Do you want to know how to make money by publishing low content books online? Low content book publishing is a great way to make money online. By combining your creativity and consistency with Amazon’s KDP platform, you’ll have everything you need to make money through low content books.
My goal with this blog post is tell you everything you need to know about how to publish a book on Amazon and generate passive income from your writing without having to do any extra work.
What is a low content book?
First of all, let’s talk about what a low content book is. A low content book is a book that has little to no text inside. When most people think of a book, they think of a novel or some other type of book that has lots of words.
However, over the past few years, books with almost no text content on the inside (a.k.a. low content books) have really become popular. These books are not only popular for buyers, but some sellers have started making great money selling these types of books.
So what are some examples of low content books?
Guest books are typically small paperbacks with blank or lined pages that guests to a particular event can sign. Guestbooks can be used at any type of event – weddings or birthdays being just two examples! Let’s say you were planning your nephew’s birthday party. You could give everyone a small guest book and during the party have everyone sign each other’s book. Each guest could then take home a book as a souvenir.
Journals are probably the most common type of low content book. Journals, like diaries, are usually made up of blank pages and are intended for recording one’s thoughts or feelings.
Many people buy journals to record their daily lives, goals they want accomplished in the future, etc. One of the great things about journals is that you can make them for every niche out there. There are low content journals for nurses, plumbers, students, kids, single parents, baseball players, stay-at-home dads, car enthusiasts… you get my drift!
Music composition books
Music composition books are books that contain sheet music. These types of low content books can be used to teach students how music is written or for composers interested in writing down their own sheet music. Most of the music composition books I’ve seen are for piano players or guitar players but there are other niche music ones as well.
A more in-depth low content book type is coloring books. Coloring books are great because they can have an educational aspect as well. People buy these books and color in them to learn about animals, plants, or other subjects like architecture styles from all over the world!
Also, it used to be that coloring books were only used by kids; however, these days adults are buying coloring books as well.
Low content books with word games are my favorite to create. Specifically, I enjoy making word search books. However, word searches aren’t the only type of word games books you can create. You can also do word scrambles, crossword puzzles, fill in the blanks, word matching, etc.
These types of low content book take more time to create than simple journals but can be a fun way to try out different niches. For example, I was interested in horse breeds at one time so I decided to make a word search based on horses, which was super fun.
Planners are a huge opportunity for anyone interested in making low or no content books. Planners can fall into different categories:
- day planners
- monthly planners
- yearly planners
- goal planners
- activity planners
- exercise planners
- study planners
- …and the list goes on.
Planners are great as low content books because they can be created solely based on templates. In fact, most word processing software already has templates for these types of planning activities. And if not, you can easily create one using tables and other elements.
I never really understood the appeal of quote books but who am I to say these don’t work because obviously they do. Quote books are exactly what you think: books filled with quotes. Usually the book is geared towards a specific audience so the book will be filled with quotes related to that audience.
For example, if your audience was nurses, each page in your book would have a quote related to the nursing profession. Some people combine quote books with journals. In this instance, there might be a nurse-related quote on the top of every page which has lines for journal entries.
These are probably the oldest type of low content book. Sketchbooks are blank books used by artists for drawing or sketching. The term “sketchbook” is a bit misleading because I don’t think these books are always used for sketches and drawings.
Instead, they can be used as more of an art journal book where the artist can just share their thoughts on paper. In fact, I’m no artist but I have a small sketchbook that I use to take notes. The paper inside is blank with no lines and I like that better because I can take notes or doodle however I want.
Obviously, there are tons more types of low content books but these are some of the more popular ones you’ve probably seen in brick-and-mortar bookstores as well as online.
Why should you create low content books?
OK, now that I’ve talked about a few different types of low content book, it’s time to discuss why you should even think about creating one in the first place.
Really, there are three reasons why I think low content books are a great side hustle to start for Dollars from Cents readers:
- they’re easier than writing
- they can be highly profitable for the amount of work you put in
- there are no upfront costs (unlike other ways of making money such as investing in bitcoin)
Low content books are easier than writing
A lot of people will tell you that writing is easy.
It’s a labor-intensive process that can take you a long time. This is especially true if you don’t have much experience writing or don’t have a cool AI assistant to help you with the writing (thanks, Jarvis!).
With low content books, you don’t have to worry about the hardest part of publishing a book — the writing. Instead, you can focus on the other aspects of publishing a book, such as formatting and design.
