the keyword ‘Knitting’ and specified the year of publication to be between 1850 and 1920. The next example will show you my results.

Example Fourteen: Search Results for Knitting on Abebooks

1) Knitting (Price: US$ 4.99)
Bookseller: Pro Quo Books (Baltimore, MD, U.S.A.)
Shipping within U.S.A.: US$ 3.50
Book Description: Mason/Charter 1905, 1905. Book is in very good condition; soft cover. Moderate cover wear. Bookseller Inventory # 0981362AD101bal

2) Tatted Bookmarks (Price: US$ 7.17)
Bookseller: TheBookCom (Horsham, WSx, United Kingdom)
Shipping within United Kingdom: US$ 5.83
Book Description: 1900, 1900. BRAND NEW PAPERBACK. mm. Knitting & stitch craft. 8778470625. Bookseller Inventory # CC8778470625

3) Mary Fitch #9 – Bags: Crocheted and Tatted (Price: US$ 7.95)
Bookseller: Iva Rose Vintage Reproductions (New Bedford, MA, U.S.A.)
Shipping within U.S.A.: US$ 3.50
Book Description: F. W. Woolworth, Co. Inc, Boston, MA, 1917. Comb Binding. Book Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. 4to – over 9_” – 12″ tall. A stunning collection of Flapper era bags and purses. Collection even includes a very elegant laundry bag, bag pincushions, a knitting bag as well as some really beautiful opera bags. An extremely rare book to find today! 22pp. Reproduction. Bookseller Inventory # 000119

These are just three of the books that my search returned. In addition to these, there were several more books, but these three looked the most promising. Notice that the publishers are also mentioned. So, depending on where you live, you can pick a book accordingly so that you are not violating the copyright laws in your country.

This is just one of the many sites where you can source physical copies of books from. Other websites include:

Alter the Headings and Protect Your Products!

The last thing you need is to spend your time and energy to come up with a wonderfully revised public domain product and then have someone steal your idea from right under your nose. A great way to ensure that this does not happen is to simply alter the headings and titles of your books and other items.

Conjure up imaginative titles that truly reflect your product. Make use of figures and numbers if possible, generate an imaginary image of your item, and highlight the usefulness of your product. Utilize words that have a strong impact such as super, best, jackpot, finest, money, profitable etc.

Experts also suggest using words starting with the same letters, or using symbols in place of letters.


  • Wonderful World of Winning (words starting with W)
  • $uper $ecrets to $uccess (the dollar sign instead of S)
  • Know your Knitting

Idea No. 2: Reprinting Images from Old Books

Reprinting Images from Old Books

Remember those old books that I came across during my search for American Indian titles? Well, when I saw those books, I was immediately reminded of a collection of old postcards that I have, which depict various images related to American Indian culture, history, and paintings. I sell reproductions of those postcards through eBay and they are quite in demand. In fact, sometimes there is quite competitive bidding for one of my listings, which made me think that if people want these postcards so badly, perhaps they would be willing to settle for a reprint.

So I made reprints of my original postcards and sold them as such. Mind you, I never try to mislead my customers and always mention if an item is an original product or a reprint. Now coming back to those American Indian theme books; some of those books had amazing pictures, all free of copyright and available for use.

A few of the photographs were so good that they were almost lifelike. Now these photos too are ideal for reprinting and converting into postcards. In fact, you can reprint the photos in any manner that you see fit – on T-shirts, as posters, as a framed print, and even on letter pads. Using your own imagination, you can come up with a long list of items to create with reprinted photos.

And if you are serious about using images from old books, then you can even do a Gutenberg search for Illustrated Books instead of textual books. An illustrated book is sure to give you hundreds of photos that you can use as profitable reprints.

Example Fifteen: An Illustrated Public Domain Book

A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Dickens’s tender and comic tale of the Cratchit family, Tiny Tim, and Ebenezer Scrooge, has been a favorite since it was written in 1843. Badly in need of money, Dickens produced A CHRISTMAS CAROL in six weeks; the first printing of 6,000 copies sold out instantly. In Dickens’s original version, Tiny Tim was Tiny Fred, and Scrooge said “Bah!” but not “Humbug!”

I found this great book by doing a search for illustrated books at alibris.com. Believe me when I say, this book has some breathtaking illustrations and photos which would make any product they were used on, a best seller.

Example Sixteen: More Wonderful Public Domain Images

Here is another example of a great public domain illustrated book. Although you can find all kinds of illustrated books in the public domain, with photos of geographical landmarks, great old buildings, animals etc; I prefer to use images such as the ones available in these books, because they are much more lifelike and have timeless universal appeal.

