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Understanding Amazon KDP's Policies and Guidelines for Low Content Books

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) offers a fantastic opportunity for authors and publishers to reach a global audience. While many people are familiar with traditional books, a growing segment in the KDP catalog is low-content books. These include journals, planners, notebooks, and coloring books that don't rely heavily on written content. If you're interested in publishing low-content books on Amazon KDP, understanding their policies and guidelines is crucial. This guide will help you navigate the often complex world of KDP and ensure your books meet their standards.

What Are Low Content Books?

Low-content books are typically designed to provide value through their format rather than extensive written content. They might include:

  • Journals
  • Planners
  • Notebooks
  • Sketchbooks
  • Coloring books

These books often feature repetitive elements and blank spaces for the user to fill in, making them quite different from traditional novels or textbooks.

Why Adhere to KDP's Policies?

Understanding and adhering to Amazon KDP’s policies is essential for several reasons:

  1. Approval: Only books that meet KDP’s guidelines will be approved for sale.
  2. Visibility: Compliant books are more likely to be featured and promoted by Amazon.
  3. Avoiding Penalties: Non-compliant books can be removed from the platform, and repeated violations might lead to account termination.

3 Tips for Navigating KDP’s Policies for Low-Content Books

To successfully publish low-content books on Amazon KDP, here are three essential tips:

1. Thoroughly Read KDP Guidelines

The first and most crucial step is to thoroughly read and understand the KDP guidelines. Amazon provides detailed information on its website, covering everything from formatting requirements to content restrictions. Here’s how to effectively navigate and understand these guidelines:

a. Start with the Basics: Begin by familiarizing yourself with KDP’s general publishing guidelines. These include:

  • Content Quality: Ensure your book is free from typographical errors, formatting issues, and misleading information.
  • Metadata: Your book’s title, author name, and description should accurately reflect its content.

b. Specific Guidelines for Low-Content Books: KDP has specific requirements for low-content books. Pay attention to these:

  • Page Numbers: Low-content books should have sufficient pages to justify their existence.
  • Interiors: Ensure the interior design is unique and not copied from other sources. Ruled/blank journals are an exception.

c. Regular Updates: Amazon frequently updates its guidelines, so regularly check its website for any changes.

Take notes while reading the guidelines and highlight key points. This will help you remember important details and refer back to them when necessary.

2. Ensure Your Book’s Metadata is Accurate & Relevant

Metadata is the information that describes your book and helps potential readers find it. Accurate metadata is crucial for both compliance with KDP policies and the discoverability of your book.

a. Title and Subtitle: The title and subtitle should accurately reflect the content of the book. Misleading titles can result in your book being rejected.

  • Example: If your book is a daily planner, your title might be “Daily Planner: Organize Your Day with Ease”.

b. Author Name: Use the correct author name associated with the book. If you’re using a pen name, make sure it’s consistent across all your publications.

  • Example: If you publish under “J.R. Doe”, ensure all your low-content books list “J.R. Doe” as the author.

c. Description: The book description should provide an honest summary of what readers can expect. For low-content books, highlight their features and benefits.

  • Example: “This beautifully designed notebook includes 120 pages of high-quality paper, perfect for journaling or note-taking.”

d. Keywords: Choose relevant keywords that accurately represent the book’s content. Avoid using unrelated keywords in an attempt to attract more buyers, as this can lead to penalties.

  • Example: For a sketchbook, relevant keywords might include “drawing”, “art”, and “sketching”.

Metadata Tip: Use Amazon’s search function to see what keywords and titles are popular in your category. This can provide insights into what readers are looking for and help you craft more effective metadata.

3. Avoid Using Copyrighted Material

One of the most critical aspects of publishing on Amazon KDP is ensuring that your content does not infringe on copyrighted material. This applies to both the interior content and the cover design of your low content book.

a. Create Original Content: All elements of your book should be original. This includes:

  • Interior Pages: Design your own page layouts and graphics. Avoid using templates or designs that are not yours.
  • Cover Design: Create unique cover designs or hire a designer to do it for you (or contact me at authorshilpagoel@gmail.com, I'll help you create it). Do not use images or graphics that you do not have the rights to.

b. Public Domain and Licensed Content: If you want to use content from the public domain or that is licensed for commercial use, ensure you understand the terms and conditions.

  • Example: Public domain content is free to use, but you must verify that the content is indeed in the public domain.

c. Plagiarism Check: Before publishing, run a plagiarism check on your book’s content. This can help you identify any unintentional similarities with existing works.

Copyright Tip: Keep records of your design process and any licenses for content you use. This can help prove the originality of your work if it’s ever questioned.


Navigating Amazon KDP’s policies and guidelines for low-content books might seem daunting at first, but with careful attention and adherence to their rules, you can successfully publish your books and reach a wide audience. Remember to thoroughly read the guidelines, ensure your book’s metadata is accurate, and avoid using copyrighted material. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful low-content book publisher on Amazon KDP.


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