Low Content Publishing

How to make money with low content books on Amazon.

  • Making Money with Low-Content Books: 2023 Edition

    If you want to make the most money possible on Amazon KDP, you’ll want to stay clear from creating low-content books in what I call “umbrella niches.”

    Umbrella niches are those that are massive as they are considered the “main” niche, and because of that, they are almost always very overcrowded and saturated.

    They are the ones that every new low-content publisher is bound to go into because they just seem like the obvious choice when you’re starting out and don’t know the market.

    And worse, no one is doing anything different, so they all end up looking exactly alike, with only those who invest in advertising campaigns making the bulk of the money.

    Umbrella niches are ones like:

    • Gratitude journals that aren’t geared towards a specific
    • Prayer journals that aren’t tailored in some way to stand out.
    • Weight loss journals with no theme or slant.
    • Recipe books without a theme.
    • General self-help without a strict target audience in mind.
    • Generic weekly or monthly planners.

    These are all super-size niches, and they are profitable and evergreen, so it’s no surprise that everyone runs to them…

    BUT… yes, there’s a but…

    … there are already thousands of these basic low-content books in those niches on Amazon!

    But (there’s that word again!), the great news is that you can still publish in those extremely profitable markets and make thousands of dollars a month doing so, but you have to take a very different approach.

    You’ll gear your products towards specific demographics, not the market as a whole.

    This is something that few other people are doing, but those that do are making a lot of money on Amazon.  And this goes beyond simply “niching down,” which you’ve probably heard a thousand times before.

    This is niching WAY down.

    To better help you understand what I mean, here’s how you might tackle a couple of those massive “umbrella” niches so that you’re not competing against thousands of other sellers:

    Starting with the gratitude journal niche…

    Instead of creating a generic, all-encompassing gratitude journal, you should create a highly customized one for a specific gender, age, location, hobby, or life event.

    The more specific you get, the better.

    One example of a gratitude journal that is positioned to appeal to a very specific audience is this one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09KN4CG6M

    This journal focuses on offering a 90-day system that helps adults document their daily gratitude thoughts and affirmations.

    90-day is their slant. It’s unique, it adds something special to their book. And people love systems, especially when broken down into small tasks, like 90 days of journaling.

    A shorter timeframe not only makes them feel they’re capable of completing the “system”, because it doesn’t require a huge commitment of time, but as a seller you’ll make more money from time-based books because customers will complete it and return to purchase another!

    This is why I almost always recommend adding a specific time-frame to your low content books whenever possible.

    Examples: 120 Days of Gratitude, 90-day Self-Help Workbook, 6 Weeks of Meal Planning, and so on.

    The book in my example above was also designed like most other time-based journals in this niche, which includes:

    • A few pages that outline the journal and how it should be used (instructions and an introduction);
    • Repeated pages with the same interior for the remainder of the book.

    Click the link above and look inside to see what I mean.

    This book is currently earning an average of $2,600+ a month, and as you can see, it would be very easy to create something along the same lines.

    So, recap: To stand out, you’re going to focus on publishing gratitude journals with a specific time frame included, such as “52 Weeks of Practicing Gratitude” or “30 Day Guided Gratitude Journal”.

    In addition, including a time-based component in your title is important so don’t overlook this. It will not only help you rank for relevant keywords, but it will capture more attention from browsers.

    Let’s take a look at a few other bestselling (self-published) books in this niche:


    Average monthly sales: $7,700

    Average monthly sales: $1,800

    Average monthly sales: $4,178

    Average monthly sales: $5,169

    Another example of how to niche down successfully: you could create a gratitude journal for women who have successfully conceived after experiencing infertility issues.

    Your journal would include inspiring quotes and phrases geared toward women who’ve gone through this experience and were ultimately successful.

    They want to celebrate; they want to write all about their feelings and thoughts.  So, always think from your buyers’ perspective, and create a sort of avatar of your ideal customer to better understand how you can create products that stand out.

    Let’s take a look at another niche that is popular but often saturated with generic books and how you can still publish in this market:

    Prayer Journals:

    Rather than just another prayer book, you could create a journal based around a specific religion and demographic.

    Example: Young Christian Couples, or Teen Girls.  

    Or, you could put a spin on it and combine multiple audiences so that you’re aiming for a larger pool of customers while still tailoring your books to specific groups.

    For example, you could do that by creating a prayer journal for military families and then including interior pages such as gratitude, notes, photo pages, and so on that parents or loved ones of military children would appreciate and use.

    Let’s take a look at the weight loss market—a wildly popular one, but overcrowded (unless you drill down, that is!):

    Weight Loss Journals/Notebooks:

    This is a market you should be in, but please focus on gearing your content toward a very specific demographic instead of creating just another weight loss book that gets lost in the sea of journals.

    You could aim yours toward specific diets, of course, but consider taking things a step further and design your journal or book around an age group, such as: “Fabulous Forty” and play up the “Mid-Lifers” with quotes and funny graphics targeting things that the age group would relate to.

    Or you might go with an off-the-wall funny but useful version such as:

    “Getting Fit and Other Shit” could include weight loss trackers but also sections for other aspects of life like productivity and goal planners – all connected to weight loss, but extends the value of the book.

    Then, turn all those books into a series called “Weight Loss Strategies for Real People” or something else that would appeal to people who struggle with weight loss.

    Recipe Books:

    Again, target specific demographics such as: people who are allergic to certain foods, requiring them to create alternative meal plans, or recipes for those who are diabetic, recipes for those who are lactose intolerant, or perhaps a recipe book for those on a liquid diet.

    The possibilities are endless – but please, not another generic low carb recipe book.

    There are thousands of those already! If you want to create a low-carb recipe book, gear it towards a secondary niche, so it stands out.

