More than a decade ago, just like the proverb'strike while the iron is hot' – many people began publishing old classics on amazon kdpthat are in the public domain, available freely on the internet.
This way money started flowing into theiraccounts with little efforts.
But the side-effect to this was that manylow standard ebooks started flocking and piling up on the Kindle ebooks ecosystem.
For example, you would be knowing this book'Pride and Prejudice', which has more than 100 editions and versions with mostly allsame content and no much difference.
But there is no value addition in having samecontent in different versions.
Do we? With the passage of time, we might even reach1000 versions and more.
That's when, Amazon took note of it, got annoyed,and put some policies and guidelines in place.
which is what we are seeing right now on thescreen.
Amazon clarifies that their program allows the selling of content that is in thepublic domain.
But they want a proof that the book is indeed in the public domain.
Atthe same time, they also clearly specify that the book that we are trying to republish musthave undergone some improvements in the form of either translation, annotation, or addoriginal illustrations pertaining to the book.
Not having understood this information, westill have some people who happily try to publish public domain content without addingany further value or enhancing its related information.
This could lead to the book gettingbanned, and if continued, their KDP account can get blocked too! That's why it becomes all the more importantto first learn how to choose a public domain book that has some room for improvement whilealso remain profitable.
So, how do we choose which public domain book to republish – thatis if you really want to add value to it? So let's first see what Amazon KDP Team hasto say about this.
We need to provide proof that the book isindeed in the public domain, and also provide the names of its authors or translators.
Thisis first and foremost – you might have already observed this when trying to publish a publicdomain book – an email arrives as soon as the book gets into the 'Review' phase in the publicationefforts.
At the same time, we must ensure the bookhas improved in its value by adding a translation, or annotation or add illustrations to thebook.
This is what is being referred to as 'Differentiation', as you can see here onthe screen.
Just one or more of those requirements – if you can get more than one, then all themore good chances of getting approved.
If you observe, there is no much guidanceon what needs to be done except for these important distinctions.
However, there isa good number of items that clearly shows what doesn't count as being differentiated.
These are okay to do, but doesn't win you the approval of the book from the KDP Reviewteam, if you do.
When it comes to translation, it's straight-forward- just pick a language that you are fluent in, translate it into another language thatyou are confident in writing.
Typically, English is pretty common, so if you find any bookthat are in your native language, you can translate that to English.
Or vice-versa – finda book that's in English and translate it into your native language.
Next, with annotation, here are some ideasthat can be categorized into 'Annotating' a book.
You could add a section with glossaries,guides, explanations, significance of the ancient texts and their impacts on the society, etc.
Then, with illustrations, we need to add aminimum of 10.
The more the better.
That's why, it's best to know which book you aredealing with – thus making it inevitable to review that public domain book at least onceto understand it better.
Overall, to summarize, adding extra contentis compulsory.
Imagine you are the buyer of that public domain book.
What would you expectwhen you pay for it, instead of just freely downloading it from Gutenberg or any publicdomain websites.
Start from there! Alright, let's now see how to research onhow to choose a public domain book.
You might be already aware of this websitecalled 'Feedbooks'.
Once you are there, click on the 'Public domain' tab to see a huge listof books that are in the public domain.
But how do we decide on which one to choose fromthis huge list? Some books might be famous, while some could have been in the oblivionfor long, without many noticing its existence.
The difference between both the numbers couldbe vast.
So, how do we know which book gets downloaded or searched by the masses? Well, click on this 'Popular books' section.
As we can see here, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' is at the top in the search resultsfor Popular books.
We can easily pick this up and publish, but there is an obvious risk herethat many will do this same step, thus there is more competition for this particular book.
Now, it makes sense that then we can choose another book from the top 10 or top 20 oreven top 100 in this list.
Let's say I have chosen the secret adversarybook.
I also see a download button here.
This is exactly when many commit the mistake ofdirectly downloading from here and uploading it on to Amazon KDP.
No wonder, the booksdon't get published and they end up getting their account suspended.
The problem here is that although its mentionedthe book is in public domain, you can also see that there is clear note given insidethis book that says 'this book is strictly for personal use, and not to use this filefor commercial purposes'.
Am not saying this is the only reason thattriggers the account suspension because there are some who get past this level of scrutiny as well- and am also pretty sure that it's not difficult for Amazon to crack those publishers someday.
If notnow, the account will get eventually suspended, if this practice is followed blindly, becausethere is a clear case of 'explicit' text that disallows the commercial use of these booksfrom Feedbooks.
That being said, the positive side of thisdevelopment is that we at least got to know that this book is one of the top-most searchedbook by real people around the world.
There is also another information that's gold here- just observe their 'source' section which clearly mentions that this book was actuallysourced from Gutenberg itself.
So, let's now head to Gutenberg website andsearch for this book in their database.
Once you find it, click on this Bibliographic Recordtab – where we can validate two things – one, the copyright status that the book is indeed in thepublic domain (this is helpful when KDP Review team asks us proof), where we can send this hyperlink and two, the number ofdownloads in the last one month.
This translates into more than 100 books per day! Now that we have validated that this bookis a good choice, we also need to check the competition on Amazon itself to ensure weadd unique sections to our version of the book, in order to encourage people to buythis version.
Additionally, you can also click on the Author'sname (or the category names) on Feedbooks website to find more works from the same author.
This is a useful information because it helps you to guide your readers to pick their nextbook.
Since, they have read this one (hopefully the complete book) chances are more that theymay want to read more from this same author.
Just make their job easier by adding a noteat the end of your book like this one, while linking to another similar book from thissame author – which you can create as well.
All the links given in this video are providedin the video description below.
Just click on 'Show more' to get them.
Alright, now that we have seen how to picka public domain book to republish, there is also a risk of picking something that hasa tight competition as I mentioned earlier.
The Kindle Review team could reject our worksciting this as a reason.
So, in my next video, we'll see how to find how many are published,how many downloads are done for a specific book on Amazon, and how to decide if we wantto proceed with the publishing or not.
I will see you again in my next video.
Until then, you take care.