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Posts Tagged ‘public domain’

Covert Art Research

It appears I struck a chord with the last two posts on creating physical products. I appreciate all the comments and feedback. In this post, I decided to up-the-ante by sharing a clever research strategy and combine it with another sneaky method for finding high-rez Public Domain images. This approach isn’t being taught anywhere so you’re learning it here first!

Imagine how powerful it would be to have 3.5 million art-buying consumers tell you exactly which Public Domain images they like to purchase. Information like that could revolutionize your “art” business, couldn’t it? Think about it…one of the keys to succeeding in business is to know what your prospects want (or the problem they need solved) and providing them with the answer. So, if we had a way where buying customers, and LOTS of them, would tell us what they like through their consistent purchasing decisions, the results would be a good indicator of what WE should consider selling as well, right?

Good news! That is EXACTLY what I am going to show you in this post! There are two websites online that sell a massive amount of art posters: AllPosters.com and Art.com. Between the two websites, they receive 3.5 million unique visitors per month. That’s HUGE! Plus, with each site offering around 500,000 art choices, it becomes pretty easy to consider that we may be able to identify buying trends. What’s cool is that both sites make our covert research pretty easy! Let’s get into the process. It works the same for both sites.

The first step in the process is to identify what the best-selling images are on each site. Below are screenshots that show you where to click to discover that information for each site. On AllPosters.com, you want to click on the circled link, “View more in ‘category’ (Bestsellers)”. On Art.com, click the “Bestseller” link in the top navigation bar.

Once you get to the Bestseller section of each website, you will notice that you have several style options. I typically look at the “Fine Art” and “Vintage” bestsellers, since many of those bestsellers are actually from the Public Domain. The screenshot below shows the top-sellers in the Fine Art category on AllPosters.com. I also want to point out that AllPosters.com is SO kind to actually tell us the copyright date for the art that was purchased! How kind of them…grin.

Now we could stop there and, with just a little time, you would gain valuable insight into which images consumers are purchasing the most…valuable info!  But I’m not planning to stop there. It’s great to know WHAT people are buying, but what about finding the actual files for the images so that you can sell the same images (or related ones) yourself? Check this out…let’s pick an image, like the “Great Wave” image in the #3 position and right-mouse click on it. Choose “Copy Image Location.”

Next we are going to open a new tab and visit the site, TinEye.com. Once there, we want to “Paste” the URL we just copied at AllPosters.com into the “Enter image address” section and click “Search.”

TinEye will search through 1.8 billion images and return results that are identical or similar to the image URL you entered. Once the results are returned, you want to sort the results by “Biggest Image.” You will notice in the result below that our largest result is 4,335 X 2,990 pixels…large enough for us to print a decent 16″ X 20″ print! How cool is that? And, we know that the image is in the Public Domain because AllPosters.com listed the copyright date as 1829!

I hope you see the power in this strategy! Now, to be completely transparent, you will NOT find high-resolutions of EVERY image using the method I just showed you. However, it’s likely that you WILL uncover MORE images than you are currently aware of. Now, for the sake of completeness…let me show you another site that you can ALSO use to find similar image results. That site is GazoPa.com. The process for this site is very similar to that of TinEye, but the results work a little different. Below is a screenshot of my result using the same image URL.

You can see that GazoPa found the same size image as our results turned up using TinEye. I have found in some cases, however, the one site might return results that the other doesn’t, which is why I usually check both!

Okay…that’s it. In just a short period of time, we have not only identified some of the top-selling art images online, but have also discovered a way to connect us with some of those digital files as well so that we can create our OWN versions of those best-selling posters! Go have fun with it!

Art Print Creation Strategies

In my last post, I shared about the importance of creating and selling physical products. It’s a must-do part of your business for more reasons than just making money (like building credibility, new markets, etc)! In this post, I thought I’d continue the discussion by focusing on one of my favorite types of physical products: Art Prints. I’ve been conducting a lot of research on price and quality and have identified the best options for getting high-quality, low-cost prints made.For definition-sake, an art print can refer to any type of printed image, from maps and photographs to labels and posters.

