If you are a stay-at-home mom, student, or entrepreneur who is looking for an easy way to make a passive income online, then selling notebooks on Amazon may be just for you.
This profitable business does not require special skills or knowledge, and the best thing about it – you can start entirely for free!
All you have to do is to find the right niche, create some beautiful notebooks, and list them on Amazon.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know in order to start selling notebooks on Amazon KDP for free. We will explain how to choose the right niche, how to do the keyword research, and how to easily create notebooks.
But before that, let’s answer a very common question – is selling notebooks on Amazon profitable, and how much money can you make?
3 Must-Have Low Content Publishing Tools & Resources:
Is Selling Notebooks on Amazon Profitable?
Notebooks are effectively digital products that are later turned into printables by Amazon, so before answering this question, let’s consider the nature of digital products.
Digital products basically cost nothing to manufacture, and you don’t have to worry about storing, and shipping headaches as Amazon takes care of that all.
Moreover, it takes no effort to duplicate a digital product – you create the notebook once, and it can be sold hundreds, if not thousands of times.
Once you publish a notebook on Amazon, everything else gets automated. There are many aspects that you don’t have to worry about, so meanwhile, you can focus on producing more books.
Since time is money and Amazon takes care of the distribution process, we can definitely assume that selling notebooks on Amazon is profitable. It simply gives you a key to a flawless passive income business.
How much can you make selling Notebooks on Amazon?
How profitable selling notebooks on Amazon is will depend on how much work you are willing to put in.
If you publish only 5-10 notebooks and give up, you will probably make nothing at all. But if you commit to staying patient and consistent, you can be making anywhere from $1000 to $10,000 per month, or even more.
Think it’s not possible? Even single listings on Amazon can make that much money, and it’s evident from just looking at the marketplace.
For example, take a look at this notebook:
This book is being sold at $6.95 and has nearly 3,000 reviews, while on average only 10% of customers tend to leave the reviews.
If we want to know more about how this notebook sells, we can take the Best Seller’s Rank (BSR), which currently is #3,499, and use the BSR calculator to find how many sales a day this book makes.
However, the sale price does not mean profit. Amazon also deducts fees for printing and shipping, so we can use the Amazon royalty calculator, to find what the book’s royalties (profits) are.
So according to all calculations, this book alone is making around 60 sales a day for around $2 profit – that’s around $180 passive income per day from a single book. Now imagine if you had 100s or 1000s books like that…
There are examples like this everywhere, you can head over to Amazon, and check it by yourself.
Typically, notebooks, are the lowest priced books that have the biggest competition. If you want to make big money on Amazon, you will have to get to the point where you produce a little bit more complex low content books, such as planners, journals, coloring books, recipe books, etc.
But for now – notebooks are great products to start with and get the self-publishing ball rolling.
More Reasons To Sell Notebooks on Amazon:
Apart from a chance to make some good passive income, there are other 3 strong reasons why you should start selling notebooks on Amazon.
- Costs Nothing To Start: While other businesses require some sort of investment, selling notebooks on Amazon costs absolutely nothing to start. Amazon does not charge for publishing your books on the platform, but only charges printing and shipping costs once you make a sale. Furthermore, you don’t need to have a website or invest in premium design or marketing tools.
- It’s Easy: Notebooks belong to the low-content book category, meaning they do not contain written information. Creating low-content books, especially notebooks, is easy. It does not involve any technical knowledge or even advanced skills, and everything can be done with an easy-to-use design tool, like Canva. You only need to design 2-3 pages for a notebook, and the interior pages most of the time consist of just plain lines.
- No Marketing Needed: Amazon is a huge marketplace getting millions of visitors every month, therefore you don’t necessarily need to market your products outside this platform. Just choose the right niche with the right keywords, create high-quality notebooks and that’s it. The only marketing channel you can focus on is Amazon ads, but that’s only once you get more familiar with publishing, and have some money to invest.
How To Create & Sell Notebooks on Amazon?
Since we covered all benefits of selling notebooks on Amazon, it’s time to discuss how you can create and effectively sell them.
When it comes to low content publishing, it’s always about the quality of books rather than the quantity, so focus on creating beautiful notebooks for the right market.
Selling notebooks on Amazon involves several steps, such as finding the right niche, doing keyword research, creating the notebooks, and finally publishing them.
Let’s discuss all these steps in detail:
Find The Right Niche:
Finding the right niche is a critical process for the success of your notebooks. You may have the most beautiful notebook designed, but if it’s not going to have a demand, or the market will be too competitive, you won’t make any sales.
The first thing you have to keep in mind is that you need to be specific about your books. What many beginners would do is dedicate their time to creating a general notebook and then compete with 1000s of other similar books.