    You can also break it down and create a series that includes a recipe book on appetizers, then one for main courses, one for desserts, and even one for homemade cocktails and drinks.

    Pro Tip: Create a snapshot of one specific customer.  Write down the age range you’re targeting, their country, a hobby, profession, gripe, or something they are passionate about. We call this a “customer avatar”, and it helps you better define and cater to what people are willing to pay for.

    When you target a specific demographic, hobby, life event, career, skill, interest, spot, job, and so on, you’re not only able to stand out in crowded markets, but you’re able to differentiate your low-content books based on the language you use.

    Every group has its own set of keywords, terms, and phrases, and you can use these on your book cover to attract those buyers, as well as within your interiors.

    For example: 
    Dungeon and Dragon players (DND) use terms like “guild, dungeon master,” and so on.

    Self-published authors like us use terms like “indie author” or “self-pubbed”, which sets us apart from traditional authors.

    Essentially, the more you target a specific segment of a larger market, the easier it is to make money.

    Your book launches will also require less advertising (if any), your covers can be highly customized rather than generic look-a-likes, and you’ll be able to reach deep into the most profitable markets because you’re going beneath the surface.

    So, no umbrella niches!  DIG AND DIG DEEP!

    One more example:

    If writing prompt books is a top-selling niche (hint: it is), then rather than create a low-content book that’s geared towards all writers, consider creating a series that is focused on different genres (romance, science fiction, thriller/mystery, young adult, etc.) that all tie in together.

    That way, you can target a specific audience within a large market while also gearing your cover designs toward those distinct writers.

    Again, the more you can connect with a specific customer base and identify what it is that speaks to them directly, the easier it will be to maximize sales.

    So no generic covers and no generic interiors. Each book should be heavily geared towards targeting one specific customer base.

    Finally, when it comes to uncovering new niches, there’s no better place than scouring the Best Sellers page here: https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Books/zgbs/books/

    Think about it. These people have already done most of the research for you and because they’re on the best-seller list, they’ve proven that the book (and niche) is profitable!

    Once you find a best-selling book in a niche that’s of interest, click on the author name and look at what other books they’ve published.

    Chances are, they’ve published multiple books under each pen name so if you follow the breadcrumbs you’ll easily uncover additional profitable niches.

    Then, take things a step further and follow additional trails, starting with the “Customers Also Viewed” and “Customers Also Bought” suggestions that appear below each book description.

    Those of us who write fiction learned long ago just how powerful “Also-Boughts” are as they are clear indicators of the types of books customers are interested in purchasing for each segment of any niche (or in this case, genre and sub-genre.)

    Filtering through sub-categories is yet another way to uncover additional high-profit low and high-content niches.

    There are 100 bestsellers in each category so spend some time going through the top 5-6 sections that interest you, writing down everything you find.

    What you’re looking for:

    Every niche should have at least 10-20 books published with a BSR (Best-sellers Rank) of 100k or less.  No more than 1,000 published books in the niche.

    A lot of people get caught up in niche research because they over-think the process. Please don’t!  It’s more important to spend your time publishing than simply researching these days.

    In fact, while quality is super important, there’s no getting around it: quantity now matters just as much if you’re just starting out. The more books you have out there, the better your chances at hitting a home-run and landing in several highly profitable niches.

    In fact, think of every book you publish as a signal that gets stronger every time you upload a new one. Those beacons WILL find their customer base, but it may take 100, even 200 books before it happens, so publish, publish, PUBLISH! 

    Tip: Use Publisher Rocket to make the niche research process easier, particularly being able to quickly see the number of competing books, uncover rock-solid keywords and average search and income volume.

    These days, other than manual research, Publisher Rocket is the only thing I use to find and validate niches.

    Tip: Create a free account at Book Report so you can keep tabs on what books are selling (and create more of those).

    You can set up your account here: https://www.getbookreport.com/

    Try to check it weekly so you’re aware of any surge in sales, especially during peak seasons, and can quickly react by creating more of your top-sellers.

    You can also create a simple Google Doc or Excel sheet that simply lists your book titles, niche, pen name and the number of daily, weekly or monthly sales so that you have a clear snapshot of your sales data.Finally, always focus on extending your series funnel.

    For those that aren’t sure what a series funnel is, Amazon now allows you to create a series of connected books. You’ll find this after logging into your KDP account and clicking on: Bookshelf > Create New Series.

    You’ll need to come up with a series title and use that same title in every book listing that you want to be part of the series.

    Pro Tip: Make sure you’re using your very best keyword in your series title, preferably 2-3 words instead of a single. It’s one of the easiest ways to optimize each book listing.

    Also, don’t use that same keyword phrase anywhere else but the series title. That way you aren’t wasting space by over-optimizing with repeat keywords. Instead, use different keywords in the title of each book, sub-title and in the book description.

    A lot of people overlook the power of publishing their planners and journals as a series rather than as stand-alone books. Don’t be one of those people!

    Creating a series for every one of my main niches has been instrumental in hitting six-figures a year on KDP alone.  It makes more sense to continue creating books in a proven niche than to spend hours of your time looking for new niches, right?

    So, try and see one niche through to where you have 4-5 books published in a single series before moving onto a new niche.

    This is also important if you plan to advertise with AMS because it makes way more sense to advertise book 1 in a series than it does individual books.

    Not only will you maximize your profits but you’ll also increase the likelihood that every single ad will be profitable since you’re giving customers more than just one option per every click.

    The objective is to always find ways to maximize the overall value of every single customer, so naturally, the more journals and planners they purchase from you at once, the better.


  • Hot KDP & Printable Sub-Niche

    The wedding planning niche has always been a surefire seller, but if you look on Amazon or Etsy for either KDP books or printables, you’ll discover that there are thousands of available products.

    Instead, think about “sub-niches” that are related to the wedding planning market, but not as saturated.

