Creating Derivative Works From Public Domain Content



The article on this page is a preview of some of the content

taught in Module 2 of the Public Domain How To course.

Module 2: Creating A Derivative Work.




Damien DupontFrom:
The Desk of Damien Dupont

There are a number of key advantages to using public domain content to create your own product. For starters, it can halve (or more) your product creation time.


Secondly, and depending on the topic, most or all of the subject matter research has already been done for you.

In addition to this, it takes the pressure off you because you don't have to set yourself up as the authority or expert. Instead you can set the original author up as the authority, and you can rely on his or her credibility.

Rich Dad, Poor DadRobert Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" series of books is an example of this. Given what Robert has achieved personally, there would be no reason why he couldn't be the expert giving the advice. But instead he chooses to credit all the principles he teaches to his Rich Dad: "My Rich Dad taught me..." he says.

This gives Robert a greater degree of freedom with what he can say. If he makes a mistake, he can always attribute the error to his Rich Dad (although, to the best of my knowledge, nobody really knows who "Rich Dad" is, or whether he even ever existed?).

You can make use of this same principle to an even greater degree when creating a product derived from a public domain work, because in that case there is no question about the existence of the original author.



Russell Brunson's 3 Step Process For Using Public Domain Books

For those of us who re-monetize the treasure trove of public domain books available, the most common strategy I see employed is the original work simply converted to digital format and being sold as an ebook. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, and indeed it can be quite profitable, there are greater opportunities available to monetize public domain books at a much higher level.

Russell Brunson teaches a three step process to using public domain books.

Step 1: As Lead Generation Material

One of the most unique and powerful aspects of the public domain is the ability you have to use that content as a way to generate leads. This could involve creating a mini-report pdf to give away as an email auto-responder optin incentive, or copying and pasting parts of the book to create articles to use on your website or blog, or for a newsletter auto-responder series, or to syndicate to article directories such as or to Web2.0 sites such as or


Public Domain Magazine SecretsPublic domain magazines are a particularly good source for articles because they are already in an article format and don't require any adaptation which is often necessary when copying and pasting 800 words from the chapter of a book.

If you're syndicating your article to an article directory or Web2.0 site, whilst providing value, your article should not tell the full story, but rather lead the reader back to your main product, or back to your website via the resource box at the bottom which should say something along the lines of "to learn more about <insert subject matter>, visit our website at".

Another method you can use is to simply split the entire book up as multiple pages on your website. Unlike creating individual articles from a book, which requires some adaptation, this method requires no re-writing. You simply create individual pages of 800 to 1200 words each, and link them all in sequence so visitors can theoretically read the entire book from the pages on your site.

This creates tons of feeder pages for your website within the search engines, which can generate a lot of traffic. You can add a newsletter optin form to each page, and monetize the pages with Google AdSense ads, affiliate links to relevant products, or your own product in that niche. You can also sell the entire book itself in pdf format, which some of your visitors will opt to purchase as it is more convenient for them to print out a pdf and have a copy to keep, as opposed to reading page after page off of a website.

Step 2: For Creating A Lead Product

This is simply taking a public domain book and reselling it "as is" in either pdf or physical format for anywhere from $17 to $47. This is what most people who are reselling public domain books do, except that they focus on this step as if it were the end goal.

Rather then spending a lot of time creating nice looking websites, graphics and sales letters to sell each individual book, Russell advocates focusing on going wide and republishing multiple public domain books as ebooks or physical books (Russell lists several recommended "print on demand" publishers in the course).

His aim is to spend less time on perfection and more time on quantity. When you have ten ebooks out there, you will quickly see which one is performing best, and that is the niche that you want to focus more time on to develop a backend and higher ticket product for, as that is the one that has proven itself for you.


Step 3: Creating Your Higher End Product

Once you've found a book that sells well, it's time to put the effort into creating a higher ticket derivative product based on your original public domain work. The key concept to bear in mind is that a book will only sell for so much, but people will pay more for the exact same content if it's in a different format.


