What do you get when you cross a fascinating, true-life, human-interest story…a powerful dose of nostalgia…and a touch of vintage flare?
You get your next potential Amazon best-seller, that’s what!
I tripped over a very interesting book today in the Internet Archive that completely side-tracked me and almost made me forget why I was there in the first place (yep, that happens a lot!)…
What I found is a Public Domain book called, “Tramping and Camping”, published in 1912. It’s the gripping, inspirational story of Mr. and Mrs. Woolfe and their epic travels across the eastern half of the United States…on foot!
After being told by his doctor that he was literally wasting away and dying, Mr. Woolfe and his devoted wife Stella hit the road…with nothing more than their dog, their horse, and the packs on their backs…
And what they found was nothing short of miraculous – they found life, love, health, and ultimate triumph in the face of extreme adversity.
I don’t want to ruin the story for you…that’s not my intention.
It is my intention however to draw your attention to this book for a really good reason. There are thousands of human-interest stories out there in the Public Domain just like this one that can be republished successfully because they pretty much already have a huge, automatic, built-in audience.
Everybody likes to read about the underdog…the mother that won big despite overwhelming odds against her, the hero that triumphed magnificently even though he was dealt the worst hand of cards imaginable…
People love this stuff…and there’s tons of it available to you in the Public Domain for republishing. All you have to do is find them, polish them up a little, and reintroduce them to the world.
And in many cases, you really don’t have to polish them up much…maybe add a foreward, create a nice new cover, and come up with some good promotional stuff to use when you’re pitching the book.
Let’s take a closer look at this particular book and you’ll see what I mean…
Check out this introduction taken directly from the book…
“The unique experience of Mr. and Mrs. Dwight H. Woolf, the champion Long Distance Walkers, has awakened general interest through-out the United States.
In 1909, Mr. Woolf’s doctor informed him that he would have to get out in the open and stay there, or he would die. He weighed only 107 pounds, including clothes, and was growing weaker daily. Yet he hesitated about giving up his business as a music publisher — his life work; and it seemed a little short of madness to forego all the luxuries — the so-called “comforts” — of civilization.
But Mrs. Woolf, who was a brave, sensible woman, thoroughly devoted to her husband’s interests, agreed with the physician and suggested a walk to the Ozark Mountains.
That was the beginning of a most remarkable series of trips through Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and up through the north Atlantic States to New York and Boston, then home to Kansas City — in the aggregate, a journey of about 10,300 miles.
Yet, wherever the couple went there was really but one destination — health.
Mr. Woolf gained strength and, not long after starting, was able to make twenty-five or thirty miles in a day. Clad in neat khaki uniforms, he and his wife — now the leading woman pedestrian of the world — marched from city to city, accom-panied by Dolly and Don, their faithful horse and dog.
The group was often surrounded by cheering crowds, or met by newspaper reporters and escorted with honor by delegations of police into the pres-
ence of mayors and other officials, who received the travelers cordially.
But the “Walking Woolfs” gained something far more valuable than honor or fame; and their advice to others who have suffered from the effects of sedentary work is:
“When you get into a rut walk out of it.”
He who draws close to nature is rewarded in many ways, not the least of which is perfect health.
The object of this book is to preach the doctrine of exercise and fresh air.”
Wouldn’t this make a great description for an Amazon listing?
And it’s already been written for you!
A really enterprising person could use this book as the script for a wonderful documentary as well.
What do you think? Maybe your “niche” is in publishing inspirational human interest stories…after all, touching people’s lives is a wonderful business to be in!
Just something to think about…
Want more Public Domain “Hidden Treasures” just like the one above?