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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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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.

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How to Increase Sales of Your Low-Content Books (Part 1: Quality Product)

Increase your low-content book sales, part 1: product quality
How to Create Quality Low-Content Books: Size Matters, Usable Layout, Value-Added Content, Decorative Theming, Color Interior. | The POD Files | #KDP #LCB #selfpublishing

Lately it seems like everyone in jumping on the low-content book publishing bandwagon, and the marketplace is flooded with products for customers to choose from. How do you make sure your books stand out and get purchased?Three things to work on:

  • make sure your book can be found,
  • make sure it looks like the best option so customers buy it, and
  • make sure it is a quality product so that you get good reviews and brand reputation.

In this first post of a three-part series, I’ll discuss factors you should consider if you want to create high-quality no-content / low-content books.

Size Matters

Bigger is not necessarily better.

It can be tempting to reuse the same interior or cover template for all of your no-content and low-content books (NCB/LCB) in order to produce as many products as possible, but different purposes call for different sized books. A mileage book should be small enough to fit in a glove compartment, but an academic notebook should be larger to allow for long-form writing.

Before you design your interior or purchase a template, think about where the book will be used and research what is already out on the market – reviews can be especially informative about what your target market thinks about book sizes.

The number of pages is also something to consider, as people may not want a thick, heavy book if they are going to be traveling with it. Longer books also make it harder for perfect-bound books (e.g. KDP paperbacks) to lay flat and stay open when writing.

Usable Layout

Better there be extras space, than not enough.

Related to the size of your book, is how you layout your interior. Some LCB interiors call for lots of different data entry on one page, but don’t squeeze so much in that there’s not enough room for a user to write.

To fit more content on a page without crowding consider:

  • Stacking a table layout vertically with rows, rather than columns.
  • Remove side borders to allow a user to write to the page edge.
  • Spread a layout across multiple pages.
  • Reduce page margins (most word processors have huge default margins)

Value-Added Content

There is a plethora of lined notebooks and simple log books for sale – add value to your LCBs by adding unique content like instructions, tips, and examples. This is especially important if you are using templates available to other publishers; a unique cover alone may not be enough for a customer to choose your book.

Decorative Theming

Consistent theming through out a book can give a professional appearance that elevates it above books that can be easily replicate by any user with word processing. Try decorating your books by:

  • adding subtle visual textures behind content, e.g. a swash of watercolor behind page title,
  • using font styles related to your content, e.g. brush scripts on a guided journal, or
  • including doodles and illustrations.

Go to a store that sells journals and other LCBs to see the kind of books publishers invest in manufacturing – rarely do they product books that are just plain text and tables.

Color Interior

The extra cost of printing in color can be off-putting for many print-on-demand authors and publishers who are trying to keep costs low, but with the right kind of book, the extra cost can lead to more sales.

It’s easier to get a return on the investment of adding color with shorter books (40 pages or fewer on KDP), especially with books geared toward creative pursuits or children’s activities. A simple mileage log probably doesn’t need color, but parents may find a black and white kid’s book too boring.

When deciding whether to print in color, consider your audience, printing costs, and whether color adds any value.

Increasing Low-Content Books Sales, Part 1: Quality | The Pod Files | #selfpublishing #KDP