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A little over 3 years ago I was introduced into the world of print on demand. Previous to that, I had always known about the industry and dabbled in Teespring without success because I had no idea what I was doing. Then along came Amazon with the release of their print on demand platform “Merch by Amazon”. I decided to give it a try and was shocked at the amount of money that could be made by simply uploading designs that customers wanted to purchase. I was HOOKED! I really do mean hooked. Every day I spent more and more time doing research, getting designs created, and uploading them onto t-shirts (then long sleeves, hoodies, sweatshirts, popsockets…). The more products I put my designs on, the more money I made. By the first years end, my business partner and I had made well into the 6 figures and it has only continued the upward trend since then.

This guide is going to go over how to take your business assets in the print on demand industry (designs) and re-purpose them to make thousands of dollars more a month with a little more effort. The best part, is that all of these products are also POD (print on demand), you hold ZERO inventory, and you do not have any customer support holding you back or giving you a headache. We will go over why we decided to launch this site/service (bookbolt.io) and how it will take all the headache away from adding yet another stream of revenue to your business. If you have any experience selling on Merch, this should be an easy addition for you. If you are brand new, this should give you the steps to get started and make your very first sale.

As an internet entrepreneur, like everyone else reading this, we are always looking forward. What does the future hold? What are the next opportunities? What will the next flow of income be from? Selling KDP books through Amazon is an Amazing opportunity but I do need to be transparent. This is going to require work and it is not “fast” money. You will need to work for it, put in the time and put in the effort. This is, at the end of the day, a business. So many people in this space treat it as a hobby. Treat it as a business and you will see insane returns. Treat it as a hobby, and you might get burned out. You need to be willing to do the research, list out your products, and include GREAT designs for your covers. We are going to go over ever detail in this guide, so let’s do it!

What is KDP?

Amazon KDP is short for Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. If you are an author, you could take two routes to release your book. You could either do traditional publishing where you find a publishing house or you could go into self publishing. KDP allows you to self publish your books without any help from a publishing house. Furthermore, it gives you distribution to Amazon’s massive customer base!

Recently, if you wanted to product paperback books, you would most likely use Createspace. However, Createspace has now merged with KDP and you can now launch your print on demand books through the KDP platform. This means that you can upload a cover, an interior, a title, and some keywords and your paperback book will be for sale on Amazon. Whenever your book sells, Amazon will print the book, ship the book, and deal with the customer service. After that, they kick you back a royalty!

WHY KDP / NO Content Books?

Amazon controls the vast majority of all ebook sales on the internet at a staggering 83.3% and on the printed side of things, Amazon is close to HALF of the US market for printed books. Long story short, Amazon OWNS the market for Books, and all those customers are eyeballs that could potentially buy your books.

When we say no content or low content books, think of books with covers that have designs or illustrations with interiors that are nearly blank (journals, notebooks, music sheets, doodle pages). Using KDP, we can use designs that we create, or have already used to sell on T-shirts through different print on demand platforms, and sell brand new products with them!

We can sell brand new products to an entirely new audience all on Amazon. This audience is not looking to “wear” the designs you create, but rather, are looking for designs that make a statement that they can bring with them to jot down notes and whatnot.

Uploading designs to KDP also offers some benefits that a lot of clothing POD (print on demand) platforms do not offer:

  • Backend Keywords
  • No Upload Limits
  • No Removal Periods
  • No Sales Minimum
  • Multiple Products (with the same cover)

Use KDP to Re-purpose Your Designs

If you are already a POD seller in the clothing space, it is very likely you already have 10, 100, 1000, or even 10,000+ designs in your catalog. These are assets for your business and currently they are earning your royalties and profits from selling clothing.

If you could take those SAME designs and repurpose them to add another stream of revenue to your business would you do it? Of course you would!

With just a little more time and effort, you can use those same designs to add an extra $100, $1000, or even $5000+ per month to your business by using those designs on another print on demand product (low content books!).

This is almost a no brainer for people who have been in the space for a while, but it is also an incredible opportunity for people who are new to the world of print on demand. Most people are so focused on filling their Merch by Amazon slots and running AMS ads that they forget about a market where there is a LOT LESS competition. Selling to a different subset of an audience for great royalties with little competition allows you the first mover advantage that people who got into Merch by Amazon early had. Get in, get your sales, and stack those reviews!

Why more people are not uploading their designs to KDP is beyond me, but I am about to show you how easy it can be. Let’s step through the process from beginning to end.

Amazon KDP Print on Demand Method

In order to add this stream of income to your business, you are going to need a few things:

  • KDP Account
  • Designs/Artwork
  • No/Low Content Book Interiors

You will also need to have a good understand of what people are buying on Amazon. This means research and keywords! You can have the best designs in the world, but if no one is looking for your “Happy Mouse Beer Jug Journal” you are not going to make any sales. We will go over how to properly do this in a bit.

KDP Account

The first step is to grab your KDP account. If you already have an account that you use for MBA, you can simply sign up with the same email. However, sometimes people like to keep different arms of their business under new emails, so you could always create a new account as well.

Sign up for KDP here: https://kdp.amazon.com/

Once you are logged in, click on your name in the upper right hand corner:

You will need to fill out some information before you can get started uploading your books.

The first thing you will need to fill out is your Author/Publisher Information. This is simply going to be your Country, Full name, Address, and phone number. This needs to be REAL information because otherwise they will not be able to send you your money.

