When starting your Amazon KDP Low Content Book Publishing business, there are so many different types of low content books out there to choose from. One popular type of low content book with less competition than blank and lined journals is the dot grid journal, also known as the bullet journal. But how do you create a dot grid journal?
Dot grid journals are less competitive on Amazon KDP because they are a more challenging to create. There are plenty of people out there who only upload lined and blank journals because they are easiest to create and the barrier to entry is so low. Learning to make a dot grid journal can be a step to set you apart from the others.
In this tutorial, we will teach you how to create a dot-grid journal for you to either sell on KDP or for your own personal use.
You will need two programs. Inkscape, which is a free open source program that you can download at this link here. Inkscape is a great free vector program, similar to Illustrator without the cost.
In order to create this low content book, you will also need Powerpoint. There are other programs out there that work the same as Powerpoint and as long as they can save to PDF they’ll work fine.
Step 1: Download Amazon KDP file setup calculator
Before being able to start designing your book you will need the page specifications. Amazon KDP has set up a calculator to give you the exact specifications for any book, all you have to do is pick the size and type in the page numbers. You can download the calculator at this link here. (The calculator downloads as an excel file.)
For the sake of this tutorial, I will give you the specifications for the interior of a 6×9 inch journal.
Trim: 22.86×15.24 cm
Safe Zone: 21.59×13.6525 cm
Outside Margins: 6.35 mm
Gutter Margins: 9.525 mm
*Notice that the Trim and Safe Zone are in cm and the Margins are in mm.
Step 2: Setup Page Dimensions in Inkscape
Once you’ve downloaded and opened Inkscape you will need to set up the page size.
Go to File > Document Properties
Under the Custom size section make sure the units are in cm and type in our page dimensions.
Step 3: Create a Border for your Dot Grid Journal
This step really only matters if you don’t want bleed in your journal.
You’ll need to create a border so that you know where the margins are.
Create a square with the safe zone dimensions for your book size.
For 6×9 inches it’s 21.59×13.6525cm
Notice at the top of the image where it has “W:” and “H:”. That’s where you will put in the dimensions.
Next, we will place the border by positioning it along the X- and Y-axis.
First set the Y-axis. That is the equivalent to the Outside Margin. In this case 6.35mm
Now we can set the X-axis. For the left page of the book the X-axis will be the equivalent to the Outside margin. For the right side of the book the X-axis will be equivalent to the Gutter margin.
I recommended saving one of each file separately.
Step 4: Create a Dot Grid Journal
Now let’s make our interior.
Create a circle. This will be our first dot. Size it at 3×3 cm or .30 mm and place it in the top left corner, just on the inside corner of the border.
Now go to Edit > Clone > Create Tiled Clones.
On the right side of the screen in the Create Tiled Clones widget go to Shift menu. The Shift X & Y rows should all be “0” and the Exponents should both be “1.”
Select Width and height, type in the safe zone dimensions and press create.
Now click on the original dot and change the dimensions to 1×1 cm, this will change all of the dots on the screen. (There will be two dots in that first spot, the one on the bottom is the original dot.)
And voila! All of your dots appear evenly spaced apart. Remove any dots that go over the borders. Position the dot grid evenly within the border.
Now click on the border and delete it. (Or hide it in another layer for later use and hide the layer)
Save as PNG and do the same for the left page. Saving each file separately.
Step 5: Create Your Book
Now that we have the two page interiors we can close Inkscape and open up Powerpoint.
Open a new blank document and we’ll set up the page size. Go to Design and Page Size. Once again we are going to refer to the page trim size.
22.86×15.24 cm for the 6×9 book.
Now we’re going to click Insert at the top and Picture.
Select the PNG file for the Right page first. Drag the image so that it is the full size of the slide in Powerpoint.
Now add a slide and add the Left page and drag the image to fill the slide.
Now select the first two slides and copy and paste them until you have the desired amount of pages.
Save as PDF.
Step 6: Create Your Cover and Upload onto Amazon KDP
You’re interior is complete and ready for upload.
If you need help creating your cover and/or uploading your book into Amazon KDP check out this walkthrough post here and skip to Steps 2 and 3. In this post, I explain, step by step, how to create a lined journal and upload it to the Amazon KDP platform.
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