You’d like to investigate Kindle publishing, but you don’t have the time to write ebooks. Many of my students feel this way: “I’m not a full-time writer, so I don’t have time to write ebooks…”
When I hear this complaint from writers, I ask them to check their archives. If you’ve been writing for a year or two, chances are that many ebooks are hiding on your hard drive.
You can create ebooks from:
- Articles you’ve written to which you have the copyright;
- Research you’ve done when you created content for others;
- Blog posts you wrote for your blog;
- Ebooks you’ve written and forgotten;
- Emails and forum posts you’ve written…
Big Question in Kindle Publishing (and other publishing too): Do You Have the Copyright?
Consider what you’ve been writing, and then ask yourself that question.
Generally speaking, if you write for someone, and they pay you, that’s a “work done for hire”:
“In the United States, a work made for hire (work for hire or WFH) is a work created by an employee as part of their job, or some limited types of works where all parties agree in writing to the WFH designation. Work for hire is a statutorily defined term (17 U.S.C. § 101), so a work for hire is not created merely because parties to an agreement state that the work is a work for hire. It is an exception to the general rule that the person who actually creates a work is the legally recognized author of that work.”
This means that if you wrote something for someone, they own the copyright, and you can’t publish the material IN ITS PRESENT FORM.
“In its present form” is a vital consideration. Let’s say that you wrote an ebook on researching family histories for a client. You can’t upload the ebook you wrote for him to Amazon, because when he paid you, the copyright in the material transferred to him.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Writing to sell? Reuse your valuable research” quote=”Writing to sell? Reuse your valuable research” theme=”style1″]
However, you can write any number of your own ebooks using the research you did, because these are new ebooks and you own the copyright to them. This applies even though they use the same information and ideas you’ve used before.
Does that make sense?
When I work with students, it’s amazing how much material they find that they can repurpose into Kindle ebooks.
What About Your Own Experiences? What Are You Learning?
Remember that your own experiences are prime material for ebooks. For example, currently I’m studying Photoshop (again). I could write an ebook on what I’m learning.
If I did write the ebook, I wouldn’t upload it to Amazon. I’d sell that ebook on the Web, as a PDF, with accompanying videos, because it would contain too many graphics for a Kindle ebook. However, I could do a short version for Kindle, and sell the primary product on the Web.
Write It Once, and Sell It Forever
Check your archives. And your blog. What materials could you repurpose as Kindle ebooks? You may be surprised. 🙂
Article revised and updated: April 30, 2019
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