    Take the Maid of Honor niche for example. There aren’t nearly as many available products on both Amazon or Etsy, yet the ones that appear are selling like wildfire.

    Take a look at this journal, for example, https://www.amazon.com/dp/1700645420

    It’s earning over $1500 a month, was published by someone just like you, and the interiors are rather basic.

    Or, this one, https://www.amazon.com/dp/1083134019, which is earning over $700 a month on autopilot with no advertising – also published by a self-publisher like us.

    And yet another, this one earning over $250 a month from a single book, and with zero paid marketing involved: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1700645293

    To help you get started, I’ve designed a maid of honor 2-in-1 bundle which includes a low content book for Amazon as well as a printable pack for Etsy (or your own shop).

    Be sure to take a look at the bonus guide that includes keywords and categories for this hot market, as well as prewritten book blurbs and descriptions.

    The key to being successful with low content books and/or printables is to start with the main niche. These are the monster markets that are not only evergreen but proven to be profitable.

    Then, dig beneath the surface so you’re able to target sub-niches that while not quite as popular are still very profitable.

    Not only will it be easier for you to maximize your income, but you’ll be able to gain exposure on book and printable markets without paid advertising or a lot of external legwork.

    Give it a try!


  • How To Make Six-Figures Selling Low Content Books on Amazon

    Can you really make money publishing low-content books on Amazon?

    The following interview outlines how a low content publisher is making thousands of dollars a month with low content books. What started out as a simple side hustle has quickly turned into a full-time income.

    Here’s exactly how he’s doing it.

    Meet Jake Richards: low content publishing rockstar.

    Hey, Jake! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us and answer some of the questions from our Low Content Publishing Facebook group! Let’s jump right into it!

    A lot of people are publishing journals and planners on Amazon KDP, yet they aren’t seeing the sales that they were expecting. You’ve earned $20,000 in a single month before. What do you feel you are doing differently?

    Answer: Well, one of the things I do that I don’t see a lot of other people doing is register a domain that directs potential buyers to Amazon so that I am in full control and can build a list of buyers rather than never know who is purchasing my low content books.

    Now for this to be effective, you need to create an Author page via Author Central, add in a short bio (write it from the perspective of the creator who uses journals in your everyday life), and claim at least 5-10 journals so you’re filling up your “shop”.

    When I first started publishing low-content books, I used a ton of different pen names based on each main niche I was in.

    So for example, if I purchased rights to a gardening journal, I would use a pen name that included a keyword-targeted towards the kind of people who would buy that particular book (example: Gardening Planners, Garden Journals, etc.).

    After creating a plan to publish 500 journals in 6 months or less, I realized that it served me best to choose just 6-10 pen names and publish most of my journals under one of those umbrella “companies” because it helped me to create a system.

    That way, I could also create a series of journals catering to specific niches and demonstrate to my audience that I know what they want, rather than uploading a ton of misc journals spanning dozens of niches.

    That turns buyers off. They don’t think you know who they are or what they want if you’re trying to be all things to everyone.

    Can you elaborate on how you choose your pen names?

    Answer: Sure! All of my pen names include super-relevant keywords such as planners, journals, organizers, calendars, etc. Or, I will use a publishing company name that also includes a primary keyword.

    So for example, and this is just as an example; I don’t know if anyone actually uses this pen name, but a name like Garden Planners or Shadow Journals would be great pen names for specific niches while still being broad enough names to incorporate all kinds of books.

    Make sure you run the name through Amazon just to make sure that no one else is using it. You don’t want to confuse people by publishing under a pen name that someone else has already established.
    What did you do after deciding what pen names to use?

    Answer: After I chose a handful of pen names, I registered a domain name for each major niche.

    Sometimes I couldn’t get the domain for the initial pen name and in that case, I would choose something else. I felt it was really important to secure the exact domains for the pen names I wanted to focus on.

    By registering domains that direct buyers to specific Author Central pages and to my own landing pages, I’m able to gain some control over my traffic—at least within my own marketing campaigns, which is otherwise difficult to track since you don’t get any information relating to your Amazon customers.

    How soon after you started publishing did you start seeing sales?

    Answer: I started selling journals about 10 days from the day I first published, but my first three months combined generated only a little over $400 in sales, however, it didn’t take long before I hit my first $5k month.

    The last few months have been mind-blowing with a high of just over $20,000 in December and a major win of almost $27,000 in January-Feb.

    I sold a ton of new year resolution-type journals (everything from weight loss to specific self-improvement planners), and yearly planners in that month and a lot of what were probably Christmas gifts the month before.

    Choose one style of weight loss, such as keto, and create a journal just for those people. While general weight loss journals also sell, if you cater to a specific weight loss STYLE or PROGRAM, you’ll sell far more and can hijack traffic by using keywords relating to those diets.

    Purchase a weight loss journal from someone and simply add in recipes pertaining to the diet program you choose. It’s that easy.

    I don’t expect to be able to maintain the $20k range every single month and that’s okay! I was just blown away that I was able to get my income up that high because until then 5K per month was my ultimate goal.

    Seeing just how much money I can actually make in low content publishing solidified my game plan, and now I know what is actually possible.

    What do you feel was most responsible for the surge in sales? Do you think it was simply tapping into holiday markets or did you do anything else to boost your income?

    Answer: The holiday season definitely helped but since February was also a great month, I think it had more to do with the advertising I started to play around with.

    I swore I would never spend a dime on marketing until I hit $5k a month consistently. Before that my money went into covers, templates, and investing in a few tools. After I saw my sales increasing, it made sense to dig into what advertising avenues were available to me.

    I started thinking about how traditional books are marketed, as well as how indie authors promote their new releases.

    I knew a bit of this from being behind the scenes of some of your previous book launches. I figured those same channels would be a great place to start when figuring out how to promote my low content books.