There are many people who are in the business of making postcards and other items by reprinting original public domain photos and illustrations. Both online and offline, you will see that this is a big business. Whether you sell your reproduction postcards on the Internet, or sell them at postcard exhibitions or fairs, they are sure to find a market anywhere.

However, if you are using reprinted versions of photos on your products, make sure that you sell them as such. Do not lead people to believe that they are the original thing, but a copy of the original. What I personally do is mention that the postcard (or any other item) is ‘Reprinted from a vintage photo, circa 1875’, or whatever date may apply. You can simply use the same description that I use, or create your own similar one.

Idea No. 3: Launching Your Personal Internet Membership Website

Launching Your Personal Internet Membership Website

Example Seventeen: An Amazing Book for a Personal Internet Membership Website

An alibris.com search for magic books returned an amazing result. The book is titled, ‘Magic No Mystery: Conjuring Tricks’ by Cremer, W.H. This book was first published in England in 1876. This magic book contains some awesome magic writings, and also includes several magic tricks that can be performed with balls, cards, and dice.

Now if you were to think of starting your own Internet membership site, then this book could definitely be the foundation for it. The site would target wannabe magicians and people who want to learn how to perform magical tricks using different apparatus. It could even teach established magicians a thing or two!

You can create the membership site and charge people a one-time joining fee to become a member, as well as a continuous charge as a monthly membership fee. Your paid members will then be able to access a whole bunch of things such as content on magic, a member’s only forum, and various products.

All the different tricks mentioned in the book would definitely not be given to your members at once. You could choose to provide about 10-15 new tricks each month, so that your members keep coming back for more. In this manner, you could have your very own profitable membership site.

This is just one of the millions of books available in the public domain. Just thinking about the various possible titles, which could form the basis of a membership site, literally makes me see £££ signs everywhere!

Are Internet Membership Websites Really that Great an Idea?

The various options you have for using the public domain book ‘Magic No Mystery: Conjuring Tricks’ is to convert the book in its entirety into a digital CD, or an e-book, or a reprinted version, or lastly to form a membership site as explained above.

Now let’s take a look at the advantages of forming a membership site over the other book options:

  • The site has seemingly higher worth than any of the other options. With a membership site, your customers will think that there is a lot more information on offer than they would think a book to contain. If repackaged as a book or a CD, it will take your customers just a few minutes to access and perhaps a couple of days to read. On the other hand, an Internet membership site is perceived as huge, and it would take your members months to access and read all the information contained in the book. Even though they are getting exactly the same tricks from your book and the site, the value of becoming a member of the site will be perceived as much greater than buying the book version.
  • With a membership site, you will have members returning to your site regularly to download newer tricks and content. Thus, it becomes easier to promote newer products to your members, which is something you simply cannot do with a reprinted book.
  • Contrary to what most people believe, the site will be faster to create than the book format and will also start making you money immediately. With a book, you have to reformat the entire book and also transform it into a PDF version or a digital format, which could take several weeks.
  • But a membership site can be started with even a few pages of the book as you will not be offering the entire information at one go. Thus, you can convert the initial chapters and upload them on your membership site so as to attract members right away. You can then take your time to complete converting the remaining chapters of the book according to your monthly schedule. While you do that, your site will already be making you money.
  • By the way, I have mentioned that you could take several weeks to reformat and transform the book into the desired version. Although this can be done even in a few days (it depends on how quick and efficient you are); it can be a tedious and dull affair, not to mention very demanding. However, if you wish to start making money immediately, it certainly can be done.
  • A membership site will also have the scope to generate higher profits than a book version. Since books do not have high perceived worth, more so e-books, they will not command a very big price. But a membership site, with much the same information, may even be able to command membership fees that are several times the cost of the book.

Useful Advice:

You should endeavour to create Internet membership sites that are targeted to niche markets. Good examples of niche marketing would be targeting people such as magicians, sports people, musicians, artists, retailers, restaurant proprietors, etc. The basic idea is to target people who have specific interests, so that they can become part of your membership site and share their interests with like minded people.

You can even aim for those people who have made money from their special interests and thus don’t mind spending it to keep themselves updated about things related to their subject of interest. Stressing on the fact that they could treat the membership fees as a ‘tax deductible’ expense also helps to attract people to your membership site.

Idea No. 4: Sticking to a Niche Market

Sticking to a Niche Market

By now you probably know that the public domain is filled with millions of great books. The topics and subjects, which the books are available on, are also as wide and as diverse as the sheer number of books available. If ever there was a topic which a book was written on, you can find it in the public domain. Whether it is lifestyle books, history books, books on knitting, books on festivals and cultures, dog books, cat books, books on fishing, hunting, horse riding, boating, surfing, cooking etc; any topic that you can think of, there is a public domain book available on it.

