As some of you may know, I recently founded PANDORUS PUBLISHING. Under this brand name I have created notebooks, dot grid journals and 2022 planners with unique designs for people to use to organise their life and manifest their intentions. I promised to write a post about the process behind low content publishing and so here it is!
About a year ago I created a book called The Ink Pot Planner, a guided workbook, planner and journal all in one designed for those looking to put pen to paper. It included an undated yearly planner, weekly writing exercises and pages of inspiration. The book was printed entirely in colour via LuluXpress and I stock the books myself so that they can be ordered directly from my website. Publishing on Amazon in full colour IS an option, but it means that the price of the product has to be set considerably higher than a black and white copy. Printing via another company and ordering them myself proved to be a lot cheaper and I could set the price of the book far lower than it would be on Amazon.
All well and good, however, it meant that potential customers would have to fall upon my website or other social media platforms to find the book, rather than randomly searching on Amazon, which of course diminishes your number of possible readers.
So I decided that I wanted to create more planner products that were a bit simpler and more accessible to the amazon marketplace. And they would have to be in black and white.
These types of products are commonly known as ‘low content books’ and I am aware that there is some controversy surrounding this type of publication. Low (or no) content publishing is where you can list books like planners, journals, calendars and so on that can take very little effort and very little capital investment upfront to put together. I have seen some terrible low/no content books on Amazon such as blank notebooks, whereby the ‘author’ has simply made up a very poor cover design, and inserted page numbers on 100 blank pages and sold it as a blank notebook.
On the other hand, I have bought a number of self-published diaries and notebooks directly from Amazon with really lovely covers and clear, concise interiors.
Of course, as with most things nowadays, you can actually BUY low content interior templates from places like Etsy and Bookbolt. However, this means that you cannot edit them or add your own touches such as a logo etc. You can buy editable templates but these are far more expensive and you would have to weigh up whether the cost of buying templates would be worth it in the long run. Another point to remember is that if you buy ready-made templates, they will no doubt already have been used by other low-content publishers and this may flag up on Amazon.
I much prefer to create my own designs and whilst I often use free templates that are available on software such as Canva as a starting point, I always edit and adapt. The Ink Pot Planner took me a very long time to create, with hours spent devising writing exercises, creating lines and resizing boxes and graphs!
With regards to cover designs, you can of course use images that are already available on Canva, Bookbolt and so on. To access the pro features on many of these programmes you have to pay a subscription. I prefer to buy licenced images from Fiverr or Etsy and then use these to create my own covers without any limitation or copyright issues.
The possibilities with low content publishing are endless – I have already created a number of notebooks, undated daily planners and 2022 weekly and monthly diaries. I have also recently just published both an adult Gratitude Journal:
and a Kids Gratitude Journal:
Both the adult and the children’s journal come in lots of different designs so hopefully there will be something for everyone! Just scroll through my amazon page!
I plan to create a whole host of other products including dream journals, logbooks, activity books and so on. Whilst nowhere near as mentally challenging as writing a ‘proper book’, these products still require a lot of time and effort if you want to make good quality, creative items and I hope that my designs will fulfil all your planner/journal needs!
All my low content books are available on Amazon worldwide under the name Pandorus Publishing. You can also follow my planner journey on Instagram @pandoruspublishing
See some of my collection below:
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