PUBLIC DOMAIN PROFIT
Century Magazines: An Amazing Source of Public Domain Information
Magazines from the very
early 1800s are rich in public domain content, both information and
illustrations, and are amongst the most productive and profitable areas
for publishers today.
I’m thinking of weekly
magazines like THE PENNY MAGAZINE and THE SATURDAY MAGAZINE which,
though just ten or twelve pages long, were packed with great articles
about important subjects of the day, alongside intricate engravings and
line drawings which are immensely rare and hugely popular today,
including on eBay!
It was around the early
1800s that the English language developed to the format we recognise
today. For earlier magazines, few of which remain today, most
people are hard pushed to understand the ancient Olde English
terminology and strange characters and symbols featured in everyday
words like ‘mifs’ (miss) and ‘e’en’ (even). This makes it really
difficult for public domain enthusiasts to transform into eBooks and
other information products for readers today. In another article
I’ll tell you why you might focus on these more difficult to recreate
products but for now let us look at their later counterparts.
Magazines from the 1830s
onwards come closest to resembling modern day English and are amongst
the riches sources of public domain content for today’s publishers.
So I recommend you dig deep at boot sales and flea markets for magazines
from the 1830s to early 1900s where you will find a great many fabulous
public domain information products. This is why:
You’ll find articles and texts from the early to mid-1800s amongst the
best researched and most professionally written of all time. It
was much harder in those days to become a published writer and only the
very best made the grade. Typewriters were still some decades from
appearing on the scene, so all articles and books were handwritten.
It was a lengthy process, meaning 19th century writers faced
much longer periods than happens today between researching and writing
and receiving payment for their work. Only the best educated
individuals, usually from privileged backgrounds, had time, expertise,
talent, inclination and financial backing to spend long periods writing
for payment many months later.
* Reading was a
major preoccupation and sole source of entertainment for many people in
the early 1800s. So magazine articles were much longer then and
often extended to ten or twenty pages and typically covered subjects in
depth as opposed to focusing on specific sub-topics like articles today.
Life is fast today and people spend very little time reading, so
articles are often intentionally short and readers can read more about
the subject online or in fast download eBooks. Those longer
comprehensive articles of earlier times are perfect for recreating as
complete eBooks and web site content and readers will rarely encounter
gaps in the information or be left with questions unanswered.
* In short, you really
could create an authoritative eBook or web site on the strength of one
quality vintage magazine, especially from fact-packed supplements on
really important matters of the day, such as a December 1837 supplement
to THE SATURDAY MAGAZINE featuring hundreds of strange and little known
facts about the people, places and customs of a place whose name few
people knew – NEW ZEALAND. This particular article, in a magazine I
bought last week for 50 pence (about one dollar) will make a wonderful
eBook or entire content web site, and I bought many more similarly
valuable magazines that day.
Let me leave you with one
thought. Imagine finding well written articles, several thousand
words long, all waiting for you to scan and convert to text and add to
your web sites and begin generating AdSense and other affiliate
commission literally days from now.
Imagine paying a dollar
apiece or cheaper in bulk for hundreds of early magazines such as I
found at a flea market last weekend from which to pick and choose and
develop several money making projects for many years to come!