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Low content books. What are they? How do you create one? Why are dietitian entrepreneurs tapping into this space?
Picture this: personalized meal planners tailored to individual dietary goals, interactive journals that facilitate mindful eating, activity books that promote stress reduction and fun coloring books educating kids on fruit and vegetables.
These aren’t just ordinary books. They’re low content books – a revolution in education and self-discovery.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- the versatility of low content books (with EXAMPLES of books authored by dietitians)
- benefits of incorporating low content books into your online business
- the positive impact low content books can have on your ideal clients
- 5 steps to create low content books with a specific emphasis on the self-publishing platform Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
- key strategies to achieve your goals selling low content books
Let’s get started!
Understanding Low Content Books and Benefits
Unlike traditional books, low content books have minimal content on the interior and rather focus on providing space for user engagement and customization. If you do a quick online search of “low content books,” you’ll find slight variations in definitions and what books qualify as “low content.”
How does Amazon KDP define low content books?
According to Amazon KDP, low-content books have “minimal or no content on the interior pages…are generally repetitive, and designed to be filled in by the user.” Common examples include:
Are coloring books and puzzle books types of low content books?
The short answer is, it depends on the site you’re looking at.
Think about a coloring book compared to a low content book like a notebook. A typical coloring book has different images on each page while notebooks tend to be made up of mainly lined pages, with very minimal (if any) words or images on the pages. Therefore, coloring books have more variety and less repetition among the pages compared to a notebook.
Depending on which site you’re browsing, you may find activity books like coloring books, puzzle books and workbooks referred to as “low content,” while other sites may label these books as “lower content,” or “medium content.”
However, as per Amazon KDP’s definition, activity books and workbooks usually do not have repetitive content on each page. Therefore, they are generally not grouped into the “low content books” category on Amazon KDP.
Why does this matter?
Later in the article when we cover the steps to self-publish low content books on Amazon KDP we’ll discuss why you need to know how to properly classify your book as “low content” or not.
Benefits for your online business and ideal client
Are you thinking about creating a low content book, but not sure if it’s a good idea for your business strategy?
Along with being a wonderful outlet for your creative energy, here are 5 more benefits to consider when it comes including low content books into your online business.
- Diversified Income Streams: Low content books are a way to expand your product offerings beyond the traditional digital products or services and serve as another source of passive income.
- Brand Exposure and Recognition: Designing and promoting low content books showcases your expertise and creativity within your niche. As users engage with your books, they’re likely to associate your brand with valuable resources, strengthening your brand’s recognition.
- Cross-Promotion Opportunities: Low content books can be utilized as cross-promotional tools. Collaborate with other brands, bloggers, etc. in related fields to co-create or feature each other’s books, thereby expanding your reach.
- Optimized SEO and Online Visibility: Incorporating well-researched keywords into your low content book titles and descriptions can improve your online presence. This not only enhances the visibility of your books but also helps drive traffic to your online business.
- Shorter Turnaround for Creation and Launch: With minimal text and a focus on visual elements, you can design, compile and publish low content books relatively quickly, especially compared to traditional books. This feature allows you to respond swiftly to market trends and seasonal demands as well. Ensuring your products remain fresh and relevant to your audience.
In addition to the benefits for your online business, low content books can offer a wealth of benefits for your ideal client.
- Interactive Tracking: Low content books encourage active participation. Clients can document their food choices, track exercise routines, or jot down reflections, fostering a sense of accountability and motivation.
- Positive Reinforcement: Incorporating motivational elements throughout a low content book can reinforce positive behaviors. Encouraging quotes, achievement tracking, and celebration sections can boost clients’ confidence and commitment.
- Accessible Resources: These books can be accessed at any time, allowing clients to refer back to their plans, notes, or reflections whenever they need guidance or encouragement.
- Stress Reduction and Relaxation: Coloring books and relaxation-themed low content books provide clients with a creative outlet for stress relief.
For example, take a look at the unique “Check-in & Color: A Coloring Book & Gratitude Journal for School Nutrition Professionals” by Shannon Ebron. Customer reviews on Amazon, highlight the “fun” nature of this book, stating how it is “a journal meets coloring book filled with food puns, lunch lady memes, gratitude exercises…you can pull out and use to decorate your serving lines!!”
- Memory Reinforcement: Writing down information aids memory retention. As clients engage with their low content books, they reinforce their understanding of concepts, making it easier to recall and apply what they’ve learned.
These benefits highlight the impact that low content books can have on client’s health and well-being, making them a versatile tool to enhance the services your business provides and guide clients toward lasting positive change.
Low Content Book Ideas for Dietitians
As dietitians there are an extensive number of niches that we can tap into. Whether you’re involved with a Dietetic Practice Group (DPG) centered around pediatrics, geriatrics, or sports nutrition, low content books are applicable. By creating resources like age-specific meal planners, athlete nutrition journals, or workbooks for specific medical conditions, practice groups can effectively engage clients with content that aligns with their interests.