It used to be that if you wanted to produce art prints, say 18″ X 24″ or 24″ X 36″, you had to go to a printer and have them produced in mass quantities to make them cost effective. When I managed the commercial printing companies in the late ’80s and early ’90s, my pricing model started with a base price whether you were printing one copy or thousands. The cost of creating a negative and plate for a job as well as the press startup were always the same. And if you wanted a 4-color job, it was expensive…especially in low quantities. Of course, with digital printing and large-format inkjet printers, all that has changed…and the pricing, if you know where to look, is pretty amazing.

Previously I mentioned Zazzle and CafePress as important considerations for creating and selling physical products. I still believe that, especially when it comes to testing new markets or product designs. But for long-term product creation…art prints for our example today…they are NOT good solutions. When I compare pricing models in just a moment, you’ll see why.

Two of the most popular art print/poster sizes are 18″ X 24″ or 24″ X 36″ and there are several options for having them produced. Some companies (like Zazzle or CafePress) will allow you to purchase just one copy. Other companies require a minimum quantity purchase (typically 100). Of course, in many cases, buying in quantity means a cheaper cost per unit, as we will see. In some cases, however, you may only want to purchase one print initially to test the market, and then increase printing numbers from there. Let’s take a look at our current pricing options for Art Prints.

(Prices are Cost per Print and do not include S/H fees)

Zazzle.com: 18″ X 24″: $19.95 24″ X 36″: $34.95

CafePress.com: 16″ X 20″:  $16.00 23″ X 35″: $19

ShortRunPosters.com: 18″ X 24″: $2.97 24″ X 36″: $9.97

As you can see, the best option by far is ShortRunPosters.com. Their quality is excellent and are, in my opinion, the best solution for short-run art prints/posters. If you find that you need 100 or more art prints of the same image (such as for a promotion or of an image that is selling well), there are better options that will drive your costs down even further. I recently found a company I had not heard of, JiperorPrint.com, who produces all types of printing including posters. While they require minimum runs, their prices are amazing compared to former solutions I’ve used like PrintPelican.com and PSPrint.com. Let me give you an example based on the above sizes.

(Prices are Cost per 100 and do not include S/H fees)

JiperiorPrint.com: 18″ X 24″: $109 ($1.09 per print)  24″ X 36″: $179 ($1.79 per print)

The prices are amazing! And if you bump the quantities to 500, check out the cost per unit:

18″ X 24″: $175 ($.35 per print)  24″ X 36″: $336 ($.67 per print)

Think about this…why purchase 100 18″ X 24″ prints for $109 when you can get 5 times that many for $66 more?! Amazing! Now perhaps you’re thinking, “That’s great, Tony, but what if I want to print smaller sizes? It looks like my options are limited.” Well, I’m glad you asked! The thing is, just because you’re printing an 18″ X 24″ print doesn’t mean the image HAS to be that size! You can fit two 11″ X 17″ prints side-by-side on a sheet or even four 8″ X 10″ prints on a single sheet. So let’s say you want to produce 8″ X 10″ prints of four related images…you could put one of each on a sheet and drop your cost for each of the four down to just $.75 (when printing at ShortRunPosters.com). Below are examples of a recent print order I had produced at ShortRunPosters.com that demonstrates what I mean:

Full Size

Two-Up

Four-Up

As you can see, there are a LOT of possibilities for ganging your prints!

In closing, I want to mention one quick note about using ShortRunPosters.com…they have a $10 flat shipping fee so ordering just one print is still expensive. What I do (and recommend) is order multiple prints of several layouts. The shipping cost remains the same but is spread out over your order of prints. Also, make sure you use as high a print resolution for your files as possible. I recommend NOT going below 180 DPI with 300DPI being the ideal!

I hope that this article has inspired you to consider getting your own prints made. The art print market is HUGE (especially on eBay), and with the cost of prints I’ve shared above, and the millions of images available to you in the Public Domain, you now have ZERO reason to venture into this profitable market! So go get ’em!

Legally “Steal” Taxpayer Dollars?

