Book Review: The Public Domain Publishing Bible

This is an updated version of the post that was originally posted on September 22, 2011.

The Professor Can Help You Sell More Books!•Title: The Public Domain Publishing Bible
•Sub-title: How To Create “Royalty” Income For Life
•Author: Andras M. Nagy
•Publisher: Murine Communications
•Publication Date: 2011
•ISBN: 978-0-982499-41-2
•Author Website: None

“Great insightful advice for the novice publisher.” JCK

This is an easy to read and comprehensive guide on how to republish public domain books to get started as a self-publisher. Heavy emphasis on starting and running a self-publishing company on a very tight budget. Plenty of practical advice and resources for doing this. Nagy also discusses how, what, and why he republished books that are in the public domain.

The Public Domain Bible, by Andras M. Nagy

I really enjoyed reading Nagy’s book. It’s an easy-to-read and comprehensive guide on how to republish public domain books as a way to get started as a self-publisher. There’s a heavy emphasis on starting and running a self-publishing company on a very tight budget. He gives us plenty of practical advice and resources for doing this.

It was very helpful to read about how, what, and why Nagy himself republished books that are in the public domain. This is a practical how-to book that will appeal to every budding entrepreneur looking for a way to enter the world of publishing. I wish that I had found this book before I got started as a publisher of public domain books. I had to discover all of this information on my own by doing a lot of research over a long period of time.

My Favorite Piece Of Advice
One of my favorite pieces of advice appears early in Nagy’s book when he recommends that a novice publisher should choose a genre that they know something about. It should be a subject that you already love and can easily see yourself devoting time and money to. Nagy suggests, “If you wish to publish classical literary works, you should be reading and studying your genre. If you like poetry, perhaps that genre is to be tried first.”

More Great Advice
Nagy gives us another great piece of advice when he stresses that we should consider adding original content to the out-of-copyright book. This will add value to the final book. This added content, such as “editorials, footnotes, and illustrations,” will help make it easier for your readers to understand the content of the original book. It’ll also help the buyer choose your “value-added” edition over all the others that are available for sale that don’t have the additional content.

A Word From The Author
In Nagy’s Foreword, he explains that “The cornerstone of using public domain information is to creatively build upon existing ideas and works of art.” “With some fresh ideas, and using this book, anyone can do what I have done on a shoestring. There are many aspiring authors who find it comforting to run a publishing company while working on their own creative literary urges.”

How I Relate To This Book
As a publisher of a few public domain titles myself, I can personally testify that Nagy’s information and advice can work. My wife Michele and I own and manage a medical training company here in New York. Most of our students are nurses. We realized that many of them, especially the younger ones, had never heard of, or read the works of, Florence Nightingale.

So, we decided to republish Nightingale’s most famous book, “Notes on Nursing”. We turned it into an “Annotated Nursing-Student Edition.” We added quite a lot of new “value-added” content to make the book much easier to understand and use. We like to say that we made the book “student-friendly and teacher-friendly”. We added a foreword, section headings, focus questions for each chapter, a glossary, Nightingale quotes, an index, footnotes, and a list of additional sources.

The book was well received and has become mandatory reading in many colleges throughout America. We like to think that our book played a small part in the tidal wave of renewed interest in Nightingale.

Whether you’re self-publishing part-time or full-time, I definitely recommend that you check out Nagy’s book. Republishing at least one public domain title that is related to the other books that you publish, as my wife and I did, might also be good for you too. My wife and I were lucky to find a title that happens to be a very important book within the industry that we work in.

It seemed only natural for us to republish that book and turn it into a student-friendly book that modern nurses could enjoy and learn from. To this very day, that very book continues to bring us income and also helps spread the message that the original author had to share.

About Joseph C. Kunz, Jr.

I am an author, husband, father of twins, grandfather, and small business owner near New York City. I created this website to share my self-publishing and small-business adventures, insights, and experiences.
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