The BIG KDP Update About Low Content Books MAY 2022

Recently, Amazon kdp has made a huge about low content books being published through their platform. I also shared a video on my youtube channel before this update was live.

So, what is the update? On May 11, 2022, kdp sent an email to all publishers who had published a low content book during the last three years. According to the email, you can publish low-content books through kdp without an ISBN. 

In other words, kdp will not provide a Free ISBN for the type of books they define as low content books. Below I am going to share with you the email I have received from amazon kdp.

“Coming Soon: Publish low-content books on KDP without an ISBN

Hello,

We are sending this email since you’ve published a low-content book within the last three months. Starting May 17, you’ll be able to publish low-content books on KDP without an ISBN.

A low-content book has minimal or no content on the interior pages. These pages are generally repetitive and designed to be filled in by the user. Common examples include notebooks, planners, journals, and other similar works. This does not typically include activity/puzzle books or coloring books, which generally do not feature repetitive content on each page.

Starting May 17, you will check a box during title setup to identify your book as low-content. You will then have the choice to publish without an ISBN or to submit your own ISBN. Free KDP ISBNs will no longer be provided for low-content books. If your low-content books are already published and have a free KDP ISBN you can continue using that ISBN, even if you make changes to your book.

Learn more about low-content books on our new Help page: https://kdp.amazon.com/help/topic/GGE5T76TWKA85DJM

Regards,

The Kindle Direct Publishing Team

At the time of writing this blog post, this update is already live with effect from May 17, 2022.

You can watch the following video as well…

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What Low Content Books Are Being Affected By The Update?

As you can read in the email, you can publish notebooks, planners, journals, and other similar books that have repetitive pages designed to be filled by the end users. 

By this definition of low content books by amazon kdp, below are the most common books you can publish without an ISBN, or you will need to submit your own ISBN number.

Basically, Kdp will note provide a free ISBN for;

  1. Simply lined notebooks
  2. All types of journals like gratitude journals, fitness journals, and prayer journals.
  3. Sketchbooks
  4. Graph paper notebooks
  5. Composition notebooks
  6. Blank comic books,
  7. Blank recipe books
  8. All types of planners
  9. Blank handwriting books
  10. Log books
  11. And similar books with repetitive pages.

Note: this kdp update regarding free ISBN does not apply to activity books, puzzle books, coloring books, and other similar books that have unique pages inside.

By the way, I have also written a blog post on How to Use Canva for Kdp Low Content Books, in which I have shown a step-by-step process to create a simple coloring book for free!

What Low Content Books Are Not Affected By The Update?

As kdp has clarified that activity books, puzzle books, and coloring books are not typically considered as low content books. Mainly because the content inside these books is not repetitive. 

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Based on this information, the following books can still be published using kdp’s free ISBN.

  1. All coloring books
  2. Dot to dot books
  3. Maze puzzle books
  4. Letter tracing books
  5. Number tracing books
  6. Cursive handwriting books
  7. Sight word activity books
  8. Children story books
  9. Learning to write workbooks
  10. All books with unique pages

You can think of these books as medium content books, where each page inside is unique. Such books are excluded from this recent kdp update.

I have written a detailed post about How to Create Coloring Books for Amazon Kdp the Right Way! You may find it useful too!

What Has Changed for Low Content Publishers?

At the time of uploading one of the low content books that fall under kdp’s definition of low content books, you will see a check box on the book detail page just below the categories.

Here is the screenshot that better explains it.

kdp low conent books update

Once you check this box to classify your book as a low content book and continue towards the next page, you see new ISBN options as shown below.

kdp new isbn options for low content books

Here you have two options, either publish your book without an ISBN or provide your own. Free KDP ISBNs will no longer be provided for low-content books.

Review Process For a Book Publish Without an ISBN

One of the things that have changed for low-content books published without an ISBN is the review process. 

Once you submit your book without an ISBN, kdp reviews it to make sure that it has the correct kdp categories and ISBN options. If kdp founds any changes are required prior to publishing, they will send you an email. 

What about already published books?

According to kdp, “Low-content books that are already published and have a free KDP ISBN can continue using that ISBN, even if you make changes to your book.”

What it means is you don’t need to mark your already published books as low content books and change the ISBN options. You can continue using kdp’s free ISBN for your already published notebooks, journals, planners, and similar books with no unique content.

Read more kdp update here: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GGE5T76TWKA85DJM

Is this a Bad Update for Low Content Publishers?

Every change has its pros and cons, the same is true for this latest update by kdp about low content books. Below I have shared some pros and cons of this update for low content publishers.

The Pros:

  • Kdp has acknowledged the existence of low content books
  • Kdp doesn’t require you to use your own ISBN, so you don’t have to buy one if you don’t want to.
  • You may be able to update your metadata even after the book goes live.
  • You may be able to delete your book if you need to.
  • You may be able to sell your book on other platforms.

The Cons:

If you choose to publish a book with an ISBN, you bear in mind the following cons of that.

  • Expanded distribution is not supported for low-content books published without an ISBN.
  • The look inside feature is not supported by kdp for books classified as low content books.
  • Transparency codes are not available for low-content books that are published without an ISBN.
pros and cons of not using an isbn

My Verdict

In my opinion, this is not a bad update by amazon kdp, considering the fact that they have recognized such books as low content books having minimal or no content on the interior pages. 

And such books are still accepted by their platform, even though you won’t have access to some features. If you ask me, I wasn’t using expanded distribution for most of my simple lined books, planners, and journal and as far as the look inside is concerned, you can cover it by uploading A+ content.

This is all from me today, If you have found this helpful, then do share this with your friends. Just click on one of the social buttons below this post.

I have also written a whole blog post about Are Low Content Books Profitable! Do check this out!

Subha Malik

Subha Malik is a KDP Self Publisher & YouTuber. He loves to write about Low Content & No Content Publishing via Amazon KDP.

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