TAXES…we ALL have to pay them…from income taxes and sales taxes to gas taxes and luxury taxes. We EVEN have to pay death taxes! We have no choice. Our tax money is “needed” so that our government can “pay for” all sorts of important stuff that is beneficial for us. You know the routine…you earn the money, give some of it to the government, and they spend it! And so “we the people” have developed a mindset that once that tax money leaves our paychecks, credit cards and checking accounts, it is GONE… FOREVER!

Once the money is spent by the government on important, necessary stuff it is no longer available to us because SPENT means, “it’s not ours anymore.” Right? NOT NECESSARILY! What if there was a way that you could get ALL your taxpayer dollars back and more…legally. Would you be interested? I knew you would be! Check this out:

http://publicdomainblog.com/taxes

The New Public Domain Mark

Creative Commons announced the release of its Public Domain Mark, a tool that enables works free of known copyright restrictions to be labeled in a way that allows them to be easily discovered over the Internet. The Public Domain Mark, to be used for marking works already free of copyright, complements Creative Commons’ CC0 public domain dedication, which enables authors to relinquish their rights prior to the expiration of copyright.

This is great news for those of us who use Public Domain-based content for product creation. The new Public Domain Mark will give us the ability to target keyword searches to find Public Domain content easier and faster than ever before! To learn more about the Creative Commons’ Public Domain Tools, click HERE!

Europeana—Europe’s digital library, museum and archive—is the first major adopter of the Public Domain Mark. Europeana estimates that by mid-2011, the Public Domain Mark will be used in connection with millions of out-of-copyright works made available through its portal. With the adoption of this new standard at the highest levels of content preservation, it is likely that most other major content holders will adopt the standard as well. Which is GREAT news for us!

Today, Creative Commons announces the release of its Public Domain Mark, a tool that enables works free of known copyright restrictions to be labeled in a way that allows them to be easily discovered over the Internet. The Public Domain Mark, to be used for marking works already free of copyright, complements Creative Commons’ CC0 public domain dedication, which enables authors to relinquish their rights prior to the expiration of copyright.

“The Public Domain Mark is a further step on the path towards making the promise of a digital public domain a reality,” said Michael Carroll, a founding board member of Creative Commons and a law professor at American University.

Europeana—Europe’s digital library, museum and archive—is the first major adopter of the Public Domain Mark. Europeana estimates that by mid-2011, the Public Domain Mark will be used in connection with millions of out-of-copyright works made available through its portal.

“An important part of our mandate is to ensure that digitized works made available through Europeana are properly labeled with rights information, including when a work is free of known copyright restrictions so that teachers, students and others can freely use it in their work, changing it and remixing it as they wish,” noted Jill Cousins, Executive Director of Europeana.

The Public Domain Mark in its current form is intended for use with works that are free of known copyright around the world, primarily old works that are beyond the reach of copyright in all jurisdictions. We have already started mapping the next phases of our public domain work, which will look at ways to identify and mark works that are in the public domain in a limited number of countries.

Native Americans in the Public Domain

Since my girls are dancing at a Native American Powwow today (and I am writing this post from there), I thought it would only be fitting to share some excellent government resources related to our Native peoples.

There a literally thousands of photographs available online that show many of the tribes from around North America. I have found many excellent photos of: tribal lands, clothing, arts and crafts, rituals, ceremonies, battles and much more! There are also excellent resources that share traditional stories and beliefs, historical accounts and medicines. Below are a few of the resources you can check out if this niche is one that connects with you.

Library of Congress

National Archives

Tribal Government Info

Native American Photos

To see some of the t-shirts I offer, created from photos found on some of the sites mentioned above, click HERE!

ALL My Products Are on Sale This Weekend!

I’ll keep this brief…I know the weekend is here!

For the next three days (October 8 – 10, 2010), I’m putting my money where my mouth is by discounting EVERY product I have in a pretty significant way. Why? Simple. I am committed to your success and want to make it as easy as possible to get moving forward in starting your online business, or, if you’re already selling online, to help you shift to the next level!

I also value you as a member of my list or reader of my blog. There is a LOT of BS out there in the Internet Marketing space, and I want to provide as MUCH real value as possible, and for the next three days, for less!