The second thing you need to fill is your “getting paid” section. Here is where you are going to enter your bank account information so that KDP can send you a direct deposit directly to your bank for any royalties you earn. Once you do this for a while, getting those monthly deposits is pretty nice!

Finally, you will need to take a quick tax interview! Simply answer all the questions truthfully and then sign the document. Once you have finished all three sections, they should have green check marks next to each section.


Now that you have your KDP set up, you still need to get some designs to actually put on your books!

If you are starting off brand new and do not have designs and do NOT want to do them yourself, I would suggest reading this article I wrote on how to outsource on Upwork.

For everyone else, I am going to assume you already have a catalog of designs that you are using for Print on Demand. Even if you have designs for clothing, these still need to be tweaked in order to put them on books. You need to have them resized for covers and for the size of books you are going to put up.

If you are proficient in Photoshop or Illustrator, you can download individual templates from here and add each one to add your images. This is what we started off doing and it took FOREVER.

To make the process a whole lot easier and less painful, we added a designer to Book Bolt which I will be using for this tutorial.

After you grab a Book Bolt account (we have a 3 day trial so check that out), log in to the software, and use the drop down menu to select the Book Bolt Designer (Studio):

This will open up the Studio and it will look like this:

You will want to pick a book size using the drop down menu. This will show you all the options that you have on KDP all in one dashboard. There is currently 16 different sizes that you pick from (that means you can do 16 sizes per design for each product).

You then need to give your book a page count. This will give your book the correct “spine” width.

After you click Submit, it will build out your project template that will have your cover at the top, and all of the pages in the left hand menu.

In order to make sure that your books go through on the KDP platform when we put them up for sale, we will want to make sure that they do not have a transparent background. In order to do this, first click on the cover template opacity button to turn off the background template.

From there, click on paper color which will change the background of your cover. As you can see, we have turned off the template, and given the background a blackish color.

From here, we simply need to add our artwork that we have on our computer to the book cover. Click on images in the left hand menu and then drag your image to upload it.

Once you add your image, place it on the right side of the canvas as this is your cover. As you can see from the image below, I added an image of a butterfly and some text from the text menu. I then added a bit of stroke around the text.

NOTE: Your book cover MUST match whatever title that you give your book in KDP.

Now that you have your low content book cover ready to go, it is time to build out an interior for your book.

We are almost done completing our book! However, we only have the cover. We still need a no content interior!

In order to get a FREE interior, you can use one of the cutomizeable templates inside of the Book Bolt Studio.

Start by going to the Interior Templates Library from the left hand menu after you select page 1!

Inside of the Interior Templates Library, you will find over 100 customizable templates.

Start by clicking on one that you want to use. Let’s selected the ruled variant here:

You will see that some of these have different options. Let’s select the college ruled template.

The next page will have you add this template to all of the pages you want. You can select all of them from the top menu, or mix and match your interiors.

Note: Remember to unselect the cover page!

Click on next!

You can now edit the options, change the color, or the line spacing. Once you are happy, click on Submit and your entire interior will be filled in!

Head up to the top menu, click on Project, and then download the project.

This will be a zip file. Unzip the file on your computer and you will have the PDF files that you need.

Now that you have both your cover with artwork and your interior, it is time to upload your first no content book to KDP!

Uploading to KDP

Head back over to KDP where you made your account and log in. At the top, you will see +paperback. This is what you want to click. Remember, these are print on demand books, NOT ebooks.

You now have 3 different tabs to fill out:

If you want this process to go really fast, make sure to grab the Book Bolt Lister inside of the Book Bolt Software here. This will help you list your products a LOT faster. For this example, I will go over how to do it manually at first so you can get a grasp on where everything goes.

The first thing you need to do is pick a language. Choose English for this since you will be selling on Amazon.com

The second box, asks you to add a book title:

Note: For simple journals, I recommend setting the subtitle to include some keywords on what the product is.

NOTE: The book title is very important. This is directly from Amazon:

Title, subtitle, series

Your title must be listed on the cover (on the spine or front cover). It must also match the metadata you entered during title setup. Title information doesn’t need to appear in your manuscript, but it must match the metadata if it does. The subtitle, series, and edition information don’t have to appear on the files. If included, however, they must match the metadata you entered during title setup.

Your title must match what is on the cover of your book, but the subtitle can be different.

The next boxes to fill out are series and edition number. I always skip these as they are not needed. I ALSO skip the contributor section.

However, you still need to add an author. For these, I like to use pen names. If your book gets denied, you will want to go back and add your author to your cover somewhere.

Next, enter a small blurb for the description. I always fill this out so that the customers have something to read. Tell them what the book/journal/notebook is good for. Keep it simple here!

You will also need to make sure that you own the copyright and hold the necessary publishing rights. If the image you are uploading as your cover is your own (which is should be!), then go ahead and check that box:

The next box is for Keywords! This is where all the magic happens!

This little box right here is why we started building out the Book Bolt software in the first place!

The goal here is to bring keywords in that will get your books in front of a target audience that is interested in buying them. You can do this by checking out what those customers are already buying, and then use similar keywords in your own unique products.

KDP suggests that you do not use the same keywords here that you used in your title, category or descriptions. For this reason, we will want to use Book Bolt to find keywords in the same niche that we have not already used.

Log in to your Book Bolt Dashboard, head over to the cloud module and use the drop down to select Journal if that is the product you are going to be uploading. Now, I used the software name as the book example for this post, but lets say that instead I was uploading an illustrated dog.

Enter dog into the keywords section, and click on search. This will bring back the best sellers from Amazon ranked by sales rank, and you will then have a full dashboard of keyword ideas for your unique book!

