Did you know that there’s a way to self-publish books without ever writing a word?
Yes, there is, and it’s called low content publishing!
I recently found out about this and thought, “where on earth has this been hiding?”
Truth be told, it’s actually existed since 2007.
You could create books using CreateSpace back then, but recently Amazon merged with CreateSpace and here we have the Amazon KDP!
Is this another way for Amazon to take over the world? We’re not sure, and we might never know.
But hear me out.
Just about anyone can sign up with Amazon KDP and start creating books!
That includes you too my side hustler friend, and I’m here to tell you all about how to get into low content publishing!
Generally, it can take months or even years for an author to write, edit and publish their books.
With Amazon KDP, you can create and upload a book within minutes.
And just in case you’re thinking that doing low content publishing is just another get-rich-quick scheme – think again.
While it is easy to apply and get started, there is some work involved.
Not everyone is made to do low content publishing, but there are people who have made thousands from it by creating and publishing their own books.
If you want to learn more about low content publishing and how to get started in this side hustle then keep on reading!
Please show the ❤️️ and PIN this post for later!
What is low content publishing?
Even though I gave you a little gist of what low content publishing is, there is certainly more to the process.
Low content publishing really entails creating and publishing books that have little to no content.
By that, I mean books like notebooks, planners, sketchbooks, graft books, and journals that require no writing on your part.
In this sense, it is the customer who purchases the book who will be doing the writing.
What’s so great about low content publishing is that you don’t need to write 10k words in order to publish a book.
You can simply create a blank book for sketchers and artists or a book with a lined interior that requires little effort to make.
At this point, you might be wondering what’s the catch?
There is no catch. Amazon’s KDP platform allows users to sign up without doing a questionnaire or any other barriers.
This is an excellent opportunity for people who want to start working right away.
But it might also be one of the negatives because the market is becoming increasingly saturated, even with spammers.
Someone who’s trying to beat the system may publish hundreds of the same books with the same interior and use different covers which unsuspecting customers may not notice.
Due to this, Amazon has recently cracked down on the number of uploads you can do on the platform each day.
Despite the negatives, it is still possible to make money from low content publishing if you follow the process correctly.
What are Low Content books?
Low content books
We can’t talk about low content publishing without mentioning low content books.
I mentioned a few earlier such as journals and notebooks.
These types of low content books come in a paperback form and are very popular because people generally buy them for everyday use.
In the low content publishing field, the types of books authors publish are categorized by niches.
Authors can choose one niche or multiple niches in which to publish their low content books.
Low content niches
Getting started with low content publishing means choosing a niche that isn’t too saturated.
Because the Amazon KDP platform has become so popular, there are a few niches that people are publishing in more than others.
And seeing as there’s no writing involved and you can make a book in minutes, there are a lot of these books being published every day!
In order to make it in low content publishing, you will definitely need to do a little research on your niche to make your side hustle a real success.
Types of Low Content Publishing Niches
The most popular low content publishing niches include:
- Composition books
- Coloring books
- Quote books
- Sketch books
- Log Books
- Address books
Keep in mind that these are general niches for low content books and that there are sub-niches that come under each of these broad niches.
For example, say you want to get started in the planner niche which is a rather competitive niche, you can narrow that down.
You can do this by doing your own research on Amazon with the Amazon search bar tool. Place the word ‘planner’ in the search bar and look at the results.
You might see terms like meal planners, work planners, schedule planners, and homeschool planners.
So, while the general term, ‘planner’ may be competitive, looking for a suitable sub-niche would be a safer bet.
One of the most popular niches that I’m sure a lot of moms would like to get into is the journal niche.
We use journals a lot, and moms would have an idea of the types of journals that really sell.
However, it’s best as I mentioned before to narrow down your niche.
The two types of journals you’ll find are the Diary or Notebook, and Personal Journals.
In order to set yourself apart though, you could try finding sub-niches that people are looking for that aren’t too crowded. Some examples of this are:
- Food Journal
- Travel Journal
- Password Journal
- Medical Journal
- Feelings Journal
- Budget Journal
- Prayer Journal
These sub-niches are popular and people are searching for them on Amazon, but they won’t be overly saturated.
Once you find a niche that you’ve settled on, just do the relevant niche research and try to get different variations within that niche.
