Where I find public domain books and periodicals…

I’m a big fan of Project Gutenberg, and I use a good deal of U.S. Government information as well, but for most sites I like to have content that just doesn’t exist elsewhere on the Internet. So, I go shopping.

AbeBooks is one of my favorite places to spend my PayPal stash.

Here’s what I do….I hit the advanced search link, plug in any keyword and set the max Published Date value at 1922 and the Country to USA, then start the search.

Abebooks search

When I find a book I want to buy, I add it to the cart. From the cart, rather than going back to the search results, I choose to browse the books that same bookseller has in the database. From that results page, I refine my search to books published before 1922 with the advanced search option in the sidebar.

Abebooks refine search

This gives me a chance to look for books in all topics, and come up with niches I hadn’t even thought of yet. And if you purchase lots of books from the same seller, shipping is MUCH cheaper than ordering many books from different sellers.

There are plenty of public domain books published after 1922 as well, but finding those requires research, and fast is what I’m after here. For really productive niches, I’m more than happy to do the research, but before there’s a certainty of profit at the other end of the research rainbow, I’d rather stick with quick, since time, as they say, is money.

Most of my purchases are between 5 and 7 dollars, and provide lots of content, and plenty of future ideas. I’m also very fond of purchasing old magazines in library bindings. Because they’re bound and marked with library stamps, they have less value for collectors, but for me they’re a great deal because I can get a full year’s worth of issues in one package for the price most sellers ask for single issues.

For those who are concerned about spending cash on their first public domain books, I’ll post this weekend on the many different ways you can use the exact same book to generate revenue and traffic.

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