339: Low Content Publishing: Can You Make Money Selling Blank Books on Amazon?

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This week I’m excited to introduce one of the hottest side hustles of the moment, and that is low-content self-publishing.

What is low-content publishing?

Let me explain — self-publishing has been around for a decade, and we’ve covered that quite a bit in both fiction and non-fiction — it’s one of my favorite and perhaps most passive side hustles. Write the book, hit publish, collect royalties for years.

Cool, right?

Well, it’s the whole write the book part where a lot of people get stuck.

You might not know what to write about, and even if you do, it can be really time-consuming, and at the end of the day, it still might turn out to not be a huge seller on Amazon.

What low-content publishing aims to accomplish is to accelerate your product creation by focusing on a very specific sub-set of books:

  • journals
  • diaries
  • planners
  • notebooks
  • sketchbooks
  • and more

With these types of books, the value doesn’t come from your years of experience and a 35,000-word brain dump. Instead it comes from how you’ve structured the mostly-blank internal pages and prompts, and who you’re targeting as your customer.

With Amazon’s print-on-demand KDP print service, you can upload these products as digital files, hold no physical inventory, and collect passive royalties whenever they sell. But there’s an art and a science to it, and that’s why I’ve assembled a panel of experts in today’s show.

I’m joined by three experts in the low-content publishing space with more than 1,000 titles between them:

  • Rob Cubbon from RobCubbon.com – Long-time listeners might remember Rob from episode 81, back in 2014. Rob’s been in the low-content game for the last year or so and in that time has published over 1,000 titles.
  • Flav Mederios from SideBusinessLaunch.com – Flav was a guest on episode 300 of The Side Hustle Show last summer, where we were talking about his merch business. Since then he’s expanded to the self-publishing space with around 300 titles so far.
  • Rachel Harrison-Sund from RachelHarrisonSund.com – Rachel built her low content business to 6-figures a year on a very part-time basis.

But as you’ll hear in this episode, there’s some seasonality that comes into play, there are some competitive factors that come into play, and there’s a little bit of a gold rush feel to all of this.

Tune in to hear how these low content publishers go about their product research (so they don’t waste their time), how they price and market their books to maximize sales and royalties, and how they manage such wide-ranging portfolios.

Download the Free PDF Highlight Reel:

selling blank books

Click here to download Rob, Flav, and Rachel’s top tips for starting a low-content KDP publishing business from this episode.

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Learn:

  • How Rob, Flav, and Rachel approach keyword research and niche selection.
  • The types of books that fall under the “low-content” umbrella.
  • The search volume and sales metrics they each look for.
  • Why chasing initial 5-star reviews aren’t important to them.
  • How they are pricing their titles.
  • The tools they use to help manage their businesses and increase their productivity.
  • Rob, Flav, and Rachel’s #1 tips for Side Hustle Nation.

Links / Next Steps

Download the Free PDF Highlight Reel:

Click here to download Rob, Flav, and Rachel’s top tips for starting a low-content KDP publishing business from this episode.

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low content publishing

3 thoughts on “339: Low Content Publishing: Can You Make Money Selling Blank Books on Amazon?”

  1. I have not listened to the show yet, and I’m sure it will be thorough, and very timely Nick. But, this is already a messed up niche because it is so easy to do. 70% of income is in Q4 and special calendar days – maybe more, and I have a sneaking suspicion A will throttle this niche as they have others in the past. It’s like the merch. industry 2 years ago – only worse, and probably shorter-lived.

    Reply
  2. Great episode, Nick! I’d love to see some of the examples of journals & notebooks that are selling on Amazon. How can I tell if they’re ones that have been created through KDP versus manufactured elsewhere?

    Reply

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