Sunday, April 29, 2007

Monetizing the Public Domain

I would like to share with you a project that I've been working on for the last couple of months.  It's a new website called the History of the Book of Medicine.  This is basically a website set up with Word press and on the website I am reviewing and studying very old medical textbook that's now in the public domain.

Books are going to the public domain can be reprinted on the Internet.  Determining if a book is in the public domain is not an easy process, but once you figured it out there are many things that you can do.

  1. You can record the book is an audio book and offer it for download
  2. you can republish the book as an e-book
  3. you can republish the book online
  4. in my case I've opted for a bit of digital archaeology, and I'm reviewing a book like I would review a dinosaur bone that I dug up in the desert.


This last approach provides a number of interesting monetization capabilities.  First I get some very rich content from the book itself.  Plus I get a great deal more content for my own thoughts thinking about the book or analyzing the subject matter of the book.  The website is soon to go up to a page rank of three after its only been up for several weeks.  I expect it to hit page rank four and five soon after that and it's also picking up a good deal of traffic.  As this is a bit of a historical and archaeological work I also expected to pick up some decent education back links from .edu sites.

So if you happen to be in an auction don't just ignore that old dusty book, and don't buy just to make your bookshelf look fancier old fashion.  Consider the value of that information once it's digitized!

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