So here are the details…

For the next 3 days, the following products will “ring up” with a $20 discount off their regular price:

Copywriting Basics that Work: (http://copywritingbasicsthatwork.com)

Create Audio Products: (http://createaudioproducts.com)

Public Domain Code Book: (http://www.publicdomaincodebook.com/home.html)

Build Your Business Using FREE Tools Video Series (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

Leveraging Social Media for Online Success Video Series (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

Niche Market Research Video Series (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)


ALSO, for the next 3 days, the following products will “ring up” with a $30 discount off their regular price:

Easy Money Picture Project: (http://www.easymoneypictureproject.com)

Limitless Blog Content: (http://www.limitlessblogcontent.com)

Public Domain Explained: (http://publicdomainexplained.com)

Public Domain Profit Centers: (http://www.publicdomainprofitcenters.com)

WordPress Mastery Step-by-Step: (http://wordpressmasterystepbystep.com)

Creating Powerful Photo-Based Videos Video Series: (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

Creating E-Book Products from Beginning to End Video Series: (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

Photoshop Product Creation Tips and Tricks Video Series: (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

Product Creation Strategies Video Series: (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

This offer will NOT extend past Monday, October 11th and will not be repeated again. So NOW is the time to take advantage of these prices and invest in quality products that will help you build your online business!

Tony

Need Music? The Public Domain Can Help!

If you are creating any types of audio or video-based products, chances are like that, sooner or later, you will need music for background, intros, outros and more. There are a number of excellent royalty-free options, like StockMusic.net. But what about the Public Domain? Are there any resources for great-sounding audio in the Public Domain? YES…there are!

When it comes to finding music in the Public Domain, the research is a bit trickier than, say, books or magazines. The primary reason for this is that the copyright protection afforded to music is governed by State laws, not Federal ones. Because of that, nearly ALL recorded music is off limits…even music recorded before 1923! The good news is that there are exceptions…and the exceptions are what I’m going to share here.

There are primarily two sites you will want to explore for finding recorded music in the Public Domain. Both sites chose to place their music in the Public Domain which makes them exceptions…it’s their right to do that.

The first site worth visiting is MusOpen. Their available music is almost exclusively orchestral. I really like the approach this site takes for the music. They find musical scores that are in the Public Domain and then approach high school, college and other orchestras to perform the pieces. Once recorded, the music is then donated back into the Public Domain and made available on their website. They offer some great choices.

The second site I want to share with you today is one that is new to me. It’s called FreePD, and similar to MusOpen, the music on this site was also donated to the Public Domain…but for a different reason. The contemporary music you’ll find on this site was part of a collection of music generated by a working musician who wanted to give back some of the huge amounts of music he creates on a regular basis. The result is this website. I’ve listened to a number of tracks here and the music is quite good. You will find contemporary, rock and other genres on the site. It’s not a huge collection, but definitely worth checking out!

I hope you find these two sites helpful to your product creation efforts. If you know of any other sources for recorded music in the Public Domain, feel free to share them with all of us in the comments below! Thanks!

Easy Audio Products Using Public Domain Content

My good friend, Wendi Friesen (an amazing…and funny…hypnotherapist and teacher), contacted me yesterday through Facebook with a simple question…

Tony, if a book is in the public domain, I can read it record it without a problem, right? What else do I need to know if I want to sell an audio version?

Perhaps you have had the same question. If not, you SHOULD be asking it, or at least creating audio products of some type. The reason is that audio products are the ONLY product type that your customer can take with them anywhere! They can’t read ebooks while driving and they catch watch those training videos of yours while walking the dog. Audio, however, can be taken and listened to anywhere, and on a myriad of devices, from smart phones to MP3 players, iPods, CD players and much more! The other important piece of info I shared with Wendi was that, because you are creating a derivative product from an existing Public Domain work, it qualifies for copyright protection because recording the audio requires “minimal creativity,” a requisite according to copyright law. How cool is that?!

