How can I get paid to do my hobby?

Ok, I collect propaganda (mostly pamphlets and books) from WWII up to the 70s and early 80s, specializing on anti-communist ideas in the McCarthy era.

I scan every page and put them into a user friendly format for reading on the computer.

These things don’t come cheap. I find them around (e-bay and small bookstores with some of their inventory online are two main places I get it), but the cost of them adds up quick.

They could be used to show how hystaria doesn’t work in politics (and can be related to today and antiterrorism ideas).

Because I turn them into a user friendly (and easily distributable) format, would there be any groups that would pay me to do this? Any groups that might give a grant if I gave them my finished product in exchange?

Just a thought…


Oh, I hope to have the finished product used as a teaching aid as first hand documents for research.

Hmm. Maybe you could make an e-book (PDF format) and sell it online? That’s easy enough to do—plenty of e-book people will sell your book for you, and if you want, you can even sell an e-book on (I’ve looked into this myself.) Of course, there are copyright considerations to contemplate. Do you think any of the scanned propoganda material is copyrighted? Would it be “fair use” for you to publish it? I am thinking that some of these items are still copyrightable, and therefore you will have a hard time making a profit from publishing them.

But, IANACL (I am not a copyright lawyer) so what do I know?

Good luck to you, though—sounds like an interesting hobby.

change your hobby for starters.
I’m being facetious, PEOPLE. chill.

I already collect car and truck starters from WW II up until the 70’s or 80’s, and it’s damned unlikely enough there’s much a profitable enterprise for just one of us. Stay the hell out!!!

-how much does being facetious pay?..

Ya know, I’d seriously consider yosemitebabe’s suggestion - if you have a great deal of information on the topic, and you can compile it into coherent chapters, you might be able to get a publisher to take a look at it. If you have educated commetary of your own to add, so much the better.

As for grants and such, I’m not certain who you could ask, but I’d check with your local university for starters, probably the history department. They may have information about research grants.

Good luck!

On a quick read of the OP I thought you said:

  • How can I get paid to do my hubby?*

Which brings a lot of ideas to mind.

Back to the OP.

The book idea seems the way to go. You may be able to turn your hobby into a business and deduct the costs.

HAHAHAHA!!! Thanks, I needed that… heheh…
And on the topic…

I am working mostly on turning each page into a digital image. I am not trying to do this for profit, only trying to get more money to keep on collecting this stuff.

I do have some commentary on each item that I add as a text document with the file of images, but that is only to assist, the real meat of the stuff is in the documents themselves and their value as primary documents for research.

Some of the stuff I do have is still under copyright, but considering the topic (BURN THE COMMIES!!) I doubt any of the authors (including the Paul Harvey) would come after me or they’d just be digging up an embarassing document.

Could you create a nonprofit organization, you know like The Non-Profit Organization to Collect and Digitize Propaganda? Then you could be the only salaried employee of said non-profit. You’d have to do fundraising to make your salary though.

Random image just popped into my head: man stands on street corner with sign --“Will Digitize Propaganda for Food”

I’m trying to simply turn it into digital images, I prefer to have the piece in my collection but I’m trying to just get images together as well.

If it’s copyright, it’s copyright and it’s not your call to decide that you can use material because somebody would be too embarassed to come after you :).

You’re not putting this stuff on a webpage? Don’t if you have any ideas of selling this stuff. Nobody will pay for what you gave/give away.

Grants are probably worth investigating but you need to clarify who would want this stuff in the format you offer it in. Get your copyright sorted before even thinking of doing the grant application. FWIW copyright holders can give you permission to use the work if you pay if they wish to.

If you self publish it’s paramount you sort out copyright because you won’t have the publisher’s legal dept to hide behind.

Most of the pamphlets are not under copyright… I checked them out. A few are and they can be omitted from the final product.

A note of caution: the IRS has something called the “hobby loss rule.” Without getting too technical, it says that if your “business” loses money for a certain number of years running, they will examine your “business” to determine whether it is, in fact, just a hobby that you’ve dressed up as a “business” solely to get other taxpayers to subsidize your fun and games.

Obviously, if you have a factory or store, and it loses money for a few years running, it’s still clearly a business. But if you’re running it out of your home, the revenooers might come knocking!

Early Out, you’re right… I could never consider it a business because it would be not for profit. Any income I would make probably wouldn’t be directly from the final product as it would be distributed to whoever wanted one for free (as I’m trying to get the word out about the possibility of the whole McCarthy-type thought process in the world today) but rather would come from any contributers that would be willing to support the cost of buying the pieces.