Low-Content Books: Your Ultimate Guide
If you’re interested in trying your hand at publishing your first low- or no-content book, here are simple tips to help you get started.
Low-content books come in different colors, sizes and shapes. This may sound crazy, but the fact is that many people make good money creating and selling books that have very little, and in some cases absolutely no content.
If that sounds good to you and you’re interested in trying your hand at publishing your first low- or no-content book, here are simple tips to help you get started.
No Content Books
Some of the most popular no-content books are simply notebooks — with no inspirational content.
For the most part, they consist of an attractive cover and lined or checkered — i.e. almost empty or actually completely empty — inside pages.
Low content books
Low-content books are very similar to their empty siblings. However, they can include, for example, inspirational quotes, weekly planners, daily goals, questions about the writer’s emotional state, or similar.
There are no limits to your imagination — the journal should simply offer enough space to write. That is why they are called low-content books — books with little content.
Low-content books: Start with what you know.
Creating your first low-content book is a fairly easy process once you resist the urge to constantly overthink things. It’s best to start with what you know.
As a writer, you probably have a niche that you’re already focusing on.
- Sci-fi, etc
You could pick any of these niches, and certainly come up with a long list of ideas for little content books that can be created very quickly.
For example, if you usually write books that help people learn specific DIY tasks, you can break large projects into smaller tasks. Show them each step individually — with a series of pictures and captions.
The result is a very valuable, visual DIY guide that is very minimal in content but still very promotional.
Choose your audience carefully
One of the most important aspects of creating a successful low-content book is niche selection.
It’s not enough to say that you want to create a coloring book for people who love animals. While it’s a good start, you’d probably have a lot more success by making an offer to people who like dogs, or more specifically, those who like golden retrievers.
The more specific you can get when putting your ideas into the niche, the better.
The only caveat is to make sure you don’t go down so far that you don’t have a large audience at all. Aim at a group that is specific but also has a reasonable level of demand.
Low content books: what’s inside?
The content, i.e. the inner pages of a book, are simply called inside pages. Ideally, they are created in PDF form. You could use PowerPoint or Microsoft Word for this.
Low content book covers
This is the book cover. You can create such a file in Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Affinity Designer, GIMP, and pretty much any other design software. The most popular file types for covers are PDF’s and JPG’s.
Cover and inside pages must be created for specific book sizes. Therefore, it is important that you first decide on a size and page count and then create the right templates.
Low-content books: the importance of graphics
However, if you decide to venture into the world of no-content books, things won’t necessarily be that simple.
Publishing a book with little or no content usually requires you to step up the quality of your graphics quite a bit. Either way, your audience will literally judge your book by its cover.
People who buy books with little content expect the cover to be really eye-catching. So unless you’re the best graphic designer, it’s best to outsource the task to someone who has a knack for creating the kind of visual impact you’re aiming for.
Outsourcing is an important step if you’re interested in quickly creating multiple listings of low- and no-content books.
How to write low content books?
Suppose you want to create a notebook — what would that look like in concrete terms?
- Create a PDF with, for example, 120 pages in the correct format (you can buy «inside pages» on Etsy, for example)
- Design a cover (use an existing t-shirt design and format it properly, or hire someone at Fiverr/Upwork, etc.)
- Create the product sales page on Amazon KDP
You recognize the ingeniously simple concept behind it, don’t you? You do not have to maintain inventory, since Amazon takes care of customer service, printing and sales.
Why you should be writing low content books
Selling no- and low-content books can be of interest to you for three reasons:
- First, repurposing designs is super efficient.
- Second, the concept is not that well known yet, compared to FBA or Amazon Merch.
- Thirdly, the barriers to entry are low: there is no application process, no long questionnaires to fill out, no monthly costs or waiting times until you can get started.
So you can already make the decision after reading this article and list your first notebook on Amazon!
However, I have to say at this point that this is also a concept that requires work and commitment. It won’t make you rich overnight.
Amazon KDP is a publisher with policies and rules. This means that you have to invest work, time and heart and soul. Again, this is a business model that you should consider as such.
Many people see making money on the Internet as a “hobby” or part-time job — that’s why they also earn “hobby money” with it. As soon as you start to see your business as such, you will also be able to post corresponding earnings.