What I shared with Wendi, and now with you, is that the process of creating an audiobook from Public Domain content is truly THAT simple, with no other “catches” or things to worry about. Of course, you need a way to sell your audio product, but the creation process is pretty straight-forward. Pick the Public Domain book, magazine or content of your choice, read it into your computer using a USB mic (like the Audio-Technica AT2020 USB mic), record it using audio software (like Audacity, which is free), and save it as an MP3. That’s it…pretty straight forward.

Of course, you can also add intro music and other bells and whistle, break them up into podcasts, sell them through iTunes, etc., but the basics of creating audio products using Public Domain content are pretty simple!

My course, Create Audio Products, goes into great detail, step-by-step, on how to creating different types of audio content, where to FIND audio content already in the Public Domain and a LOT more. It’s time to create your OWN audio products!

Tony, if a book is in the public domain, I can read it record it without a problem, right? What else do I need to know if I want to sell an audio version?

New Publishing Options with PubIt!

Barnes & Noble just provided us with a new opportunity for profiting from our e-books (like those from the Public Domain). Their new program, just launched October 5th, is called, PubIt! and gives anyone the ability to publish e-books for their Nook reader. What makes this a worthwhile consideration is, first of all, PubIt! uses the epub format, just like Apple’s iBooks for the iPad, Sony’s e-Reader and other devices. Second, Barnes & Noble has apps to offer their books on the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android and the PC.

After signing up for my own account, I did some investigating to see if B&N said anything about the Public Domain. Here is an excerpt from their terms concerning copyright:

Copyright Infringing: Material to which you do not own the copyright or the right to distribute. Public domain content may be posted to PubIt!. Barnes & Noble may, at any time, request validation that a given eBook qualifies as a public domain title.

So the good news is that the door is wide open for Public Domain titles. Now before you get the bright idea to upload PD titles and load them with links to other products and offers, you will also want to consider this statement as well, again from the PubIt! website:

Advertisements: Material contained within your eBook that primarily seeks to sell a product other than the eBook itself is prohibited.

In case you are wondering what kind of profits can we make from selling our e-books through PubIt!, here is a breakdown of the royalty structure:

Publisher will be paid a royalty off the List Price according to the following terms:

1. For eBooks with a List Price at or between $2.99 and $9.99 – 65% of the List Price

2. For eBooks with a List Price at or below $2.98 or at or greater than $10.00 (but not more than $199.99 and not less than $0.99) – 40% of the List Price

So, if you haven’t figured it our yet, keep your prices in the $2.99 to $9.99 price range…grin. With Barnes & Noble jumping into the e-publishing bookstore fray along with Apple’s iBook store and Amazon’s Kindle, the future is looking mighty bright for those who choose to sell e-books (and not just Public Domain e-books…hint…hint) through these marketplaces.

The UK’s Open Government License

Public Domain content in the United Kingdom recently took a huge step forward with the release of the Open Government License by the UK Government Licensing Framework (UKGLF). The Open Government Licence (OGL) is a simple set of terms and conditions to enable the free re-use of government and public sector information.

“The OGL covers information where the relevant rights owner, or Information Provider which has authority to license the Information for use, make it expressly available for use under the terms of the OGL. This can be achieved by a clear statement in the information being licensed, or in a position which relates to the information, or by means of a hyperlink.

The OGL can cover:

  • non-personal information and works which are subject to copyright and database right (much of this information will be accessible on public sector web sites or already published by the public sector)
  • previously unpublished datasets released by the public sector; and
  • source code and software originating from public sector bodies.

Much of this information will be accessible on public sector web sites, online portals or printed publications.” (excerpted from HERE)

When a UK “work” is licensed under the OGL, the Licensor grants you a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive licence to use the Information subject to the conditions below.

You are free to:

  • copy, publish, distribute and transmit the Infomation;
  • adapt the Information;
  • exploit the Information commercially for example, by combining it with other Information, or by including it in your own product or application.

There is also attribution required as a part of the license, very similar to a Creative Commons license.

The OGL opens up a LOT of amazing content for use in product creation and more (you saw point #3, right?). One example of the wealth of content available under this license is the National Archives in the UK, which contains a massive treasure trove of documents, images and more. Make sure you spend some time reading this exciting new license in its entirety, then prepare to embark on a treasure hunt of UK proportions!

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