What Are No Content and Low Content Books?

No content and low content books

When people talk about books, there’s usually the assumption that to have a book you need to have written content. This is why most writers focus on daily word count. They know they have to write a certain number of words each day if they hope to complete their book.

If you aren’t a good writer, you likely assume it’s impossible to make money creating and selling books. This assumption is actually not correct. In fact, there’s a thriving business with both “low content” and “no content” books these days.

What is a no content book?

A no content book usually refers to a book that has no written content in it. That doesn’t mean it only has blank pages (although it can). It simply means there aren’t any words in the book. A couple of examples of no content books would be a blank journal that only has lines for writing or an adult coloring book. If it’s a book that doesn’t have written content in it, then it can be considered a no content book even if it contains other forms of content.

What is a low content book?

A low content book is one that contains some written content, but far less than one would find in a typical book. A journal that had inspirational quotes on each page would be considered a low content book. A day planner with the days of the week and months listed would be another example. A mileage tracking book for the miles you drive your car each day of the week would be another. Even a recipe book could be considered a low content book. While low content books do have some written content, it’s a lot less than would be typically found when one imagines a book.

Can you make money with no and low content book?

Yes, it’s possible to make money with no content and low content books. These types of books are selling like hot-cakes on various sites including Amazon’s Create Space. Currently, coloring books for adults are some of the best-selling books on Amazon, no content or otherwise. Journals always sell well if they can capture the attention of the writers who need them. If you can come up with any niche where these types of books are in demand, they will sell well.

Who buys no and low content books?

While it makes sense individuals would buy these books if they meet their specific needs, it’s not only individuals. Large corporations, chain stores, and small groups may often buy these books as well. Many are used as corporate gifts or novelty items.

If you aren’t a good enough writer or have the patience to produce a novel, no and low content books may be a perfect alternative for you if you have the goal to publish a book. Now that you understand what these types of books are, you might be surprised at how many opportunities there are out there to produce them. Keep your eyes open and you will see how many of these books exist which can be produced with a minimal amount of effort (at least in comparison to writing a novel).

(Image courtesy of Maxime De Ruyck)

  • The great thing about adult coloring books is that you don’t need any artistic talent to create them. There are a lot of programs on the Internet that can help you create them in a matter of minutes. I started doing them when there was a lot less competition and I made quite a bit of money. It’s more difficult now because people know you can make money with them, so there are a lot more out there these days. But you can still find niche markets that can do well. I thought no content books were a scam when I first heard about them, but with a little creativity and effort, you can make some good money creating them.

    • This market has been saturated. Anyone trying to get int adult coloring books at this time will fail because everyone has already heard and tried to make money with them. In order to make money with no or low content books, you need to stay ahead of the curve and find a new niche before the hoards descend upon it. It’s not easy, but that’s where the money is. Following everyone else will leave you penniless.

  • If you don’t write, then it isn’t really a book. A blank journal isn’t a book. A mileage chart isn’t a book. A daily planner isn’t a book. Coloring for adults isn’t a book. A book is a novel. A book is a mystery. A book is a nonfiction story. A real book has writing. No content is not a real book. Low content is not a real book. If those people think they are writing a book, they are fooling themselves. You have to write to create a real book.

    • This is a pretty pretentious stand to take. Who made you the dictator of what is and isn’t a book? Just because you think a book needs to be a novel doesn’t mean everyone does. Stop trying to make yourself feel superior to others and just do what you want to do without forcing your ill-founded opinions on others.

    • Whether you think it’s a legitimate career or not, they sell. I publish these and I make real actual money. I have a hundreds of different themed journals and I get sales every single day. I’ve also published novels and short stories, but the low/no content books sell so much better. Why do all the work of actually writing everything? Customers like to write too. I have workbooks, activity books, game books (all customized so the innards of them are unique thanks to Adobe data merge). So if it’s not your thing, then move along but don’t condemn the folks who produce these books because we have kids to feed and that’s just plain rude.

    • If I am drawing images from my imagination, making sure they have aesthetically pleasing composition and content, cleaning them up, getting a high res scan, cleaning that up, making sure it is all clear and colorable at the appropriate page size, making sure the paper is appropriate for the coloring medium, then arranging the images in a pleasing collection … I’m going to call it a book. It’s just as much thought and effort and just as valid as words on a page.

  • I think the no content and low content book trend has run its course. There may have been a way to make money with them in the past, but now everybody and their uncle seems to be trying to make money at it. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you will waste a lot of money, not make it. It’s not easy money. If you think it will be, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

    • It is much more difficult to make money writing low/no content books, but it’s still possible. You need to find your right niche. General adult coloring books don’t do well because they are so overcrowded, but niche topic adult coloring books still do. You have to work a bit harder than a few years ago, but you can still make money. I do.

