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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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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
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How to Add Bleed to PDFs with Adobe Acrobat

How to merge PDFs and add bleed with Adobe Acrobat.

DPI, margins, embedding fonts – there’s so many things for a new self-publisher to learn when creating their first manuscript. One concept that seems to cause issue for many is bleed. What is bleed? Do you need it? How do you set it up? All these answers and more ahead! Or, skip to the tutorial.

What is bleed?

Bleed is extra margin space that allows elements like pictures to be printed all the way to the edge of a page and trimmed without extra white space.

Does your document need bleed?

If your document does not have elements that go all the way to the edge, it doesn’t make sense to include it and most consumer document software, e.g. Microsoft Word, does not have a bleed function, so it makes sense that most PDFs in the wild do not have bleed.

But what happens if you want to combine these documents with a file that has bleed, for example, adding lined notebook pages to a planner? All of your pages, including ones without bleeding elements, will need to have bleed added.

How much bleed do you need?

The amount of bleed required will vary by printer. Amazon’s KDP print books require bleed to be .125 inch on the outside edges of a document with bleeding elements. This means that a book that is 6 x 9 inches will need to have pages that are 6.125 x 9.25 inches in size, if printing with bleed.

How do you add bleed?

Some programs, such as Adobe InDesign, allow you to set up bleed in the page or document setup. In other programs, such as Word, you can manually add the bleed to the document size and the margins. So our 6 x 9 KDP book will have 6.125 x 9.25 sized pages with at least a .5 margin on the outside edges (the .375 required by Amazon plus .125 for bleed.

But what if you don’t have the original document?

If you are working with a PDF that you don’t have the original document for, such as a purchased template, you can easily add bleed to the PDF in Adobe Acrobat. This is especially useful if you are combining pages from multiple documents that may be a mix of bleed and no-bleed.

Here’s a video where I show you how to merge pages from multiple documents, and then add bleed / make the pages the same size. Don’t wanna watch a video? Step-by-step instructions below.

How to Add Pages from Another File

Organize Pages on Sidebar of Adobe Acrobat
  1. Open one PDF in Adobe Acrobat
  2. On the sidebar, click Organize Pages
  3. Click on the page where you’d like to add pages
  4. From the toolbar, click Insert > From File
  5. Select the second PDF from the file explorer
  6. Click Ok

How to Add Bleed / Make All Pages the Same Size

Set Page Boxes Dialog Window. Change Page Size Section. Custom selected. Width includes .125 inch for bleed; height includes .25 inch for bleed.
  1. With final PDF open in Adobe Acrobat, click Organize Pages
  2. From the toolbar, click More > Set Page Boxes
  3. In the Change Page Size section…
    1. Click Custom
    2. Enter the total page width with bleed (e.g. 6.125)
    3. Enter the total page height with bleed (e.g. 9.25)
  4. Click Ok

Note, this only works if you are increasing the page size, which why I do not include bleed on my templates, unless it actually has an element that bleeds. Starting with a non-bleeding document is easier to mix and match with other documents, bleed or no bleed.

What will you do now that you are free to mix and match PDFs?

How to merge multiple PDF files of different page sizes and add bleed.