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How to Create Notebook Paper in Canva

How to create notebook paper in Canva for KDP Low-Content Books

Scroll down for the video tutorial on how to create college ruled paper in Canva.

Create a College Ruled Lined Page

  1. Login to Canva
  2. Click the Custom Size button
  3. Enter your page dimensions in inches or mm, including 0.125” / 3.2 mm bleed on your outside margins. For example, to create a US Letter sized page, enter 8.625″ for width and 11.25″ for height. See the KDP help documents for more information.
  4. Turn on your rulers via the File menu
  5. Click and drag the top ruler to add a guideline at about 1.125″ from the top
  6. Click and drag the top ruler again to add a guideline at about 10.6″ from the top
  7. Go to the Elements tab and click on the plain line element to add it to your page
  8. Change the weight and color of the line as desired.
  9. Resize the line to be as wide as the page
  10. Duplicate the line 34 times for 35 lines total (CMD + D on a Mac or Ctrl + D on a PC)
  11. Move one line to the top guideline and one line to the bottom, leaving all other lines in between.
  12. Select all lines
  13. Select Position > Center
  14. Select Position > Tidy Up
  15. Click Group
  16. Move your lines to the center of the page

Add a Left Margin Rule

  1. Go to the Elements tab and click on the plain line element to add it to your page
  2. Change the weight and color of the line as desired.
  3. Rotate the line 90 degrees to be vertical
  4. Resize the line to be as tall as the page
  5. Move to about 1.25″ from the left side of the page

Video: How to Create Notebook Paper in Canva for KDP Books

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How To Create a 2-Page Calendar Layout Printable for KDP

How to create a 2-page calendar layout in Word for KDP

In this video tutorial, I show you how to create a two-page calendar layout using tables in Word. Want to save time? Check out my pre-made 2022 calendar templates.

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10 Low Content Books That Aren’t Journals or Planners

10 Low-Content Books for KDP Niches

After doing your niche research and finding areas of interest to create low-content books in, think beyond just blank books and optimize a niche with a full range of low-content book types. Here are some of my favorite low-content books that sell really well.

Review Books

TV show tracker and review book
TV show tracker and review from My Binge Watching Notebook

From wine tastings to movies, anything that people consume is a great opportunity for a review book. Give people a book of pre-made templates to help them remember which items they would buy again and which they’d pass on. Include spots for brands, where the item was bought, price, rating, notes. The more specifics you can include the better, as enthusiasts love to record their experiences.

Subject-Based Study Notebooks

Some education subjects benefit from templated note taking. While their are lots of generic note-taking templates out there like Cornell notes, dig deeper to find templates specific to a subject – or better yet, a specific class or textbook. For example, history students may benefit from a notebook that enables them to catalog the details of historical dates. The study notebooks that stand out from the crowd, however, are those that also include educational information and examples, which gets closer to my next suggested book type…

Log Books

Think about all the numerical data people track – business mileage for taxes, blood sugar for diabetes, workouts and body measurements for fitness, time spent practicing an instrument for students – the list is endless! Anything numerical data that needs to be recorded can make a quick and easy log book with a simple table created in any document creation software. I demonstrate how to make a mileage log book in my video Create with Me: Designing and Uploading a Low-Content Book for KDP.

Workbooks

Workbooks take more effort that your typical low-content book, as they are less repetitive (each page might be different!) and include a bit more structure and information to support the user. Workbooks guide readers educate and guide readers through a series of questions and processes. Workbooks can be be lists of prompts or more visual graphic organizers like this workbook for business owners: Mind Your Business: A Workbook to Grow Your Creative Passion Into a Full-time Gig.

Prompt Books

Prompt books can be one of the easiest low-content books to make, because there’s no complex layouts to make – just a list of prompts. The prompts can be anything from reflective questions that require a written response to drawing ideas. Write one prompt per page and you’ve got yourself a low-content book.

Interview Books

Couples interview questions from A Year of Us.

Interview books are a specific type of prompt book that are intended to be used interactively with others. Interview books can be just for fun or a means of historical record.For example, there are books where couples answer the same questions about their favorite things to get to know each other better. Interview books can be a great way for kids to learn more about their grandparents.

Puzzle Books

Crosswords, sudoku, logic problems, word finds – the kinds of puzzles you can sell on KDP is endless! People of all ages love puzzle books and there’s a huge market for them. In order to stand out from every other puzzle books, think about how you can appeal to specific niches with themes. Target a specific audience – is your book for kids on a road trip or seniors in assisted living? Different puzzles will appeal to different audiences.

