How To Sell Books Online: The Facts
Did you know, 675 million print-books were sold in the US alone last year?
Thats right! Its an astonishing number.;
Not only that, but according to Statistica, 74% of adults also read at least one book a year. Now, that might not sound like much to the bookworms reading this article, but it contributes towards an average spend of $110 per year per person on books!
98% of consumers say that when they buy books, they read for pleasure, rather than for academic or work purposes. So, if you’re considering setting up an online book store, you have a lot of people to work with!
Having said that, dont forget the academic market. Publishing figures for the higher education industry came to $4 billion in 2017 alone.
Although traditional book stores in the US are still bringing in around $10 billion a year, their revenues are showing a steady decline, mainly due to large online retailers such as Amazon. But, generally speaking, the drop is confined to the more prominent book retailers. It seems that our preference for individual and independent bookstores hasn’t waned; instead, it’s actually increased. Perhaps this demand for the unique and quirky is something that can be translated to your online store?
So, with all that in mind, lets take a look at creating a store, and why you might do it, for example:
Don’t worry, we’re going to cover all three scenarios in this guide.
How To Sell A Book Thats Already On Amazon
If somebody else is already selling the same book, all the hard work is done. All you have to do is;find the listing on Amazon. The best way is to search by ISBN or a similar identifier.
You can generally find the ISBN for your book on the copyright page. Some will show multiple ISBNs, such as one for paperback and another for hardcover, so be careful to choose the right one!
On Amazon, you can also check the ISBN or other identifier under Product Details.
When youre sure you have the right one, click the Sell on Amazon button.
Then fill out the little form that pops up.
Be 100% honest about the books condition. Honesty about the condition is crucial for all of the following:
- Gaining a high .
- Avoiding A-to-z claims and chargebacks.
- Limiting losses from returns.
You can find Amazons guide to book conditions here. If you cant tell for sure which condition a book falls under, go for the lower rating.
Once youve filled out the form, youre done! Skip down to Step 4.
If you cant find the book on Amazon, read on to the next section.
List And Sell Your Books On Amazon
Once you’re a verified Amazon seller, you can begin to list your books based on previously sold Amazon items or as a new item.;
Quick tip: Avoid wasting time listing books no one is interested in buying by visiting each title’s Amazon.com product page to view its Best Seller Rank. The lower the rank, the higher the sales ;and higher the likelihood your book will sell.;
To sell books on Amazon:;
1. While logged into your seller account, go to Amazon’s homepage.;
2. With the search filter set to Books, enter the title or ISBN for the book you want to sell into the search bar.
3. Select the book you want to sell from the search results to open its product page, then click on the “Sell on Amazon” button located beneath the Buy Box and current for sale listings.;
4. If you’re permitted to sell the book, a listing screen will appear. Begin the process by entering the SKU number for the book if you have it.;
5. Now, set the price you want to sell the book for on Amazon based on its condition and competitor’s prices.
6. Enter the quantity you are selling as well as the condition. Select whether you want to do Fulfillment by Amazon or fulfillment by merchant .;
Note: FBA will see the company pick, package, and ship the book entirely on your behalf while FBM will require you to send it to Amazon before it’s sent to a customer, which will likely take longer.;
7. Click Save and Finish to list your book for sale on Amazon.;
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Why You Should Sell Books On Amazon
Selling books on Amazon is a low-risk and low-budget investment. Books are something that never goes out of style and everybody loves to kick back with one while relaxing.;
There is always a large number of books with exciting new releases that people want to get their hands on. This means that the profit margin for selling books is remarkably good. But as a seller, you need to do a fair amount of research on what kind of books you want to sell, find one that has the highest demand, or even opt to sell used books.;
Reselling books on Amazon is also a quick and easy way to make money when you find your bookshelves overflowing with books. You know that situation calls for a clearing and instead of getting rid of them by throwing them away, the best way to go is reselling. This way book lovers also find comfort in the fact that it is being purchased by someone else and not going to waste.;
If youre thinking, Is selling books on Amazon profitable?, then youd be comforted to know that it is amongst the top 5 . That paired with the fact that Amazon offers convenient fulfillment options for sellers, makes it all the more appealing as you can either choose to ship books on your own or use their FBA and FBM options when you sell larger quantities.
