To do well in low-content publishing, the golden formula is to aim for niches with high demand but not too much competition. It can be tough to find that sweet spot.

Low-content books include journals, planners, logbooks, and activity books, among others. These books have minimal to no written content, but instead focus on design, utility, and niche alignment over traditional book-writing.

While I am going to focus on log books here, many of these niche ideas will have other types of books you can make as well.

And don’t forget, many of these books can be re-purposed to printables. Work smarter, not harder!

Keys to a Profitable Niche

  • Know Your Audience: Research to understand what your audience is looking for, and tailor your low-content book to meet those needs.
  • Market Trends: Be aware of popular topics and themes as they may point you to profitable sub-niches.
  • Unique Value Proposition: Make sure your book has special features or designs that are not easily found elsewhere.

What is a Log Book?

Log books are used to track things such as events, stats, progress. While the first thing that may come to mind is keeping track of exercise, diet, blood pressure, blood sugar and similar everyday things, allow yourself to think outside the box, including business uses.

There is a lot of overlap with books and printables referred to as “trackers” so be sure to include that keyword in your searches, and consider whether calling your book or printable a log or a tracker is the most logical.

A log book records events, transactions, or observations, often in the order they happen.

A tracker book is used to follow and record progress, habits, or activities.

Here are some types of log books and their purposes to get your mental juices flowing:

  1. Record-Keeping: Record important information, events, transactions, or activities in an organized format. Examples: eBay sales, supplies used in a business or craft
  2. Documentation: Keeping track of occurrences, progress, or changes over time. Examples: attendance, diet measurements
  3. Regulatory Compliance: In many industries, log books are required to comply with regulations and standards. Examples: Hazardous waste disposal, safety training meetings.
  4. Communication: Log books help communication by recording past events for different individuals or departments. Examples: Disciplinary actions, child custody hand off, home health care workers
  5. Safety and Security: Log books are useful in aviation, marine, IT, and healthcare for safety records and security protocols. Examples: Needlestick log, boat safety equipment inventory list
  6. Troubleshooting: Log books can help in troubleshooting issues by providing a detailed history of events leading up to a problem. Examples: Car maintenance, software troubleshooting
  7. Training and Learning: Log books are valuable tools for training purposes, allowing people to learn from past experiences and document best practices. Examples: Reflective learning journal, skill acquisition such as welding projects completed, number and type of injections given
  8. Task Management: Log books can be used to track tasks, deadlines, and progress on projects. Examples: blog post tracking, product launch checklist

40+ Log Book Ideas

  • Mileage Logbook: Ideal for professionals who travel a lot and need to record distances for reimbursement or tax deductions.
  • Exercise Log: For fitness enthusiasts to track workout routines, sets, reps, and progress over time.
  • Food Log: Used to monitor dietary habits, macros, or calorie intake
  • Bucket List: Keep track of places visited or experiences
  • Diving Log Book: Information about each dive including water conditions, time of day, weight
  • Skydiving Log Book: Date, location, altitude, conditions etc.
  • Inventory: Could be an inventory of anything, pantry, freezer, small business, jewelry making supplies, garden seeds
  • Diabetes/Blood Sugar: Usually tracks blood glucose numbers, but also A1C
  • Reading Log: Books read, may include books you want to read, could also keep track of library books
  • Truck Drivers Log Book: Tracks hours/miles driven and compliance with regulations
  • Blood Pressure Tracker: Blood pressure readings, time of day, conditions (e.g. emotional state, just ate, just exercised)
  • Student Log Book: Track assignments, grades, due dates, learning experiences (in vocational programs for example)
  • Student Driver Log Book: Most places require a certain number of hours, some of which might be at night. Records dates and length of drives and whether daytime or night time.
  • Budget Logs: Track money in an out, snowball debt method, checks (cheques) in and out, savings, cash envelope method (without the envelopes)
  • Homeschool Hours: Logs hours spent on each subject per day, may be needed as documentation if partnering with the school district. Can also track assignments, readings, field trips, etc.
  • Headache/Migraine Tracker: Dates, duration, intensity
  • Symptom Tracker: What symptom was felt, when, intensity, duration
  • Period Tracker: Dates, flow, can also include ovulation tracking
  • Medication Tracker: Ensuring people on multiple medications don’t miss a dose
  • National Parks: Could also be state parks, one per state
  • Pet and Animal Care: Dogs, cats, bunnies, gerbils, sheep…pick an animal you know how to care for
  • Nursing & Feeding Log: Might be used if baby is having difficulty feeding or mom is having insufficient milk
  • Sleep Log: For insomniacs, tracks time slept, when, how you feel when you wake
  • Cutting Machine Craft Log: Can niche down to sublimation or keep it general; keep track of projects, results, challenges, materials used
  • Gift Log: Can cover a span of years such as birthday gifts for a child, or shower gifts for baby and wedding showers
  • Guest Log: Can be general, or niched to specific occasions like memorial services, weddings, retirement parties…
  • Captains Log: For airplane pilots or for boat captains
  • Canning/preserving log: Keep track of what you put away, when, and when it was used
  • Hiking Log book: Dates and trails
  • Running Log: Dates, where, mileage
  • Movies/TV shows: Date and name, reactions or ratings
  • Concerts attended: Dates, venues, opening acts, who with
  • Video Game scores: Players, name of game, scores
  • Board games played: Players, scores/results
  • Restaurants visited: Date, name, thoughts and ratings
  • Collections: Dozens of possible sub-niches such as vinyl records, baseball cards, stamps, coins, cars. Include date each item was acquired or sold.
  • Homestead or Survival Prepping: Not really the same thing but the types of things that may be recorded will have some overlap. Garden logs, seeds, supplies, weather.
  • Camping: Campgrounds visited, dates, observations and ratings
  • RV Maintenance Log: Can also be car maintenance, bicycle, motorcycle
  • Beverage Log: Coffee, tea, wine, beer, whiskey…include names, dates, notes and ratings
  • Birdwatching: Name of the bird, dates, location