Practice books

Any writing or reading skill that requires repetitive practice can be turned into a low-content book. For example, college students who study Asian languages often use character practice books to learn writing, as do elementary students just learning how to write. Turn sets of flash cards into a low-content book for students to practice anything from music notes to anatomy.

Collection Catalog

Collectors of all kinds – from records to books to toys to antiques – love to catalog all of their items. Create a low content book with pages of item records that include details like when and where the item was acquired, when it was made, who the creator is, storage location, and any niche specific details, e.g. the number of pages in a book or the print number of an art piece.

“Finish This” Creative Exercise Books

Finish This Drawing by Jess Erskine

Similar to prompt books, “finish this” type books give creators the beginning of a piece of work, such as part of drawing or the first line of a story. It takes a little more creativity than simple prompts, but there’s far less competition. Think about what other creative works you could start, maybe the first notes of a song or the setting of a movie script – the possibilities are endless!

Expand your niche research by thinking beyond just lined notebooks and journals, and get creative with a whole series of low-content books. Which type of low-content book will you try next?

10 Low-Content Book Types for KDP
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10 Best Commercially-Licensed Fonts for T-Shirt Designs

10 commercially-licensed fonts for t-shirt designs that sell!

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. If you sign up for a service or make a purchase through an affiliate link, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you, which helps me create more content.

Here are my favorite commercially-licensed fonts for creating apparel designs that sell.

Amatic SC Font

Amatic SC

This kitschy handwriting font was likely inspired by the popular houseware brand by Rae Dunn. Available for free from Google Fonts, Amatic SC is great for minimalist typographic designs geared towards. If you design on multiple computers, use the free Skyfonts tool to download and sync fonts across devices.

Nanami HM Font

Nanami / Nanami HM

Related font families Nanami and it’s handwritten version Nanami Handmade are designed by Thinkdust. They come with a huge variety of styles from thin to super bold, making them extremely versatile and useful for all sorts of niches. More importantly, the fonts are well-design with balanced letters that kern well without needing manual adjustment. The handmade version has both a solid and textured version, and add subtle characters to your designs.

Argentinian Nights

Brush script fonts make great designs by themselves and are great sellers. What I like about Argentinian Nights, besides how lovely the script is design, is that it includes swashes to start and end words with flair.

Bebas Neue Font

Bebas Neue

A simple caps font, it’s the simplicity that is the beauty. The tall but slim letters enable you to make bigger, eye-catching typography. It’s clean lines make this font work well on it’s own or paired with others. If you have Adobe Creative Suite, download the upgraded font family, Bebas Kai, from the Adobe font library.

Bluberry Font - Grunge Version

Bluberry

Bluberry is a fun and friendly font that is especially great for kids designs. Like many of my favorites, it comes with several variations – outline, drop shadow, and grunge – that make cohesive font pairings easy.

Bhatoshine Font - Brush Version

Bhatoshine

Bhatoshine is a fun bounce letter brush script. My favorite is the brush variation that is textured to look like it was painted.

Prisma Font

Prisma

Prisma is a great font for retro 70s and 80s inspired designed, especially those silly retro sunsets.

Saltash Font - Grunge Version

Saltash

Is Saltash overused in grunge designs? Yes. Does it sell a lot of products? Also yes. The bold letters with rough lines, and optionally distressed texture, make it easy to add character to any design with Saltash. Pro tip: all the letters are caps, but typing in a mix of lowercase and uppercase show different letter variations making it look less like a font and more handmade.

Holland Font

Holland

Holland is an elegant and modern script font that elevates any minimalist typographic design. (Yep, another script font…I don’t know if it’s a power move that millennial moms are playing on the next generation who can’t read cursive, but they love their script font shirts.) You can try it for free with the personal-use version, but be sure to buy the commercial version for any products.

Special Elite Font

Special Elite

For designs with a retro handmade vibe, a typewriter font is a classic choice. Special Elite is available for free from Google Fonts, and has the character of a kitschy typewriter font, but is not overly grungy and is still readable.

10 Fonts for Bestselling T-Shirt Designs by ThePODFiles.com
10 Fonts for Bestselling T-Shirt Designs by ThePODFiles.com
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Create With Me: Merch By Amazon Products

Create with Me: Merch By Amazon and Redbubble

Since y’all seem to enjoy watching me create a KDP product, I thought I’d do another walkthrough video, but with print on demand products. In this video I show you how I set up my template for Merch By Amazon (MBA) t-shirts and then automatically resize my design for hoodies, bags/pillows, and Popsockets. I also show how to create a template for two-sided mugs to upload to platforms like Redbubble. My process uses Photoshop guidelines, circular text, smart objects, layer masks, layer styles, and actions.