    What advertising channels did you use?

    Answer: I searched for a few niche blogs in my niche that ran a newsletter. I subscribed first to see the kind of content they put out but to also determine whether they promoted products.

    I was able to secure a couple of featured spots throughout the month of December and January and my campaigns were a huge success.

    It’s really easy to find blogs in almost any niche and newsletter advertising is not only more affordable than PPC campaigns, but since they’re dedicated to a home-grown audience, the traffic is high quality.

    And it’s just easier to do. I can’t be bothered to learn Facebook advertising or spend a lot of time analyzing click-through rates or adjusting ads. I’d rather spend that time researching low content markets and uploading books.

    Do you plan to continue advertising in newsletters?

    Answer: Oh, most definitely. Going forward, the plan is to continue to find small, yet focused newsletters that I can squeeze my way into. I spent less than $400 on advertising and the ROI was just staggering.

    Plus, I was able to build a list so that Amazon isn’t the end-all to my business, but rather the entry of what I hope will become a very successful and long-term funnel.

    I also want to buy ad space on the blogs themselves just so I can get back-links to my Amazon listings because don’t forget, people search for journals and planners on Google as much as they do Amazon. People seem to think that all they have to do is upload books to Amazon, sit back and cash the checks.

    That may be true for established authors in fiction and non-fiction markets, but with low content books, you have to give it some sort of a boost, even if it’s simply with Pinterest.

    Do you have any advice for those who aren’t sure of how to spot trends or find those golden niches?

    Answer: Talk to people in your life both on and offline so you can understand their passions and interests. You’ll also learn to speak their lingo which is really important.

    Kate, we’ve talked about a couple of our most profitable niches recently on a previous call and a lot of those came from speaking with our kids and our friends. Teens have their own language and you have to cater to that on your cover as well as inside the journal. Different groups use different terms.

    The same goes for single Moms who struggle with different parenting problems than single Dads do. The more I know my audience, the more money I make. It’s as simple as that.

    I know it sounds basic, but it’s the best place to start and you can find some really cool niches that aren’t being catered to by the mainstream publishing houses.

    When it comes to marketing, if you have a journal geared towards parenting, reach out to Mom bloggers and see if they offer paid newsletter advertising. Chances are they do.

    Bloggers are always looking for new tools and resources to share with their audience and not a lot of them are promoting journals and planners in their newsletters, so it’s a great way to offer their audience something different.

    Make sure you have link tracking enabled so you can see what newsletters are working for you. There are plenty of free tools out there that make it easy to track your click-through’s like the Pretty Links WordPress plugin available here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/pretty-link/.

    Eventually, I’m going to start reaching out to YouTubers in my niche and see what they’d charge me to create a review video once I send them a free copy of some of my top-selling journals (plus pay them for the content).

    Unboxing videos are always popular and so I want to tap into their existing audience with a few sponsored placements.

    When it came to effectively advertising in newsletters, what was your strategy in terms of directing subscribers?

    Answer: This should have been a no-brainer, really, but I ended up testing out 2 different strategies for some reason.

    With the first newsletter I advertised in, I sent people directly to my BookLinker page which doesn’t have an opt-in form or anything, it just creates a universal link for all the Amazon stores.

    The second newsletter sent visitors to my landing page, which has an opt-in form and a digital giveaway that they get only after subscribing, as well as links to my Amazon books. That way if someone didn’t buy a journal, I had a chance of following up with them later. Save the sale, so to speak.

    I was able to add quite a few subscribers to my newsletter following that strategy, so going forward I’m always going to direct traffic to my landing page versus direct to Amazon.

    There are a few advertising networks like https://www.buysellads.com that are set up to connect advertisers with publishers, but I prefer to take a grassroots approach and search for blogs in my niche by using Google and social media.

    That way I’m able to connect with small, yet active blogs that aren’t diluting their content with a ton of ads. Then mine stands out! They’re also usually more affordable than going through some advertising company.

    I am also in the process of setting up a simple ad campaign with a blogger where I’m offering free physical copies of one of my journals, but because this actually costs me money I’m limiting how often I do those. I prefer digital giveaways that don’t cost me a dime.

    Also, I’m only doing this after qualifying the traffic from having ran an ad in their newsletter. I wouldn’t do this without first testing the traffic a blog can send your way.

    Finally, the physical product (an evergreen journal) that I’m giving away is part of a series so I’m counting on those who get the freebie to likely buy other journals from my collection.

    Do you have any other tips that will help people zero in on profitable niches?

    Answer: The AHA moment actually came after a call with you. You mentioned how you had found a lot of hot niches on Etsy, particularly printables, that could be converted into KDP books. And you were right! This is undoubtedly one of the easiest ways to uncover hot-selling niches.

    While printables aren’t exactly the same as low content books, the audience is! And the way Etsy is designed, it literally tells you what people are most interested in.

    This includes: What is in people’s shopping carts:

    When you visit Etsy, you can see what people are actively buying based on the little blurb that appears beneath products “xx people have this in their shopping carts”.

    This was a tremendous help in narrowing down a handful of niches that deserved my attention.

    In fact, researching hot sellers on Etsy and Shopify, specifically focusing on printables is how I uncovered many of my top-selling niches. These are the niches that make up the bulk of my sales. I also found a couple of under-serviced niches this way and I’m selling hundreds of journals a day in those markets.

    I mentioned searching for hot selling printables specifically because if you focus your research on the kind of journals that are selling on Etsy, rather than printables, you’ll find a lot of custom or handmade leather-bound fancy journals and those buyers aren’t necessarily going to buy a basic bound book from Amazon.

    Yet printable buyers will gladly buy our low content books because their only alternative is to print out the pages and bind them on their own.