33 Days to Online ProfitsFor example, if you're selling a nicely packaged CD set analyzing the material taught in a book, coupled with transcripts and a physical copy of the book, people will be willing to pay significantly more for the product. Yanik Silver and Jim Edwards were selling a popular ebook for $39 entitled 33 Days to Online Profits. They then converted the material from the book into a video tutorial on 2 CD-ROM's and increased the price from $39 to $129, and the video version has been selling successfully now for years.

Think & Grow Rich audioI referred to an example in the public domain riches article where Ted Ciuba has taken Napoleon Hill's classic Think and Grow Rich book, updated it, and republished it as "The New Think and Grow Rich". Yet another author, R.C. Ossenbach, created an audio product of the same book by simply recording himself reading the unabridged version of it.

Whilst the paperback version of Think and Grow Rich sells for as little as $5.99 on Amazon, R.C. Ossenbach's 12 CD audio set sells for $49.95 with great success (just see the customer reviews for his product, if you like, by clicking the graphic at left).

Many people are too busy to read, but spend an hour or more each day in their car, so there is a high demand for audio products. But this is just one of many possibilities as you could also:




Turn the work into a PowerPoint slide & video presentation. You could create an accompanying audio track of yourself teaching each of the slides, and use a screen video capture program to capture both in sequence. Then burn the video to a CD or DVD;



Interview a current day expert in the field for a teleseminar, which could later be sold as a stand-alone product. Whilst not based on a public domain product, this is pretty much what Yanik Silver has done for his $97 Public Domain Riches teleseminar where he interviewed Bruce Safran, Matt Furey, and Rebecca Fine (more on both Matt and Rebecca in a minute);



Turn the work into a home study folder/course format;



Turn the work into DVD video format. Matt Furey did just that by taking the concepts from a public domain book by wrestler Farm Burns, and creating a 12 DVD set of himself demonstrating the moves, which he has been selling for years to wrestling enthusiasts for $597 at


The Science of Getting RichRebecca Fine has created an entire business and product line all based around the 1910 classic by Wallace D. Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich. She gives the book itself away for free on her website as a lead generation tool. However, she's also recorded herself reading the book which she sells as a 2 CD set for $32.97, and has also created an online course based around the principles in the book.

So Rebecca gives away a free copy of the book and upsells people to her course and/or audio version. But other options could include upselling to a video or physical version of a book, or selling resale rights to the book with an accompanying e-cover graphic set and/or sales letter, or even selling resale licenses to your own physical derivative product. There are no restrictions on what you can do with a public domain book. You are really only limited by your imagination.




Wrap Up


This article has been a preview of Module 2 of the Public Domain How To course: The Power of Derivative Works. Besides expanding upon the above topics in the course, Russell also covers the following in Module 2:



Three companies that do "Print on Demand" publishing: Russell Brunson's recommended sources where you can get physical versions of your ebook printed and drop-shipped at very little cost to you, and without the need to carry any inventory;



Two companies that "Burn & Print" CD's & DVD's: Again, these are Russell Brunson's recommended (& inexpensive) sources for the creation and drop-shipping of CD's & DVD's;



Transcription services: two companies that Russell recommends who can inexpensively create transcripts for your audios and/or teleseminars;



How to design a website for maximum sales: Russell reveals some of the common mistakes many web-marketers make on their websites, and the web design concepts you need to be aware of to maximize your sales;



Payment collection, Affiliate Programs, and Thank You pages: Russell gives us an overview of each, and lists his recommended payment collection and affiliate resources;



How to write enticing ad copy that will persuade your prospect to purchase your product. Russell reveals a set of copywriting shortcuts that will allow you to get good fast!



Outsourcing: Russell stresses the importance of outsourcing and only doing what is important that you can't hire someone else to do. All else should be outsourced, and Russell provides us with some valuable outsourcing tips to follow.






As stated at the top of this page, this article is a preview of the content covered in Module 2 of the Public Domain How To course: The Power of Derivative Works.


There are a further five modules covering the remainder of Russell Brunson's Public Domain How To system, more than 11 hours of audio content in all, accompanied by transcripts and a workbook. For a preview of the content contained within all six modules of Public Domain How To, subscribe to our e-course below.




Damien Sig




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