Skip to a specific section:

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How to Sync Multiple Designs to a Printful Listing on Etsy

Multiple design variations in one printful listing. Example shows white text on black shirts and black text on white shirts.

Whether you want to offer both light and dark shirts in one Etsy listing, or completely different designs altogether, with a couple extra steps, you can list multiple design variations in one single Etsy listing and sync them all with Printful.

Option 1: Printful Variations

The simplest option for offering multiple design variations, e.g. white text on dark shirts and black text on light shirts, is to use the “Variations” feature in Printful. Note that this method only works on products with multiple variations such as shirt colors (so not all-over-print products) and you can only add each variation once, e.g. you can’t have multiple different designs all on black shirts; to do that, skip to the next option.

  1. Create a product with one version of your design on all the product variations you want for that design. For example, add your white text version on all the shirt you want to have white text.
  2. Click the Edit button next to the product
  3. Click the Add Variants button, located at the top right (if this button is greyed out, go to the next section about adding variants via Etsy)
  4. Uncheck all the variants you already have listed
  5. Check the variants you need to add and edit/replace the design as necessary
  6. Finishing publishing the product as usual

Option 2: Etsy Variations

Some products, such as all-over-print products, require you to add the variations on Etsy first and then sync with Printful. This method also works if you want to offer multiple designs on the same product variation (e.g. matching couple shirts printed on the same shirt model) or multiple product types (e.g. a t-shirt and tank top) in the same listing.

Watch my video on Adding Multiple Color Options for AOP Products for an example of this technique.

  1. In Printful, go to Settings > Stores > Orders and make sure Import existing products is checked. (If you have multiple stores synced with Printful, use the dropdown at the top to change stores and check this setting for each).
  2. Create mockups images of your products (you can use Printful’s standalone Mockup Generator)
  3. In your Etsy shop, create a new listing with all the required information such as title, description, photos, etc.
  4. In the Variations section, add all the product options you want to offer. Since you are only allowed two variations (e.g. color and size) you may have to get creative and combine multiple variations in one. For example, if I were offering family shirts with different sizes and colors, I might have one variation with the design options (mom, dad, sister, etc.) and another that combined the size and shirt color, e.g. “Adult XL Blue”, “Youth M Black”.
Keep in mind that too many options may cause “purchase paralysis” and customers won’t buy your product because they are overwhelmed by options. If offering multiple designs, I recommend sticking with one product color. You can always have multiple listings, which will also increase your odds of being found in search.
  1. Publish the listing (you can also save as a draft if you prefer)
  2. Go to your store in Printful and click the Refresh data link, located at the top right.
  3. When the new listing appears on your product list, click the Edit button next to it.
  4. Next to each product, you will need to click Choose Product and select the product and design for that variation.
  5. If you didn’t publish in step 4, go back to Etsy and publish your listing.

Note, you can also skip syncing all the products and instead sync them as you get orders; after you sync an unsynced order, it will sync all future orders. If you take this approach, make sure that “Import unsynced orders” is checked in your Printful settings.

Video Tutorials

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How to Create Text with a Photo or Pattern Background

How to add a photo or pattern to your text in Photoshop

Want to create those trendy leopard print or buffalo plaid letters? It takes just three steps! This text effect can be done in any graphic design program with a clipping mask feature. Below the tutorial is a video where I show how to do it in Photoshop.

Option 1: Using a clipping mask to add a background to text

A clipping mask can be use to show a layer only where there are pixels on the layer below. It’s a quick way to add photos, patterns, or textures to another layer without have to use a selection tool. A clipping mask will automatically update when the main layer is edited. Here’s the short tutorial:

  1. Create a text layer
  2. Add a layer ABOVE the text layer with the photo, pattern, or other art you want to fill the text with
  3. Enable the clipping mask on the top layer that contains your fill content

Here’s more information on using clipping masks in different graphic design programs:

Option 2: Using the Pattern feature in Photoshop to add a seamless pattern to text

Using the Pattern feature is a a great way to fill text with a repeating pattern while leaving both the text and pattern editable. Here’s how to create a pattern and add it to text in Photoshop:

Create a repeating pattern

  1. Open an image in Photoshop
  2. Select > All
  3. Edit > Define pattern

Fill text with a repeating pattern

  1. Create a text layer
  2. Double-click on the text layer to open the Layer Style dialog
  3. Click the Pattern Overlay option
  4. Click the drop-down next to the pattern to select your pattern
    • Use the Scale option to resize your pattern
    • Click and drag on the layer to move the pattern around (must still have Layer Style dialog open)
  5. Click Okay to apply the pattern

Video: Adding a photo or pattern to text in Photoshop

How to add a photo or pattern to your text using Photoshop.
How to create leopard print letters and other seamless patterns in Photoshop. A tutorial by The POD Files
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Best Print on Demand Services for Etsy

The best print on demand services for Etsy

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. If you sign up for a service or make a purchase through an affiliate link, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you, which helps me create more content.

