Researching 'Old' eBooks to Write New eBooks by Lynne Garner

When I started to research for my first collection of Anansi stories I listened to and borrowed books from a friend (who listened to Anansi stories as a child in Ghana) and borrowed books from my local libraries.

Since publishing this title as an eBook last year it has sold well. So in January 2012 I decided to write a follow on title. Knowing I'd exhausted the local avenues of research I had available to me I decided to discover if I could source old versions of the stories. By old I mean stories in books that were published at least 100 years ago. By using old books I felt I was getting nearer to the original story. It also meant I would be using material that was in the public domain (the copyright had expired). This was extremely important to me as I didn't want to infringe on another writers copyright.

I was already aware of the Gutenberg Project, so that was my first port of call. This website contains 38,000 free eBooks on a huge variety of subjects, most of which are in the public domain. The few books that are not they have gained the authors permission to use.
Once I'd exhausted their library I researched further and discovered Forgotten Books. As with the Gutenberg Project this site converts old books and allows you to read them for free. The bonus with this site is if you prefer to read a paper version then you can order a print on demand version. I must admit I've already done this with one book originally published in 1801. I also have a long list of others I intend to treat myself to.

Even with all this research I still felt I needed additional stories to complete my research. After a few hours of searching I discovered World of Tales. This site currently contains 50 books featuring 1147 myths and legends from all over the world. Most of these books are also in the public domain.

Since I spent this time researching and reading I've been typing away, retelling the eight stories I most enjoyed. I've completed the first draft and have now moved into editing mode. Once I complete this I have my proof reader/editor ready and waiting to wave her magic wand for me. With fingers crossed within the next few months I'll have a companion book to Anansi the Trickster Spider for sale as a new eBook on Amazon. I'm still debating on the title but at the moment the working title is Anansi, Trickier Than Ever. That is unless you can come up with a better title for me.

P.S. If you've discovered similar websites to those included in this blog please share. I do love to read 'old' eBooks.    


julia jones said…
Really useful post. Thanks. I knew about project Gutenberg but not Forgotten Books. Was Googlebooks any help?
Lynne Garner said…
Must admit didn't try Googlebooks - will at that to my list of places for old eBooks. Thanks

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