With so many books waiting to be republished and so much money just waiting to be pocketed, where does one begin?

Since there are such a wide variety of subjects to choose from, you could end up choosing books on different topics. But this would mean that you have to cast your promotional web again and again; at one time searching for people who are interested in your cat books, at another time looking for those who are interested in magic, yet another time attracting people who are interested in American Indians, and once again………As you see, there can be no end to this.

Thus, it is wiser to stick to a particular niche market and then keep creating books and other public domain items that cater to your chosen niche, which could be anything from cooking, to hunting, to cat lovers, and even those in awe of geographical splendours.

So, if I was to list the advantages of sticking with a niche market, they would go something like this:

  • It is much simpler to attract buyers for niche subjects than it is for different unrelated topics.
  • Staying with a particular niche means you have the choice of creating your own website or an online store from where you can promote and sell various products related to your niche. By choosing an apt name for your website, you can also feature in the top search engine results and attract more traffic to your site.
  • A niche market provides the scope for continuous and repeat customers. You will not have to keep finding new customers to sell to as all your products will be related to a specific subject. So whenever you create a new item, you can simply mail all your earlier customers as well as all the people who made enquirers on your site and then just sit back and watch the sales multiplying.
  • You can also create a news publication centred on your niche topic. By providing new and updated information on your subject, you can create a loyal client base of people who keep coming back for more. And since you will be giving free information to your customers, they will be more likely to buy your products as and when you offer them.
  • If you have a niche website, you can source enormous public domain content, such as short articles, useful advice, tips and suggestions and feature these on your website. By adding useful content on your site, you can enhance the position of your website on search engine result pages; thus attracting more profits from Google adsense, affiliate programs, and various Pay-Per-Click options.
  • When you have a niche customer base, you will have more information about the interests, likes and dislikes of your clients than it is possible to have with an unrelated client base. This enables you to offer them items, in addition to books, that are in keeping with the same subject. You can also sell tangible goods and services to your clients. These goods and services can be created by you, or can be sourced from other people and sold to your ever growing customer base.
  • And lastly, with a niche website, you will be able to create a much larger customer base and mailing list than is possible with various smaller websites on different topics. As your list grows by the day, your competition will keep decreasing as very few people would want to compete with such a formidable opponent.

Idea No. 5: How to Get World Renowned Authors to Produce Your Top Sellers Absolutely Free of Cost

How to Get World Renowned Authors to Produce Your Top Sellers Absolutely Free of Cost

You are probably not aware that there are thousands of writers who give their books and short articles, all free of cost, to other people who want to republish them along with the name and contact information of the writer. This really does happen. In this way, the writer can get other people to advertise the writer’s business through web-links and other information contained in the books or articles.

For instance, a doctor of natural medicine may author a book or some articles about natural herbs or nutritional supplements and include his contact information in these articles. Thus, when these articles appear on other people’s websites, the customers may get in touch with the doctor for getting treatment or buying supplements.

In much the same way, any person who specializes in anything, can write articles, offer these to others as free of cost content, and enjoy the benefits.

But what do you gain from all this? Well, that’s exactly what I’m coming to next.

You can source an entire collection of small books or articles, either from one writer or many different authors. You should obviously select only those articles that are on the same topic or are of related topics. A combination of these small articles can then be compiled into a larger book or an educational CD.

Every subsequent chapter in your book is dedicated to a new article. At the end of each chapter, the ‘resource box’ is included, which gives the personal details of the writer of that particular article.

In this manner, your book will have that many chapters as the number of articles that you can source. The titles of the various articles can be used as the headings for your different chapters. You can now create a Table of Contents (TOC) which lists the different chapters of your book; alter the font size, the type and its colour; include an introductory passage to your book; add a title to the book; put down your name as the book’s editor; include your copyright notification and your book is ready for sale!

Now doesn’t that sound really easy to do? You can literally create as many original books in this manner as you want!

However, you need to be careful about one thing: There are a few writers who will give you their articles to use, but with certain stipulations attached. They may say that their articles can only be featured on sites and not as part of a book, or that they cannot be sold in any manner etc. Although there are very few writers who attach such conditions to their work, you should always read the terms of use set forth by the authors, or get in touch with them directly if you have to.

In my experience; if you get in touch with the writers directly, and ask them if they are okay with your plan, you will rarely ever be disappointed with their answer.

