How To Use Book Bolt To Create & Publish Puzzle Books On Amazon KDP

Passive income – we all want it, but is it achievable? And do Amazon KDP sellers who create activity books such as crossword puzzles, word search games & kids activity books really make money from it?

Let’s talk about it! As a content strategist & blogging coach, I help business owners increase their income and traffic, and I previously mentioned a great strategy for making passive income with Amazon KDP – selling low-content books.

Today, we’re diving deeper into one specific category of the Amazon KDP books that you can publish to earn passive income and that is activity books.

This post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission should you choose to make a purchase using my link. This post has also been sponsored by Book Bolt.

What is Amazon KDP & how does it work?

But first, let’s circle back and start at the beginning. What is Amazon KDP?

For those of you who do not know, KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing and it’s an Amazon-owned platform that allows you to self-publish books and low-content books such as planners, notebooks, journals, drawing books, coloring books and so on.

You create the books, give them the printable manuscripts, and, every time you make a sale they ship it out to the customers. It’s like dropshipping – but no one else can sell your creations!

There’s no upfront costs or minimum stock requirements and you get worldwide distribution among all the existing Amazon marketplaces and you earn royalties on every sale, meaning you can get started fir free and cash in the profits.

If you’re looking for a method that has the potential to turn into passive income, this is it!

What are activity books & why should you create one?

You might be wondering: why activity books?

Well, that is because there is a growing demand for physical activity books that people (kids and adults alike) can use to take their eyes off the screens and enjoy stimulating puzzles or activities.

User-generated content books have always been popular – think of notebooks, journals, or planners. Some people like to have a physical copy in their hands of what they are keeping track of, even in this digital age. And it’s the same for brain teasers and games!

That is why they’re incredibly lucrative! Not to mention that people love receiving and giving these unique and personalized books as gifts. And Amazon is the go-to platform for last-minute gifts.

Here are a few examples of activity books that you can create:

crossword puzzle books

word search books

cryptogram puzzle books

pictures find & seek books

math riddle books

sudoku books

connect the dot books

coloring books

maze puzzle books

brain teaser books

themed activity books

mixed activity books

cut & color activity books

logic puzzle books

memory games books

The best part is that you don’t need to be a published author or sudoku master to create these. You can jump right in and create your activity book without any previous experience!

The beauty of low-content books is that anyone can create them. And I will show you how!

How much can you earn selling activity books on Amazon?

Authors have reported earning anything from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand of dollars each month from publishing low-content books on Amazon KDP.

Your earnings will obviously depend on your niche, the topic of your book, how will you market it, your pricing, reviews and so on. But the potential is enormous

I used Book Bolt‘s Cloud feature to spy on the best sellers, and this is what I found:

The top three activity books are selling between 885 and 733 copies per month. This is what they are making on average:

  • Book 1 sells 885 copies per month at $7.99. This generates $7,071 in sales per month, out of which $2,185 are author royalties.
  • Book 2 sells 800 copies per month at $7.99. This generates $6,392 in sales per month, out of which $1,992 are author royalties.
  • Book 3 sells 733 copies per month at $4.75. This generates $3,481 in sales per month, out of which $1,429 are author royalties.

Puzzle books aren’t too far behind either.

  • Book 1 sells 631 copies per month at $8.99. This generates $5,672 in sales per month, out of which $1,167 are author royalties.
  • Book 2 sells 573 copies per month at $6.99. This generates $4,005 in sales per month, out of which $1,117 are author royalties.
  • Book 3 sells 622 copies per month at $7.95. This generates $4,944 in sales per month, out of which $1,212 are author royalties.

Now imagine you have 4-5 activity books that you’ve created and that are selling even half as good as these books. You can easily make $2,000 or more per month in royalties.

If you want to estimate your earnings, you could use this free KDP royalties caluclator.

What’s even more inspiring is that books that were only published a few months ago and have under 10 reviews are also making it to the top-seller list. This goes to show if you validate your activity book idea first, you can create something that will truly sell. And I’ll show you how to do that next!

Not to mentioned that activity books that were launched in 2018 and 2019 are still making 500+ sales per month. If that’s now passive income, I don’t know what is!

How to create activity books to sell on Amazon KDP

Now that you’ve seen the real results you can get from creating and publishing these game & puzzle books, let me take you behind the scenes and show you how you can create your own.