The first thing you will see is the results, lowest, highest and average price as well as the average BSR and category. This is great information when it comes to pricing your book later. What you want to look at first is the keyword count for the products. This is going to show you the keywords that are most used for those products that are MAKING SALES (exactly what you want to be doing).

Next, take a look at some of the products that are selling and see which ones are actually getting in front of people. This is going to be your competition:

Remember, no customer wants to look through 500 results of the same dog. Only bother putting up your books if you are bringing something good, new and unique to the table.

Beneath each book will be a place to see the title, how well that book is selling, and other crucial information. You can also click on the clock icon which will bring up how well that book is selling over time and grab keywords from the title:

Gather 7 keywords/phrases, and put them into KDP! You are now ready to move on to the next step.

Select that your book does not include adult content (unless it does), and pick a category for your book. Once you have done that, click on the save and continue button.

NOTE: This process goes a LOT faster when you use the Book Bolt Lister: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/book-bolt-lister/gkkkmiljegejildfmfcnicknbcfggdjk. You will need a Book Bolt Subscription to use this so grab your 3 day free trial.

Congrats, you are almost done!

You now just need to fill out the paperback content page and then select some pricing.

On the paperback page, click on the assign me a free KDP ISBN:

Note: This will ONLY be an option if you are doing an activity or coloring book. Otherwise, you will need to pick that you are uploading a low content book on the previous page.

After you get your free ISBN, you need to pick a publication date. Just select today’s date for this section.

In the next section, you will need to pick some print options:

I typically leave all the options alone except for the trim size and bleed. This must match your cover and interior that you created earlier in this guide. As you can see, I have selected 5X8 in the screenshot, and not 6X9 like we did in the first steps. This needs to be changed! Make sure everything matches up.

Note: You need to select BLEED on this page.

Upload your manuscript. This is going to be the PDF file interior that you downloaded from the interior wizard.

Then click on upload a cover you already have (the PDF you downloaded from the designer).

While everything loads and processes, you will need to launch the previewer to make sure everything looks good. If it is still loading, just wait a while for it to prepare the files:

Once the process has prepared your files, simply click approve in the lower right hand corner:

Click on save and continue at the bottom of the page to finish up your book and select pricing.

I always pick that I want it distributed to all territories.

Then you get to the fun part, pricing! This will show you what the printing cost is, and what kind of royalty that you will get!

All you really need to do is select a list price and expanded distribution here. The 6 other marketplaces will automatically fill in depending on what you select for the list price on Amazon.com.

As you can tell, I will be getting $2.14 every time this book sells in my pocket at a list price of $7.99. I carry NO inventory. There is NO customer support! Best though, we do not have to do any work after this and the book will never come down if it doesn’t sell in X days. Pretty great!

Scroll to the very bottom of the page and click on publish your Paperback Book. It can take up to 72 hours for your book to be available on Amazon but we are seeing average approval times currently of about 16-20 hours.

…and that’s it!

Your no content book will be live on Amazon soon and be available to purchase for the millions of potential customers that Amazon has browsing their site on a monthly basis!

A Short Note on Royalties

Now that you have made it to the end, some of you may be shocked at such a low royalty. I think a $2 royalty per book is actually amazing! These books are such low effort on your part, that once you put them up, you never worry about them ever again. You also do not have to do any work past the first upload. There is no customer service, there is no inventory or upfront cost… there is also a LOT LESS COMPETITION!

For most, you will be reusing the SAME business assets you already have (designs). So why not add an extra stream of revenue to your business?

Wrapping It Up

That about wraps up the entire guide and process of getting your first books for sale on Amazon through the KDP platform.

There is pretty much unlimited potential here. For those people that got into Merch by Amazon at the beginning, you will remember how long it could take to be accepted (1 year?!). There is none of that with KDP. You can sign up today, and get your book for sale in the next 20 or so minutes.

There is pretty much no barrier to entry and this is some of the easiest money you will make. You MUST be willing to put in the time to research and upload the books, but the work will pay for itself in dividends far greater.

If you have decided to take the leap and list your first no content books or have been doing so for a while, let us know how its been in the comments below!

Good luck out there!

163 Comment

  1. Virginia

    Is there a way to upload a back cover that is a different color than the few standard colors offered? If so, that would really be an advantage.

    1. Neil

      Yes. You will just need to add a different shape to the back cover and spread it out. Then you would give that shape a color using the top menu.

      1. Rachel Cox

        For some reason when I upload my manuscript and cover photo the listing only adds the picture of the cover. Is there any way to add more photos to the listing?

          1. Natasha kabwe

            Thank u for the information I’ll get back to u in a while

          1. Edward Ebonloeh

            Thanks for this awesome bookbolt platform.
            Please, I’m trying to use the free side to create and publish my low and no content book but I’m not having access.

    2. Jason Posivio

      I’m trying to figure out hownto upload my content from Microsoft Word (doc) into the book interior. Is this possible?

      1. Debbie Pearson

        Have you tried saving your Microsoft Word (doc) as a PDF and uploading that?

  2. Carina

    Is there any possibility to rotate the text by 90° so that I can write something on the spine?

      1. Nirmalkumar

        Hi Thanks for this detailed information. My doubt is this bookbolt is only used for content book or we can upload ebook also? Please guide me.
        Thanks in advance

        1. admin

          Ebooks will have a different size than physical books. You can use Book Bolt for any type of physical books (hardcover and paperback).