    Researching printables on Etsy & Shopify also helped me get a clear idea of the kind of brand imaging that works well because until then I was pretty confused about how to create a stand-out identity on Amazon.

    I also realized that people who buy journals want to buy from other journal-writers because they feel that someone who actively uses journals will know what they want.

    So this became part of my brand – an avid journaler who just wanted to create things to help people get organized, stay on track or boost their creativity (depending on my niche, my Amazon bio changes a bit).

    Etsy’s Popular Printable Listing Directory:
    Check out the section on Etsy that reveals the top-selling printables and you’ll find tons of hot niche markets for low content publishing on Amazon.

    You can find that page here: https://www.etsy.com/ca/market/popular_printables

    I know that no one wants to reveal their top selling niches, but is there anything you could add in terms of what kind of markets you are making the most money with?

    Answer: I mainly focus on 2 main markets: health & wealth because they’re evergreen and people will always be hungry for journals and planners in those niches.

    So I dig into these niches on a weekly basis and focus on selling journals that cater to one specific segment of that market at a time.

    I don’t sell journals that are all-in-one as much as I do when the planners are designed to serve a very specific problem people are having.

    The only exception has been life planners which can encompass many different things. Those are always hot sellers.

    So for example, rather than try to sell a journal that’s focused on all things pet-related, create (or buy rights to) a journal specifically for documenting a dog’s health, medication, vaccinations, grooming appointments, etc.

    One specific pet means you’re targeting one specific pet owner. It’s all about strict and narrow targeting.

    When I see people complaining that they aren’t making money selling journals, I wonder if they’re even targeting a market rather than throwing up a generic cover and expecting a large audience to want it.

    If your journal is nothing more than a flowery cover and lined pages, who exactly is your audience? Are there enough people who are willing to buy a journal simply because it has flowers? That’s not targeted whatsoever.

    If you focus on catering to a specific segment of a market and show those buyers that you’re “one of them”, and that you understand what they want, you won’t need 1000 journals to make $1000’s of dollars. You’ll outsell those bulk uploaders easily.

    And from your research on Etsy and Shopify, what kind of evergreen planners are selling?

    Answer: There are tons, but 2 of my favorite niches (aside from health & wealth and these still fall into the wealth category to some degree) are:

    Business related journals, specifically start-up / new entrepreneurs who are floundering around trying to build a business or make some extra money. This could include things like business planning, blog management, expense trackers but also job hunting or career change journals.

    Project Management is also a huge one. It just made sense to create journals for programmers since that’s what I do, but I went down the rabbit hole with project management style planners and I’m so glad I did because they sell so easily.

    A lot of us use online task managers to keep track of our day-to-day but we also like jotting down notes the “old fashioned way”, so I knew there was already an audience for this. Etsy confirmed it.

    You’ll see a lot of productivity planners selling and they’re geared towards one specific task like time management or documenting hours spent freelancing.

    What about social marketing? Does that fit into your strategy?

    Answer: The thought of spending hours a day promoting my books on social media platforms is exhausting, but yes, I’ve been playing around with one (and only one) because I don’t have enough hours in the day.

    I decided on Pinterest since it’s not only one of the easiest communities to get involved in, but it drives a ton of traffic to my landing pages quickly (and to my author pages on Amazon).

    People go to Pinterest for creative ideas and inspiration, but they’re also more likely to buy something compared to Twitter users. Plus I can easily outsource this without spending money on a full-time assistant.

    Here’s what I do:

    I create a tall graphic of every journal I create, or in most cases, buy. This is usually a snapshot of every interior page featured in my journal. Creating Pinterest images is easy using https://www.canva.com

    So if my journal is 120 pages long, chances are there’s about 20 different layouts in that book. I create Pinterest graphics of every layout and pin them separately with links to Booklinker, or a landing page geared specifically towards that audience.

    You can open your journal in PDF format and zoom out until you can see the full layout, take a screenshot and then drop it into Canva where you can add extra text or elements that will capture attention. I tend to highlight the benefits of using my journals rather than the features.

    For example, I wouldn’t add “120 Pages!” to the graphic. Instead, I’d add “Triple Your Productivity” or “Simplify Your Life”.

    I then create a global Amazon link using https://www.booklinker.net/

    As I’ve mentioned before, this is a really cool tool that features all of the links to different Amazon stores based on a customer’s location.

    I then link my pins a few different ways – the same system I use when advertising in newsletters, including:

    Direct to my Author Central Profile Page

    I do equal linking to my author central page as I do a landing page, but that’s only recently. Up until then, I simply linked to the journal on Amazon and saw a ton of traffic quickly but because I wanted more control and to be able to reach out to customer’s later on, I also include landing page links.

    Landing Pages

    I decided to start building mailing lists of people who are interested in my journals by directing traffic from Pinterest to a squeeze page that captures a name & email address.

    I also feature a “bribe” or giveaway to entice people to subscribe. Since my books are physical products on Amazon, it would cost too much to give those away, so I started creating a digital version of some of my popular journals.

    Resource: I use MailerLite to build my list. It’s cheaper than a lot of other providers, easy to use and they offer a free account to test things out so you don’t have to invest in anything until you see traction.

    Now here’s something to consider if you want to run a giveaway in either a newsletter ad or through Pinterest on your landing page: you need to make sure your digital planner isn’t exactly the same as your physical product.

    You want people who use your digital planner to buy your physical journal, so make sure there’s something different about the two products. I tend to create a digital journal that’s only 10 pages long (a typical printable spread), whereas my physical books are always 100-120.

    Since I had no idea how to create an interactive version of my journal, I hired a guy on Upwork and another one from Fiverr to do it for me. It cost me around $25-50 to get this done and it’s really paid off.

    What about social marketing? Does that fit into your strategy?

