How to Make Money on Amazon KDP Without Writing a Book

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform allows anyone to self-publish ebooks and paperbacks. While most authors use KDP to publish their own written works, there are several ways to generate income on KDP without actually writing a book yourself.

If you have creative skills or can source quality content, it’s possible to earn passive revenue on KDP without having to write an entire manuscript. Here are some of the top options:

Create Coloring Books

Coloring books remain hugely popular with adults as well as kids. The key to success with a coloring book is having high-quality illustrations or artwork.

You don’t need any writing other than titles and basic descriptions. Use original drawings, photography, or even public domain images. Add inspirational quotes or leave blank for coloring.

Effective keyword research ensures your coloring books get discovered. Target niche themes like animals, mandalas, fantasy, flowers, and more tailored to different audiences.

Compile Puzzle and Activity Books

Similar to coloring books, activity books like sudoku, crosswords, word searches, mazes, and more can be created without writing paragraphs.

Search public domain repositories to source puzzles and activities. Or generate word searches, crossword puzzles, mazes, and other activities using software tools.

Combine a range of puzzles, logic problems, trivia, and brain games into themed books around topics like travel games, math puzzles, brain challenges, etc.

Make Journals, Notebooks, and Sketchbooks

Empty journals, notebooks, and sketchbooks are another zero-writing opportunity on KDP. These make great gifts for writers, artists, students, journalers, and more.

Source public domain or licensed graphics and images to include on the interior pages. Add inspirational quotes, writing/drawing prompts, list of contents, or leave blank. Use research to target niche audiences that would appreciate the theme.

Curate Niche Quote Collections

Quote books remain popular with KDP readers. You can easily curate themed quote books targeted to specific audiences without writing yourself.

Search sites like Goodreads, BrainyQuote, and more to find quotes around topics like:

  • Love
  • Happiness
  • Motivation
  • Leadership
  • Mindfulness

Organize quotes into categories, or mix and match themes. Add nice cover art and interior designs.

Create Pattern and Design Books

If you have graphic design skills, create books of patterns, borders, shapes, icons, and other visual elements.

For example, books of seamless patterns, stencils, mandalas, floral shapes, paper cutting templates, icons, and more. Target crafters, artists, and other creatives with useful designs.

The key is coming up with unique designs. Even basic shapes and templates can fill niche needs.

Make Top List-style Books

List-style books like “100 Greatest Athletes” and “50 Best Study Tips” are essentially just curated lists written in short paragraphs.

Compile lists on popular niche topics like travel destinations, unsolved mysteries, greatest inventors, best movies, influential artists, etc.

Write 2-4 quick informative paragraphs about each entry. Add photos if possible. Outsource writing if needed.

Combine Public Domain Content

Public domain books are works no longer under copyright that are available royalty-free. Sources like Project Gutenberg have thousands of classic ebooks.

You can take public domain content, edit, re-format, combine into new collections, and publish as new works.

For example creating anthologies on specific themes like greatest love poems or naval adventure stories. Be sure to source and credit material properly.

FAQ About Making Money on KDP Without Writing:

What software is best for creating books on KDP?

Basic word processing software works, but Adobe programs like InDesign and Illustrator allow for the most custom layouts and designs.

Can I outsource book creation tasks on KDP?

Yes, you can outsource parts or all of the book creation process – just ensure any hired help agrees to confidentiality and transfers content rights.

How much does it cost to publish on Amazon KDP?

Publishing an ebook or print book on KDP is free. Amazon only takes a percentage commission on sales generated.

How do I ensure my non-written book doesn’t violate copyright?

Only use public domain assets, original work you create, properly licensed/credited work, or content confirmed to be copyright-free.

How long does Amazon take to review and publish KDP books?

Review times range from just 24 hours up to a few days typically. Ebooks are generally much faster than physical print books.

Amazon KDP provides the ability to earn passive income from published books – even without writing them yourself. Be creative, find underserved niches, and put these tips to work.


  • Gio Watts

    Gio Watts brings over 10 years of digital marketing experience to his role as marketing manager at Walletminded. In his current position, Gio oversees brand marketing, campaign management, and audience growth initiatives. Prior to joining Walletminded, Gio held marketing roles at several ecommerce and SaaS startups, most recently serving as senior marketing manager at CloudTable Inc. There, he specialized in paid social advertising and content marketing. Gio holds a bachelor’s degree in business marketing from the University of Oregon. He is a certified content marketing specialist and frequently guest lectures at his alma mater. When he's not devising omni-channel marketing campaigns, you can find Gio coaching youth basketball and indulging his passion for live music.

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