  • I think that the process of, say… writing, designing and publishing a commercially viable “Quotation of the Day for [Target Audience] Inspirational Journal” would be INTENSE, and a lot of work. Sure, it’s different than writing a novel or a book of nonfiction essays or even a book for infants. But from idea to execution to product to marketing and sales – it’s got to be a daunting undertaking. After researching the vast array of inspirational journals available and doing your research as to which of these are most likely to sell – and which of these you have the ability to confidently create a product for, you’re finally down to the task of choosing and targeting a niche audience for your journal. Coming up with a unique angle and theme for your journal, researching your competition, collecting, fact-checking and curating all the quotations you wish to include will be a lot of work, as will obtaining permission to use them within the context of your journal from the necessary sources. Ensuring you have all the appropriate legal attention, attribution, and rights to each of these sources sounds like a nightmare to me. But you’d better do it and do it right, because if you don’t, you might have a lawsuit or ten on your hands. I mean, not everyone wants their words printed in an inspirational journal targeted at your chosen target demographic – say, hunting enthusiasts who enjoy journalling? Then there’s the graphc work, typesetting, and physical designing of the book itself. What types of paper are durable yet appealing to people who enjoy writing longhand? Did you know there’s paper made from rocks that can get soaking wet without disintegrating or smearing? What if you don’t do your consumer research and make a HUGE mistake in packaging that alienates your target market? It may well be that you think our hunting enthusiasts would obviously find a quality leatherbound journal appealing… But turns out that those hunting enthusiasts who enjoy journalling are totally different consumers than those hunting enthusiasts who DON’T enjoy journalling. Had you properly executed your market research, you would have realized that our hunting AND journalling enthusiasts are staunch environmentalists who believe that in reducing their overall carbon footprint by hunting only for their own food – and any journal that doesn’t contain both pre- and post-consumer recycled paper printed with water-based biodegradable ink is not something they’ll buy – if it’s leatherbound, you’ve just insulted them, and there’s not a quotation in the world in that environmentally irresponsible journal you just poured a year’s worth of work into creating…
    I know I’m being a little over-the-top here, but I just couldn’t understand how someone could just categorize all low- or no-content books as “not books” without reservation, when so many all-content books are ghostwritten, ripped off, or a collection of previously published blog posts available for free that the author chose to slap together to make a few bucks…

    Love this blog.

    • @Taryn

      You wrote this out so well and I couldn’t agree more. I truly dislike it when someone label something that doesn’t conform to their view of what it should be as not being that thing. No content books and low content books are still books. They may not be the classic type of book people think of when a person says the word “book” but there books nonetheless.

      And the truth is a lot of these books take a lot of time and effort to create. It seems that people don’t want to count them as books because they may appear easier to create than writing a novel. I’m sure that is true in some cases, but certainly not in all cases.

  • I had the opportunity to write so no content books. I was happy with the way they came out. I will continue to create them. I haven’t made much money yet, but I think there’s potential to make some good money in the long run. You have to take some chances to make money, and this is a chance I think is worth taking.

    • What type of no content books have you been writing? If you haven’t made much money creating them so far, what makes you think that there’s the potential to make a lot of money with them in the future? I’m not trying to be too nosy here, but I’m interested to see if this might be something that I would like to try. I’m just looking for some advice since this seems to be an honest answer about making money with no content books.

  • Whew. For a second there I thought you were going to tell me that people were actually selling literally No Content Books; as in blank pages when they thought they were buying say a self-help book. I buy blank journal all the time. Didn’t realize there was an “author” to these. You’ve just given me a great idea ;)…

  • Wow. This is a really interesting concept, which I had never before considered. Low content books and no content books are not something that had naturally come to my mind in regards to actually making a book. I, like many others, have played with the idea of creating a book, but I had only considered novels or nonfiction. I keep a dream journal and I could actually now see myself making a cool dream journal for sale. A formatted dream journal could really help someone out who had never kept one before and didn’t really know where to begin.

  • How can anyone “write” a book if there is no content? That makes no sense at all. It’s not really a book if there isn’t any writing since words are what define a book. Without any words, it’s just blank pages.

  • Thanks for these clear and simple definitions of no and low-content books. I have been a full-time writer for 11 years and recently encountered these terms. I had no idea what they meant! Thanks again, WordCounter.

  • Certainly, there is a lot less “work” required to produce a low content or no content book compared with a technical work or a fiction story but I definitely put a lot of work into the ones I produce, simply because I want my books to be different from all the other ones available. Having said that, I really enjoy creating adult coloring, kids puzzle and journals / workbooks. It’s not like work at all, when you are enjoying yourself. And so speaks someone who has wanted to be an author since she was 8 years old, which was a VERY long time ago. Now I have a shelf full of books with my name on the cover.

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