The Problem with Low-Content Books

You might have noticed that people have figured it out. If you publish a super short book or a book that has almost no words, you still can put it up for sale on sites such as Amazon. People will buy the titles you prepare. You even can have AI generate the text and images for your low-content books for you. Better still, you can repeat the process in a matter of weeks, sometimes days, which means you quickly can get many multiple revenue streams going with minimal effort.

low-content books with no words

To be clear, some forms of low-content books are perfectly valid, such as guided journals or adult coloring books. But as more and more low-content books hit platforms, they obscure more in-depth titles that authors have put real thought, commitment, and resources into. Even as they can generate income for the person who publishes them, they can truly be crap, which minimizes the perceived value of the writing industry as a whole. Many pieces of content available are stuffed with keywords, rely on templates, or outright steal concepts from other people.

Drawing a line against low-content books for the future

This raises the question of what we want publishing to be. Should it be about making a buck? Or should there be restrictions on publication so that what audiences get truly are books rather than gobbledygook with low quality?

Writing — true writing that authors can be proud of — is supposed to be about sharing yourself. That might mean transporting others to an imagined world that exists in your head. It might mean detailing insights you’ve gleaned from years in your field. It might even mean presenting paths that, if walked, can help others heal. Low-content books abandon this intent and turn writing into a gimmick. That’s not what I want the field to be.

What are your feelings on low-content books? Do you think they’re OK? Or are they a scourge we need to clean up? Leave me a note on Instagram.

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yousafbhutta from Pixabay