You might not know it but there are these dangers of publishing low content books! Let me tell you some tips to help you win the self-publishing game.
Steve was certain that Amazon was going to completely be killing his business when it came to his low content books. Based on some of the changes that they've recently implemented. But he would be mistaken on that.
If he thought it was worth shutting everything down. That's the reason why in today's article, I’m going to discuss the Dangers Of Publishing Low Content Books!
It was this week that Steve had come to me and he was discussing this issue of low content books. Steve has been doing these low content books for a while. The thing that makes it a low content book is that it has repetitive content.
When we're talking about low content books, it would be something like calendars or journals. Anything for which something like 90% of the pages is repetitive. So that you would have the same thing.
It would be like all the days of a year and then you would have a particular thing. Now in Steve's case, he was dealing with pet journals. That would be the category that he'd be dealing with.
It would be like your Poodle or your Pitbull or whatever type of dog you might have. So, you would have a journal that'd be dedicated to it. Some of the pages of course up to like 10 or something.
They would have pictures of the specific dog. He would be using royalty-free images on those dogs. Then you would have pages where you'd be able to do the journal.
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It can be a calendar, a journal, or anything for which a vast majority of the pages were recurring. So, the thing is that he wanted to get a study income using this exact low content thing.
But the reason he wasn't able to do this, was that he could see there were some challenges. It is that certain sites like IngramSpark were shutting down. The ability to go about making money doing this particular method.
By saying look, we do not want these things to hit our market. The same goes for Amazon with their latest rules. So, he was looking at these things.
He could see that maybe the time was coming when he wasn't going to be able to do this right. That was where he started initially. Just seeing people who are making claims of making tens of thousands of dollars every single month.
He's putting out these low content books and he thought about it. He said look if I don't jump in on this gold rush, I may miss out on something. This whole fear of missing out can be with something that motivates.
It's not necessarily a negative one. But he started to doubt that maybe with changes in policies and stuff that this could all be coming to an end.
So, what happened was he recently posted his latest dog journal. It was a poodle or something but he put it out there. He noticed that he had to suddenly mark off that it was a low content book.
Making Sure The Content Is Great
The second thing was after he had finished that part, he realized now he wasn't getting an ISBN. That's like the number that designates this book. So that it makes it possible to send it to expanded distribution and other places where it would be registered.
As opposed to just like a product or something that doesn't get registered in a central location. This can be a problem when it comes to bookstores or expanded distribution and even the library. Several things can create little barriers when we're trying to get it out.
The other thing he finally noticed was that there was no Look Inside. So, there was a whole series of things that suddenly changed. That was one of the reasons we've been working together.
Going through the Self-Publisher 1-On-1 Program. Where I go back and forth with my students to help them work through and achieve their goals when it comes to self-publishing. In this case, we were using the Volley app to communicate going back and forth.
We of course go through our Zoom one day a month. We'll go through the Zoom meeting one hour a month. Then normally, just go back and forth on Volley to do this.
So, the thing is that from the history of these low content books, it's that as people realize there was a lot of money to be made and so they would just start spamming. They would do something like 10 books a day.
Where Amazon would say, oh I remember even several years ago people complaining and saying oh we can only do 10 books a day. I don't know if that's still the case with regards to the low content books.
Dangers of publishing low content books! One of the challenges that people face who go this route and this is one of the big problems it's that there are so many people who you're competing with. So, you better make sure that your content is fantastic in comparison to your competitors.
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But without this Look Inside feature that creates a huge challenge. Because the person isn't going to be able to click that. And see this journal of yours or your calendar or whatever it is that has the repetitive pages is exactly looking.
That's why we went through exactly the changes they made. So, the first thing is you will not get an ISBN. You can buy an ISBN but it will cost you $125 in bulk.
And to do it, unless you live in Canada or where I am in, Norway where we can get them absolutely for free. The second thing is no more extended distribution for your low content books.
So, they're not going to be sending it to all these other places. If you know me, I like to get my book in every single bookstore. This fast expanded distribution is humanly possible.
That's why I don't just stick with Amazon. I go to IngramSpark which also happens to be banning these particular types of books. The third thing is they killed the Look Inside and this is perhaps the most devastating of them all.
It's because, without the Look Inside feature, the person is not going to be able to go inside. And see whether or not they want the look and feel of a book.
This is very important for a lot of people including myself. When I'm going to buy a book, I want to go in there and see exactly how it looks.
Seeing Revenue Coming In
Then the final one is a transparency code. Where the person would be able to click this code on the back cover. The person will be able to see more information about the book.
They simply don't include that on this particular one. So, we were looking through exactly the best strategies. But we realized, for the most part, he had already built a bit of an audience around his previous low content books.
He was looking at making them an even higher quality which was a very key aspect. When it comes to putting these on the markets. You would be competing against other people.
Amazon was just getting tired of giving out so many ISBNs to these people who are putting out garbage books on the market. They were not high quality. And remember, low content is not scamming anyone because journals are incredibly powerful just like a list of things.
Like to-do lists or prioritization lists or goals or vision boards. Or any of these sorts of things that would be repeated over and over for some time. There is nothing wrong with any of these items.
The key is that you have to remember that when you're putting these out into the world, they need to be as high quality as possible. You're competing with a lot of people so the barrier to entry is very low.
So many people can compete with you. That's one of the reasons I would recommend new writers or authors not necessarily jump into this particular market. It's incredibly competitive and very difficult.
Unless you have a real passion for it and are willing to stick in there. You must go above and beyond what your competitors are doing. It's usually better to stick with other books as opposed to seeing how many books we can just shove onto Amazon.
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The strategy we were looking at in his case would be moving forward. Continuing with these low content books. That's just fine but understanding the limitations and some of the problems that you're going to face.
We don't know if Amazon at some point is just going to shut the whole thing down. Limit the number of books a person can simply put on the market. But that's one of the things that by going through the self-publishing 101 program with me, he was able to think through a lot of these issues.
Both the motivation and also just thinking it through. Getting educated on what is necessary to do it. If you want to, check out the self-publishing program. See if it is right for you and your self-publishing business as well.
But the ultimate obstacle Steve was facing was that he continued to produce these books. He realized he was going to need to up his game. To compete against his competitors and increase the quality of the books. So that’s another one of the dangers of publishing low content books!
He also decided against actually going and buying the ISBNs. He looked at his particular sales and saw that the expanded distribution or extended distribution was not necessary. It wasn't making that many sales anyways for him.
It was not critical but it did take a bite off of some of the sales that he was making. So, he continues to see revenue coming in through. A lot of the books are starting to decrease as so many people are flooding this specific market.
That sometimes leaves people wondering just like you might be wondering, Is Amazon KDP Worth It? And that's the reason why you're going to want to check out my previous video on that.