Sourcing Articles and Other Content

It is very easy to locate free-to-use articles and other valuable content on the Internet. You simply log on to any of the major search engines such as Yahoo, Google, or MSN search, and look for free articles. Important keywords for such searches are: free articles, articles for free, no charge articles, free content, free to use article and other related terms.

Here’s a list of some oft used article sites where you may be able to source free content from:

A comprehensive listing of useful article sites is included towards the end of this module.

Idea No. 6: Using Resell Rights Items

Using Resell Rights Items

Resell rights refer to the privilege to copy and use an item, generally a book or some computer software. Products with resell rights are usually new items that have been created recently. Thus, these products are not your usual public domain products, but since they can be as profitable as public domain items, they are definitely worth contemplating.

It is not possible to give you a precise and 100% accurate description of what ‘Resell Rights’ means, because the term has varying definitions in different nations.

Let’s take the case of Great Britain for example. Here, the term ‘Resell Rights’ means passing the right to duplicate an item and selling it to others (also called Reproduction Rights) and also passing the right to market the product. In different nations, what is known as ‘Reproduction Rights’ in the UK, is referred to as ‘Reprint Rights’; whereas the term Resell Rights is referred to as ‘Sharing Copyright’, ‘Master License’, or simply ‘License’.

Yes, I know that all this is very confusing indeed, but everything will be understood better once you have read the next few paragraphs.

Seeing that so many problems can occur because of different definitions of Resell Rights, it is best to be certain what you are allowed to do with your resell rights and what you are not.

Whenever I acquire resell rights to any product, I make it a point to contact the person who has given me the rights and verify what all I am entitled to do. I never have oral communications and do all my contacting in writing. I also make sure to keep copies of all my written communications, so that I have evidence that I asked the seller what my rights were, and also his answers to my queries.

If you can acquire resell rights to various products, you can rework and combine all items of a related topic and sell them through an auction site or through your own website.

Useful Advice:

There are many items which already have existing websites which you can sell through, while there are many that don’t. Various items can be renamed to include your personal business name and names of affiliates, whereas many cannot be renamed. Some product owners will allow you to add links and referrals of your manufacturers, and some won’t. Few sellers may limit the price tag that you can put on the resell items, while many will let you price the item as you see fit. Some products will have to be resold as individual items whereas others can be sold as part of a package.

Thus, with so many possible restrictions, you should try and negotiate a deal with the least limitations possible.

Standard Entitlements with Resell Rights

  • Selling Customer Copies Only: With this entitlement, you have the right to manufacture and sell any number of copies that you want, and are also allowed to put whatever price tag on the copies that you wish. You can also use your own sales letters to market the items. However, you will not have the right to sell marketing rights to anyone else, nor will you have the right to alter any of the documents given to you.
  • Selling Customer and Publisher Copies: This entitlement is quite similar to the one mentioned before, with the main difference being that here you have the right to sell copies to others who can then market these copies on their own. Needless to say, acquiring this right can cost you much more than acquiring simple customer copy rights only. Based on the size of the product, its novelty, and its exclusiveness, acquiring the right to sell publisher copies can cost you a pretty penny. (Publisher copy rights are also known as Master License or Reproduction and Resell Rights).
  • Providing Free Copies: With this entitlement, you have to right to distribute free copies of the product to whomsoever you desire. You can give complimentary copies of the item to your family members, friends, colleagues, or even your clients, provided you do not take any money in return. Items with such rights usually have quite a few advertisements and also links to the original manufacturer of the item, but do contain valuable information for the public as well.
  • Repackaging Rights: With this entitlement, you have the power to sell items in groups or as part of a bigger package. You can combine several items into one package and give it a fancy package title. With repackaging rights, you can produce the best possible product to call your own.

Bear in mind, you will rarely (if ever) be allowed to alter any part of resell rights items, but you can still use them profitably by combining them into a package and selling the package as your own creation (provided you have repackaging rights). Resell rights products can also be given as free resources with other public domain products that you create. By doing so, you will increase the worth of your public domain product and also make it unique and different from other products of its kind.

The Art of Repackaging

In this section, you will learn how to repackage resell rights products, as well as various products obtained from the public domain. By repackaging and combining many products into one, you can come up with an exclusive package that is 100% yours and can also be copyrighted in your name. Through the simple art of repackaging, you can create an item that will help to generate quick profits.

Basically, repackaging refers to reworking, combining, and creating a unique product from stuff that is freely available to a whole lot of people. But by repackaging such stuff in an unusual manner, you can create an exclusive item that people can buy only from you and no one else. Repackaging is perhaps the BEST and FASTEST way to convert different public domain and resell rights items into a saleable product.

