The Rise of Low Content Books: Finding Creativity in Simplicity

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In a world of information overload, low content books offer a creative yet minimalist respite. Defined more by their intentional blank space than dense text, these notebooks, journals, and coloring books have carved out a fascinating niche in the publishing landscape.

As our lives become increasingly digitized, the appeal of tangible creative outlets grows. Low content books allow readers to slow down, utilize their senses, and reconnect with analog experiences. In an age of complexity, their very simplicity holds power.

This article will explore why low content books have captured the imagination of readers and creators alike. We’ll look at:

  • The different categories of low content books
  • Tips for designing your own
  • Where to sell them
  • Who is finding financial success with this publishing approach

So whether you’re looking to destress with a coloring book or organize your life in a bullet journal, read on to learn why creativity and minimalism make such ideal companions.

The Spectrum of Low Content Books

While definitions vary, low content generally refers to books with substantial blank space and room for interaction. Text and graphics take a backseat to reader participation. The focus lies more in prompting reflection or artistic responses rather than conveying information.

Low content books come in a variety of formats:


These diaries contain sporadic writing prompts, quotes, or thematic imagery. The empty pages encourage folks to record thoughts, dreams, emotions, and experiences. Putting pen to paper provides a respite from the typing, scrolling, and digital overload of modern life.

Planners & Organizers

Low content planners help readers take control of schedules, priorities, habits, and goals through spare journaling and tracking. Monthly, weekly, and daily templates allow reflection on progression towards milestones while maintaining structure amidst life’s chaos.

Bullet Journals

Known as “bujos,” these personalized diaries nurture creativity and organization simultaneously through total design flexibility. Users sketch calendars, habit trackers, mood logs, and goal dashboards based on individual needs. The artistic freedom bullet journaling allows fuels its popularity.

Sketchbooks & Art Journals

These notebooks provide blank slates for artistically inclined folks to experiment with styles, mediums, and subject matter. The pages invite no-pressure opportunities to create purely for enjoyment and visual expression.

Coloring Books

Coloring intricate patterns in these low content books induces a meditative state that relieves stress. As a mindfulness practice, adding hues within the lines engages the mind just enough to reduce anxious thoughts through the repetitive motions.

Cookbooks & Food Journals

Cooking enthusiasts document favorite recipes, meal plans, and culinary musings within the empty pages of these journals. They empower foodies to note ingredient tweaks, recipe origins, wine pairings, and general reflections on gastronomic endeavors.

Travel Journals

Scribbling travel memories into notebooks allows wanderluster to meaningfully record trips. These journals may contain maps to trace routes, empty pages to paste ticket stubs and photos, and plenty of space to log adventures.

While formats differ, the thread connecting low content books is reader participation. Their pages invite journaling,planning, sketching, organizing, coloring, and designing based on individual needs or interests. Text and graphics act as springboards for creativity rather than information-heavy content.

Now let’s explore how to produce your own low content book tailored exactly how you envision it.

Creating Your Own Low Content Book

When making a low content book, first identify your exact purpose in producing it. Are you hoping to destress? Foster creativity? Achieve goals? Establish structure?

Ensure the book’s components align with your intended application. Next, follow this process:

Pick Practical Formatting

Decide if you prefer hardcover, softcover, or spiral binding along with standard size specifications. Consider things like:

  • Page dimensions – what feels most usable and portable?
  • Binding – how frequently will it be opened or shut?
  • Number of pages – what provides sufficient room for content?

Map Out Sections

Plan how you’ll divide up space based on your objectives. Leave blank sheets for free-flowing ideas or incorporate thematic templates for focused responses.

Establish Design Elements

Will you include lines, graphs, calendars, icons or other visual tools? Mindfully place prompts, quotes, headers or images. Use whitespace intentionally, beingware of clutter.

Mock Up Examples

Prototype a few pages to experiment with components like templates, colors, and decorative touches to finalize what enhances user experience.

Review & Revise

Examine mockups for usability, consistency, practicality and alignment with initial goals. Refine as needed before finalizing layouts and beginning creation.

Materials & Construction

Gather supplies like paper, writing tools, string, glue, etc. Print or neatly secure pages. Include personal flourishes through media like watercolors, magazine cutouts, or stickers if desired.

Use & Adapt

Interact with your published notebook, modifying components that feel ineffective. Cherry pick what works best as you turn the pages.

Designing your own low content book allows you to nurture interests and reach milestones in a personally meaningful way. Now let’s explore some popular digital tools for aesthetically enhancing your book through cover design and visually impactful pages.

Tools for Eye-catching Design


This intuitive graphic design platform makes cover creation simple through professional templates requiring only minor modification. With plenty of imagery and fonts to peruse, Canva allows users to develop polished book covers showcasing title concepts.

Adobe Express

For users desiring advanced customization for interior layouts and covers, Adobe Express provides robust tools like photo filters, animation, and video embedding. The learning curve steeper provides more creative control.


Visme’s book cover maker features abundant pre-designed templates encompassing various themes and genres. It focuses specifically on streamlined cover creation rather than overall document formatting and design.

While software amplifies visual impact, low content books also provide blank space for traditional artistic expressions. Now let’s explore routes for distributing finished products to reach wide audiences hungry for this creative minimalism.

