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Build An Information Empire Starting With Less Than $1,000

Tyler G. Hicks

by Tyler G. Hicks

YOU CAN GET MORE THAN 10,000 PUBLIC DOMAIN INFORMATION PRODUCTS at little or no cost and use them any way you want. Public domain (or “PD”) information is not copyrighted, so you can use it to create new products easily and then sell those products for a profit in your own business. PD information products are yours for the asking or for a small fee. They include many:

  • Books (business, novels, reference, etc.)
  • Business studies and reports
  • Consumer guides and reports
  • Videos (education, entertainment, etc.)
  • Software, CD-ROMs, diskettes
  • Audio tapes (books, music, etc.)
  • Full length films of many kinds
  • And more

PD INFORMATION OFFERS EXCITING POSSIBILITIES to people who want to get into the information business without a lot of startup cash, inventory, or experience. How do you use PD material to build your own information business? Here are your steps:

  1. Get to know the sources of the PD material. The federal government is the biggest source, because information that it creates is automatically in the public domain, unless otherwise indicated. Other typical sources are state and local governments; companies and nonprofit groups that maintain collections of PD materials; and businesses that specialize in selling PD items.
  2. Pick the topic(s) you want your product(s) to cover. A good place to start looking is the Catalog of U.S, Government Publications. It lists PD products covering more than 225 broad topics–from aerospace to zip codes–and thousands of subtopics. For details on the Catalog or the items listed, contact any Government Printing Office (GPO) bookstore or one of the 1,350 Federal Depository Libraries in the U.S.
  3. Choose the types of products you want to sell. PD information is available in many different forms, as we've seen. But it's important to know you can get your information one way–say, a 150-page book–and sell it in a different way–say, as a report on audio cassettes or as a series of five smaller printed reports. Or you could combine the report with other products to make an even more valuble (or “value-added”) product. The most reliable way to make money with PD material is to create value-added products–products that are more appealing, convenient, and useful than the PD sources they came from.
  4. Contact the source of the PD information you want. Ask for a catalog, browse their store or library, or visit their Web site. Be sure the source confirms that the material you wnat is in the public domain, If there's any doublt, don't use it.
  5. Start selling your information products by mail order, on the Internet and however else you can reach your potential customers. Place inexpensive or free classified ads in local newspapers. Your value-added products will cost next to nothing to create, you'll be building the base for your growing business and you should soon have enough new money to add other products to your line as well.

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