You can repackage items in many different ways, some of which are:

  • Combining products that are not related to any one subject, with the only similarity being that all the items in the repackaged bundle are high priced items but being sold at ridiculously low prices.
  • Creating a repackaged item by combining different products of one particular subject, theme, or topic. The benefits of creating such a niche market product are listed earlier.
  • Combining different items which are not necessarily of the same subject, but do have some theme which connects them. For instance, creating a How-To bundle with different items such as how to cook, how to care for your child, how to manage your home, how to keep your spouse happy etc.
  • Creating a repackaged item that does not include very exciting items, but giving the package such an appealing title that people are tempted to know what’s in it. For instance: The Best, Fastest, and Easiest Road to Wealth: 101 Ways to Make Money on the Internet.
  • Repackage your items by adding something unusual to the bundle. For instance, you could add a free e-book (a resell rights item perhaps), maybe some useful software, or perhaps even a free coupon of some sort.
  • Your repackaged product could also be a ruse to sell other, more profitable items. For example: 101 Grandest Weddings, which advertises your wedding planning business or even a wedding planning course.

Idea No. 7: Be an Expert 5 Minute Author

Be an Expert 5 Minute Author

Did you know that there is something known as a five minute writer? Well, this refers to a writer who authors content that is brief and small, generally not more than 400-500 words. Such content could be anything from small news items, short stories, mini-articles, letters from your readers, space fillers, online posts, and even web logs.

There are plenty of old books, especially magazines and editorials, which feature small stories and news items of their times. Many of these stories are relevant in today’s times also and could well fascinate the modern reader.

Editors of print and online publications are always on the look out for people who can provide them with small interesting pieces that can be used as space fillers, but which provide useful information as well. If your stories are unique, or if they are on a subject that has a local audience, or even if your content has seasonal appeal; then they could well be lapped up by editors.

If you source your five minute content from old print magazines, then the content is very likely to be informative and written with proper spellings and grammar. You may just have to find interesting pieces, type them out again, mention the source of the article and send it to the editors. When your article gets published you will get paid, usually very handsomely.

To locate editors who you can send your five minute articles to, you can search in books such as the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook.

Realistic Incident

Here’s a working example of what I just told you about. Some days back, I was going through a few old medical papers. These were from the late 19th century and I was perusing them for another project of mine.

I found some interesting short pieces, articles and some amazing factual information. The information was informative and was also really funny. And by the way, funny and humorous stories are especially very valuable as there is a huge demand for them from editors of current newspapers and magazines. If you can get your hands on such content, you will definitely not have any trouble selling it.

Anyways, coming back to the topic at hand, here’s what I got from my old medical papers:

  • Epilepsy is a condition that largely affects those men who have not undergone circumcision.
  • After spending 75 summers on this earth; a lady from Edinburgh, Scotland became mother to a bonny baby. Talk about late bloomers, this one takes the cake!
  • If you want to know how much time a lady will take to recover from a disease, the soles of her feet will tell all.
  • A well known medical expert in the UK alleges that alcoholics live much longer than teetotallers.
  • You can choose the sex of your baby if you so wish. As Dr Humphrey of London puts it, “Whence making love, the one who has the greater sexual hunger and desire, unto that person the likeness of the conceived will depend.”

All these interesting, funny, and amazing pieces of information have been taken from a single source. There are plenty more that you too can find.

By being a five minute author, you can earn a lot of money, especially if your content gets picked to be ‘Letter of the Day’ or other such content. All you need to do is search through the public domain and locate pieces that are unique, funny, witty, and informative, and sell them to editors.

Idea No. 8: Enhance the Position of Your Website in Search Engines

Enhance the Position of Your Website in Search Engines

As far as search engine positioning for a website goes – content is king. The vast majority of the people doing Internet searches are trying to find information, while the others are looking to purchase products. Search engines thus do not display results based on advertisements and promotions, but choose to list sites that have useful and informative content that is related to the keywords which are being searched on.

Thus, the websites which contain several pages (perhaps running into hundreds of pages) of useful information will be positioned higher up in the search engine results pages than those websites which largely contain ads, sales talk, and other marketing based content. Although all the search engines may not function on these exact rules, most of the major ones surely do.

Adding useful and valuable content to your website can be a costly and time consuming affair. But if you source content from the public domain then you can add pages to your website fast and without spending too much money.

Large books and various other text based public domain items can be used to add several pages of content to a website. These can be broken down into individual articles of 400-500 words each (which is the preferred size of articles for the web) and one article can be uploaded to one web page. Depending on how many pages of content you can add to your website in this manner, your website position on the search engine results pages will be determined accordingly.