    Answer: I started to see traffic almost immediately after just pinning my journal pages, linking them to Amazon and adding tags.

    However, recently I started to spend a bit of money promoting my pins, but only the ones that lead to a landing page so I can follow up with a lead later on. And I’ve yet to spend more than $50 in a week because I’m new to Pinterest marketing and am still learning as I go.

    Start off with small spends. Set a strict budget while you play around with promoted pins and get a feel for how it works. Only spend what you can afford to lose.

    You’ll also have to turn your Pinterest account into a business one in order to use their paid advertising options. Also, start off with only 4-5 boards. Don’t bog down your page.

    Create a board for every niche you’re in and pin your layouts in there. Then create one board that’s used to pin other people’s journals. This will encourage people to re-pin yours.

    Link: https://help.pinterest.com/en/article/promoted-pins

    What about Amazon ads (AMS)? Have you done anything with that platform?

    Answer: No, I haven’t even thought about Amazon ads (AMS) yet, but I should invest a bit of my income into it soon. Perhaps we can have another discussion once I get those campaigns off the ground!

    I do understand the importance of reinvesting a percentage of my profits into my business and because of how profitable low content publishing has been for me, I want to do everything I can to keep boosting my book sales, so that’ll end up on my to-do list sometime soon.

    Do you have any other tips on how to make low content books stand out without advertising?

    Answer: If you can manage to get a few reviews for some of your low content books it’ll be easier to stand out from the crowd. People are far more likely to purchase books with positive reviews than they are to buy books that don’t have any feedback.

    Social proof is everything! While I don’t encourage buying reviews from providers on places like Fiverr, I’ve managed to get reviews just by asking my own circle of friends and family to buy a copy and leave feedback.

    You only need 1-2 reviews on a handful of books (per pen name) so that people see some stars when they’re scrolling your Author Central page.

    Another way I’ve boosted reviews is by offering a giveaway, but this was only possible once I had a small mailing list using the strategies I’ve just mentioned: landing pages and Pinterest.

    Once I got a handful of subscribers, I ran a simple, internal giveaway, gifting a few copies in exchange for a review.

    To be honest, I had less than 100 subscribers at the time and basically offered a free copy of a journal to everyone LOL. Only 20-something took me up on it, but most of those people took the time to post reviews, so not bad for the cost of ordering a few copies of my journals.

    I just made sure to position the giveaway as my offering a free copy in exchange for honest feedback and it worked out great. I was clear with what I wanted from them but at the same time, didn’t force it.

    And yeah, I saw an immediate boost in sales for the journals that had at least 1 4 or 5-star review. Again, they really stand out in the marketplace when potential customers are scrolling on through.

    Now let’s talk about keywords. Can you share anything about your keyword research strategy?

    Answer: You’ll hear how keywords are the lifeblood of every successful low content book, but honestly I haven’t spent a lot of time on finding keywords because the best ones for my books are usually quite obvious.

    I do however expand on foundational keywords and I also use a simple system to ensure I’m covering my bases.

    This includes:

    Coming up with 5-6 seed keywords. These are the obvious choices, the ones I would personally type into Amazon if searching for a journal like mine.

    Quickly expand on those keywords. I use a couple of tools to find alternative keywords I hadn’t thought about, but more importantly to gauge the profitability of a niche and see what the competition is doing.

    I will say that people should choose 1-2 tools at most and stick with those. I hear about people using 10 different tools and processes for publishing low content books and I can’t see how that doesn’t slow them down. They’re complicating the process when it doesn’t have to be that difficult.

    Just use the AMZ Suggestion Expander (Chrome plugin) and then run your keyword strings into Google as well. Scroll down to the bottom of the search results page and you’ll see alternative suggestions. That’s all you need to do.

    Think about it: if a keyword phrase is searched enough to where it should be included in your Amazon KDP listing, it’ll show up in one of those two places because they’re the 2 biggest search engines online!

    People love to make it out like they’ve found some golden keyword phrase that’s responsible for 100% of their book sales. Well take it from a guy who spends less than an hour on keyword research a week, I call BS on that.

    Favorite Tool: Publisher Rocket
    The new version of Publisher Rocket is a game-changer for low content publishers who don’t know how to find categories and keywords, so I highly recommend grabbing a copy.

    When it comes to keywords, is there anything people should avoid other than the obvious ones like KDP, Amazon, author names, free, etc?

    Answer: I don’t include any physical descriptors in my keyword boxes. No one cares if it’s a 100 page journal or a 120 page journal, so don’t waste your valuable keyword space using these terms.

    Instead, think about how your journal benefits someone and include those kinds of keywords in your listing. Things like: get organized, life planner, time management, boost productivity, etc. And don’t repeat your keywords. Ever.

    To save time, I create a keyword swipe file so that I can quickly copy & paste keywords for each journal and then just change them up to suit the niche. This is part of my system and it’s the reason I’m able to not only publish regularly, but keep a pulse on what’s selling.

    I don’t use any form of automation to do this, despite being a coder. Honestly, manually uploading my books and filling out the forms and description boxes myself ensures I’m ticking off all the important boxes and I just prefer to do that all myself.

    Besides, Amazon isn’t a fan of automated uploaders and my account is far too valuable to risk.

    What are your thoughts on the importance of book descriptions?

    Answer: Book Descriptions are extremely important. I can’t stress this enough because I see so many people overlook them which makes it so easy for someone (like me!) to swoop in and swipe their customers. Mwahaha. 😉

    Your book description is where you can highlight the benefits of your journal. Use bullet point lists to make important points stand out.

    Also keep in mind that when you write up your journal’s description during the KDP publishing phase, the text will all be one big paragraph, even if you think you’ve separated it during publishing. You’ll want to use Author Central to fix up the description once it’s published.