The term “notebook for men” returns over 50,000 results on Amazon, so how you would expect to be discovered by the buyers on the platform with such a general book?
Instead, you should focus on finding specific notebooks in narrow niches, that are not too competitive but are still in high demand on search. For example – a gardening notebook for kids, or a password notebook with tabs.
And to find such types of notebooks, you will need to do keyword research.
Doing Keyword Research:
Amazon is a massive search engine, where buyers type in keywords in order to find what they are looking for. There are general short-tail keywords consisting of 1-2 words, and specific long-tail keywords, that consist of 3-5 words, and those are the ones you should be aiming for.
In the keyword research process, your goal is to find as many long-tail keywords as you can, so you can analyze them later individually.
The most basic way to begin this process is by typing the “notebook” term into Amazon’s search bar, and it will populate what people are regularly searching for on the platform.
As you can see, Amazon only gives 10 keyword ideas, and that’s not enough for us. To get more out of Amazon’s autosuggest, you can use a free Google Chrome extension called Amazon Search Suggestion Expander, which will expand the suggestion list to over 100 keywords.
And to get even more keyword ideas, you can add different attributes to your main phrase (notebook), such as color, style, occasion, etc. In this process, try to come up with a big list of keywords that are relevant to the books you could create.
But remember, always do keyword research on Amazon’s All departments rather than on the Book department. It’s because the majority of customers are using general search to find the products and we want to see the results from the buyers’ point.
Related: Best Low Content Book Niches & Ideas
Doing Search Analysis:
Once you have a list of specific notebook keywords, it’s time to make sure they are searchable enough and there’s not too much competition in them.
For that, you will need another great free Chrome extension called Amazon BSR & Keyword Research Tool. This tool will extract important data so you can easily make the decision on the competitiveness and popularity of keywords.
To begin, run the search on Amazon by typing in a long-tail keyword and seeing the metrics displayed by the keyword research tool.
Here are all the metrics, and the criteria they should meet:
- Keyword Niche Score: This gives you the average score of all metrics taken into the account. While the keyword niche score is not the most important factor, you should try to aim for a score above 50.
- Total Results: This is an important metric, which you want to take into consideration. The more results Amazon search returns, the harder it’s going to be for your customers to find you. A good rule of thumb is to focus on keywords that return about 250-1000 results.
- Amazon Best Seller’s Rank: This is the most important metric to focus on because it gives you a good indication of whether or not the keyword is in demand. Every book that is making sales has Amazon’s rank, and the lower the rank is the more book is selling. Ideally, you should focus on the average BSR rank of below 300,000.
- Average Reviews: Amazon and customers favor products with the reviews. Having books on the first page with too many reviews will make it hard for you to compete with, therefore the fewer reviews the books on the first page have – the better. For the best results, you should aim for under 2000 average reviews.
- Average Price: Just to remind you, Amazon takes fees for shipping and printing a book once you make a sale, so you want to sell it for a price, which leaves some space for the profit margins. If the books displayed for a specific keyword are priced too low, you would have a hard time charging customers higher than the competitors, and making decent money on profit. For the healthy profit margins when selling notebooks, you should look for the average price of at least $6.
Here’s an example of what a perfect keyword looks like based on the keyword research tool:
All in all, you might struggle to find a notebook that perfectly meets all the criteria, especially knowing that notebook is quite a saturated book category.
Don’t get upset if you cannot find a perfect keyword for the notebook, but make sure that at least you get the Best Seller’s Rank, number of results, and average price right.
Once you find at least one good keyword, you can start creating the notebook.
How To Create Notebooks?
As mentioned, creating notebooks is very easy, especially if you enjoy designing stuff. Most of the time notebooks consist of the same lined interior pages, and they do not require any advanced skills to create.
Of course, you can go the extra mile to create more complex interior pages, but beginning with lined ones is a good way to get the ball rolling.
But before starting creating your notebooks, it’s a good idea to check what is already published on Amazon for the specific type of notebook.
Try to find a way how you can differentiate yourself and offer something that is missing. Perhaps all the notebooks are coming in pink color, and the market may need some in blue?
There are two ways how you can produce Notebooks for Amazon KDP. One is by creating them in Canva, and the other one is by outsourcing it to the freelancer.
Creating Notebooks In Canva:
Forget the days when you needed advanced software like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc to come up with beautiful designs. Today, we have a fantastic tool called Canva, that is super easy to use, and free.
While Canva may seem too simple for creating high-standard artworks, the majority of low-content books published on Amazon are created with this tool.
The reason why Canva is so popular among artists is that it offers hundreds of predesigned templates created for many purposes. With Canva, you never have to start from the blank page as you can import a nicely designed template and modify it to your unique style.
For the notebook, you will only need to design 3 pages and export them into PDF Print format. Those are – the cover & back page, “belongs to page” (recommended), and the interior page, which you will duplicate as many times as you need.
