Creating and selling puzzles can be a profitable and educational evergreen niche. To make puzzles more successful in selling, we should niche down deeper by focusing on popular themes niches. In this tutorial, we will not be covering a whole puzzle book but illustrate with examples how it can be done easily with free legit resources.
How to create and sell crossword puzzles for free
- First, we need to research and see what theme niches are popular. For example, we can go to Amazon and validate our ideas by searching to see if similar books are selling well with low BSR (Best Selling Ranking) e.g. 300,000 and less. This will let us know if people are looking for such a book. However, it is also possible a really good book can sell well regardless.
- Next, we need to create crosswords or other puzzles using the free resources e.g. Crossword Labs.
- Then compile them with free resources e.g. Canva, Keynote, etc.
- Finally, we upload our book to the marketplaces of our choice e.g. Amazon, Etsy, etc. Rinse and repeat.
Crosswords Labs can generate free online crossword puzzles without watermarks or registration required.
For example, we prepare a long list of words with clues relevant to our theme. Custom themes can be essential for beginners’ success due to the highly competitive nature of existing popular puzzles on the marketplaces. The more work you put in, the more difficult it is for others to duplicate your work.
Crossword Labs is a breeze to work with. It appears to be designed just for the purpose of creating themed crossword puzzles with ease.
We just have to create a list with a word, space, and the clue on a line, and repeat it for every line as illustrated in the above example.
This example can be accessed here. We may even embed our puzzles on our own website for access!
We can print or download it as a PDF or SVG. We can even right-click the puzzle and copy it to paste over into a word editor.
We can print the answer by accessing the dropdown menu above.
At this point, you may be wondering why we should pay for this lifetime membership. This is optional, we can create and download all puzzles without restriction. Some platforms such as Amazon KDP may not allow free internet resources elsewhere to be sold there. However, at $9.95 it is very affordable as a lifetime membership for the option to set all puzzles we created as private or hidden.
2 good free resources to create your puzzles KDP book
For example, we want to create a black and white 8.5 X 11 inches white paper paperback of 100 pages with no bleed.
For the interior, we create a design of 8.5 x 11 inches on Canva. On keynote, it would be 612 x 792 points.
For the cover, create a design of 17.48 x 11.25 inches on Canva. On keynote, it would be 1259 x 810 points.
Download the below template PNG file and ensure your design fits in it. The important thing is to keep all your content in the white area below for no bleed. Once you have designed your book cover, just make the below cover template transparent or delete it.
More details can be found below and if you like different trim sizes and so on.
The KDP calculator can be accessed here.
Here is a video to show how to create a journal for KDP for the book creation process on Canva. Please note I do not recommend using CreativeFabrica without verifying the graphics sources and heavy modifications to protect your Amazon account. Also, journals and notebooks are highly competitive. Niching down is smarter.
3 marketplaces we may sell our puzzle books
Alternatively, we can also embed crosswords puzzles on our websites for access subscriptions. For example, below is the embedded Crossword Labs Animals Puzzle created earlier. Please feel free to click and type to fill up the below puzzle.
We can research for a popular theme niche, gather lists of words, and easily create crossword puzzles for free with Crossword Labs for prints, downloads, or embedding.
If we sell on Amazon, we have to ensure the resources are not freely available on the internet according to their terms and conditions. We do not want to risk getting our Amazon accounts banned. Please double-check this on other platforms as well, unless you are embedding and selling from your own websites.
We can also sell on Etsy, Gumroad, or as a subscription service access on our own website.
Are there other ways to create puzzles?
Definitely, one of the ways taught on YouTube can be the use of CreativeFabrica KDP puzzle resources. However, I would NOT recommend this without some heavy modification to avoid copyright or duplicate issues on some platforms e.g. Amazon.
Do we need to attribute Crossword Labs for commercial use?
It is not required but appreciated. Please read about it here. For example:Crossword Puzzle Maker