    This includes adding those bullet points I mentioned but also using bold text to highlight important elements of your listing. It’ll make all the difference.

    Using this journal as an example, you can see how injecting HTML into your listing helps it stand out.

    Click Here to find out what HTML is accepted by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.

    The “Look Inside” feature is also really important, though I don’t think we have a lot of control over how much of the book is shown to potential buyers. I could be wrong about that, though.

    Still, people use the look inside feature to preview the interiors and in many cases to verify that it’s NOT just a lined journal. It’ll take a few days after your journal has been approved for the Look Inside feature to appear.

    Note: The Look Inside feature isn’t available to those on mobile devices, however it’s widely used by on-site shoppers who want to check out your interior before buying.

    Tom did a great job at writing an article that covers all things relating to Amazon KDP and SEO which you can find here. Even though the article focuses on Kindle books, you can glean some really useful tips that apply to print books as well.

    You’ve mentioned how you’ve created a system that helps you upload books, keep track of sales and boost productivity. Can you tell us a little more about that?

    Answer: My system looks something like this:

    Cover Design: Since I’m outsourcing the bulk of this, my task involves coming up with titles, sub-titles and creating a description for the graphic designers. I send them a PDF every Monday with a listing of the type of covers I want. I also tend to spend time finding stock photos I like just because I’ve researched the niches and can’t expect my designers to know what sort of graphics will resonate with my audience.

    Write up my book descriptions and create a keyword swipe file. I spend roughly 2 hours doing this every week. I re-use a lot of the book descriptions and then just customize them as needed. Same with keywords (unless it’s a really different niche, of course, but by now I have tons of keyword swipe files so I can usually draw from those and save myself time.)

    Customize the interiors I’ve purchased. I don’t design any of my own interiors, nor do I plan to. My focus is uncovering hot niches and coming up with ways to market my books. However, I do customize the interiors a bit before publishing. This takes me anywhere from 1-2 hours, depending on how much I change up the headlines, add in sub-headlines or graphics, and other text areas.

    Niche Research! I usually do this on my lunch break (I’m still a full-time coder, remember!) and a bit in the evenings. I spend most of my time browsing Pinterest, Shopify and Etsy. Those are the 3 online hot spots I use to uncover profitable niches.

    Publish! I dedicate an entire afternoon to publishing and since I only work Mon-Thur it works out for me. I use Google Chrome to upload my journals and speed things up by opening 10-15 tabs at once and pre-loading the content while I wait for others to process.

    Weekends are off-limits for the most part. That’s family time and I’ve learned over the years that if I don’t force myself to get away from work I’ll end up burned out and my creativity will suffer. As a programmer, I need to be fresh come Monday morning so Saturday & Sunday is all about downtime.

    There are 2 camps when it comes to low content publishing: those who focus on uploading thousands of journals and planners, and those who spend more time building their brand and in turn, publish fewer books. What are your thoughts about that?

    Answer: Quality over quantity is a good question. Low Content Mastery taught me that quality should be my main priority and it has been (and always will be), but quantity is also important.

    I started off publishing simple lined journals but I couldn’t get my sales up to where I wanted them to be doing that. It wasn’t until I started publishing higher-quality interiors that are geared towards very specific users that I saw my income skyrocket.

    I cringe when I see people teaching others to focus on quantity over all else. Ask those people who have 1000+ journals that are nothing but lined interiors and sloppy covers just how much money they’re making.

    I’d rather have 200 hot selling journals than 1000 duds, right? Anyone would!

    So create the kind of journals you would buy. Quality matters. Invest in high-quality interiors. Hire a cover designer. Write those detailed book descriptions. Take the time to set up your Author Central account.

    Don’t just publish 1000 journals and think you’re going to join the 5-figure monthly club because you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, create a stand-out brand.

    Yes, it’ll take time and effort. But would an extra $5,000 a month make it worth your while? Focus on building a long-term business in low content publishing. One that you’re proud of. The money will follow.

    Your brand is key in setting you apart. So, before we sign off, do you have any last-minute tips for those who are struggling to gain traction on Amazon KDP?

    Answer: Some of the best advice I got was that I should focus on catering to lifestyles.

    People are passionate about things that affect them, are protective over people that matter to them, and are excited by anything that represents a very personal part of their life.

    Following this advice led me to finding niches where people will gladly pay money for products that highlight or represent who they are, what they stand for, and what they’re all about. This includes politics and religion. I don’t shy away from any topic!

    Kate, you got that ball rolling when you told me to think about the kind of T-shirts people buy. They wear them proudly to make a statement, to tell the world “I believe in fill-in-the-bank”. Journals are yet another creative outlet and so covers should speak loud & clear to your audience. And so should your brand.

    Here are a few other things that have helped me.

    Stick with 1-2 book sizes and don’t try not to go over 150 pages:
    I rarely go over 120 pages because they’re hard to write in if they end up too thick due to not having the option to publish spiral books through Amazon.

    Create a Better Version Than Anyone Else
    I take the journals I buy, like from your collection, KDP Monster, and I customize them so that they are specifically focused on ONE target audience at a time.

    I don’t do well with generic journals so even the ones in huge niches like wedding planning that I buy have to be customized somehow.

    I had to learn the basics of PowerPoint to do this since I mainly buy interiors from PP designers. It took me a few days to figure out how to do some simple customizations, but that was all I needed to learn.

    In fact, I don’t really customize the tables or styles of layouts that much at all. I focus on injecting text-based content & niche-specific graphics into the journals that apply to the people I’m targeting.

    People want journals that are proven to be designed just for them and that make sense for what they’re hoping to accomplish.

    Create Killer Covers
    A picture is worth a thousand words, right? When it comes to selling a ton of low content books on Amazon, covers are THE most important thing because they’re what people see first when scrolling through search results.