Best Overall: Printful

Printful Review

Printful was the first print on demand service I used with Etsy, and it’s still my favorite. Though far from perfect, Printful still has way more upsides than downsides. I currently do most of my all-over print (AOP) products through Printful, as well as any colorful designs demand a high-quality print.

What I like about Printful

Print Quality

Some of my brands involve highly detailed, colorful designs, so I’ve spent lots of money and time testing designs on the same products across POD companies to find the best. For direct-to-garment (DTG), none were as brightly colored as Printful. Their sublimation printing on AOP products is even better, with rich colors and highly detailed printing.

If you’re new to print on demand, make sure to learn about different printing techniques and set your expectations accordingly. While DTG has lots of advantages, it will never be quite as bold at screenprinting or heat transfer vinyl.

Custom Variations / Multiple Products Per Listing

A huge advantage to using Printful that I have not found anywhere else, is the ability to sync a Printful product to an existing listing in Etsy. You can create your Etsy listing with a choice of products (e.g. both adult and kid t-shirts) or designs (e.g. couple shirts), and sync them up with Printful for automatic fulfillment.

Watch my video tutorial to learn how to create multiple design options in one Etsy listing.

Design Features

Many POD services let your resize and position your print file, but Printful has some extra design features that make it even easier to quickly make products. One of my favorite is the ability to create a repeating pattern, which is great for seamless designs on AOP products like leggings. There’s also some basic design tools that you can use to add text and clipart, which can be helpful for beginners. Printful’s file library is also one of the best with the ability to upload multiple files at once and to organize them into folders.

Variety of Mock-ups

No other POD service provides nearly as many product mockups as Printful. In fact, most don’t provide model or 3D mockups like Printful. Having a variety of mockups available is great for quickly adding new products. Though I still recommend using real-life photos of your products or purchasing quality mockups from places like Creative Market to help your brand stand out.

Personalization

Printful is compatible with Etsy’s personalization feature, which allows customers to send you the customizations they’d like. While you still need to create the custom art file, Printful will import the order with the default product and place it on hold until you add the custom art. This is a great way to fulfill personalized products, such as shirts with a customer’s name on them.

Self-Service

Being able to control my orders is important to me, and I don’t like having to waste time contacting customer support for changes. Printful makes it easy to do everything your self: sync with your Etsy store, add products, and most importantly: change or cancel orders when necessary. Many POD services don’t allow you to change an address or cancel an order without going through custom support, and a product might ship before you get a response! Some companies even require you to have them set up your store – ugh, no thanks!

Global Fulfillment

Prinful not only ships globally, but has manufacturing facilities in several continents, including the USA, Europe, Canada, Australia, and Mexico. Having multiple locations not only gets products to your international customers faster, but can also cut down on customs fees. Etsy is an international market place, so your fulfillment should be too!

What I don’t like about Printful

While I am generally please with Printful’s service, there are a few things I don’t love.

Expensive

With a rare few exceptions, Printful’s products are the most expensive of all POD services, and usually by a few dollars – not just cents! Yes, you get what you pay for, and Printful certainly has advantages worth paying more for. However, my shrinking margins is what led me to look into other print vendors, especially for simple one or two color DTG shirts.

Refund policy

My biggest annoyance with Printful right now is their strict policy requiring that you contact them within 4-weeks of an order’s estimated delivery if there’s an issue with the product or delivery. While most of the time this is fine, I find that the estimated delivery date is almost always underestimated and most international orders take four weeks to arrive! By the time a customer realizes their order is lost, it’s too late to get a refund. Printful should refund all lost orders, regardless.

Product availability

Printful’s product catalog is much more limited than other POD services. They generally have fewer shirt colors to choose from, rarely follow trends, and pretty much ignore customer requests. For years, one of the top product requests has been black mugs, yet they won’t add them. I also don’t know a lot of people who wear baby pink and light blue sweatshirts; can we get some trendy colors like olive green and cream? And how about some modern styles like a scuba hoodie or at least less baggy everything. Don’t go to a brand’s wholesale site – it’ll depress you to see the number of great options Printful isn’t using.

Custom order syncing error

I receive lots of custom orders via Etsy’s custom order request feature, but these orders never sync with Printful. I use to create them manually, but now that Printful charges sales tax on manual orders, I use Printify for all of my custom orders.

