What if I told you that Walt Disney built the foundation of his multi-billion dollar business on public domain books written by other people.
Ever heard of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid?
Blockbuster Disney movies, right. But before that, they were public domain books written by other people.
Disney’s most recent mega-movie, Frozen, which has grossed $1.3 billion in less than a year, was based on a public domain work by Hans Christian Andersen that was published 170 years ago!
Public domain books are works that are no longer subject to copyright protection. The copyright has expired, either because of age or because it wasn’t renewed, and that means the work (also known as “intellectual property”) is available for anyone to use. It’s in the public domain, so it is “available to the public.”
Moby Dick, for example, the classic work by Herman Melville, is one of the millions of books that are in the public domain.
You can use the book as is…or you can create some new content from the old work. That way you create what’s called a “derivative work.” Disney took a public domain work and then created some new content from the old content. And from that came a derivative work that Disney could copyright and claim as their own.
It could be as simple as taking a public domain book, getting it formatted and offering it for sale on your own site or on one of the big retailers like Amazon. I did this with books by classic self-help authors Vernon Howard, Robert Collier, and Claude Bristol.
Or you can legitimately “steal” Disney’s secret and turn public domain books into something new. We took the number one selling success book of all time, Think and Grow Rich, and used a simple trick to create a derivative. In our first year of sales it earned us over $100,000. And it continues to generate income more than seven years later. Plus, we have a copyright protecting it for another 95 years!
Using public domain works are a quick way to create an e-book but two notes of caution:
1. Amazon has specific rules about public domain books and what you need to do to get them accepted so follow the rules.
2. You need to know the rules about public domain and about copyrights, because copyright infringement is a serious, serious matter. There are a lot of free resources on the web that are easy to follow and understand but do take the time to study them.
If you’ve wanted to cash in on the booming book and e-book business but don’t want to have to write it yourself, you can find your treasure in one or more public domain books.
The truth is, this is a perfect way to make money from overseas. There are simply so many ways you can create income from them. To see some examples, watch this special presentation I’ve prepared for you…
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