How to Start a Notebook Business With Print on Demand

How to Start a Notebook Business With Print on Demand

If you feel trapped by your 9-to-5, starting a notebook business with Print on Demand could be your ticket to financial freedom.

In this article, we explain how to start a custom notebook business by going over all the vital steps – selecting and designing custom notebooks, choosing a sales channel, and developing a marketing strategy.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through those links. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Why Choose Print on Demand to Sell Notebooks?

Print on Demand allows anyone to create, design, and sell custom notebooks without the hassles associated with traditional eCommerce business ventures. Thanks to its low costs, scalability, and creative freedom, it’s an excellent business model for aspiring entrepreneurs. 

Here are some of the main benefits:

Make It Happen Today!

Step 1: Choose Notebook Styles

A stack of custom journals and custom notebooks on a table.

The Printify Catalog has many high-quality, customizable notebooks and journals.

A few options include:

  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • Spiral
  • Different paper sizes
  • Glossy or matte finish
  • Lined or blank pages

Still thinking how to start a journal business? Select one of the products below:

Quick Tip

Place bulk orders to save up to 30% on shipping when ordering 60 or more select products from the same Print Provider.

Step 2: Get Your Designs Ready

A woman creating graphic designs using a tablet.

Use our free, beginner-friendly Product Creator to upload or create a new design from scratch.

A few of our Product Creator’s features:

  • AI Image Generator to create vibrant, original designs.
  • Background Removal with just a click.
  • Custom Text Editor with many fonts.
  • Image Enhancer to fix lower-quality images.
  • Fit and Fill option for quick image placement.
  • Pattern Creator to making all-over-print designs.

Need inspiration? Explore Pinterest or Dribbble for custom notebook design ideas.

If your design skills are a little rusty, you can use high-quality images from our Shutterstock integration or hire a graphic designer from the Printify Experts Program to create something for you.

When your notebook design is ready, we generate realistic mockups to use on your product listings or social media.

Step 3: Pick a Sales Channel

A woman drinking from a cup and looking at a laptop screen smiling.

Decide where you’ll sell your notebooks based on your technical skills, preferences, and target audience. Each eCommerce website and marketplace has its many benefits and pitfalls.

eCommerce Platforms

These sites have pre-made templates for you to build your eCommerce store. They offer many customization features, so you can design your online store just the way you like.  

However, you’ll need to drive your own traffic to your site, which may increase your marketing costs. Most features on these platforms come with fees, and some require technical skills. 

Here are a few eCommerce websites: Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and PrestaShop.

eCommerce Marketplaces

It’s quick and easy to set up a storefront on a Marketplace. These sites have existing traffic, reducing some marketing costs and making it easier for potential customers to find your products.

While the setup is easy, they give fewer customization options and limited control over the content. There are also several fees for listing and selling products.

A few popular eCommerce marketplaces include  Etsy, eBay, Amazon, and Walmart.

The Printify Pop-Up Store

The fastest, easiest way to set up your online store is to create a Printify Pop-Up Store. It’s ready in just a minute or two, saving time and effort. After you sell a notebook, we print and ship it directly to your customer.

Step 4: Market Your Business

A group of people discussing marketing strategies.

With a good marketing strategy, you’ll reach many customers, stand out from the competition, and sell more notebooks.

Here’s how to develop an effective strategy:

  1. Identify your goals. What’s your focus? What do you want to accomplish?
  2. Understand your customers. Who are they? Learn what they like and how much they’ll spend on a notebook.
  3. Create a message. Your message should speak directly to your target audience, so use language they’ll connect with. 
  4. Calculate a budget. What are you willing to spend on paid ads? Even a small investment can go a long way.
  5. Select a marketing channel. Use a channel that provides the highest chance of reaching your customers.

Quick Tip

Check out our article on how to write a business plan.

There are many different ways to market your business, and we recommend combining a few to maximize your reach.

Social Media Marketing

Social media helps your custom notebook business reach millions of people worldwide. Build a profile that appeals to your target audience and encourages interaction. Share high-quality images of your personalized notebooks, run contests, and offer giveaways to generate interest.

Popular social media platforms include TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Email Marketing

Emails are a simple, easy, and cost-effective way of reaching new and existing customers. Email marketing speaks to them directly, letting you tailor your message to specific groups and their interests. Create email campaigns to announce new product launches, offer discounts, and attract shoppers to your eCommerce store for repeat purchases. 

Use tools like Mailerlite to build compelling campaigns and automate sending.

Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimization

Post relevant content on your website or social media profiles, like articles, tutorials, and product reviews, to establish yourself as a prominent figure in the custom notebook industry.

When creating content, apply search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. SEO means incorporating relevant keywords into your content to improve its visibility in search engine results. 

Start with keyword research using tools like Ahrefs Keyword Explorer or Semrush Keyword Overview. Identify the most relevant words people use to search for notebooks and add them to your posts.

Paid Advertising

Paid ads are an effective way to drive traffic to your eCommerce website. They put your listings in front of customers who may not have seen them otherwise. 

Use Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok ads to reach a broad audience on these social media platforms. Try search engine ads like Microsoft Advertising or Google Ads to reach people outside of social media.

Make It Happen Today!

Tips for a Successful Notebook Business

Select a Niche

A niche is a specialized target market segment. Examples could include teachers and students in educational institutions, people who love a particular animal, or fans of a specific music genre.

Use tools like Google Trends, BuzzSumo, or Semrush to find topics people are interested in. Browse Amazon, Etsy, and eBay to draw inspiration for your notebook designs.

Appealing to a niche you’re already in will give you an advantage, as you already know what they like.

Quick Tip

Visit our blog to learn more about niches and how to pick the right one.

Adjust for Growth

People looking at graphs and analyzing marketing performance.

As market trends evolve, you should continuously analyze and monitor your store’s performance to stay competitive.

While some eCommerce platforms and marketplaces have built-in analytics tools, many other options exist. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 eCommerce analytics tools to help you pinpoint your store’s strengths and address weaknesses to ensure sustainable growth.

Create Your Brand

A woman selecting color palettes for branding a business.

Your brand is your business’s overall identity, including your visuals, communication style, reputation, and values. Creating a strong, recognizable brand will increase your visibility, foster customer loyalty, and establish your presence as a trusted figure in the industry. 

Here are the four Vs of branding:

  • Values. Define what your business stands for. If your audience shares the same values, it’ll be easier to gain their trust.
  • Vision. What’s your goal beyond selling high-quality notebooks? Do you have a message you want to spread or something you want to achieve?
  • Voice. Use a communication style that matches your target audience’s energy.
  • Visuals. Ensure your images, fonts, and other visual content all share the same style and stand out from other brands.

Quick Tip

Check our blog for more info on how to build a brand identity.

Expand Your Product Selection

Expand your notebook business by offering other products. Our Catalog has over 900 high-quality products to customize and add to your store.

Here are a few products you can start selling today to make even more money.

Start a Custom Notebook Business With Printify

A stack of custom notebooks with different designs lying on a table.

Printify makes it possible for anyone to start a successful custom notebook business. We take care of the production and shipping so you can focus on designing, marketing, and selling.

Step 1: Create a Printify Account

Make a free account to get instant access to our Catalog, design tools, and a worldwide network of Print Providers.

Step 2: Choose Notebooks

Choose notebooks from our Catalog and click Start Designing.

Step 3: Start Designing

Our beginner-friendly Product Creator makes the design process easy. Upload a design or create an entirely new one using our AI Image Generator, Text Editor, and Graphics Library.

Step 4: Connect Your Sales Channel

We offer seamless integrations with the world’s most popular sales channels.

Step 5: Publish Products and Start Selling

Write your product descriptions, set prices, and publish your personalized notebooks to your store to start selling. As soon as an order comes in, we’ll print and ship it to your customer.

Start Selling Notebooks Today!


Starting your own notebook business is an excellent way to tap into a growing industry. Many people like to give personalized notebooks as gifts and use them for work or school.

Starting a notebook business with Printify is easy. 

Follow these steps:

For some extra savings, get Printify Premium. For just $29/mo, you can get up to 20% off all products.

We list the prices of our notebooks and journals, including their shipping costs, in the Printify Catalog.

There are no upfront costs, as you’ll only be charged for production once a customer orders a notebook.

Notebook and journal business owners typically strive for a profit margin of at least 40% to cover their expenses.

While you’re free to set whatever retail price you like, having a minimum profit margin of 40% is recommended to increase the likelihood of your business growing.

Closing Thoughts

As we conclude our guide to starting a notebook business, this information will help you begin a promising entrepreneurial journey.

Here’s a brief recap of the steps you should take:

  1. Pick notebooks to sell
  2. Create original designs
  3. Choose a sales channel
  4. Market your products

Whether you want to sell a plain notebook or an idea journal, with hard work, dedication, and Printify by your side, your notebook business is headed for success!

Start a Custom Notebook Business Today!

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