How to Find Niches
This might sound crazy, but you can actually brainstorm ideas for niches and even keyword ideas.
Making use of your own creativity by deriving ideas can significantly contribute to your success in low content publishing.
Take a notepad and pen and start jotting down some ideas that come to your head.
Think about the type of book you would like to create and reflect on what you would use them to do.
For example, let’s use the word ‘diary’. What do people use diaries for?
They use them to write, doodle, draw, write thoughts, journal, write journal prompts, and so on.
A few search variations for ‘journal prompts’ could be:
- Journal prompts for men
- Journal prompts for women
- Journal prompts for teens
- Journal prompts for moms
Validate your Low Content Book
Once you have brainstormed a few ideas you can then use Amazon to validate your keyword ideas and then get further suggestions from their search tool.
Remember that even though you might have some great ideas, they may not have to be sellers.
So you’ll definitely need to test them first.
With that, you can head over to Amazon and click on the search bar.
Select the dropdown menu and then start typing in some ideas. If you are interested in doing journals, then you can enter the word ‘journal’ and see what comes up.
Whatever search results come up indicate what people are actually looking for and this can give you an idea of what to create when you want to design your journals.
As I mentioned before, journals are very popular and it will be a rather saturated niche and you will have to narrow it down as a newcomer.
As you create each book to sell for your low content publishing business, always think like the customer and not specifically what you would want.
Doing research can be the difference between making a sale or not.
In order to truly validate your book creations, you need to look at a few things:
- Are people actively searching for the books you create?
- Do the types books you create already exist?
- Are people actually buying the types of books you create?
- What are selling points for the books being created?
- What does the competition look like?
- How saturated is the niche you’ve chosen?
If you do want to invest more time and effort in doing thorough keyword research for your KDP side hustle, there are some handy keyword tools that you can try such as:
- Merch Titans
- AMZ Suggestion Expander
- Helium 10
- Keywords Everywhere
- Keywordtools IO
- Publisher Rocket
These tools can help you do in-depth SEO research to find keywords and their variations, which will make it easier to create low content books you might not have thought of.
They will also help you to find which types of books are selling, their rank on Amazon, and how well they sell.
This may help you to draw inspiration for designing your covers and interiors and choosing niches that sell well.
Why Should You Get into Low Content Publishing?
You should do this simply because there’s nothing to lose! Amazon KDP is completely free and you can design books your way and potentially make an income from it.
I really think it’s a great side hustle for a few reasons:
- Requires little to no skills
In order to create your books, you simply need to design an interior and a cover.
You can use tools like Canva, Microsoft Word, or Adobe Illustrator.
- No writing experience needed.
Because you’re creating books with no content, you don’t actually need to write and people will still buy them.
Isn’t that great?
- No investment needed
If this is something that you want to try on the side and you don’t want to invest in, that’s fine. You can create your books free of cost.
Create your books on your laptop at home, on your vacation, or between chores. Just sign in when you’re feeling inspired and get to designing!
- No marketing or upkeep
You don’t need to market or promote your books as people are searching for products every day.
Just upload once and make passive income.
How to Publish Your First Low Content Book
In order to successfully start and maintain your low content side hustle, you will need a range of tools that can create books.
Not all tools are made equal, and some of these tools will make a difference in how your book creations turn out.
But I believe that there are tools to fit just about anyone and the first one I’ll mention will be free!
Tools to Start Your Low Content Publishing Hustle
Canva has a free version and a pro version and I totally think the Pro version is worth it as I use it myself literally every day.
However, you still can make books with the free version of Canva. What you’ll have to do is head over to Canva, choose the size of your book and then start designing your book cover and the interior.
There are tutorials online that teach you how to create simple lined interiors for notebooks or even grid dot journals.
With Canva, you can save your existing designs and use them again and again for more books.
So it’s well worth it.
I’ll get into how to actually do that later. You can sign up with Canva now and start practicing.
This is an online portal where you can find SVG’s, fonts, patterns, and of course very well-designed interiors for low content books.
What’s really nice about the platform is that it is heavily discounted, and you can purchase bundles at really low prices.
One of the most profitable niches is coloring books and you can find gorgeous interiors on their platform.