RELATED POST: How To Create KDP Planners For Amazon

STEP 1: RESEARCH ACTIVITY BOOK IDEAS

Before you start working on creating an activity book, you want to ensure that there’s enough demand for it, and that the competition is not too steep. Here’s how to do that:

Sign up for a free Book Bolt account first. You will get a 3 day free trial, in which you can do all your research and even whip out a book.

Then take full advantage of their cloud tool, and search for what’s selling at the moment in specific niches, topics or for audience segments.

You can break down the results further by the type of book (colouring book, puzzle book, activity book etc), the price and base it around actual search terms.

For example, a search of what’s selling related to “cars” discovered a whole new niche of activity books: road trip travel books and puzzle books for long car rides. Such a fun idea! And multiple road trip travel activity books sell between 300 and 400 copies per month.

Once you find a gem through the Book Bolt cloud tool (for example this seems to be a great one, as even the best-selling books have under 50-100 reviews), take it to Amazon and see how many existing books & results are already out there.

The sweet spot to picking a book topic that is profitable is to:

  • Find a book topic that sells on Book Bolt – at least 50 sales per month, where even the books outside of the top 3-6 bestselling books are still making sales. (Showing demand.)
  • Find a topic that has under 1,000-2,000 results on Amazon. (Showing lower competition)

If your book idea has too many results already on Amazon, try narrowing it down by topic, season or core audience, or by all of these factors.

The more niche your book is, the more likely it is that you’ll stand out from your competitors, so it will be easier to make sales if you’re new.

So let’s narrow it down together!

  • “activity books” has 70,000 results on Amazon
  • “activity books for teens” has 60,000 results
  • “activity book for teen girls” has 50,000 results
  • “easter activity book for teen girls” has 10,000 results
  • “easter activity book for teen girls mazes” has 950 results

Try to find and make note of low-competiton activity books such as:

  • “scissor skills activity book for 3-5 years old” with 866 results
  • “scissor skills activity book food” with 213 results
  • “sudoku puzzle for dog lovers” with 508 results
  • “baseball activity book kids” with just under 2k results
  • “Formula 1 activity book kids” with 268 results

Outside of using a research tool like Book Bolt, you can also get an idea of what’s selling well by checking out Amazon’s books best selling list which is periodically updated and broken down by categories and sub-categories.

The only problem is that a book can rank nr. 1 in a sub-category, but only sell 20 copies a month. So for a more accurate picture of potential profit, I would suggest using Book Bolt’s Cloud tool.

Follow this brainstorming exercise and come up with 5 to 10 activity book ideas that you can create and I’ll show you how to do that next.

STEP 2: PICK A KDP BOOK TRIM SIZE

Once you’ve picked a book idea, you need to settle on a trim size or book size.

Look up at similar books that are sold on Amazon, and see what size is popular for the type of book you want to create, as puzzle books might differ to coloring books and so on.

This will be displayed in the “Dimensions” book, visible on every book listing on Amazon.

Book Bolt also lists the most popular sizes that match Amazon KDP’s print options:

STEP 3: CREATE YOUR BOOK MANUSCRIPT WITH BOOK BOLT

Once you have your book topic and size picked out, it’s time to start putting it together.

The easiest way that I found to create Amazon KDP compliant books (as I’ve published a few myself) is to create them with Book Bolt’s Creator Studio. Sign up for Book Bolt here to get started. (Use the code “ANA20” to get 20% off for life.)

From your account dashbord, go to Create > Creator Studio > New Project.

Pick your book type (I recommend “Paperback: Black & white interior with white pages” as it’s the cheapest to print out) and your choosen trim size.

Book Bolt will then ensure that you have the exact PDF mesurements Amazon needs to print out your book, from your cover to your content pages.

And edit your cover and book pages accordingly. Everything is drag and drop and very easy to use, and you have the option to upload your own images, use free stock photos and space out the elements you choose as you see fit.

Once your cover is done, you can focus on creating the activity pages, with your chosen puzzles.

Book Bolt’s PRO account includes the use of their puzzle pages, that they automatically generate for you, from sudoku pages with various degrees of dificulty, to mazes and other word and number based games that are perfect for activity books!

You can embed these puzzles in bulk for your whole book, or do a mixed activity book, choosing the pages you want each game displayed (and even have the solutions added automatically at the end of the book).

For word games – like word search and crossword puzzles – you can upload your own CVS files with the words that you want included, which allows you to curate your activity book and make it super unique!