You can publish low content books with no upfront costs
One of my goals at Dollars from Cents is to show you ways you can make money without spending any money. Low content book publishing fits that perfectly (unlike say, flipping products, which can cost more money up front).
You don’t need any money to publish a low-content book. For example, unlike traditional publishing, with low content book publishing you don’t need to pay for things like editing, formatting, or design.
To publish a low-content book, all you need is an idea and some time needed to put it together.
The return on investment is awesome
Since you’re not spending any money putting a low content book together, the return on investment is pretty great. For example, you can publish dozens of books all for free on Amazon’s platform and then they will be available forever! That means that your books will always have potential customers, all at zero cost to you.
How to publish low content books (the process)
OK, so hopefully you’re convinced that you can make money by publishing low content books. If so, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty — the actual process you need to go through to publish your first low content book.
The great thing about this process is that once you do it a couple of times, it becomes second nature to you. You’ll get faster and faster at publishing these types of books. In fact, there are low content book publishers and authors that publish 100s of books a month! (Whether or not that’s the right strategy is a topic for another day :))
So, on to the process. I’ve broken it down into 7 different steps. These steps are the exact ones I use when publishing a low content book. One thing I like about this process is that it can be used for every single type of low content book, whether you’re publishing a guest book, word search book, children’s activity book, or adult coloring book.
As I go through each step, I’m going to be designing and publishing a low content book along with you so you can see how it works in real life. Anyways, here’s the process:
- write down your interests
- see if anyone else is interested (use amazon or the kindlpreneur tool)
- look for sub-niches & verticals
- design the interior
- design the cover
- upload to Amazon
- do it again (and again and again and again)
Step 1: Write down your interests
Some people say you should start writing low content books by looking at what’s popular. I agree that if you want to make the most money, you need to go where the money is.
However, when you’re just starting out, you need an easy way to identify some topics to start with to see if it’s something you even like to do. One of the easiest ways to find a topic is to look at yourself and the people around you. Ask yourself:
- What do I do for a living?
- What are my hobbies?
- Where do I go on the weekends?
- What am I good at?
- How do I define myself?
- What am I passionate about?
- Who do my friends think I am?
- Where do I live?
- What makes my personal situation interesting?
- If I had a free day/weekend/week/month/year, what would I do?
By asking yourself these questions, you can find a topic that resonates with you and your potential readers.
Low content book niches
Here are some examples of low content book niches you could think about using:
- foods and cooking
My real world example
OK, so after going through these questions for myself, one thing that stuck out was a hobby I recently took up — jump roping. I got into jump roping a few weeks ago to help me become healthier and I really fell in love with it. So, for this real world example, I’m going to create a low content jump roping journal.
(As a side note, when you do this, you should write down lots of different topics so that you have a bunch of ideas to choose from.)
Step 2: Gauge the interest
This is a huge step in determining whether or not your low content book is going to be profitable. Just because YOU’RE passionate about something doesn’t mean that anyone else is. If nobody is interested in your idea for a low content book, it’s probably not worth writing and publishing since there isn’t an audience that will buy it.
So, how can you gauge interest in a book you’re thinking about publishing? There are really two ways: a free way that takes more time and a paid way that is much faster and more convenient. Let’s look at both.
The free way involves using Amazon.com itself to gauge the interest level in your topic. The way to do this is to go to Amazon and click on the search bar. Change the dropdown menu item on the left of the search bar to books and start typing in your ideas.
Next, start typing the interests you came up with in step one along with the type of low content book you’re creating.
So, for example, let’s say I was interested in writing and wanted to create a writing journal. When I start typing “writing jou…” in Amazon’s search bar, a bunch of different suggestions start popping up:
This is a good thing. That means that people who go to Amazon are actively searching for writing journals. And not only are they searching for writing journals, they are searching for all sorts of different writing journals. This is awesome (but you’ll have to wait for step 3 to find out why).
So let’s keep going. After you do a search on “writing journal,” you can see that Amazon pulled back over 70,000 results. In looking through the results, you’ll notice that there are good number of journals that are extremely popular and have lots of reviews. This is good because it means that there is demand for writing journals.
If you want to save time and are willing to pay some money, you can use a software program KDP Rocket. It’s a program that will allow you to test keyword combinations to find topics to write about. It’s certainly worth it and I’d recommend it if you want to save yourself some time.