Publishing Low Content Books

A variety of digital platforms now provide simplified self-publishing services to sell low content books worldwide. These sites handle logistics like printing, distribution, royalties, and promotions so creators can focus solely on content.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

Familiar to millions of readers, Amazon KDP offers a trustworthy marketplace for eBook sales with 70% royalty rates. Publishers can sell digitally or enable print-on-demand. The process requires minimal technical skills and makes reaching Kindle Store consumers straightforward. It empowers indie authors and independent publishers to earn substantial income at no cost and with little hassle.

However, Amazon maintains full discretion over promotions and commercial viability determinations. So authors have limited control in driving traffic to listings. The site also enables competitors to examine pricing and sales data.


For authors seeking widened distribution beyond Amazon, IngramSpark offers even more expansive network access to bookstores, libraries, and online retailers globally.

Royalty rates range from 20-60% depending on retail price. While the enrollment process entails more steps than Amazon KDP, it provides transparency around sales locations and revenue. This allows for informed marketing decisions when commercializing a title.


Lulu’s print-on-demand services focuses specifically on self-published authors. Its free Book Publishing API allows users to integrate book sales directly into existing websites for streamlined consumer transactions. Lulu vets titles for content issues but provides flexibility around binding formats. Creators can sell hardcover, softcover, or eBook versions seamlessly.


PublishDrive differentiates itself through distribution to over 400 global channels. Authors upload completed manuscripts then receive assisted formatting and cover design guidance. Extensive analytics offer transparency around regional engagement metrics to inform promotional efforts.

Hybrid free and paid subscription tiers determine royalty percentages, ranging from 70-85% across stores. PublishDrive simplifies reaching consumers across continents who crave the creative minimalism low content books offer.

In an increasingly crowded digital publishing landscape, standing out requires innovation. Let’s look at how some indie authors strategically leveraged low content books to build readership and residual income streams.

Success Stories

Heather Holley – Journal Teacher

Former educator Heather Holley initially launched her Etsy shop Serendipity Studio as a passion project offering digital journals focusing on growth mindset and social-emotional learning.

When the Covid-19 pandemic forced schools online, teachers struggling to adapt curriculums suddenly benefited immensely from her journaling prompts and flexible activities.

As educator stress compounded, the market potential became abundantly clear. Holley expanded to 300 journal products and left teaching to focus on shop management full time.

She tells blog Money Saved is Money Earned:

“Passive income is any small business you can create and slowly step away from. My journals were designed for ongoing residual sales so I could move on to designing new products.”

By identifying an underserved audience interested in low content journals, Holley developed a replicable blueprint for recurring revenue through niche published works.

Christine Karst – Coloring Book Author

When author Christine Karst initially released her first coloring book in 2016, she considered it just a creative side hobby. However, she leveraged existing knitting blog, social media channels, and crafting connections to promote the book to great success.

Positive sales data and feedback inspired additional releases. Fast forward six years and Karst has now published over 50 coloring books and grown a full service self-publishing company.

In an interview with Ingramspark, Karst advises:

“The most important thing about finding your niche is to dig into those burning desires, the activities that light you up and that you can never get enough of. Merge your unique interests with your skills and background to develop products only you can create.”

Leaning into established platforms and communities aligned with low content coloring books enabled Karst to evolve a passion into profits.

Peter Pauper Press – Centurian Success

With 100 years of publishing experience, Peter Pauper Press proves literary longevity possible around simplicity. Their specialty lies in low content literary gifts like journals, bookmarks and desk accessories.

While competitors raced to develop digital reading products, Peter Pauper Press doubled down on tactile stationery boutique items. When online fatigue soared in the pandemic, their creative paper products provided welcome relief.

VP of Marketing Dominick Cereo notes:

“As the world goes more digital, people are longing for a sense of disconnect more than ever. We provide that mental respite."

By embracing the analog appeal of minimalist merchandise, this heritage brand maintains cultural relevancy among artists, journalers, readers, and creatives.

While individual tactics vary, these success stories reveal that marrying creativity with simplicity in publishing holds business potential. We’ll conclude with final thoughts on the future of low content books.

The Future of Low Content Books

The minimalist mindfulness coloring book on your coffee table represents far more than a passing trend. As the lure of analog experiences compounds globally, low content books fill a profound need.

Readers facing cognitive overload, designers nurturing creativity, travelers recording adventures, and anyone seeking self-expression recognizes these journals’ charms. Their very emptiness provides welcomed space for mental meandering unencumbered by constant stimuli and distraction.

While publishing houses and indie authors continue expanding available offerings, consumer demand persists. In a recent survey by The Creative Penn, 58% of authors described journals as their fastest sales growth area in 2022.

As the world’s complexity increases, the appeal of minimally designed pages offering room to breathe, create, reflect, and reconnect will only intensify. Through strategic promotion and distribution, low content works deliver value.

So break out your bullet journal to log writing goals or grab an adult coloring book to refresh perspectives. The fusion of utility and originality in low content books will continue capturing reader’s imaginations not despite their sparseness but because of it.

Sometimes creativity flourishes best not in grandiose ideas but quiet simplicity seeded with potential. By embracing rather than filling empty space, low content books offer that fertile soil.