  3. Lelana

    This looks really neat! I have a ton of questions, but I’ll just ask a few here.
    1. Are we able to upload our own interiors?
    2. Does the research function allow us to filter out non-KDP items?
    3. Will there be future plans to allow for custom sizes?
    Thank you, Neil!

    1. Neil

      You can upload any interiors you want to KDP. Our interior wizard just provides a few templates to help you formulate your own books if you do not have any ready. The research does not allow you to filter out non KDP items as it was build to look at journals and notebooks. As for custom sizes, it currently supports all the sizes that KDP does.

  4. Andy

    Hi Neil,

    What is the most popular interior: Blank, College Rule, Wide, Journal or Sheet Music?

    1. Neil

      This is all going to depend on who you are selling to and what niche you are going into.

    2. Lorna

      Great question! Even if it is a few year’s old! 🙂
      Also – what do those sizes actually mean for those of us not in the US? Does BookBolt also maybe indicate A-sizes (A0-A6), as are mostly used in Europe?
      Is all the printing done in the US, China, or nationally, as I’m not sure if there would be import duty for customers to pay on no/low-content books?

  5. Mike

    I didn’t see anything on the bolt lister function you mentioned. We’re you going to show how that works? Is it similar to other chrome extensions that kinda auto load or hotkey information in?

    1. Neil

      Yes. You can grab the extension inside the software using the drop down from your name in the upper right hand corner.

  6. Kay

    Book Bolt looks like a timely and brilliant idea, Neil!

    1. Are we able to add a pre-made page, such as a copyright page or author page to our interior pages in Book Bolt? Or, must we recreate these pages using Book Bolt?

    2. What design file types does Book Bolt accept? .Jpg, .Gif, .PDF, etc.?

    3. Are we able to customize Book Bolt’s interiors? If so, to what extent? (Placement of icon size images onto pages, add text boxes, etc.)

    4. Are we able to customize imported interiors such as from Tangent Templates, using Book Bolt to customize them?

    5. Will Book Bolt’s cover generator allow us to add a branding image or author name to the back cover (to the left of the ISBN?)

    6. Will it allow us to add text to the back cover?

    Thank you!

    1. Neil

      If you wanted to make your own interiors, you would need to do that outside of Book Bolt but you can certainly upload them to KDP. When using the designer, you can upload jpgs and pngs and when you save the covers, they are automatically saved as PDFs. While you cannot customize the interiors inside of BB, you can certainly add any sort of branding, text, and images to the cover, spine, and back of the books!

      1. Ernest Bolden III

        Will I be able to add text to interior as far as customizing/guiding thoughts and ideas to daily journal direction?

      2. Charlotte

        How does the sales work? When someone buys one of my books, do I then go to my book bolt account and order the books for the customer to be made and shipped to them?..or does Book Bolt know when we’ve made sales on our Amazon KDP and we never have to deal with putting in orders for our customers?

        1. admin

          When you make a sale on Amazon KDP, they will print, ship, and do all of the work. You will get a royalty so there is no need to purchase or ship your own book. Amazon will handle all of it.

  7. Merch

    Just signed up.
    Everything went well until preview.
    I keep getting a sizing error.
    Any ideas?


    1. Neil

      Make sure you are uploading the right size file for what is selected in KDP when uploading. Also make sure you are changing it to “bleed”.

        1. admin

          It should yes, but we designed it to work best on a desktop/laptop device with a larger screen.

  8. Keanu

    I don’t get it.

    Why should people buy a book with graphics inside which have been published as T-shirt’s before?!?

    Can you help?

    1. Neil

      These are no content books, journals, and notebooks. If someone wanted a journal to write down their thoughts and like your artwork, they would be willing to buy what you are selling.

  9. Jessica

    Hi Neil, can you save your own interiors or create your own interiors inside of the program? That way you can use them easily again?

    1. Neil

      The designer is set up to help you create the the covers and the interior wizard only has premade templates so they are not customizable.

    2. Judy

      Neil, thanks for the software I did the 3-day trial and I guess tomorrow I’m going on the paid version. The only request that I have and this is definitely not a complaint, I would just love it if we could add a shadow and stroke to the text any possibility you’ll be adding that later thank you

      1. Kenneth

        But then I can’t order any for myself or family because I have to order at amazon.ca for Canada and not amazon.com. If I publish on amazon.com how do I get the books to show up on amazon.ca also ???

        1. admin

          This will show up on your pricing page when you are publishing a book so that it will show up on that market as well.

  10. Ken

    What if I am not interested in the cover designer so much, but want more info on the Lister and, I guess its the Spy that searches to find profitable niches?

    1. Neil

      You can use whatever features will help your business best. The core software in BB is designed to help with research while the plugin is designed to be a helpful quick lookup when you are on Amazon. We should have video tutorials on these coming out soon.

  11. Grant S Collord

    Hi. Wondering why you advised to keep the Description simple. I see the journals that are selling have pretty long descriptions. Would adding keywords in the description make a difference in search results, or only the 7 keywords added in the next step.


    1. Neil

      They do make a difference, but the most important keywords are going to be the backend keywords. I would certainly test this out with your books and use whatever works best. We are still testing this on our own products.

  12. Nancy Nuce

    Signed up and attempted my first book. I’m getting errors:
    1. I uploaded “blank” and it’s telling me I can’t have more than 3 consecutive blank pages.
    2. Fonts are not properly embedded – I think they are saying they fixed this but are asking me to check and I’m not sure how to do that.

    1. Neil

      Currently the blank templates will not go through as they need some sort of graphic on them. We are looking for a way to make sure these pass the KDP review process.

