Can you make idle income with kdp notebooks?

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing KDP

I recently stumbled upon a number of TikTok and YouTube videos claiming that the creator made thousands of dollars in idle income selling notebooks on Amazon through its Kindle Direct Publishing website.

As a proud KDP author who is always looking for new ways to make some extra money for book marketing (or pay those unexpected bills), I knew I had to see if there was any truth to this.

Before I began this experiment, I needed to define idle income. In most the YouTube videos I saw, it was clear the creators had invested money into marketing the books. However, I want to see if passive income is really achievable with this so I will not spend a single cent on marketing to see if I make any money.

All the videos I saw said to use a service like canva.com to create the notebook covers. As a self-described Photoshop junkie, I decided to design my own covers. To create the inside of the book was as easy as creating a table in Microsoft Word or Google Sheets and simply making the side borders transparent.

Next, I did some research on Amazon to see what some of the most highly rated KDP notebooks used as keywords, titles, and descriptions to help boost my searchability.

Then it was as simple as uploading a novel to KDP and hitting publish.

I decided to focus my designs on two niche markets whom I figured would be the most in the market for notebooks: writers (duh) and students.

For Writers

My other notebooks are too pretty to write in

Description:

Do you love notebooks? Do you have a stack of pristine books that are just too nice to deface with the markings of a pen? If so, this composition notebook is perfect for writing notes, scribbling thoughts, and saving those notebooks you cherish so deeply.

Specifications:

  • size 8.5″ x 11″
  • paper: white
  • pages: 120 pages / 60 sheets
  • cover: glossy paperback
  • binding: perfect binding
  • made in the U.S.A
  • Makes a great holiday, birthday, graduation, or start of school gift for students, writers, and authors

Support your local author: leave a review

Description: This is the perfect notebook for fans of indie and self-published authors to scribble notes and write down their thoughts. It’s also a great reminder that leaving reviews on books is one of the greatest gifts you can give to independent artists and writers.

For Students

College

Description:

Don’t forget to go to class without a notebook! This composition notebook is perfect for college students to write notes, doodle during lectures, and scribble down thoughts to prepare for the next text or quiz.

Specifications:

  • size 8.5″ x 11″
  • paper: white
  • pages: 120 pages / 60 sheets
  • cover: glossy paperback
  • binding: perfect binding
  • made in the U.S.A
  • Makes a great start of school gift for students.

English Composition

Description:

Kick the semester off right with this trendy stylized composition notebook specifically labeled for English literature.

Specifications:

  • size 8.5″ x 11″
  • paper: white
  • pages: 120 pages / 60 sheets
  • cover: glossy paperback
  • binding: perfect binding
  • made in the U.S.A
  • Makes a start of school gift for students

Math Composition

Description:

Kick the semester off right with this trendy stylized composition notebook specifically labeled for Math class.

Specifications:

  • size 8.5″ x 11″
  • paper: white
  • pages: 120 pages / 60 sheets
  • cover: glossy paperback
  • binding: perfect binding
  • made in the U.S.A
  • Makes a start of school gift for students

History Composition

Description:

Kick the semester off right with this trendy stylized composition notebook specifically labeled for History class.

Specifications:

  • size 8.5″ x 11″
  • paper: white
  • pages: 120 pages / 60 sheets
  • cover: glossy paperback
  • binding: perfect binding
  • made in the U.S.A
  • Makes a start of school gift for students

Science Composition

Description:

Kick the semester off right with this trendy stylized composition notebook specifically labeled for Science class.

Specifications:

  • size 8.5″ x 11″
  • paper: white
  • pages: 120 pages / 60 sheets
  • cover: glossy paperback
  • binding: perfect binding
  • made in the U.S.A
  • Makes a start of school gift for students

I’m not sure if it’s because it’s the holiday season or if it’s because I uploaded a bunch of files at the same time, but I think it’s interesting to note that it took several days for these to be approved by Amazon. And, after about a week, I can report that I have not sold a single notebook.

Does this mean this side gig isn’t worthwhile? Not necessarily, it’s too early to tell. However, I have my suspicion that, like my other work published through KDP, these products are wading in an overfilled pool of similar items.

I will make sure to update you if anything changes, but I doubt truly passive income will be possible and frequent marketing will be required to make a sale. In the meantime, let me know in the comments if you’ve found any success in making passive income or if there’s anything else you want me to test!


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Published by Tim Koster

Tim Koster is an American author who was born and raised in Portland, Maine. After graduating from Deering High School, Tim attended Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire, where he studied English with an emphasis on creative writing. In his junior year, Tim enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve as a public affairs specialist and deployed on two combat missions – his first was to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn (2011) and his second was to Syria in Support of Operation Inherent Resolve (2018). Tim currently lives in Connecticut with his wife and son.

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