Maybe your wheels are already turning thinking about a tool that you created and currently implement into your practice. You think this tool would be perfect sold as a low content book and be able to help so many more people outside of your practice. If that’s the case, GO FOR IT! Keep reading to learn more about the steps to self-publish your work.
For those that need a little inspiration, here are 10 low content books authored by dietitians to help ignite that creative spark.
(*As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission on qualifying purchases.)
- Author: Krystyn Parks, MS, RD
- Description: A journal to note the date, food, and any reactions to child’s first 100 meals.
- Author: Maria Tointon, RDN, LDN
- Description: Designed to specifically support a plant based or vegan diet. A guide to help meet nutrition needs and stay on track with health goals.
- Author: Rochelle Inwood, MS, RDN, ACSM EP-C
- Description: Fun notebook for dietitians (and future dietitians) to keep track of important thoughts, tasks, or ideas. Includes 15 fun foodie puns.
- Author: Brianne Okuszka, RD
- Description: The journal includes prompts to keep track of foods and food groups that may be causing lack of energy, bad/good mood, or lethargy
- Author: Amanda Lane, MS, RD, CDCES
- Description: A journal to keep track of all things kidneys and dialysis: blood pressure, monthly labs, appointments, blood sugar, and questions for the doctor.
- Author: Meredith Kleinhenz, RDN, CSG, LD
- Description: 52-week menu planning journal to help brainstorm menu ideas and get more organized when it comes to getting meals on the table. Includes a tip, idea or quote to inspire each week.
- Author: Joan Marks, BASc, RD
- Description: A journal to use as a daily tracker for meals/snacks, water, symptoms, mood, weight, stress, exercise, periods, sleep, and food triggers. Includes 30 diet and lifestyle tips.
- Author: Krystyn Parks, MS, RD
- Description: This workbook contains easy activities to work through common concepts such as colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. A fun way to learn basic Spanish with a preschool age child.
- Author: Callie Miller MS, RD, LD, CPT
- Description: A 12-week fitness planner to help busy moms schedule in runs and workouts to meet their fitness goals. Includes runner-specific sports nutrition and meal planning guidance.
- Author: Nicole Kuperus, RD
- Description: This journal is a place to write out positive affirmations, dreams, goals and can also be used as a gratitude journal.
5 Steps to Create Your Own Low Content Books
Crafting your own low content book involves a blend of creativity and strategic thinking. Now that we’ve discussed different types of low content books, let’s take a look at what it takes to successfully put one together.
Step 1: Before diving into designing your book, take the time to conduct market research to better understand your audience and niche. This knowledge will help guide in tailoring your low content book to address the specific needs, pain points, and interest of your ideal client more effectively.
Step 2: Select the perfect format for your audience. When deciding to create a guided journal, coloring book, or workbook, consider what format aligns best with your content and ideal client’s qualities (engagement style, reading level, language preference, etc.)
Step 3: While not as crucial of a step compared to writing a traditional book, drafting an outline for your low content book can be helpful to organize your thoughts and may even be a time saver in the long run. Use the outline to plan the overall flow of the book including the integration of interactive elements: prompts, check boxes, sections for goal setting and tracking, space for self-reflection, etc.
Step 4: Design a visually appealing and coherent layout that complements your content. You want to capture the audience’s attention while also including consistent design elements that enhance readability, and overall user experience.
For any low content book, you will need a PDF file for the interior of your book and one for the cover. Take advantage of graphic design platforms like Canva to creating stunning, professional quality content. Canva is a user-friendly platform that offers both free and paid subscription plans. The Canva Pro plan includes access to thousands of time-saving book cover templates to choose from.
Book Bolt is another platform that helps users create beautiful book covers and interiors without any graphic design experience. This tool is specifically geared towards low content book authors. It also includes features to help you conduct keyword research when you’re first planning your book and later in the marketing step.
Unlike Canva, Book Bolt does not offer a free plan. However, it does include a 3-day free trial by signing up for their “Newbie” plan ($9.99 per month). For those that are planning to create and publish multiple low content books or those looking for more templates to create books like puzzle books, coloring books, and other activity books, sites like Book Bolt may be worth looking into.
Step 5: After designing your low content book, the next step involves publishing. Along with Amazon KDP there are a few other common self-publishing platforms to choose from such as IngramSpark and Barnes and Noble. For this article we will focus on the steps involved with self-publishing on Amazon KDP.
With Amazon KDP you can self-publish low content books the same way you would a traditional book. If you do not already have a KDP account, the first step is to setup your Amazon KDP login. Throughout the account setup process you’ll be asked to enter banking information as well as answer tax-related questions. Make sure to answer all questions accurately to avoid any delays in establishing your account.
Once you’ve successfully set up your account, you’re ready to upload your book files to your KDP Bookshelf. After selecting whether you want your low content book published as a paperback or hardback, you’ll enter additional information under the following 3 tabs:
- Details Tab
- Includes: book title, description, keywords, and categories.
- There are several ways to conduct Amazon KDP keyword research to find keywords to use in the description and enter into the “keywords” section of this tab.