  13. Nikolay Simeonov

    Great article! Neil, do you have any idea what’s the most popular trim size? There are many options…

    1. Neil

      This is really just going to depend on the actual niche you are going into. Make sure you are looking at each individual niche to decide what size would work best (or test them all).

  14. Andrew

    Neil, how would one create a brand of KDP no content books? Also, can you create non-numerical Editions (such as “February Edition”)?

    1. Neil

      If you were to do a specific brand, you would want to group all your no content books under the same “author”. You should be able to do non numerical editions like you mentioned as well.

    1. Neil

      If you go to file print in your browser, select PDF, and then save it to your computer, you can save the article as a PDF that way!

  15. liza

    Hi Neil
    I just signed up. With the cover sizes in the design wizard, there doesn’t seem to be an option to specify whether we will be using white, cream or color for the interior. As I thought that the spine width will vary depending on the manuscript paper type. Could you please let me know is your dimensions only based on the cream? thanks!

    1. Neil

      The spine width is going to be related to the amount of pages in your book and not the color of the pages so you should be good with either.

  16. Marion

    Blank interiors are not allowed on KDP – is there a way to add small graphics to the blank interior?

    1. Neil

      Currently there is not as it will just kick out a PDF. We are looking into a way to make sure these pass the KDP review system.

  17. Mike

    Hello Neil
    So would you consider this a lighter version of inDesign?

    1. Neil

      Not really. inDesign from my understanding is to help do all the layouts of actual books. The Book Bolt designer helps take your previous artwork to re-purpose it for KDP while using the software for keywords and the plugins to help you list your products much faster.

  18. Khaled

    Hi Neil,
    Whats the difference between “Kindle eBook” and “Paperback”?
    If I have a short story with pics in pdf format. Can I still upload it using the same method you mentioned? Should I upload it under “Kindle eBook” or “Paperback” or I can do both?


    1. Neil

      Kindle ebooks are going to be books that people read on their Kindle or computer. The paperbacks are going to be physical books that are shipped to the customer. If you have a short story and want it delivered to the customer as a physical copy, the same steps would apply.

    2. Ken

      After you create your paperback, kdp asks if you would like to make a kindle version from it.

  19. Ben Bostrom

    Hi Neil,
    Will you be introducing any tools to help check trademarks for books like the one you have for checking a Merch listing? If we re-use our Merch designs, they presumably won’t break any existing 025 clothing trademarks but they may infringe on trademarks for other content.

    1. Neil

      This is something we want to look into once we get the core features build out a bit more.

  20. Tania

    Can we design the cover from start to finish in the book bolt?

  21. Marko

    At the review page it gets stuck. It just keeps reviewing forever and it never stops.
    It just says “generating your print preview”….and never does, I left it for 15 min and nothing.

    1. Neil

      Make sure your files process before you review your book cover and interior and it should not get stuck.

  22. Heather

    Hello! I’ve been playing with Book Bolt a lot for 2 days. I was able to upload 2 journals but the other 2 have been rejected because they have blank pages. Can you let me know if KDP has changed their mind on blank books or where the issue is in my application? (The upload process is extremely time intensive and so it doesn’t make me feel like this a viable business especially after taking so much time to create my cover and fill out all of KDP’s form.). Please assist.

    1. Neil

      We are looking at a way to add something to the blank pages so that they pass the KDP review process. Currently you will want to use the other templates for your interiors. As for the listing process, you can install the Book Bolt lister which will allow you to hotkey the information when filling out the KDP forms.

  23. Kmann

    I’ve had nothing but trouble with Merch over the years (have sold some shirts here and there, but mostly have had fights with Amazon over one thing or another – which, of course, is a losing proposition), but I’m hoping MerchInformer’s wisdom and tools will get me on the right track.

    As for POD, I’ve heard about this avenue before, and I know some folks making good income from it, but I never considered it for myself until Book Bolt came along. The idea of converting shirt designs to notebooks/journals is BRILLIANT, and God knows I’ve got enough designs to keep me busy for a while!

    To the extent that I can get excited about anything online anymore, I’m raring to go. Thanks for what you’re doing! These are great tools and excellent instructional materials. Keep at it! 🙂

    However, I’m mucking about with my first KDP upload right now, and I’ve hit a speedbump. Please advise…

    The LAST SENTENCE of the following para makes NO SENSE to me whatsoever. In fact, as many times as I’ve read it, I still can’t get it to compute, and it makes my head hurt. Please rephrase or explain more clearly:

    “However, you still need to add an author. For these, I like to use pen names. If your book gets denied, you will want to go back and add your author to your cover somewhere.”

    What does adding the “author to your cover” have to do with a book being denied? Are you saying it can be denied if you DON’T have an author, and that therefore the fix is to add an author to the appropriate setup box? Or are you talking about literally adding the name of the author to the COVER ART? “somewhere” seems to indicate this. But why would this help if you’ve been denied?


    Sorry, I’m probably missing the obvious here, but I can’t get my head around this.

    1. Neil

      You pick an author name when uploading your book to KDP. If the book does not pass review, you simply add that author name to your cover art somewhere and reupload it!

  24. dave

    Does BookBolt automatically size your cover for you? ie I am doing a 200 pager 6×9 book and according to the guidelines from Amazon I should be entering a 12.75 x 9.25 cover but this size is not available on BookBolt.

    1. Neil

      Yes. All you need to do is pick your cover size (in your case 200 pages and 6X9) and the designer will spit out the right size to upload for you.

