A few days ago I sent out an email with this little tidbit - “I will share idea getting in the next few days. I hope it will help you (and others) get some ideas for jumping into the “game”.”
Did you think I was going to share ideas about public domain games? That might be a good idea – but I’ll save that for another time.
The reason I call this a game is because it’s fun, entertaining and has a pretty easy learning curve. AND it should make money! My kind of game.
I’ve shared a “jillion” ideas on this blog for using public domain content to create profitable products.
Today I will speak a bit more about generally the “getting of ideas”… specifically for products that we are NOT going to create derivative works from, just plain ol’ “as is” products. (Remember that I always recommend the “clean and shine approach to these products).
These ideas are for eBay products (not Amazon Kindle or CreateSpace).
These ideas are Only About Books – (or Magazines)… not about images, maps, video or audio.
I have many ways that I get product ideas… Once you get the “hang” of what you are actually selling, you will have a jillion ideas as well.
What do I mean by “get the hang of what you are actually selling?
Well – you are selling information. It’s a simple as that. (unless you are selling images, games, fiction, video or audio).
The best selling product seem to be non-fiction “how-to” stuff and the like. Don’t get hung up with the idea that a how-to product must be current info.
When I say “how-to” – it can be about how to do anything! A few examples:
- Analyze Handwriting
- Weave a Basket
- Build a Chair
- Repair a Tractor
- Search for Gold
- Travel to Some Exotic Place
- Cook German Food
- Learn About Some Historical Time, Event, Fashion
- Build a boat, travel trailer or tree house
- Draw, paint, create anything
- Get Healthy
- Have a better marriage
- Sew, crochet, knit or weave
How Do You KNOW What To Sell?
As I’ve said before (many times) you will never KNOW until you put something out for sale. It’s not a proven product until someone has paid you for it.
You can make educated guesses… by using a lot of imaginative detective work.
Today I was reading my new copy of AARP magazine (Yes – I’m getting closer to retirement age faster than I want to) – I see a tiny little blub about “Face Saving Fruits and Veggies’s” – These fruits and vegetables rank high for antioxidants according to a study. Then they “list” out the perfect fruits and vegetables.
Remember that “lists” are not copyright protected.
22 specific fruits and vegetables are on the list. I could create a “new” product with recipes that included just those fruits and veggie’s. That would be a derivative re-written work.
Good idea! But – we are looking for ideas that don’t include creating derivative works.
I turn the page in my AARP magazine and see in an article that “Big Batch Cooking” is a good way to use up fresh foods that have been purchased in bulk (the idea is to use before the stuff rots). Okay… so could I find several public domain cookbooks that will help someone cook in “Big Batches”? (canning would be one way… but what about freezer cooking?)
I turn a few pages in the magazine and see another note about “Backyard Games” (see I did talk about games after all)… and how Bocce, croquet and badminton can be played with one hand while holding a cocktail in the other.
What if you gathered up a few books about games that are “one handed games” and a few cocktail books and grouped “em together as a “Backyard Games ‘n Cocktails for Adults” compilation?
How about “Make the Yummiest Pie Ever”… That was the title of a small blub and I read that it is about a brand new cookbook called “The United States Of Pie”:
(click to make image larger)
An utterly charming collection of regional heirloom American pies, from long-lost recipes to classic favorites, sweetly illustrated and chock-full of time-tested baking tips and secrets for perfect pies
Before cooking shows and celebrity chefs there were church dinners, community bake sales, and county fairs—events for which regular women made and served their prized family recipes, especially for that homiest and most American of desserts, pie. In the United States of Pie, Adrienne Kane invites readers on a journey back in time as she scours the country for—and shares—those recipes: the pies that have come to define culinary traditions from the West Coast to the East Coast, from the Midwest to the South.
Sourced from old newspaper clippings, out-of-print cookbooks, housekeeping guides, and the spiral-bound, mimeographed booklets of church groups and community associations, the recipes in the United States of Pie showcase the innovative spirit of American home cooks in the era before processed foods and flavorless, imported produce took over grocery shelves. Here, tested and updated for contemporary palates and with an emphasis on local, seasonal fruit and dairy products, are both re-imagined classics and newly invented creations that celebrate sharing lovingly homemade desserts with friends and family. And whether you’re serving up slices of Meyer Lemon Cream Pie, Concord Grape Pie, or Burnt Sugar Meringue Pie, your lucky guests will definitely ask for seconds.
With helpful sidebars on baking tips and techniques ranging from the best thickeners for fruit pies to why home bakers should embrace corn syrup, a chapter dedicated to how to make the perfect pie crust, and charming, insightful essays on pie-making traditions around the country, the United States of Pie is more than just a cookbook; it’s a must-have baking resource for novice and expert pie makers alike.
This is Another Derivative Work!
Rather than a derivative work – could you find a few public domain cook books (the old church types) just about making pies?
And then I see a short article titled “How Beekeeping Leads to Sweet Rewards”… About 120,000 beekeepers are practicing their craft in the U.S. There is a magazine devoted to Bee Keeping called “Bee Culture” with a website beeculture.com.
I’ve seen plenty of “Raising Bees” type products… but what about a product that teaches what to do with the honey? The beeswax? The idea of pollination?
Back to Veggies again… Vintage Veggies – Burpee Seed Seller tripled it’s stock of heirloom seeds because home gardeners want to grow veggies with great flavor. Well – couldn’t you find some “Vintage Grow Veggies” books that might be perfect for the “heirloom” gardener?
I also see an advertisement for a convention in New Orleans… I know that an entire compilation of New Orleans related history books would be interesting.
What About Lists For Ideas?
You won’t believe what you can find out from lists! I have a bunch of places I know about that have “people generated” lists.
One place I will share is (of course) Amazon.
Amazon has lists generated by “real people” called Listmania:
and other “people generated” lists called “So You’d Like To”:
Try to find these lists – I dare you! LOL
Amazon doesn’t make these lists easy to find… but I have links for you!
This is a link to the search area for “So you’d like to” – (I’ve inserted the word “history” – but you can search for anything:
This is the link to Listmania (with history inserted again)
Bookmark these links!!!!
My suggestion: Spend a bit of time on these two list generators…
Type in a niche topic (instead of history) and see what lists come up. You will see product ideas unfold before your eyes!
For instance: I typed into Listmania Search “Southwest Indians” -
The reason this list was created:
“I am doing research for a book I want to write about Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico mostly 19th century” – this means the author of this list is researching a specific subject (my theory is one person is researching so are others).
Now… go look for public domain books related to this subject and create a compilation. Call it something like “19th Century History of Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico“.
See… that was easy!
And… Amazon has Forums for you to scope out! This one is the Amazon Cooking Forum. Forums are often a wealth of ideas.
I also have two more articles about niche ideas:
What I Don’t Want You To Do
I know you do this (so do I). I head over to eBay and found all the Public Domain sellers I can and start to look at their top sellers. This is fine for research! It WILL give you an idea of topics that sell.
Don’t copy what they are doing… be different! As George said in a comment “Just one idea. There are so many more in your brains, go and find them. Think outside the box as much as you can.”
If you do what everyone else is doing… your prices will suffer.
Hope this helps a bit…