My real world example
OK, so in my process of putting together a jump rope journal, I started typing “jump rope jou…” into Amazon and no suggestions were given. When I completed the search, I noticed that there were only a couple of jump roping journals and none of them had any reviews.
Now normally, this would mean that jump roping journals are not popular and I should redirect my search to another topic. However, for the sake of this experiment, I’m going to keep going with my jump rope journal idea.
One reason why I’m going to put together this journal despite the topic not having any interest on Amazon is because since I’ve gotten into jump roping, I’ve joined a couple of Facebook groups whose members are also super passionate about jump roping. Once this journal is done, I can probably mention it to people in the group and get sales that way.
Step 3: Look for niches
This is the next step in successfully creating a low content book. There are two different approaches when it comes to choosing a topic. You can go general or you can go niche. With our writing journal example, a general low content book would be just that — “writing journal.”
On the other hand, there are people searching on derivatives of “writing journal” as you can see in the image above. Instead of publishing a low content writing journal that has over 70,000 competitors, niche down.
For example, instead of publishing a “writing journal,” you could publish a low content “journal for writing with prompts” which only has 4,000 competitors. You’ll have a much better chance competing against 4,000 books instead of 70,000.
Once you decide on a niche, you can start listing all the “vertical” topics related to that niche. So, if your low content book is going to be a journal for writing with prompts, you can also think about doing similar books geared towards even more niche audiences (that are still related to your overall niche). For example, you don’t have to only make one low content book, you could make all of the following related books:
- men’s journal for writing with prompts
- women’s journal for writing with prompts
- teen’s journal for writing with prompts
- kid’s journal for writing with prompts
- the busy mom’s journal for writing with prompts
- the stay-at-home dad’s journal for writing with prompts
Hopefully you can come up with an additional 10 to 20 verticals related to your first more general topic. This will give you more book ideas that you can post for sale, thus potentially making you more money.
This is awesome because ideally the only thing you’ll have to change between each book is the cover (so that it’s geared towards a specific audience). You can reuse the interior for each of the books!
My real world example
For my jump rope journal, some of the different verticals I can do are:
- jump rope journal for men
- jump rope journal for women
- jump rope journal for kids
- jump rope journal for teens
- jump rope journal for seniors
Step 4: Design the interior
The next step in making money by publishing low content books is to design the interior. This is where you can really stand out in your journal. In the past, most journal publishers just published lined (or blank) journals that didn’t have any customization.
You can still do that but if you change up the interior a little and customize it to your niche’s audience, you can really stand out from all the other sellers.
Let’s say you’re going to publish a kid’s journal for writing with prompts. Think about what a child would like in a writing journal (or what their parents would like). Instead of every page being a boring page with lines, include a funny prompt on every page along with a simple drawing.
When you pay attention to the interior and try to make it relevant for your audience, you won’t need to publish 1,000 different books to make a sale. Instead, your audience will pay more attention to what you publish and be more likely to buy from you instead of the competition.
The cool thing is that you can easily create your own interiors using any word processor. Microsoft Word or even Google Docs are perfect solutions for this.
My real world example
For my jump rope journal, I didn’t want to just do lined or blank paper. Also, I didn’t want to use any of the free workout printables you can find online since they weren’t really relevant to people who jump rope.
So instead, I decided to create my own. I’m a Mac user so I used Apple Pages to create a simple printable for the journal where users can put the date, the time they jumped that day, the number of jumps they did, and any notes that they have. You can see an image of what the inside looks below.
Step 5: Design the cover
For your low content book, the cover is really critical. The reason why is because it’s what will initially catch people’s attention.
The cover needs to be simple and clear so that it stands out against all of Amazon’s other books without seeming too busy or confusing, which can lead potential readers on a wild goose chase with their eyes, comparing your book to the hundreds of other similar ones made by different authors.
There are two different options when it comes to designing your cover. You can either do it yourself or pay to have someone do it for you. Designing a cover is not hard but if you aren’t very creative or don’t want to bother learning how to manipulate photo editing software, then it might make sense to have someone do it for you.
There are lots of online platforms where you can hire designers. One of the most common is Fiverr. I’ve had a couple of book covers designed by people on the site and was pretty pleased with the quality and the price I paid.
On the other hand, if you want to design your own covers, there is software available to do it. One of the most common is Photoshop, although I find that this is a pretty difficult program to get started with.