For that you have to you do something, too. You have to do research and give customers what they want.
No- and low-content books on KDP: This is where you start
If you want to start this business successfully, you need some understanding of what customers want, how Amazon works, and internet marketing.
What you need to bring with you:
- You have to be able to research
- Open a KDP account
- Create cover designs or turn your shirt design to the right format
Create the inside pages or buy templates
Research: Your key to success
First and foremost, you need to develop an understanding of what people want, what is currently selling well and, ideally, how you can offer your customers something that isn’t already on the market.
Then you need to invest in beautiful designs, upload the book and create your listing with an attractive sales text and some keywords.
The first part is the most important part of your work — the research work. If you do this part well, you will neither shoot into the dark nor write off the “Project KDP” as a failed attempt after a few months.
Low-content book ideas
Here are just some of the low-content books, e.g., diaries and journals you can try writing:
- A diary for dieters
- A student diary
- A diary for anxious patients
- A pregnancy diary
- A diary for people who want to quit smoking
Some of the many directions you could take include:
- Children’s books
- Picture guide books
But don’t just stop at books. There are many other low-content offering ideas to try, such as playing cards and greeting cards.
Use this short list as a starting point, then do some research to gather more ideas for low-content creations and let your imagination run wild.
Uploading low-content books: Provide basic information
When all the design elements are done and the research is done, you can upload the books. For this you need to provide some information about the book:
- Book type (paperback, not Kindle eBook)
- Language (I choose English here because USA is the largest market)
- Book title and subtitle
Author (You can also use a pseudonym or something like “Diet Journal”. Just make sure no one else uses that name.)
- A short description with important facts and keywords
- Publishing Rights (Amazon wants to know if you own the copyright and publishing rights to this book.)
- Keywords (so people can find your book better in search results, this is a very important point
- ISBN (KDP will assign you a free ISBN)
- Release date, usually immediately
You’ll also need to decide on a paper color (cream or white), the size of the book, and the finish of the cover (matte or gloss). I mostly use white for the insides and glossy for the cover.
After you’ve saved it all to KDP and completed the upload, you can set a price. Once you enter this, Amazon will show you the printing cost and then the final license fee.
Notebook profits vary, and royalties for the average notebook don’t sound like much at first, but $2 to $4 in earnings can add up with just a few sales a day. Keep in mind that you will have this merit in the longer term — with a little work that you had to do beforehand.
Also remember that you can upload as many designs as you like. Once you develop a system, stick to it, and your designs sell well, the money will start flowing.
Tip: Re-use successful ideas
The key to success and rapid growth of your low content empire (if you will) is to leverage ideas that are already doing well.
For example, if you have a women’s journal concept that works well, keep the momentum going by reaching out to other groups with a similar offering. You could try a journal for men, a journal for teenage girls, a journal for expectant mothers, or a journal for the newly divorced.
Drilling down and exploring different segments of a niche is a great way to build a stable product line without much more effort than the initial idea required.
Once you’ve maxed out the niche, go to another area with multiple potential subset groups and repeat the process.
While the idea of creating a book that has either minimal or no content at all may seem ridiculous at first, the more you think about it, and the more you quickly explore the possibilities for creating new, in-demand offerings, the more ridiculous it becomes is beginning to grasp the great potential of this publishing method and opportunity.
Start brainstorming today! In just a few days, you too could be publishing your own low-content book and making sales.
Final thoughts on low-content books
If you want to be particularly successful in a niche, you need to master two basic skills:
- Identify niches with sufficiently high demand and low competition — and that is exactly the strength of this business model, there are still plenty of them.
- Create visually appealing covers.
- Write a short description of the book.
Maybe you’ve always thought that only talented designers can create visually stunning covers. I do not fully agree with this statement. Less is more. Some of my successful designs consist of just a simple slogan or a royalty free image from Unsplash paired with an engaging slogan — it really is the niche and demand that drives success.
I hope that with this article I was able to give you a good insight into the topic of no- and low-content notebooks. If you have any questions about the topic, please write a comment under this post. I am happy and wish you a lot of fun and success trying it out.