How to Use the Public Domain for Your Information Products

The only caveat to using public domain material is that you must check to make sure that the material you want to use is definitely in the public domain.

You need to ensure that you are using the original public domain work as later versions of this work possibly have been revised or annotated, and that adaptation could have been protected by copyright.

To explain this in an easier to understand manner, think of the original public domain work with a fresh layer of material added to it, and not just the same material was written differently. The fresh layer is what has the copyright — NOT the public domain material.

So, to be on the safe side, it is wise to have and keep a printed copy of whatever original public domain work that you use for your information material so that if you are ever questioned about your e-book source material (which is highly doubtful) you have proof that you used the original works.

There are four main categories of public domain material that you can choose from to create your information product.

1. Plain, every day “generic” information such as blank forms, titles, facts, ideas, numbers, etc.

2. Any written material that is still under copyright that has been donated or allowed to be used by permission of the author. Sometimes, out of the goodness of their heart, or for reasons unknown, authors will allow their work to be used regardless of whether it has a copyright.

3. Anything written or produced by the Federal government or anyone writing information and/or materials FOR the Federal government.

4. Any material that previously had a copyright, but lost it for one reason or another and is now in the public domain.

I well remember how excited I was when I first found out about public domain material. It was as if my fairy godmother had waved her magic wand and spilled open a treasure chest in front of me! I spent several hours that first evening in mute fascination, just looking through the lists and lists of books on every subject imaginable, articles, pamphlets, and other information that I could hardly believe I could actually use to develop into an information product.

Then, when I discovered that there were several online libraries containing more public domain material than I could ever read in a lifetime, I was hooked. I knew I was onto something massive, and the very next day I was galvanized into action.

I selected a public domain work and developed it into a short but information-packed e-book in just one day. I chose this particular information because it blended beautifully with another information product I already had on my website for sale.

I used it as an upsell (remember our definition of this term above?) to this information product that had been selling for me on a fairly steady basis. I offered this upsell for $9.99, in addition to the $39.99 for the e-book already on the site and sat back to see what would happen.

In a couple of days, I was shocked and very, very pleased! Sales of my e-book had not only picked up dramatically, but 45 % of the people who bought it also bought the upsell e-book for an additional $9.99! I actually got emails thanking me for the information in the upsell e-book!

I then did another experiment. I chose another public domain book and gave it out for free as a bonus along with another information product I was selling. That free bonus was irresistible, I guess, and since the only way people believed they could get it was to buy my e-book, sales for this one soared as well. To say I was thrilled is an understatement indeed!

But, enough about me and my success with using public domain material. We’re here to help YOU use this material to craft an information product that will make a ton of money for you! In a shorter time than you ever dreamed possible, you will have an information product of your own all written and ready to sell. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

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