Thus, it’s no surprise that public domain products are so popular with webmasters, as they can source hundreds of pages of web content from the public domain items.

Having a high position for your website on search engines is enough to drive traffic to your site, but if you do not have any saleable items then you will not be making any money. Thus, to increase the earning potential of your site, you should add some affiliate links at suitable places between the content and can also think of making money through Pay-Per-Click programs.

Idea No. 9: Creating Your Own Mailing List

Creating Your Own Mailing List

One of the best assets that any business can have, whether online or offline, is a large mailing list. However, creating a mailing list is not very easy because you have to ensure that each contact on your mailing list is a genuine one and people have opted to be on your list. Due to modern data protection rules, you must ensure all this otherwise you can be in legal trouble if anyone blames you of spamming them.

One of the simplest ways in which you can get people to opt for your mailing list is to offer them some type of free item (maybe a small e-book, or a report) that you have obtained from the public domain. If anyone tries to access the information on your site, you could have a pop-up which asks them to enter the name and contact details, on doing which you will send them their free product, and give them access to your site. In this manner, you can add to your mailing list every time someone visits your website.

The link for the mailing list could even be contained in the free item, and it can also have links to various offers that earn you money, such as your affiliate partners and Pay-Per-Click advertisements.

Let’s look at an example of how you can create a mailing list with a complimentary report. The topic of the report is yours to choose, but it is best if you select a topic that is related to your website.

You first need to find relevant content from the public domain, and once you have sourced some appropriate content, you have to copy the content into a Word document. Edit the content and keep only about 2000-2500 words, which is the optimum length for a free report.

Next, you have to format the content a little. Times New Roman or Arial type font is the most used, whereas font size is usually 12 points. For headers you can use point 16 font, whereas the title can be size 20 font. Every new chapter should begin on a fresh page and your report should include a Table of Contents.

Date your report, put down your name as editor and make sure you add a copyright notification to your report. Create a cover page for your report, with an image if possible, and then turn the entire thing into a PDF file, which is much more attractive than a Word doc. Once your PDF report is ready, you simply need to upload it on your site. After that, you just wait and watch your site visitors being tempted by your complimentary download and asking to opt in to your mailing list.

Example Eighteen: Creating a Complimentary Download from the Public Domain to Grow a Mailing List


Get This Wonderful Report FREE On Joining Our Mailing List Which Will be Used to Send You Updated Information and Unique Offers.

Check the Box To be Part of Our Mailing List and We Will Soon E-Mail You Instructions on How to Access This Amazing FREE Report.

The names and contact details of people who check the box can be collected in many ways. You can use an automated email program such as Eudora or membership software like the ones available at aweber.com to gather the details. You even have the option of collecting the details manually by using standard software such as Outlook Express. However, this option is only feasible when you are starting out and you should look at a more automatic system once your mailing list really starts to expand.

The instructions to access the free report must be sent to the e-mail address that was given by the subscriber. This can either be done manually or by using an automated autoresponder system. Just make sure that you keep all the subscription requests properly so that you have some proof if anyone ever says that they did not opt in to your mailing list.

Idea No. 10: Offer Free Stuff to Attract Customers to Your Products

Offer Free Stuff to Attract Customers to Your Products

Giving away free stuff such as a free e-book or a report is not only a great way to grow your mailing list, but can also be used to sell other products. There are many people who would like to know more about your product before they choose to buy it and a free report is a good way to give them such information.

Let’s say for example that you have an affiliate that sells honeymoon packages. You could give away a free report on the ‘10 Best Honeymoon Destinations Worldwide’, which would increase the likelihood of people buying the honeymoon packages you’re selling.

You can achieve a lot of things by giving away free information. Here’s a look at some of these things:

  • As shown previously, a free book or report is a great way to grow a mailing list. Even if your visitors do not want to purchase anything at the moment, with a mailing list, you can send them new and fresh offers from time to time, thus turning them into paid customers as and when they do want to buy. If you have not given the free report, you would have to depend on the visitor actually noting down the details of your site and coming back regularly for new products, which is something that just doesn’t happen.
  • By giving away a free report, you can circumvent skepticism that people have of purchasing products from an unfamiliar source. By reading your free report, a prospective buyer can judge the genuineness of your business as well as understand it. With better awareness, the person is then more liable to purchase from you than through a TV or Web promotion that they have no idea about.
  • You can include various offers in your free report, and along with the great content, the report is likely to be saved by many people. They may even refer to it when they want to buy something and also pass it along to their friends and family, all of whom could become paid customers.
  • And the best part about creating a free report is that it can be compiled using public domain content and you will thus not have to spend too much time or money behind its creation. A free report can be used beneficial by people in all kinds of businesses and industries. For instance:
  • Someone who is selling pillows and other bedroom furnishings can create a free report titled ‘The Benefits of Sleeping Tight’, which can also stress the advantages of their products.
  • If you are in the business of selling cars, you could create a free report called ‘How to Get the Best Mileage from Your Car’, which can contain your business and contact information in case people are looking for a new car.
  • Those who are in the business of selling organic vegetables could create a free booklet like ‘100 Mouth-watering Broccoli Recipes’, which could mention that you offer a service for weekly home deliveries of organic vegetables.