I’d recommend this site if you’re not good at designing and would like professionally done designs for your low content publishing business.
Bonus: you can use them over and over again!
Creative Market is another platform that’s really similar to Creative Fabrica.
You can find the usual designs like illustrations, fonts, and templates.
There are literally thousands to choose from and you get great prices for what they’re worth.
They also have KDP interiors that you can purchase, although there’s not quite a wide array as there is on Creative Fabrica.
I recommend using Creative Market to find illustrations that you can incorporate into your covers to make them stand out.
That way, a customer is more likely to click on your book and maybe make a purchase.
This is another place to get designs, vectors, cut sets, crafts, fonts, and feminine floral interiors like this one, that you can incorporate in your low content books.
They can be used both for cover designs and interiors. There are thousands of assets on the website, and they have great deals that are similar to those on Creative Fabrica.
This is a tool you could use if you’re already familiar with design or want to go all in.
You can use it to create various interiors from your basic lined journals, to even coloring book interiors.
If you want to create more elaborate designs that are popular in the low content book niche right now, then Adobe Illustrator is a great choice.
Honorary Mentions: Adobe Design, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word, Tangent Templates, Bookbolt.
Signing Up With Amazon KDP
As I mentioned before, Amazon has a no-barrier entry application process.
Just head over to Amazon and select sign-up.
Once you log in, you’ll be able to enter your account details such as your name, bank details, and tax information.
Be sure to enter all your information correctly and be completely truthful.
This way, when you do start making sales from your books, Amazon KDP will send the royalties directly to your bank account.
The next step is the most exciting one.
Actually creating your very first low content book!
Keep in mind that you won’t be writing an actual book that people will read, but one that they will use.
It’s important to remember that there are only two components to create a low content book and these are the book cover and the manuscript or interior.
You will have to create both files separately and then combine them on the KDP platform which is a very simple process!
I did mention a few tools that you could use to create your low content books and while a few of the options were reasonably priced, I’m going with Canva to show you how to make a simple lined journal.
If you would rather pay someone on Fiverr to make your books, that can work too!
Canva allows you to create custom dimensions and this makes your job much easier.
However, I have a little tip if you want to make sure you are placing all your designs in the right way.
Remember also that with Canva, there are hundreds of designs you can use to create your interiors and covers.
Just be sure to check out their licensing information.
Creating Your First Low Content Book
Now we’re going to go to Bookow which is a book formatting site that gives us templates for designing books and other publications.
Select the option KDP template and enter the dimensions you want to use.
I’ll be designing a lined journal that is 6 X 9 inches. Enter your email address and download the document.
Once we’re in Canva, we can start designing our book cover.
If you’re making a composition notebook or something else, you will need to enter the correct dimensions which can be found on the Amazon KDP help page.
Now let’s get to designing the actual book cover.
Click on the option that says custom size and enter your dimensions choose create a new design and then your canvas will show up.
You’ll see the option to upload the template from Bookow, so go ahead and upload that file.
Place the template on the canvas as shown below.
Now, I’ll be using a free background design from Canva to show you how using simple designs can actually work on a book cover.
Select background on the left-hand corner and choose the design you like.
If you already have a design you can upload it to the canvas.
See how nice that looks? I just adjusted the color to add a pop of color.
A simple design like this can work for a journal because the ones that do sell sometimes have a similar design.
A little trick you can use is turning down the transparency so we can see exactly what we’re doing on the page.
Remember, the template from Bookow is a guide for us to place our designs and texts in the right spot so nothing is out of bounds.
Select the grid icon and adjust the transparency to see more clearly.
The next step is actually adding a box with a border to place the text on because we want customers to know what the book is about.
So, select elements to your left and choose a shape you’d like. I’ve chosen a simple box and I’ll change the color to something I like.
I’ve also added a border to make it a little neater.
You can select a border if you’d like as well.
Great! So now we have our box and we’ll add text to the cover so people will actually know that the book is a journal.
So, select text on the left-hand corner and add any text you like. I’ve chosen a script font I like that looks pretty.
A lot of people use big, bold fonts that are rather legible on their book covers so customers can see right away what they’re buying.
But I was just feeling this font, so I used it. It’s pretty and I like it. Is that wrong?????