Here’s a video showing how to easily create a notebook in Canva:
Hire Someone To Create Notebooks on Fiverr
If you don’t have time or passion to create notebooks by yourself, then you can hire somebody to do that all for you. While there are a few freelancing marketplaces, Fiverr.com is the most affordable place to go.
Fiverr is a massive freelance marketplace packed with plenty of graphic design services, including book covers and interior designs.
The reason why services on this platform cost little is because, there are a lot of sellers from developing countries where the living cost is cheaper, and freelancers can offer lower rates for their talented works.
Here’s one of the services for a full notebook design costing only about 10 dollars. If you manage to sell 100 or even 10 copies of that notebook, then it’s surely a good deal.
Note that not all sellers on Fiverr provide high-quality work and you should only focus on hiring experienced and reputable freelancers.
For that, it’s always best to hire sellers who have some positive reviews on their profiles or services. Additionally, you can contact the seller and make sure that he could really deliver according to your standards.
List Your Books on Amazon KDP:
Once you have your notebook in PDF format, it’s time to bring it to life by uploading it to the Amazon KDP platform. As covered, uploading books on Amazon costs nothing, and it’s super easy.
Here we will give you detailed instructions on how exactly you should publish your low-content book. If you haven’t created your book yet, feel free to bookmark this page, so you can come back whenever you are ready to publish!
To start head over to Amazon KDP, create a free account, and click on Upload the paperback.
Then you will enter 3 stages where you will be required to fill in the information about your book, and choose from some options.
1. Paperback Details:
Here are the required details to fill in, and here’s how you should do it:
- Book Title: The book title needs to be exactly what is written in your book, and of course – it should include the keywords you are targeting.
- Subtitle: This is optional, but highly recommended to fill in. You can use this section to add extra keywords and provide more information about your notebook to the seller.
- Series & Edition Numbers: These fields do not apply to low-content books and can be skipped.
- Author Name: The author name does not have to be your personal name, and you can freely use your pen or brand name.
- Description: This section will show up on the product’s page so it’s important to fill it in. There you can describe who your notebook is for, what style and size it is, how many pages it has as well as other information.
- Publishing Rights: Since you actually created the notebook, tick that you own the copyrights.
- Keywords: This is the most important field when listing your book, and you want to fill it with as many as possible keywords, that are relevant to your notebook. The keywords can be – size, style, occasion, etc. Keep in mind that Amazon will use these keywords to match them with customer search queries, so try to do your best in this bit.
- Categories: Simply pick one or two categories that best match your notebook.
2. Paperback Content:
Here’s another step where you will require to choose some options as well as upload your notebook.
- Print ISBN: This is the number that KDP will assign to your book, so it can be published on Amazon. You don’t need to pay for that, so click “Get a Free KDP ISBN“.
- Print Options: Here you can choose from four different print options, but for notebook publishing, it’s best to go for a Black & White Interior with White Paper.
- Bleed Settings: If the design of your interior goes right to the edges of the pages, then you should select “Bleed”. If the design does not go right to the edges, and there’s a margin around the artwork, then you should choose the “No Bleed” option. Most of the time it will be a “Bleed” option.
- Paperback Cover Finish: You can choose whichever finish you would like to have printed on your cover, but the most popular option is the Matte finish.
- Manuscript: Upload your book interiors in PDF format.
- Book Cover: Upload your book cover in PDF format.
- Barcode: Amazon issues a unique ISBN number and puts the barcode automatically on your books, so there’s no need to have your own barcode.
When done, click on the Launch Preview, and Amazon will give you a preview of your book, as well as let you know if there are any issues with the formatting.
3. Paperback Rights & Pricing:
The very last step is to select the territories and set the price:
- Territories: There you can select specific territories where you want your book to be sold, but the wise option would be to choose “All Territories”
- Price and Royalty: Set the price for your low-content book. As we covered before, it’s best to price your books from at least $6 to get paid decent royalties. Also, select the “Expanded Distribution” option for maximizing the selling opportunities.
And that’s about it – you can click on the “Publish Your Paperback Book” button to publish your first book on Amazon. Then your book will go through the manual review process, which can take up to 72 hours.
Selling notebooks on Amazon KDP can be your key to passive income. The beauty of this business model is that you don’t need any money or special skills to start, but just a little passion for design.
Take your time to do the keyword research, and use Canva to create beautiful notebooks. Once you publish your first book – do not stop! It’s all about consistency, and the more books you will publish the more money you will potentially make.
Also, notebooks are great books to start with, but if you want to accelerate this business to significant income – you will have to get into more complex types of low-content books.
But for now – publish at least a few notebooks, so you get into the habit of creating the low content books.
Good luck in low content publishing!