As you can see from the above, practically anyone can create a free report to offer to prospective customers and watch their business grow.

If you are selling an expensive item, such as honeymoon packages, or new cars, or maybe expensive furniture, then you need to make sure your product is unique and unusual. If it is not, then people could end up choosing from the various sellers of such products out there. Here’s where that free report can be very handy.

If customers had a choice of various products that were quite similar in quality, content, and cost, then they would be more likely to pick your product (which comes with a valuable free report) than another one that does not include any kind of freebies.

Introductory Chapters and Sales Letters Camouflaged as Free Reports

A free report can also be used to disguise an obvious sales promotion or to entice people to buy a full length book or report. Sometimes, when I want to promote a comprehensive book to prospective customers, I simply create a free booklet which contains the first few chapters of my longer book or useful information taken from the book. The customer gets a free sample of my book and is also tempted to buy the full version, if the free report contains interesting enough information.

Usually, the full book has been sourced from the public domain and I simply pick up an interesting chapter from my book and include it in the free booklet. I also include an order form in the free booklet itself, so that people can immediately fill it out and send it in. I have seen that this works really well because people have just finished reading the free report and that is the exact moment when you can convert maximum sales.

Your free booklet can also increase sales in some other ways, including

Whatever items you are selling can be included in your free offering. Instead of listing them all in one place, you can include items at selected places within the content where they are appropriately tied in with the information. All the products that cannot be included in this manner can then be listed separately.

Your free report can include links of all your affiliate partners. The links can also appear within the content in relevant places. Thus, even if you do not have any product of your own, you can still benefit from a free report through affiliate earnings.

How to Market Your Goods

Making Use of Google Adwords

In today’s times, if you want to promote your products on the Internet, then you simply cannot ignore the benefits of Google Adwords and Pay-Per-Click programs. What these programs essentially ensure is that your advertisements will be viewed by all those people who type certain keywords into the search engine boxes; keywords that are related to your product. If direct target advertising is what you are looking for, this is definitely the closest you can get.

Google AdWords appear as classified ads on the right side of the result pages of Google, when the same keywords are being typed into the search engine as are included in the ad. Sometimes, your ad can also appear at the top of the result pages.

With these programs, you can easily run a test trial to see what kind of market is out there for your products. You can offer your free report related to your products and evaluate how many people actually accessed your free report. This will give you an idea of how many people may be interested in your product, much before you actually put your product on the market.

Basically, by using various Pay-Per-Click options and Google AdWords, anyone can post a brief ad related to their product. Whether they have any writing talent or web development skills are beside the point, they can place their ad regardless.

Once someone types in the keywords that your ad has been optimized for, your ad will appear in the search engine results pages for all the visitors to see. The keywords that you need to optimize for can be determined through proper keyword analysis. Every time someone clicks on your ad, you will have to pay the site that carried your ad.

This ensures that your marketing is directed to only those people who are searching for the exact keywords that relate to your product and all the people who view your ad will actually be interested in what you are offering.