  25. Mohamed Safa

    Signed up and attempted my first book (Blank 150-page Journal as explained in your example). I’m getting some errors:
    1. The previewer is telling me that I can’t have more than 3 consecutive blank pages.
    2. Fonts are not properly embedded – I think they are saying they fixed this but are asking me to check and I’m not sure how to do that.

    1. Neil

      The blank pages do not currently pass review. We are working on a way to get them passing reviewed.

      1. Randolph lee

        I am reading this with interest however I am confused about these books, as I am not an author. Is this concept that one simply browses Amazon journals that are already for sale on the Amazon.com website; such as a “blank page journal for writing thoughts, and such” and sign up for a Bookbolt, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing account then research potential journals that Amazon already sells and reach out to Amazon and ask if they would be willing to make available my designs to wrap around these journals, the customer sees my designs and orders their selection and BOOM I make a sale. Is this correct? otherwise I am confused!

        1. Neil

          The idea is that you can take designs you already have, sign up to Amazon KDP, and use the Book Bolt software to create book covers. You upload these to KDP and when a customer on Amazon buys it, you get a royalty for the sale. You can use Book Bolt to create your covers, grab interiors, and do research into the best niches to go into.

  26. Marvin

    How is it about trademark and copyright?
    I check my phrases for Nizza 25 for shirts but that doesn’t mean that I can use them for books
    How can I do a TM check?

    1. Neil

      From our understanding you cannot trademark a book title if it is a single work, only if it is in a series. We recommend talking to an IP attorney about this.

  27. Nancy Nuce

    Hello, New member here. I uploaded several books over the weekend and this morning I received emails that the Titles don’t match the covers. The covers are images – not words. How do I get around this? Do I have to put words on the cover? I see others that have no words.

    1. Neil

      You will want to add words to the cover. The older books you see may have been uploaded to createspace when the rules were a bit different.

  28. Member1

    Hi Neil
    Signed up and published my 1st blank book. Wow, it’s approved and running live. Wonder if you will give us a tutorial about how we can create our own internal design? thanks.

  29. T

    When using the Products Search tool, what is the difference between the Notebook and Journal category? Are these different types of KDP uploads?

    1. Neil

      The upload process is the exact same, people just give them different names and they typically have different interiors. Notebooks typically have lined paper where as a journal will have lined pages with a spot for the date.

      1. BookBoltNewbie

        I tried to put up two different books on KDP, both got rejected because of my title and I dont know why. Title matchen the cover and everything. Says title is missleading but not exactly what.

        1. admin

          You may be repeating the same words in the title and subtitle which KDP does not want.

  30. ‎Katharyne Shelton Gomez

    It’s really wonderful that you’re offering the templates for free, something that’s charged for by others. I hope Bookbolt brings about the same kind of revolution in low content publishing as Merch Informer did in the world of t-shirts, hoodies and popsockets.

    Will you be uploading some tutorial videos to YouTube since there seem to be none up as of now?

  31. KOS

    Hi – LOOKS great and as you are the Guys behind Merch Informer (Best AIO suite of Merch tools) I am excited to see this. Just a couple of nagging issues to ask. 1. I have read all the comments up to today (Feb 26th) and can see there are some Issues/bugs in the system, When do you think it will come out of Beta? 2. What other tools are coming soon & do you have a roadmap for us to view. 3. Do you give any training of best practises using your automated tool as I know the big hitters here might use & abuse the thresholds = maybe future Amazon problems. The Merch market is becoming so saturated with auto tools ! 4. Can we Upload automatically to all Amazon sites in the world (I am based in the UK). 5. Do you recommend translations of covers into the above mentioned international marketplaces? Thank you in advance…Credit card is burning a hole in my pocket after I read your replies of joy going forward….

    1. Neil

      That’s us! We do not have a target date to come out of Beta, but currently all of the bugs that were brought up have been fixed. Currently we are working on getting the keyword module inside of the software complete as far as the road map goes. We have a YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfXdHiGxFGTHgjgksqxEpvA where training videos are starting to go live. You currently cannot automate your uploads but we provide a Chrome plugin (Book Bolt Lister) to help speed up the process of listing books. Currently the system works for the Amazon.com marketplace but when you upload your interiors, there is an option to select international distribution.

  32. Clay

    Hi Neil,

    I’m loving Book Bolt! I have a question, though, and was hoping you could help me.

    This is my first time with KDP and I submitted my first journal recently. I woke to an email today indicating that it had not passed review, with the following problem highlighted:

    Update the title in your cover file so that it matches the details you entered during setup.”

    I tried manually changing my cover file name to the name of the design (the words on it) and reuploaded it, but received the same email again. I am very confused as to what this issue actually is and what the error message is indicating. Googling did not help.

    Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

    1. Neil

      You need to make sure that your “title” on KDP matches EXACTLY what text you put on the title of your cover.

  33. Woj


    Cool tool. Still working through using it. I submitted 5 designs yesterday and 4 of them got rejected. 3 of them had this error message: “Update the title in your cover file so that it matches the details you entered during setup.”

    I am not sure if this is because there are images in the design, for example if the title was ‘I Love Pickles Journal” and the image had text for I and Pickles, but an image of a heart instead of the word love. Do you think that would kick it back? Otherwise, I am at a loss for what the error is regarding.

    Appreciate any thoughts.

    1. Neil

      It certainly could be the issue. You need to have the title match EXACTLY what is on the cover of your book. Since this seems like a formality, just email the KDP team and they are very good at giving actual responses.