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Niche Research and Selection

Identifying Potential Niches

I always recommend starting with niches that you already know something about. When you do this, you are your own customer and you have unique insights into what needs to be included. Your customers will be unhappy if they purchase a log book and it is missing key components.

Look for terms and phrases that potential customers are searching for in logbooks. Utilize tools like Amazon or Etsy’s auto-suggest feature to gather insights into what buyers are interested in.

  • Keyword Research: Leverage keyword tools to identify what potential buyers are searching for.
  • Sub-niches: Explore less crowded but in-demand sub-niches within the logbook category.

Seek out sub-niches within the broader logbook category that have less competition but high demand. For instance, exploring specific audience-targeted logbooks such as “mileage logbooks for truck drivers” can lead to untapped markets that might offer better sales opportunities due to decreased competition.

Trends and Seasonality

Understanding trends and seasonality can enhance your logbook sales. Some niches may peak at certain times of the year. For example, exercise logbooks might see increased demand in January due to New Year’s resolutions.

Conversely, academic planners may have higher sales from July to September. Don’t forget that on the other side of the equator (whatever that means to you) school may start at different times.

  • Seasonal Peaks: Align your planning with calendar trends for niches that perform well during specific times of the year.
  • Weekly Patterns: For logbooks that feature daily tracking, some people prefer Sunday start, others a Monday start.
  • Mash-ups: Successful niches are often at the intersection of two different niches.
  • Gut Check: Keyword and trend analysis will lay the groundwork for a profitable niche selection, but often when you find that untapped idea, you just know.

Content Creation for Log Books

When designing a log book, focus on how it will help users track their personal or professional activities.

A good starting question is how will this log make my customer’s life better?

Content Format

Your log book should present information clearly, making use of:

  • Tables, with columns for dates, details, and additional notes.
  • Bullet points for listing instructions or key features.

Bold or italic text can be used to emphasize important sections or tips within your log book but don’t overdo it. Pro book designers rarely use these.

Customizing for Your Audience

Understanding your target audience is essential. If your log book is for tracking business mileage, you could include sections relevant to vehicle maintenance or gas expenses.

Exercise logs might have areas for goals and personal achievements, or tables of average calories burnt for various activities.

Food logs could offer tables of nutritional information. Tailor the content to what your specific audience will find useful and engaging.

Including some content “value adds” like lists, tables, and guides can set your book apart.

Design

Cover art and design elements are the other important distinguishing factor besides unique & helpful content.

The cover first attracts a potential buyer, but also establish your brand’s uniqueness in the market.

The design and layout of your pages convey a vibe or aesthetic: serious, professional, clean and polished, fun, etc.

  • Cover Art Choices: Imagery should resonate with your target niche. It should be appealing and professionally to create a strong first impression.
  • Design Aesthetics: Utilize 1-3 coordinating fonts. Choose a color schemes that aligns with the theme of your logbook. For instance, a gardening logbook might feature earthy tones and botanical motifs.

Formatting Possibilities

SectionRecommendation
Front CoverBold, clear title with an engaging visual
Back CoverSynopsis, barcode, and call-to-action
Interior PagesConsistent header styles, readable fonts, sufficient tables and room to write

To stand out, your interior design should not overshadow content clarity. Decorative elements should enhance, not overtake the page. Keep it tasteful.

Maintain margins and spacing that enable ease of writing for users. The more pages your book has, the more room you need to leave in the gutter margin. Most printers have guidelines for the number of pages vs. the width of your gutter margin.

  • Gutter margin: refers to the extra space added to the inner margins of a book’s pages. It allows for the binding of the book without swallowing up the text or images near the center of the spread.

Consistent Branding: If you are creating a series of logbooks, choose and stick to a design theme. This can include logo placement, color continuity, and stylistic elements that make your books easily recognized.

