How to get Old Books that are in Public Domain?

18 replies
Hello folks,
i have located a few books that belong to Public Domain. But when I requested my library for those books they said that they cannot get it. Now where can I get these books? Are there any specific places that I can look into to get these old books?

Thanks,
Dan
#books #domain #public
  • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author LynnM
      Try Abebooks or Alibris.


      Lynn
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  • Profile picture of the author JakeJafims
    Hey Dan,
    I've had pretty good luck at AbeBooks.com.
    Click on the link for 'more search options' and you can enter a date.

    You can also check out the Gutenberg.org for PD books that have already
    been scanned in.

    Jake
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  • Profile picture of the author yourreviewer
    Thanks. So to convert the content into word format, you need to buy the book and have them OCRed, right?
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    • Profile picture of the author arepb
      Originally Posted by yourreviewer View Post

      Thanks. So to convert the content into word format, you need to buy the book and have them OCRed, right?
      That's one way but probably more difficult. One value of finding a book that's already scanned is that you just copy and paste (and hopefully rebrand and come up with your own take). But by finding something that nobody's scanned, you're almost guaranteed to have an exclusive (until someone takes your work).
      Signature
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      • Profile picture of the author la dominatrix
        Why not waht can you expect, when you have taken someone elses.

        Originally Posted by arepb View Post

        That's one way but probably more difficult. One value of finding a book that's already scanned is that you just copy and paste (and hopefully rebrand and come up with your own take). But by finding something that nobody's scanned, you're almost guaranteed to have an exclusive (until someone takes your work).
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  • Profile picture of the author SageSound
    I've been finding a lot on Google Books lately....
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  • Profile picture of the author jayveen
    Google has probably already scanned it and made it available at books.google.com. A big part of the google books controversy is that they are also scanning old books that are still in copyright but whose owners can't be found. But if the book is truly in public domain, there is no copyright issue and they can make the whole book available for free.
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  • Profile picture of the author tj
    Some books can be obtained via Interlibrary Loan, the problem is with this kind that you often get books that you can use only inside the library and cannot be checked out. Other possibilities are: Abebooks, Google books, Archives.org, etc.

    Timo
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  • Profile picture of the author John Rogers
    Originally Posted by yourreviewer View Post

    Hello folks,
    i have located a few books that belong to Public Domain. But when I requested my library for those books they said that they cannot get it. Now where can I get these books? Are there any specific places that I can look into to get these old books?

    Thanks,
    Dan
    If you're looking for specific titles, try Amazon.com. Old books, unless rare and in demand, generally sell for pretty cheap there.

    John
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  • Originally Posted by yourreviewer View Post

    Hello folks,
    i have located a few books that belong to Public Domain. But when I requested my library for those books they said that they cannot get it. Now where can I get these books? Are there any specific places that I can look into to get these old books?

    Thanks,
    Dan
    Hi Your Reviewer,

    Actually, there seems to be a lot going on here.

    The first question I would ask is, what do you want to do with the book/information?

    Sure, you can find tons of stuff for free that's already been scanned, but so has the rest of the world. So, if you can find it, then why should they want to pay for the information from you? Sounds a little harsh doesn't it? Sorry, I didn't mean it that way. What I'm trying to say, is that it's hard to make money from things that are free and readily accessible.

    I love your thinking though. You've found a book, but can't find it out there. That's a good start. You just need to know where to find it, and with all of the resources mentioned above, if I found it there then I would know for sure that this is not the book that I would want then! Does that make sense?

    Therefore, I think I can help you out and I would like to take this on as a project/challenge.

    Here's the project/challenge:

    If you could PM me the book (Title, Author's Names, year published, etc.) or you can mention it here, but I don't know if I would do that, that you are looking for I will track it down for you then tell you where you can get it. Hopefully, it won't be found (scanned and ready to go already) in some of the above-noted resources. I'm hoping to find it in a rare book store. These are the types of books you want to work with, in my opinion, but may not be the case in all situations. Again, going back to my original question, it all depends on what you want to use the information for.

    Looking forward to embarking on this challenge.

    Happy PD Hunting,

    JMB
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    • Profile picture of the author Kirk Ward
      Originally Posted by arepb View Post

      That's one way but probably more difficult. One value of finding a book that's already scanned is that you just copy and paste (and hopefully rebrand and come up with your own take). But by finding something that nobody's scanned, you're almost guaranteed to have an exclusive (until someone takes your work).
      One risk you run if someone has already scanned a book is that it may be modified and portions are thus copyright owned by the person who did the modifications. In that case, I'd stay away from anything scanned or derivative and do the work myself from the printed document, after determining that it is actually in the public domain.

      Cheers
      Signature
      "We are not here to sell a parcel of boilers and vats, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice."

      Dr. Samuel Johnson (Presiding at the sale of Thrales brewery, London, 1781)
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      • Profile picture of the author TheMagicShow
        Originally Posted by Kirk Ward View Post

        One risk you run if someone has already scanned a book is that it may be modified and portions are thus copyright owned by the person who did the modifications. In that case, I'd stay away from anything scanned or derivative and do the work myself from the printed document, after determining that it is actually in the public domain.

        Cheers
        Kirk makes an excellent point. You'll never know if a scanned book has been modified by the individual or corp that scanned the book. Using all the online tools to find books is great but just know that majority of them is also found by thousands of other entrepreneurs.

        The way you can profit from scanned books is to possibly make a audio book out of it, or use the content and information with a twist to create your own products. Public domain materials are great but you need to be clever to really profit from it.

        All of the great books/materials on PDs are read by many entrepreneurs, so creativity and standing out from the crowd is key to making money from it.
        Signature

        " You can either give a man a fish and feed him for a day OR teach him how to catch a fish and it will feed him for a lifetime"

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  • Profile picture of the author Troubletwin
    the websites provided here are useful
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