If you are new to Amazon KDP Low Content Book Publishing you are probably wondering Is Amazon KDP worth it? Is low content book publishing worth it?
I started my low content book publishing business back in 2019 and I want to share with you the best and worst things I have come to find about low content book publishing with Amazon KDP. (Some of these points also apply for self-publishing full content books with Amazon KDP but please use your best judgment as it is a different business model.)
Is Amazon KDP Worth it?
|Fast Cash||High Competition|
|Unlimited||Race to the Bottom|
|Lifetime Earnings||Staying on Trend|
One of the biggest draws to low content book publishing is that it’s easy. There is no barrier to entry and all you have to do is create a book interior, create a book exterior, upload, and repeat. Over and over again.
The overall concept is as simple as that, but there is more that goes into running a successful low content book publishing business. Keyword research, design skills, and time are three big things that come to mind.
Anyone can join Amazon KDP, there is no barrier to entry. As long as you have a tax identification number from your country you will be able to collect your earnings.
Amazon KDP is Free
Who doesn’t love free? It’s 100% free to join Amazon KDP and it doesn’t cost you a cent to upload books either. You can choose to pay for AMS ads if you would like, but there is never any need to spend money to make money on this platform.
The downside to Amazon KDP being free is that more people join and flood the marketplace.
One of the best things about Amazon KDP is that it is completely risk-free. The only thing you stand to lose is time. There is no money lost and you can use pen names and remain completely anonymous if you would like, so you really only stand to gain at this point.
If you give Amazon KDP low content book publishing an honest try and decide it isn’t for you then you can walk away with nothing lost. But you still maintain that chance of selling books for the rest of your life and earning some extra cash.
Passive income is the holy grail of all income streams. Put in the work now and reap the rewards for the foreseeable future.
Maybe you work contract jobs and need something to work on while you’re in between contracts. If you put the time in while in between jobs you can still be earning money while working your next contract.
Or maybe you want to make some extra money to put in a savings account and let build over time. You can get to work uploading low content books in your free time and automatically put any earnings into savings. You could have a pretty little nest egg for that dream trip or new car soon enough.
I don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea here, and this should be taken with a grain of salt, as it does take time to build your library of low content books and learn what does and doesn’t sell. But once you get the hang of it the sales can start flooding in the day your book gets published.
It does take 60 days for funds to clear and hit your bank account, but once you’ve made the sale the money is as good as yours.
Amazon KDP doesn’t limit the amount you can upload. Meaning once you find a profitable niche you can keep uploading new books to make more sales in that niche.
However, there is a flip side to this. With unlimited uploads available, people spam the marketplace with low-quality books, which makes it harder for your high-quality books to get seen.
When you upload a book to Amazon KDP it is up there for life. So just because it doesn’t sell in the first couple of weeks doesn’t mean it will never sell. That book has the potential to make sales for the rest of your, or Amazon’s, life.
This means that you could still be making money from the books that you created 10, 15, or even 20 years from now. Not a bad deal!
You earn a 60% royalty, less printing costs, on every book that you sell. (Printing costs about $2.15 for a 100 page black and white book.) 60% is a really good royalty rate for a product that you never have to physically touch and has the potential of lifetime earnings. You aren’t likely to find 60% royalty rates on other print on demand marketplaces.
When you list a book with Amazon KDP it is listed on multiple Amazon marketplaces. Currently, it is listed in the USA, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and Spain. And they are adding more marketplaces over time. That’s eight different audiences you could be targeting and selling to.
Probably the best thing about any print on demand eCommerce business is that you never have to handle any product.
That being said, it’s a good idea to order a couple of samples of your products so that you have an idea of the quality and how it will turn out in person. This will give you a better idea of designs that will do well and can even spark new design ideas. It’s only a couple of bucks to order an author copy through the KDP platform.
The Market is Saturated
The Amazon marketplace is incredibly saturated. This is a result of the fact that it is such an easy and free business method. There ends up being a lot of spammy books flooding the marketplace.
However, once you get past lined notebooks and other really simple low content books, the saturation dies down heavily.
Everyone starts out publishing lined journal, blank journals, or dot grid journals. They’re just so easy! And that’s okay. Just don’t expect to make thousands of dollars without learning to create a more complex book such as a planner, activity book, or logbook.
Sales Fade Over Time
I know, I just told you that you can be making sales for a lifetime. And that isn’t untrue, however, they won’t come in every day like they once did.
When you first upload a book it gets an initial boost from Amazon in the search results which can result in more sales. But the older the book is, the less relevant it gets, and as more competition comes in your book just isn’t going to sell as well as it once did.
At the beginning of 2020, or maybe the end of 2019, Amazon started seriously taking their time to review and approve new low content book submissions. Earlier in 2019 you could submit a book for review in the morning and have it published by that afternoon. Not anymore. I have waited up to a full week for some of my books to get published.
It seems that Amazon is prioritizing full content books in their review process, which makes sense, as I would imagine the volume of low content books they get in each day for review must be astronomical.
So if your book is taking longer than you thought it would to get published after submission, don’t panic. This seems to be the new normal.
There are copycats all over the internet and Amazon KDP low content book publishing is no different. Copycats are everywhere when it comes to any print on demand business. It’s unfortunate, but it is the reality.
There isn’t much you can do to mitigate this. You can report the copycats’ books to Amazon, but in my experience, it hasn’t made a difference.
There are quite a few people out there that design for Amazon KDP as their full-time job. They’ve been doing it for years and they have hundreds, if not thousands, of books live on the marketplace.
They know what they are doing and have their keyword research figured out. They know what sells and how to spot an untapped niche.
These people are your competition, not the copycats or mass spam uploaders. You want to get on their level and create quality books to compete with the pros.
Race to the Bottom
Sometimes the pricing of low content books on Amazon feels a little bit like a race to the bottom. With the spam uploaders pricing their books lower to get more sales, it makes you feel like you need to price your books low in order to compete.
It may be a book that you worked really hard on and now you are going to make a $1 royalty on it in order to compete? Don’t do it. This is why you need to push past the lined journal phase of creating low content books and step up to other styles of books.
You can charge more and there is less competition. You can do this!
Again, go check out the 32 types of low content books here if you need ideas.
Staying on Trend
Similar to fading sales, it’s important to keep up to date with what is trending on the web. People search for what is in style, that can be anything to trending colors (go check out Pantone.com for the colors of the year) to animals, politics, or sports.
Keeping up to date with what is trending in the media and online can be incredibly helpful in finding unsaturated niches and can lead to massive sales if you get on a trend quickly enough.
My least favorite thing about the Amazon KDP platform is how incredibly tedious the uploading process is. But to be fair, this is true for most print on demand marketplaces. Data entry just isn’t very fun in general.
However, I find the Amazon KDP platform to be a particularly slow process. With three pages to get through when uploading plus a 3-5 minute load time to see and approve your book preview, it can take up to 10 minutes to load a single book at times.
I recommend having multiple tabs going and uploading multiple books at once to streamline the process. I have found the sweet spot to be 2 or 3 tabs at a time. Any more than that and it can get confusing.
Final Tips for Designers new to Amazon KDP Low Content Publishing
If after reading through this you have chosen that Amazon KDP is worth it (I think it is) and want a few more tips to get you started I’ve got you covered.
Check out this tutorial on how to create a lined journal and a walkthrough of the KDP uploading process here.
Look through our full catalog of Amazon KDP related topics here.
Just remember that Amazon KDP is a long-term business model and it takes time to build and learn the ins and outs. Don’t get discouraged if your first few books don’t do well. Persevere and you can see big sales down the line!
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