Advantages of Using Google Adwords, and Other Pay-Per-Click Services

  • Very easy to place such ads as there are no problems that are associated with offline advertising, such as getting recommendations from advocates, chartered accountants, product suppliers or bank executives. As long as you want to post pay-per-click ads and have the money to do so, you do not need anything else for such internet marketing.
  • With Internet marketing, you can fulfil all your advertising requirements in one place. With magazines and print publications you have to worry about separate editions for public markets and for target markets. And if there isn’t a big enough niche market, then the edition may never come out. But with Google AdWords, your ad can be targeted perfectly to your niche market, regardless of how big or small it is.
  • With offline advertising, there is another concern of subscription. If the magazine does not get a large enough subscriber base, it may not be viable anymore, which means your ad may never get seen by people. However, there is no such concern with Internet marketing as it caters to all kinds of people and has billions of people ‘subscribing’ to it.
  • With google adwords, less can actually be more. If you have a very small target market, google adwords will make sure that your ad reaches them; but with such a small audience, you may not have to worry about other people competing for the same adwords. This will bring down the price that you pay for each click, which means that your marketing campaign can be done for peanuts.
  • There is no gestation period with online marketing. As soon as you have completed your adwords form, your ad will be up and running in a matter of seconds.
  • With this kind of online marketing, you can reach a global audience. If your product has worldwide appeal, you can reach practically all kinds of people by choosing ‘All Countries’ for your google ad to appear. However, if your product is targeted to a specific country, or to people who talk a particular language, then you can also limit your ad to appear in such markets.
  • As far as cost is concerned, this can be much cheaper than offline marketing, more so if you do not have any competition for the adwords that you choose. Where you might pay thousands of pounds or dollars for advertising in newspapers and big magazines, a Google AdWords campaign can be started with as less as 10 pounds.
  • You can reach far more people by advertising on Google and other sites than is possible with offline marketing. Google alone has in excess of 200 million people conducting searches every day! And add to that the number of people who visit other sites and you are looking at billions of visitors. Obviously all these people may not be interested in your product, but the potential is far greater than any type of offline marketing.
  • Google adwords gives the chance to smaller companies to compete with the big guys. Although smaller companies may not have as big a marketing budget as bigger companies, they can still benefit a great deal, especially if they can come up with some adwords that have been overlooked or rejected by the bigger guys.
  • Testing your product is very simple, quicker, and much more economical. In just a few days you can determine whether your product will be accepted by people and how big a market you can capture, unlike offline marketing where it can take several weeks or months to test different aspects of your product.

For detailed information about the Google AdWords program, you can visit Google

Using eBay to Sell Your Items Derived From the Public Domain

Using eBay to Sell Your Items Derived From the Public Domain

EBay is certainly one of the greatest avenues for marketing your items, public domain derivatives or otherwise. It has a global audience; there are hundreds of niche categories to list your items so that you can choose the one that best applies to your unique product; and finally, it’s really very cheap.

I won’t go into the detailed explanation of how to use eBay, or extol its virtues here, as I have already done that previously when I was trying to show you how to use eBay to locate books and various other public domain items.

In the same manner that you can use eBay to find public domain works, you can also use it to sell your derivative products. Since this report is not about eBay, I won’t be detailing its workings, but with a little effort, you will be able to see how eBay can be used to market your items profitably.

Alternatively, you could also read up o the hundreds of reports and books that are available on the Internet, which show you how to sell information products on the site.

Miscellaneous Marketing Avenues for Your Public Domain Derivatives

There are several more ways in which you can advertise your public domain derivative items. Some of these are:

  • Tell people about your product. Word of mouth publicity is hugely beneficial.
  • Take out a classified ad in your local paper, or even in the national edition.
  • Request editors of print publications to carry your free report, which can then be read by their subscribers.
  • Create five minute articles for local publications and newspapers, which carry some information about your products.
  • Include your e-mail address and website URL on all your stationery, so that people get these details when you correspond with them.
  • Create a special e-signature with your business name to add to your emails.
  • Consider including fliers or pamphlets about your business and products with each letter or parcel that you send out, whether to your family members, friends, work colleagues, or acquaintances.
  • Conjure up a newsworthy angle for your products and send out a press release; both to online and offline reporting agencies.
  • Join hands with other webmasters to raise enough money for a large advertisement or promotional piece in a publication that has huge number of subscribers.
  • Create your own newsletter or start an ezine, both of which give valuable information to your customers so that they return to your website often.
  • If you receive a lot of mails from people who are selling their own products, you should create your own mailing list of such contacts. But never offer them your products at the same time as they offer theirs.
  • Locate relevant newsgroups on the web and then supply to them regularly.
  • Use card deck to advertise your items.
  • Try and get into joint venture agreements with people on the web and off it.

List of Places to Locate Public Domain Items Easily and Quickly

The site of America’s Library of Congress is a great resource for people looking for public domain items. This site provides you with plenty of information, but not all of it is public domain. In spite of that, it is very popular with people seeking public domain information and worth looking at.

Copyright Law Websites of Various Countries

Please note: we try to keep these links live and up to date – we cannot be held responsible for sites outside of our domain. If you find dead links lease would you let me know!

Major Websites for Downloading Public Resources

Official Documents of United States Government

History of America

Motion Pictures, Animated Works, Films, Photos, Plays, and Theatrical Works

Books and Reports

Art and Photography

Articles and Guides

Movie, Audio, Video, and Sound Recordings






Choreography and Sheet Music


Where to Source Articles for Your Derivative Books

Websites for Renewing Copyrights

He that will write well in any tongue must follow the council of Aristotle: To speak as the common people do and to think as wise men do.