The next thing is adding the name of your book on the spine area as well.
Use the text option and write the name of the book and add it within this small space and make sure it fits well.
If it’s outside of the lines, Amazon will give you an error message, so make sure it fits.
Take a good look at your book cover and make sure everything is centered.
By using the Bookow template, we can see that all is centered (to my eyes anyway) and we can delete the file.
It won’t be needed once your design is finished.
Now that we’ve completed our book cover, we’ll try and make the interior.
Our interior is very simple, and while we can download free interiors online and upload them to Canva, I’ll show you how to make a lined interior yourself.
Select create a design and enter your dimensions which will be different from the cover dimensions because the printing size of the interior is different.
For my journal, I used 6.125 X 9.250 inches.
When your canvas is up, I want you to choose elements on the left of your screen again and select the line option.
Once the line is on your page, you simply use your cursor to center it on the page, shorten or lengthen it to your preferred size.
I’m doing a journal so the line does not go to the edge of the canvas like a composition book does.
Now the next step will take some time but once you’ve done it, the process is then fairly easy.
Right-click on the arrow icon of the line you’ve created and select ‘copy’ and right-click again and select paste.
You will keep doing that until your page looks like the one below.
Of course, you will have to shift around the lines to make sure they are even. When you’re done and everything looks good, you will need to replicate the pages.
Click on the icon that says duplicate page and make sure it comes to 60 pages.
Canva only allows 100 pages per design and we need 120 pages. You’re going to make a copy of your design and download both files to your computer as a PDF print.
Head over to ilovepdf and choose merge files and then download. You will now have 120 pages for your file.
Now you have both a book cover and manuscript to upload on Amazon. Let’s go there now and create our new low content book. First, choose the paperback option.
After this, you will enter your details like the name of your book and the subtitle.
When you’ve entered all your details, you can upload your manuscript and then your book cover.
Once you’ve selected your other options such as your pricing of the book, and adding an ISBN number, you will get the chance to publish your book.
It takes around 72 hours for Amazon to review your book, and then when it’s accepted you will see an option that says Live instead of In review.
Is Low Content Publishing For You?
So, this begs the question, is low content publishing actually for you?
If you’re looking for a business model that allows you to make passive income, but may not garner sales right away, then this is perfect.
And, if you also consider that you will have to invest the time and effort into making books and sometimes make a monetary investment, then you can start a low content publishing business.
✔️Low content publishing is great for you if you want:
- A side hustle for extra money
- To make passive income
- You want to build a business steadily over time
- You want a low maintenance side job that requires little to no investment
❌This is not for you if you:
- Want a get ‘rich quick’ scheme
- Have little patience
- Have little time to dedicate in building your business
Most people that get into this business, do start out by using free tools, but there are ways to make more money with low content publishing such as:
Using Amazon Ads
This way, your content will be featured at the top of the list for the featured item.
If you create a food diary and promote it with Amazon ads, you can be listed at the top or at least in the first listing for that category.
When you’ve acquired enough sales, you can always stop the ads and lean on organic traffic.
Outsourcing on Fiverr
This is a popular way for authors to create books that sell.
Not everyone is a designer, and there are lots of artists on Fiverr that will create book covers that really stand out.
This is ideal for people who simply can’t or just don’t want to design book covers.
Using Fiverr is a preferred option for book publishers because they can get beautiful covers created that customers are more likely to click on.
This can make a big difference whether you get a sale or not.
Using Ready-Made Designs
This is THE option you need for quality book interiors and designs.
In order to make sales on Amazon, you really need to have interiors that customers want to use.
Having a creative edge is the way to do this. What’s great about these options is that you can purchase quality interiors for a very low price.
I highly recommend you try ready-made designs after you’ve made more simple lined interiors and you want to branch out in your low content publishing business.
Start Your Low Content Side Hustle Now
Are you ready to get started with low content publishing?
I don’t see why not!
You can literally start for free today by using simple and free tools like Canva and a little inspiration.
Dedicate about 3-5 hours per week, designing simple books and getting the hang of it.
While you publish your books, you can keep working on other books in the same niche.
Then, you can graduate and start working on other niches.
This opportunity is a great way to make passive income and start a lucrative side hustle.
Let me know which niche you’re getting started in down in the comments!