    You need to use vibrant colors that pop. Don’t create plain covers that feature only text. Add some kind of element to the cover and make sure you feature really crisp and clear typography.

    2 huge mistakes people make: They use Canva or PikMonkey to create their covers or worse, Amazon’s cover creator. How professional do those covers really look? And how unique could they possibly be?

    It’s the same reason I use 2 different graphic designers. I want variety, originality. I need my covers to look different for each pen name I publish under.

    I also never re-purpose covers. I don’t create covers in different colors either, even when one is selling hundreds of copies a week. Instead, I create entirely new covers for the same niche. That way I don’t confuse my audience. Give people too many options and they’ll choose none.

    The second mistake that I’ve seen people make is they expect the graphic artist to know what is actively selling in the niche. They’re artists and they’ll be able to create an awesome cover, sure, but will it include the elements or the look & feel that buyers will be drawn to?

    It’s your job to create an overview of the covers you are interested in outsourcing. Give them a detailed spec sheet and then let them get to work.

    Include Free Bonuses
    So one thing I did to continue building a buyers list was to include a free digital bonus offer that’s featured in my Amazon bios.

    I want to keep my pen names secret so I can’t get into too much detail but I followed the marketing strategy of traditionally published authors who include a link to their mailing list in their Author Central bio page.

    This works really well if you create a different landing page for every main niche you’re in so that when someone makes the jump from your Amazon book page to your opt-in form page, the transition is seamless and they aren’t confused by some weird bonus offer that doesn’t align with the journals you publish under that name.

    Free bonuses are really easy to create. I just offer a 1-page printable that’s relevant to the topic of the niche I’m targeting. It’s like an auxiliary component they get for free just for subscribing. It isn’t anything that’s repeated in my actual journal, but an extra resource. Offering something extra just helps me stand out a bit more.

    Stay Evergreen
    I know that yearly planners are hot sellers (I sell a TON of them), but I tend to stay away from anything that includes specific dates. I don’t want to have to go back in and edit books or remove anything once they become outdated.

    Instead, I publish yearly planners that let people fill in the month and year themselves. Make your publishing life easier by staying away from date-based templates on Amazon. Set and forget. We want this to be as passive an income source as possible and we’re already busy enough uploading, figuring out covers, etc.

    Tip: Focus on life management journals. They’re some of my best sellers.

    What is your plan moving forward outside of AMS, contacting YouTubers and securing ad space on blogs and in newsletters?

    Answer: Next on my list is spiral-bound books. I want to start publishing through Lulu so that I can offer a variety of print options and widen my outreach.

    I’ll always focus primarily on Amazon KDP because it’s easier, but by creating a landing page for my top-selling books with links to both marketplaces, I’ll give people the flexibility of choosing what kind of binding they want.

    Plus it doesn’t cost anything to publish through Lulu so why not?

    I also want to expand my team. Right now I have 2 graphic designers working on creating covers for my journals. No matter what people tell you, you don’t have to invest a lot of money into covers, but they definitely have to stand out.

    Going forward, I want to hire someone to customize the interiors I purchase from you guys as well.

    Then there’s Pinterest which I’m now a strong believer of! Because of the success I’m seeing from it, my plan is to continue focusing on continue to grow that audience for both my low content books and other offers I’m working on that align with that industry.

    Then I am going to take your printable course and expand into creating a blog and selling printables from that vs Etsy since I can price those higher. I’m seeing printables selling for up to $200 per binder set!

    Thanks! Do you have any last-minute takeaways?

    I sure do!

    Lined Journals = Zzz
    Lined journals are a dime a dozen. People can buy them for less than $5 at local shops, so I stay away from publishing them. The key is to stand out and you can’t do that with lined journals.

    Even an outstanding cover won’t help unless it’s something people can’t find anywhere else which means finding untapped niches and good luck with that!

    All of my top selling journals have been ones that feature detailed interiors. It’s not easy finding quality interiors that come with commercial rights so please, all you creative geniuses out there, keep those coming!

    Don’t Be Afraid of Color
    Yeah, color journals cost more to print but certain niches demand them. Don’t be afraid to publish a few journals that are in color.

    Get on Pinterest! If you don’t have a Pinterest account, go set up one up right now. Don’t put it off because it’s been instrumental in helping me boost sales quickly and at no (or very little) cost.


  • Top 10 Free Commercial-Use Script Fonts for Print Books

    When it comes to choosing fonts for your print books, it can take a lot of time and effort to not only find finds that are free for commercial use, but that look clean when printed out.

    Here are the script fonts we use in many of our print books. These are all 100% free for commercial-use.

    For page headers, splash pages and areas of our print books that we want to highlight, we tend to use a combination of bold, uppercase fonts and the following script fonts:


    You really can’t go wrong with this script font by MasAnis. Download it here.


    This is one of our go-to fonts for sub-headlines on our journal pages. Download it here.

    Ballet Harmony

    Great commercial-free font for when you want to make your page just a little prettier. 🙂

    Download it here.

    It’s a font often featured in our KDP books and printables.

    Sweat Pants

    Cute italic font, useful for sub-headlines, logos or on your journal splash pages (front cover).

    Download it here.


    One of our most used fonts, Clarissa is a beautiful script font that comes with commercial-use rights.

    Download it here.



    Want your text to pop? Use the bold Mattilda font in your headlines.

    Download it here.

    Fox Lite Script

    Foxlite Script is a cool font that is best used for headlines or wherever your text will be larger.

    Download it here.

    Sallita Cursive

    Sallita is such a pretty font and works great for cover pages or as a decorative-style headlines.

    Download it here.

    Handletter Ink

    Gorgeous font, best used in larger titles or headlines.

    Download it here.

    Viksi Ink

    Viksi is a beautiful script font that we often use sparingly in sub-headlines.

    Download it here.