Remember, with low content there are few words, so the quality of your design reflects the quality of your content. Invest time in crafting a visually appealing logbook.

By focusing on cover art & interior design that captures attention and a design that speaks quality, your logbook can stand out in a crowded market.

Marketing and Sales Strategies

Where to Sell:

  • Amazon KDP: Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing offers a wide audience and print-on-demand services, ideal for niche logbooks.
  • Etsy: Great option for repurposing your log books into printable pages to sell as digital downloads.
  • Independent Print on Demand & Printers: Consider having copies printed in small batches to ship yourself. Etsy allows you to work with production partners as long as you are the designer. You can also set up your own e-commerce shop. You may want to test with a small print run. Once you know the demand, you can order larger quantities, which usually brings the cost to print down (and the profit margin up).

Marketing Ideas:

All marketing starts with understanding who your buyers are. Determine their pain points and tailor your marketing messages to their specific needs and interests.

  1. SEO Optimization in a nutshell: Optimize your product listings with relevant keywords and well crafted titles to improve visibility on marketplaces. I find AI chatbots work well at giving ideas for titles. You can also prompt chatbots for “entities” which will give you a list of terms commonly associated with your product or topic. Sprinkle these words into your title and description.
  2. Social Media Marketing: Engage with potential buyers through platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Showcase your logbooks’ uses and features. Video shorts on TikTok, YouTube and Pinterest are also ways to catch people’s attention.
  3. Email Marketing: Build a mailing list to share updates, discounts, and new releases with subscribers. In this case, it is best to create a series of products around a niche market rather than log books for multiple niches or topics. For example, someone who bought your craft log book may not be interested in a hunting log book, but would be interested in other craft related books and products.
  4. Advertising: Consider paid ads on Amazon, Etsy, and social media to drive traffic to your products. Ads directly on shopping platforms have the advantage of customers already seeking a solution, whereas on social media you are interrupting them and saying, “Hey, do you want to buy a letter A” (Sesame Street reference ICYMI). Social ads often seem cheaper, but you may need to show it to more people to convert a sale. Compare the cost of converting a customer to a sale when determining where to run ads.

Gone are the days when some good keywords were enough. More often than not, we need to at the very least give our sales a kick start with some paid traffic.

Tools and Resources

This section includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may earn a commission.

  • Book Bolt: This is a comprehensive tool that helps you with both design and research. You can create attractive log book interiors using Book Bolt’s templates which are tailored for KDP specifications. It also provides valuable data to help you spot profitable niches within the Amazon marketplace. Check out Book Bolt here (affiliate link)
  • Creative Fabrica: Ideal for sourcing unique fonts and graphics, Creative Fabrica (affiliate link) offers a wealth of artistic assets to bring your log book ideas to life. It’s a marketplace not just for design elements, but also for connecting with other creative minds.
  • Design Software: Affinity Publisher is my personal favorite for book design. A good alternative is Adobe InDesign, which has long been the industry standard, although pricier. For printables, either of these options also work, but Canva, Powerpoint, Keynote, Google Slides, Sheets, and Excel are all options for creating printables

Strategies for Growth:

  • Expand Your Range: Offer a variety of logbooks tailored to different industries or interests to appeal to a broader audience.
  • Re-purposing: Once you have a design for a book, consider if it would work as a digital download. Ideas including printables, fillable PDF’s. GoodNotes files (or other digital notetaking/planner apps), & spreadsheets

Legal and Ethical Considerations

When creating and selling logbooks, you must keep in mind some important legal and ethical considerations. These guidelines ensure that your products respect intellectual property and keep the platforms you sell on happy with you.

First and foremost, familiarize yourself with copyright & trademark laws. Ensure your logbooks do not infringe on someone else’s copyrighted material, whether it’s the content inside or the cover design. This could include artwork, logos, or trademarked methods of tracking and recording information (e.g. Atomic Habits, Bullet Journaling).

  • Do:
    • Create original content that doesn’t just repeat whats been done before
    • Use public domain or properly licensed images; keep records of where you sourced them including licensing information in case you’re ever asked to prove it
    • Conduct a trademark search for any titles or terms used on your book cover on the title of your listing
  • Don’t:
    • Copy designs or text from other logbooks (within reason, obviously there are only so many ways you can track blood pressure for example, an idea can’t be copyrighted, but the execution may be)
    • Use trademarked names or logos without permission

Bonus Log Idea: A log of image sources and usage rights, as well as screenshots of trademark searches and publication dates of your books.

Ethically speaking, treat your competitors the way you would like to be treated.

With your customers, only make claims about your logbook’s effectiveness based on its actual designed use, and avoid misleading marketing tactics and hype.

  • Be Clear About:
    • The intended use of the logbook
    • Attribute the source of any included information (note: I am not a lawyer, but attribution does not clear you from potential copyright troubles, many people misunderstand fair use so if there is any question, don’t do it or get legal advice. Don’t risk your business)

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