Additionaly, you could buy ready-made activity book templates from Design Bundles, and import the PDF designs into Book Bolt to personalize them further, duplicate the pages and put together your entire book in just minutes!

Here are a few useful templates:

To add these templates into Book Bolt, simply click the image icon and from the “My Uploads” section, click on “Upload PDF”.

This will break down the pages of your PDF so you can easily transfer them to your project pages, move them around and create a super unique final activity book.

I find that once you’ve created a book or template in Book Bolt, it’s so much easier to create the second and thrird book, as you can duplicate entire projects, full pages and make little tweaks for your next book.

For more in-depth tips on how to use Book Bolt & succeed in making a profit out of your KDP books, make sure to tune in their weekly live webinars that happen each Thursday, or catch up with their pre-recorded tutorials and live calls available for free to all BB users!

STEP 4: DOWNLOAD YOUR BOOK FILES

When your design is ready, you want to download it and import it into the Amazon library. Hop back into your Book Bolt project and go to “Download” to export your file.

You want to download it as a CMYK version, as this is the correct version that you’ll need for Amazon KDP and it will save your book in two files: a PDF with the book cover, and one for the book manuscript.

This is because your cover and contents need to be uploaded separately into Amazon, and this will ensure each file has the correct KDP printing sizes and requirements met.

STEP 5: UPLOAD THE BOOK TO YOUR AMAZON KDP ACCOUNT

The next step is to create your publisher account with Amazon. Simply go to www.kpd.amazon.com and sign up and register for an account, or log in to your existing account if you have one.

Once your account information is filled out, you will be able to go to your Bookshelf > Create > Create paperback.

From the “Paperback Details” page fill out the following information:

  • Book title: this needs to show up exactly as you have it written on the book cover
  • Book subtitle
  • Author: you can use a pen name, and you can have multiple author names under one KDP account
  • Description
  • Publishing rights: pick “I own the copyright and I hold necessary publishing rights”
  • Categories
  • Keywords

On the “Paperback Contents” page, you will need to add:

  • Print ISBN: click on “Assign me a free KDP ISBN”
  • Print option: the most popular is “Black & white interior with white paper”
  • Trim size: pick the same one you chose for your book earlier
  • Manuscript: upload the Book Bolt generated file
  • Book cover: upload the Book Bolt generated cover

Once your files are uploaded, click on the yellow “Preview” button to manually check the book and confirm your design. Amazon will also flag any elements that might be too close to the edge of the page, but Book Bolt ensured I stayed within the lines for my entire design.

On the “Paperback Rights & Pricing page”:

  • Select “all territories” to get global distribution of your book
  • Pick a primary marketplace
  • Set your book price (royalties will be calculated here automatically)
  • Agree to KDPs terms & conditions
  • Request an author copy to get a physical copy of the book sent to your house
  • Publish your book when you are ready!

Make Passive Income With Amazon KDP Books

Activity books and low-content books have the potential to earn you passive income in the long run. But here’s my advice to ensure that happens, and what seeds you need to start planting to grow that:

  • Create 3-5 activity books. The more books you have, the more chances you have of getting noticed, getting sales and becoming a hit on Amazon! Don’t just stop at one and expect that one to be a best-seller.
  • Use Book Bolt to format and create your books to speed up the process and get it right each time!
  • Run Amazon ads for your book. This is a great way to get targeted traffic to your book until it shows up organically in search results.
  • Build up book reviews. Reviews are a big determining factor in the purchase decision. Focus on getting 5-10 book reviews as quickly as possible.
  • Become an affiliate for your own books. Join the Amazon Affiliate Program, and promote your own books via affiliate links so you can earn an additional 4.5%. This is on top of royalties, and it even pays you if someone goes to buy another book instead of your own.
  • Promote your Amazon books on your own platforms. Add a shop section to your blog or website, mention your books on social media and drive your own traffic to Amazon. This will encourage Amazon to show your books to more people as a result as well.

And there you have it! This is my entire process for creating activity books to sell on Amazon KDP for profit and it’s all made so much easier with Book Bolt! If you’re ready to give them a try, don’t forget to use this link and the code “ANA20” to save 20% on all plans.

Now I wanted to hear from you – are you ready to start your Amazon KDP journey? And if you’re already a published author let us know your best tip for new book creators below in the comments!

More Book Creation & Passive Income Ideas:

How To Make Personalised Activity Books To Sell On Amazon KDP

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Michael Taylor

This looks like a very interesting idea!