Runner Up: Printify

I am increasingly using Printify to fulfill my products and find that they are often improving. Some the issues I had with them early on have been resolved and I now recommend Printify almost as much as Printful. These days I use Printify mostly for simple white or black DTG prints, and for almost all my mugs.

Printify Review

What I like about Printify

Cheaper

Cost on Printify depends entirely on which vendor you select, but there is almost always at least one vendor that is several dollars cheaper than Printful. I only tried Printify at all because the margins were so much better.

Product selection

Because Printify partners with multiple vendors, their product catalog is extensive. Many clothing vendors also offer shirt colors that aren’t available from any other POD.

Custom order syncing

Unlike other vendors, Printify has the ability to import orders created via Etsy’s “custom order request” feature. You still have to manually add the product, but you won’t be charged tax that Etsy has already collected and the shipping status and tracking number will automatically sync back to Etsy.

What I don’t like about Printify

Not a manufacturer

What delayed me in using Printify initially and is still my biggest issue with Printify, is that they are not the manufacturer of any products, but just the software that connects your Etsy shop to your manufacturer. Because of this, quality and fulfillment time varies greatly across different printers. This is especially a pain during Q4 when vendors disable certain product variations and you have to manually go through your store to determine which products are discontinued.

Locked orders

Because Printify is not the actual manufacturer, once an order is submitted for production, you can’t make any changes or cancel the order without contacting support. Often it will ship before customer support gets back to you or they are unable to help because it’s out of their control. It is common for customers to make mistakes with their address or to cancel when they realize it won’t ship in time for an event or holiday. I will say though, that customer support times have gotten much faster over the years and they are increasingly able to cancel a delayed order.

Product syncing limitations

Unlike Printful, Printify doesn’t let you create listing in Etsy first and then sync it. It will let you manually sync an unsynced order, but this still makes it tedious to over multiple products or designs in one listing. Changing color names and other variations will also break the sync with Printify. I end up doing a lot of manual imports with Printify.

Global shipping issues

Although Printify works with manufacturers across the globe, you can only sync one location per listing. So for example, if a Canadian orders one my products, it will be shipped from the US manufacturer that is synced with my listing and possible be charged a customs fee, even if the manufacturer has a Canadian location!

Additionally, I’ve found that all of Printify’s manufacturers use THE SLOWEST shipping couriers in the world (e.g. Asendia) and the tracking is delayed at best and usually non-existent. Whenever possible, I switch non-US orders to an International manufacturer or to Printful.

Best for Bulk Orders: Scalable Press

I don’t use Scalable Press often, mostly because they don’t actually sync with Etsy. But Scalable Press is great for two specific needs: bulk orders and backup.

What I like about Scalable Press

Screen Printing

This best thing about Scalable Press is that they offer screen printing with no minimums! Granted, ordering just one screen printed shirt is expensive given the set up costs, but it’s possible! When I get a group order or someone inquires about a discounted bulk order, I use Scalable press to leverage the large order size to get a high-quality screen print. The pricing is fantastic for large orders (as low as a few dollars a shirt) and the quality is excellent.

Backup

Scalable Press also offers DTG and embroidery on many items, as well as some sublimation like mugs. This is helpful when both Printful and Printify are out of stock on an item or are experiencing slow fulfillment times. I don’t think many POD shop owners use Scalable Press, so the fulfillment times are usually quicker.

What I don’t like about Scalable Press

The fact that Scalable Press doesn’t sync with Etsy is the biggest downside, since every has to be done manually, including marking your order as shipped in Etsy. I also don’t love the navigation of their product catalog as you can’t see what colors are offered and what the cost is until you go to the product page. Checking out is also a bit clunky, as you have to place an order and then go pay for it on another page.

Conclusion: Use Multiple Vendors

Whichever vendor you choose to start with, my advice is to have a least one other ready to go as a backup. Product stock issues and fulfillment times at one can often be resolved by switch an order to a different provider. You can also maximize your products by using multiple vendors to price shop.

The best print on demand drop shipping services for your Etsy shop.
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FIXED: KDP Cover Made In Canva Is Too Big!

Creating a KDP cover template with Canva - updated!

If you’ve seen my video on how to create a KDP cover template in Canva, you probably found that the file was too big when uploaded to KDP. After that video was made, Canva changed how PDF files were saved, ignoring the pixel dimensions used to create the document. Grr…

Not all is lost though! You can still follow my video tutorial below, EXCEPT instead of using pixels when creating your Canva document, use either the inches or millimeters dimensions provided by the KDP Calculator. I will also be adding properly sized (and tested) Canva templates to my shop.