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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Public Domain Backlash at the iTunes App Store

It was inevitable that someone would port Public Domain texts over to iPhone. You can now purchase over 100 Public Domain ebooks (at a cost of $.99 each) for sale in the iTunes App Store. Some enterprising individuals have repurposed a bunch of novels from to sell in the online store, including classics such as Dickens and Tarzan. But before you get the idea to jump on the iPhone Public Domain bandwagon, you might want to read some of the customer reviews directed at the company who is selling the Public Domain books. While there are a few people who appear to be glad the classics are now available, there is a growing voice of objection as well. I’m not surprised. One person complained,

“This and all similar blatantly stolen labour needs to be removed right now.”

So the question to ask is, “Is the iPhone the next frontier for selling Public Domain books or not?” At this point, my answer is mixed…yes and no! With the popularity of Kindle and now iPhone Apps, people are going to want access to books, including those in the Public Domain. But to simply re-package text from…well, I would tend to agree with the complaint above. It all goes back to what I’ve been saying about the Public Domain all along: It’s proven content to be used as the foundation to create new, hybrid products. So my challenge to anyone wanting to port Public Domain titles over to the iPhone is this: Why not make the classics free and create a line of hard-to-find books to sell on the backend?

There’s another factor that will play into all this as well…PDF access. The moment iPhone gets an app that will read PDF files, it could be game over for the early sellers of Public Domain content at the App Store. Of course, that will also open up new opportunities for publishers as well, especially considering that Amazon’s Kindle doesn’t read PDF’s either.

So, should you rush out to start offering Public Domain content for iPhones? Not yet. Let the new software mature a bit. Mobile devices are here to stay, and so will be the opportunities to create content for them. But at this stage of the game, the early bird may NOT get the worm…just a lot of pissed-off iPhone users.

Take Me Out to the (Public Domain) Ball Game

You’ve probably noticed that I talk a lot about information content for online and offline businesses. There’s a good reason for that…you can’t have an information-based business without information! Now that’s obvious! There are other marketers that focus on list-building (need that), traffic (need that), or other strategy or “trick of the month” but without CONTENT, nothing else matters.

I personally believe that the Public Domain is definitely the place to start for YOUR infomation and content needs, especially considering just how much information is available in the Public Domain. I like to call it the One-Two (Three) punch. “One” referring to Books, “Two” referring to Magazines and “Three” referring to Images. With books, magazines and images JUST from the Public Domain, you have access to enough “stuff” to create literally millions of products. Of course, you probably only NEED to create a few.

I often receive e-mails from different ones who aren’t sure where to begin, or what niche to start with, so I’ve listed some general niches that have a lot of potential for products and have tons of content in the Public Domain. I also listed three examples for each one, knowing full well that many of the general niches have dozens or even hundreds of sub-niches. So think of this list as a starting place as you read down through it.

  • Hobbies (collections, crafts, visual arts, etc.)
  • Research (genealogy, historical, science, etc.)
  • Sports (vintage, tips and tricks, personalities, etc.)
  • Animals (pets, training, care, etc.)
  • Historic (major events, famous personalities, technology, etc.)
  • Trades (architecture, building, DIY, etc.)
  • Health and Beauty (skin care, exercise, natural products, etc.)
  • Communication (writing, linguistics, public speaking, etc.)
  • Medical (remedies, homeopathy, herbal, etc.)
  • Food (recipes, farming, nutrition, etc.)
  • Transportation (trains, planes, automobiles, etc.)
  • Bizarre (paranormal, UFOs, unexplained, etc.)
  • Literary (poems, short stories, authors, etc.)
  • Arts (dance, acting, painting, etc.)
  • Science (alternative energy, how things work, everyday science, etc.)
  • Religion (ancient texts, translations, discussions, etc.)
  • Family (pregnancy, child-raising, relationships, etc.)

Just for the sake of it (and for example), I decided to pick just one broad niche (Sports) and drill down into it as far as I could into sub-niche possibilities (please note that this is not exhaustive but will still help paint the picture I want you to see). Below is the method to my madness:


Sports => Baseball

LEVELS: Professional => Minor League => College => High School => Little League => T-Ball

Then you have:

  • Equipment [glove styles, bats, pendants, uniforms, etc.]
  • Officiating [rules, umpires (great and notorious), etc.]
  • Baseball in Other Countries
  • Historic Teams
  • Famous Players
  • Managers / Owners
  • Parks / Fields
  • Great Plays
  • World Series
  • Scandals
  • Improving Your Game
  • Collector Stuff [stamps, baseball cards, patches, hats, programs, etc.]
  • Baseball-related Novels and Books
  • Photographing Baseball
  • Songs Related to Baseball

Within each of the items above, you can often go even deeper. Think about all the teams and players to have played the game. And consider the fact that, to create your Baseball-related products, you would have books, magazines, newspapers, ephemera, photographs, paintings, audios, films and more at your disposal. And that’s JUST Baseball.

So I hope you can see, once again, the huge benefit the Public Domain offers you for your information and content. No other source of information compares!

In “Limitless Blog Content,” I break down exactly how to find a massive amount of content for your niche or sub-niche. The content is there…waiting for you to grab it as use it. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about duplicate content. You can learn more about this fresh approach to content creation HERE:

Digest It a Little…

It’s no secret that there are huge amounts…unimaginable amounts…of great content available in the Public Domain. You literally have free access to the genius of some of the greatest writers, entertainers, inventors and artists to have ever lived. In the rush to “find the next gem” or “create the next product,” however, we often miss one of the key benefits of the Public Domain…the actual information. We create our products, articles or blog posts to get our “wonderful” info out to the masses, but never take the time to actually digest any of it ourselves. There are many books from the Public Domain that have honestly changed my life in some way, or made it richer. So it’s not just about “making a buck”…it’s about becoming. Becoming the better person, the better husband, the better craftsman, etc. AND helping others to become the same!

I recently found a great book on Salemanship in the Public Domain…I’m offering it to you here today as a gift (since it’s likely you were unaware of it util now). The book is in raw text form so you can edit it or use it however you like to create a new product, blog posts, whatever. But, before you start the ‘ole “product creation” machine, do yourself a favor and READ the book. It’s full of gems. You’ll be a better person (and salesman or marketer) for it.

You can download the book HERE!