- Under the “categories” section you can select up to 3 category placements to describe your book. Examples of categories include: “self-help,” “children’s books,” and “health, fitness, and dieting.”
- Here is where you’ll need to determine if your book falls under the “low-content” book classification defined by Amazon KDP. Be sure to make the correct selection to avoid rejection in the approval process.
Note: Low content books do not qualify for a free KDP ISBN. By checking the “low content” box in the image above, you will need to either purchase and use your own ISBN or publish your book without an ISBN. While you can publish without an ISBN, it is best practice to purchase one.
- Content Tab
- Includes: entering ISBN, trim size, paper color, ink color, uploading the interior and cover files
- Depending on whether you checked the “low-content” box in the previous tab or not, you may be given the option to choose a free KDP ISBN, publish without an ISBN or enter your own.
- Trim size is the height and width of a book. For example, 8” x10” or “8.5
x 11” are a common trim size for an activity book, coloring book, and workbook.
- When designing a book cover with a barcode, ensure it meets Amazon KDP’s formatting requirements. If creating and uploading a cover file without a barcode, remember to avoid adding text or images to the bottom right corner on the back cover. This is where Amazon will automatically add a barcode.
- Includes: select territories for which you hold distribution rights, set list price
- For territories, you’ll either select “worldwide rights” or “individual territories.”
- When entering pricing information, an automatic calculator will generate your estimated royalty.
- You must set the book price above KDP’s established minimum threshold. With Amazon KDP you do not have to pay printing costs upfront. Books are printed on demand. Since printing costs are subtracted from royalties, the book price must be set high enough to ensure royalties cover this cost.
Once you’ve completed all the fields and uploaded your files, your book is ready to publish!
3 Key Strategies for Low Content Books Success
However you define success when it comes to your low content book, there are things that can be done to help ensure your book doesn’t get lost in the mix of millions of listings on Amazon. Here are just 3 of those strategies.
1) Optimize book titles and descriptions with keywords for better visibility.
Keywords refer to the words that customers type into the Amazon search bar to find products (low content books) they want to buy. As mentioned in the previous section, there are a number of ways to conduct research to find these particular words or phrases your ideal client is using. These include:
- brainstorming words
- using Amazon’s search bar to type in a few words related to your book to see what comes up
- using Amazon’s free keyword tool
Once you’ve narrowed down the keywords, it is critical to include the ones that are most relevant and with the highest search volume in your book’s title, subtitle, and description. You can also add up to 7 keywords in the appropriate fields under the “Details” tab when uploading your book.
Note: According to Amazon, the best keywords to enter in these 7 fields are ones that “do not repeat words in the title, category, or description, as these are already used to help readers find your book.”
2) Set competitive pricing
Research the Amazon market. Compile a price list for low content books with similar content to yours. This list gives you a baseline and insight into customer expectations and what they are willing to pay. When conducting competitive pricing research it is also important to note pricing for books created by established authors compared to lesser known ones. While you don’t have to match their prices exactly, your pricing should be competitive with authors similar to you.
3) Leverage social media and other platforms
Utilize the power of social media to craft content that speaks to your audience’s interests. Consider collaborating with other dietitians or professionals to cross-promote each other’s low content books on social media. You can also share sneak peeks into your low content book’s content by posting fun videos, snapshots of the interior, and even customer reviews. Additionally, encourage customers who purchase your low content book to share their feedback on social media.
Amazon Author Central is another great way to increase visibility of books that you publish on Amazon. This free service allows authors to create a personalized page that makes it easier for readers to find all of the books written by a specific author. Authors can also add a biography, include upcoming author events like speaking engagements, and engage with readers through the platform.
By utilizing the power of social media and Amazon Author Central, you’re able to expand your book’s reach. These platforms provide the opportunity to engage with your audience and establish your authority in the field, build a loyal following and ensure that your low content book reaches the hands of those who stand to benefit most.
While the phrase “low content books” might initially conjure thoughts of empty pages or lacking substance, this unique category of books harnesses the power of simplicity to convey ideas, prompts and experiences. The diverse possibilities of low content books offer a canvas limited only by your imagination. Now that we’ve covered the “What,” “Why,” and “How-To” when it comes to low content books, are you ready to embark on your journey in this creative space?
Interested in Learning More About Self-Publishing on Amazon KDP?
Are you a dietitian that has self-publishing on your bucket list for 2023? Join the Click to Publish course today and make your dream a reality.
Looking for Additional Reading? Check out more about self-publishing on Amazon here as well as these articles below.
- 11 Reasons Why RDNs Need To Self-Publish On Amazon KDP
- How To Create Amazon A+ Content For Books
- How To Gift An eBook On Amazon
- What Is Amazon KDP Expanded Distribution?
- How To Get Your Book Noticed On Amazon
- Understanding Amazon KDP Select – Pros And Cons
- 21+ Amazon KDP Low-Content Book Ideas
- Importance of Amazon Editorial Reviews