Instead, I use Canva and highly recommend it for anyone that wants to save money on design but still wants access to high quality templates. Canva has a free version which is adequate, especially if you’re just getting started. However, if you’re going to be doing a lot of low content books, I really recommend that you invest in the paid version.
My real world example
For my jump rope journal, since this first one is going to be a general one, I designed it myself in Canva. I made it so that it can appeal to both men and women. I also included a cool graphic that will hopefully stand out to people that are looking for jump rope journals.
Step 6: Upload to Amazon KDP
Amazon KDP is the absolute best way to make money publishing low content books. Amazon KDP is a platform that gives you access to Amazon’s large customer base and lets them purchase your book.
I’m not going to go into the nuts and bolts of publishing a book through Amazon’s KDP since there are a ton of other websites that can walk you through that process. You can start by going to the Amazon KDP site itself.
It’s a really pretty intuitive program, though, so you shouldn’t have problems. Once you go through the whole process, Amazon takes a day or two to review your submission to make sure that it meets their guidelines. Once that process is done, your book is published and people can buy it!
My real world example
I went through the process. I uploaded my interior and and my cover, put in all the information required, and got the OK from Amazon. After a day, the book was available on Amazon. You can see it here if you want!
Step 7: Repeat the process
The first time you go through this process, it will take some time. Don’t get frustrated. Go slow. Remember you don’t have to get it 100% correct the first time. Once you do it, you’ll get better and faster every time after that.
The process to make money by publishing low content books is not something you can do once and make millions. You need to be consistent. Set a goal of doing 5 books a week and as long as you go through the process, you should start seeing results in the form of royalty payments.
How to make money with low content books
In addition to selling low content books on Amazon, you can also make money by working with offline businesses or organizations to create low content books.
For example, let’s say that you’re interested in real estate and want to create low content books related to the real estate profession. Instead of only selling these types of books through Amazon, you can partner with local real estate agents to create books for them.
One idea is to create a book that the real estate agent can give to potential clients that they can use to take notes on homes that they’re interested in buying. You could even customize the books for that particular agent.
This is really an untapped market and is a great way to make money with no competition.
Tips for getting started
OK, so if you’re interested in getting started making money by publishing low content books, here are some tips to remember to help you be the most successful:
- Stick with a topic you know
- Define your audience
- Keep the process simple and uncomplicated (and repeatable)
- Use Google docs to created the interior of the book
- Use Canva to create the cover
If you’re interested in spending less time writing and more time publishing, low content book production is a great option for you. There’s no upfront cost, it’s easy to produce content, and setup costs are minimal. You can even get started today and have a book to be sold in two days!
If you have any question, be sure and let me know in the comments below.
FAQ – How to make money by publishing low content books
How do I market low content books?
You could do some marketing yourself by using social media platforms to advertise. Another way might be hosting giveaways where readers or followers are incentivized to purchase something in exchange for something else.
Can you make money selling journals?
Yes, you can.
Where can I sell my low content books?
You could use a service like Amazon’s KDP to publish your writing and make money with the royalties or sell them on Etsy.
What are some things that people should know when publishing low content books?
If you want to start publishing low content books, you should be aware that the royalties aren’t super hight but there is still an opportunity to make some money this way if you’re persistent.
Are there any upfront costs to publishing low content books?
No, the only upfront cost is if you want to outsource editing services, hire a publishing company, or pay for a designer.
How much money can you make from publishing a book?
The amount you can make will depend on your market and the dedication of marketing yourself.
Question: How do I get started making money selling low content books on Amazon?
Read this article for everything you need to know to get started.
How do I promote my low content book on Amazon KDP for free?
The best way to do it is to use your existing social media accounts and personal network.
What are the winning niches in Amazon KDP for low content books?
There’s not really one winning niche. These can change depending on the season and what’s in style. The best thing to do is to keep your eyes open while you’re online to see if there’s anything that pops up that could be a good niche.
Is investing time on KDP by Amazon (selling non-content notebooks) a good way to make money in the near future?
Yes, it’s a really great way to make money on the side. I think the trend will continue beyond the near future as well.
Is Kindle publishing oversaturated and hard to make money with nowadays?
It’s not oversaturated at all and it can be a really great way to make money.
Is making $500 a month by self publishing an ebook a realistic goal?
Yes, that is definitely a realistic goal if you’re willing to put in the work.