  34. simon

    well done – genius. I’ve been doing low content books on the side for several months. The book lister tool alone has skyrocketed my submit speed through the roof! I just hope this isn’t going to get KDP flooded when more people find out.

    I keep hearing opinions that Amazon is going to catch onto this bulk submitting and stop it. This makes no sense to me as – if they wanted to do that they could simply impose an upload limit like Merch. Createspace was going for years and they never did that – but maybe it didn’t have the exposure that KDP is now getting in some areas. Time will tell..

    Anyway I will get stuff uploaded as fast as possible whilst the going’s good. Any info on when that alluring ‘keywords’ tab will be live – or what it will actually do beyond the existing functionality for finding keywords on the ‘products’ tab and the ‘kdp spy’ extension?

    1. Neil

      Thanks! We are still working on the keywords module so there is not a current target release date.

  35. Mohamed Safa

    I still didn’t manage to publish my first low content book since I tried to add some minor illustrations to the pages and not to leave them all blank (to make at least one page not blank per each three consecutive pages) but unfortunately it seems that there is a maximum file size for the interior to be uploaded. It doesn’t accept 103MB, it doesn’t accept 70MB too.
    please advise!

  36. Nikki

    After you download an interior PDF from Book Bolt, can you edit it before uploading it to KDP as long as you don’t change the page count?

    1. Neil

      Once you download the files, you can edit them anyway you want. However, the software is built to simply download the interiors as they are and be used to build your covers.

  37. Konstantin

    Hello! I’ve created the interior in the journal style by Interior Wizard, checked “no bleed” option during the upload. Amazon didn’t approove my book. They said – “When we checked your files, we found issues that you’ll need to fix before you can publish. The images in your manuscript file lack bleed. Images meant to bleed must extend beyond the edge of the page so there won’t be any white edges when the book is trimmed. Learn how to fix this.
    We thank you for taking the time to fix these errors, and we look forward to publishing your work.
    The Kindle Direct Publishing team”

    How can I fix this problem?
    Thank you

    1. Neil

      Make sure you are selecting the bleed option in the interior wizard as well as the bleed option on the KDP upload page.

      1. Dorothy

        I am having the same issue. Have tried a few different times with no bleed and bleed. It is the 7×10 size college ruled that is tripping it up.

        1. Neil

          I had some of these go through the other day. I would ask KDP support and then try and put the same book again as sometimes they get denied and then hours later the same book goes through.

      2. aileen haggarty

        I have been having the same problem and I AM selecting the bleed option I have done it three times and still no luck I am choosing the college lined option, and I even made the interior slightly bigger (On the last attempt) still no luck so need a bit of clarification on this, thanks

  38. aileen haggarty

    when choosing the interior, say for example a simple college ruled design on a 5 x 9 journal do you have to have the interior slightly bigger as I am uploading a 5 x 9 interior with bleed and I keep on getting an email to say the interior has no bleed I have done this 3 times with no luck and I have read the detail page on KDP and it mentions uploading interior slightly larger, so any tips would be appreciated. thanks

    1. Neil

      Reach out to the KDP support team and ask. We have put through all the interiors and they have gone through on our side. We can take a look into it!

  39. Kyle

    Hey Neil, How much money are you making with this method yourself at the moment? Is there still growth? I started immediately after reading the guide and bought the bookbolt lifetime deal so I’m wondering what the potential ceiling is.


  40. Kyle

    Hey Neil,
    I’m getting this e-mail even though I did exactly like you (5×8 bleed):

    “Hello ,

    We checked your files and found issues you need to fix before your book can be published on KDP:

    Add 0.125″ (3 mm) to your book’s page width and 0.25″ (6 mm) to the page height to ensure that the images in your manuscript extend beyond the edge of the page. This prevents white edges when the book is trimmed. See examples PDF page(s) 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 73, 75, 77, 139, 141, 143, 145, 147, 149.
    Where possible, we give pages numbers with examples. To make sure your entire book meets our guidelines, please review your entire manuscript file and fix all issues.

    To update book details, go to your KDP Bookshelf. If you update your manuscript or cover, you’ll have to upload the revised file to KDP. We’ll review your book again to ensure it meets our requirements.”

    Are you having this issue now too?

    1. Neil

      I do get this rarely, but after contacting the KDP support team and then putting them through again, they end up being accepted. KDP can be a little strange at times, so I would reach out to them and try and put the book through again.

  41. jonathan

    Hi Neil which are the best sizes for the different interiors, I mean for example in the United States 6×9 in is used, but this is fine for a journal, but for College Ruled and Wide Ruled, what would be the best size I am in the dilemma of 8.5 x 11 in or 6×9 in, because almost everyone keeps the size of 6×9 in for everything in amazon. I ask you this question because I don’t live in the United States. in my country 8.5 x 11 in, is used for notebooks.

    1. Neil

      This really depends on the niche. Some people just want notebooks to jot down notes so smaller is better for them. Others want them for school to use as an actual notebook. I would take a look at what is selling in the niche and base your first sizes off of that.

  42. James Freeman

    I am also having the same issue with title. My title is X 2020 Journal and that is the name of my cover pdf. I have emailed them as you suggested

  43. allan

    Hi Neil,
    You say we can cancel at any time however, there is no explanation or information on how to do that.
    Before signing up I would like that information please ( my security blanket LOL).
    Thank you.

    1. Neil

      You can find this under your subscription settings from your profile dropdown in the upper right hand corner of the software.

  44. jonathan

    Hi, Neil I think that internal wizard is not working properly, I have already received two rejections by KDP where they tell me that there are problems with the edges of the manuscript and they give me the numbers of pages which are all the odd pages, apparently the pages with even numbers are well, of the two publications that I have made both have been rejected by this same situation.
    I have also noticed that if I want for example a manuscript without bleed it does not work and it ends up creating one with bleed, in the manuscript for a Sheet Music I can notice that the pages with even numbers and the odd numbers have different edges which are very noticeable.

    1. Kyle

      I second this. I reached out to the Amazon KDP support and they had to send the issue through to the technical team who in turn corrected the file and sent it to me. Looks like something is wrong with the tool. None of my submissions have gone through yet except for the corrected file by the technical team.

  45. Darren Barnett

    I love book bolt so far, my one wish is that you could include graph paper as a downloadable resource along with all the fantastic options already available. Any chance of that happening?

  46. Grant

    Looks very interesting Neil. I’m wondering about the interior pages. Is it possible to design an all-over watermark (probably in Photoshop) that relates to your cover and your niche and upload it as interior pages. Do you think this is even a good idea?

    1. Neil

      You can yes. It really depends on the niche and what people are currently purchasing. If the majority of the sellers in your niche have custom interiors, I think it would be wise to spend some time doing your own.

  47. Adam Leverton

    What categories do you publish these to? I can’t find anything that remotely fits…

  48. Nikki

    Hi Neil! Similar to some folks here, I am relatively new to Amazon KDP and POD in general. I have made about 5 sales already! Yay! My question is it too late to turn those same designs into Amazon Merch tees? I may have missed the train on that even though I have been approved.

    1. Neil

      If they are unique designs, then it is not too late! Go for it!

  49. May

    This all sounds great.
    It was mentioned that I should choose English since i’m going to be selling on Amazon.com – does that limit me to titles in English only?
    What if I want the title to be in, let’s say, French?

  50. Jackie Barrow

    Thank you for this great product! It has helped me so much!

  51. Silke

    HI there,
    I love the concept and want to try it out. Does this work for selling on Amazon.com.au as well? I live in Australia.
    Thank you.

  52. David

    I make a single front-spine-back pdf for KDP jackets. This includes image/s and text, with a space for the ISBN. It works OK using one of the KDP size templates.
    Can I use a similar pdf in Book Bolt?

    1. admin

      The Book Bolt designer allows you to create a full cover (both back, spine, and front), so that should work.

  53. Tiffany

    Are the photos and interiors offered in the BB Design area in the public domain? Can we use those in our books to sell? Or are they just place holders for designing?

    1. admin

      You can use the interiors that we created for commercial use. Any images that you use though from the designer, you need to make sure that the license allows it as these are pulled from a third party.

  54. Beryl

    For low content books especially journals, can you still copyright it on the copyright page?

  55. Shanice Fugett

    This is exactly what I have been looking for to self publish. Am I able to create any type of book I want? For example, a children’s book or does it have to be a no context type of book like planners and calendars?

    1. admin

      Book Bolt specializes in low content books, but you can create anything you want and sell it on Amazon KDP. Many sellers do a bit of both.

      1. Emanuel

        Hi do you have any size or orientation that lets us do landscape i.e. with the spine on the short side?

      2. Martin

        Thank you book⚡bolt, This is what I’ve been looking for a self published low content book to create anything you want and sell it on Amazon kdp got some great ideas can’t wait to get started thank you.

  56. Rhonda C

    Can I add metal or plastic spiral to the spine of the book?

  57. Kabrel

    Hi Neil
    Thanks for all,but I still have a problem can I use bookbolt to publish a book of heavy content like a novel or low content books are the only ones supported

  58. Beth

    This may be a dumb question, but what does “first $1000” mean? Is that the max you can sell when using Book Bolt?

    1. admin

      Not at all! We simply mean the first $1,000 you make in your KDP account (going from nothing to making your first thousand online through the platform).

  59. Yvette M Hasenleder

    Will is only work using chrome? Or can I use Microsoft Edge?

  60. Cassie P

    Hi! Just two quick questions:
    – When we pick the number of pages for the book, does it automatically do it as two-sided, or is each page one-sided?
    – It was mentioned above about blank pages. Are creating sketchbooks an option then?

  61. Taylor

    Please help, I have no idea how to change my current project for this:

    Add 0.125″ (3.2 mm) to your book’s page width and 0.25″ (6.4 mm) to the page height to ensure that the images in your manuscript extend beyond the edge of the page. Once you have added the size, extend any images or backgrounds that you want to reach all the way to the edge of the page 0.125” (3.2 mm) beyond the trim line. This prevents manufacturing issues when the file is trimmed to size. See examples PDF page(s) 5, 9.

    1. admin

      Check out the walkthrough tutorials under the help menu inside of the Studio as we have a tutorial on how to deal with this.

  62. Marisa

    Hi if i do not have a US bank account what are the other options for payment by amazon

  63. Geert de Jong

    Is this also something you can do from Europe / the Netherlands?

  64. María Carolina

    Hello, can I sell my creations on another platform or myself on my blog?
    Thank you

  65. Sadman Ahmed

    Hello, this is an amazing guide. It is really helpful. Good job by the Bookbolt team! I just have one question. Is it necessary to advertise, like sponsored ads, or is it enough to get sales through organic keyword? Thanks.

  66. Lina

    Today they blocked my 1st notebook, found someone else’s copyright in the title. Using your samples as I can post to avoid blocking.

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