Sell Books On Amazon For Cash
You dont have to trade in used books or publish your own books to take advantage of Amazons millions of potential buyers.
You can still sell books on Amazon, even if you didnt author those books.
There are three ways you can do this:
- Fulfillment by Amazon You post a book for sale, but let Amazon handle the storage, shipping, and post-sale customer support. Many beginner sellers choose this option until they get a solid fulfillment system in place.
- Fulfillment by merchant Customers order the books from Amazon, but as an FBM seller, you handle everythingstorage, packing, shipping, and customer serviceevery time one of your items gets sold.
- Amazon vendors You sell all your books directly to Amazon. They will obviously be a lot cheaper, but if you just closed a brick-and-mortar bookstore and want to unload plenty of books, this is the fastest way possible.
The Niche Book Profits eBook will help you find the most profitable book niches on Amazon!
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Amazon Best Sellers Rank
Amazons algorithms might sound like black magic, but they work according to an elementary principle: they prioritize the books they think people are most likely to buy.
What do they use to figure that out? The #1 factor, by far, is how well your book is already selling. While Amazon wont tell you how many copies a given book is selling, you can estimate it through a figure called the Amazon Best Sellers Rank , which is listed in a books product details.
Just take the ABSR, plug it into a rank-to-sales calculator, and youll get an idea of how many copies a book sells on a daily basis. To give you an estimation, heres a chart taken from David Gaughrans must-read ebook, :
- #1 to #5 = 5,000+ books a day
- #5 to #10 = 4,0005,000
- #10 to #20 = 3,0004,000
- #20 to #50 = 2,0003,000
- #100 = 1,000+
- #50,000 = 5
- #100,000+ = fewer than 1 a day
Does this mean that if you sell 7,000 copies in a day, your book will get to #1? It depends on the competition But its likely, yes. However, unless you maintain that level of sales for a few days, your rank will immediately plummet.
Amazons algorithms are suspicious of books that suddenly get a huge influx of sales before they sputter off into nothing. Instead, they favor books that achieve a high level of sales and manage to hold on to it for at least a few days. Spikes dont make the algorithms happy plateaus do.
Sell Textbooks Online: How To Sell Used Textbooks On Amazon Or Use Amazon Buyback
There are two types of people who may want to sell used textbooks on Amazon. The first group of people is likely going to be students who have a pile of old used textbooks that they dont need anymore. The other group will be those who want to buy used textbooks locally and resell them online for a profit.
Students: Those that have old textbooks on the shelves not being used and want to recoup some of their money from buying textbooks for school
As A Business or Side Hustle :;Since many students dont bother selling their used textbooks after finishing their classes, you can often find donated textbooks at thrift stores for a couple dollars that can resell for $30-150+ on Amazon. This can be a great, easy side income business, especially if you live next to a college campus.
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What Is The Amazon Trade
The allows customers to receive an in exchange for thousands of eligible items including Amazon Devices, cell phones, video games, and more. Some trade-ins may also be eligible for a limited-time, promotional credit off of a new qualifying Amazon Device. The process is easy and convenient with an immediate offer and free shipping.
Find Profitable Amazon Ad Keywords
Amazon ad keywords are an important part of your book marketing plan. In order to find the most profitable 200-300 Amazon ad keywords, you need to put in just a little research.
If youre in the stage of publishing and marketing where you need to find the right keywords for Amazon ads, I highly recommend you read this in-depth article:
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Ensure Your Story Starts With A Hook
When marketing your book, you must ensure your story starts with a hook. The first sentence needs to grab the reader with a strong voice, a unique concept, an intriguing mystery, etc.
Many retailers offer readers a chance to read the first chapter of your book before they buy. Make sure your readers are hooked, so they end up clicking BUY.
Great examples of how to start a story with a hook:
- It was the best of times, it was the worst of times Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, 1859
- You better not never tell nobody but God. Alice Walker, The Color Purple
- It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
- It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. George Orwell, 1984
- They shoot the white girl first. Toni Morrison, Paradise
Check out my article on How to Start a Story that Hooks Readers Right Away for more tips and tricks.
Selling Textbooks On Amazon: What You Need To Know
Textbooks are a subcategory of Books on Amazon, offering everything from the traditional subjects to modern options like trade-ins and e-textbooks. As a seller, you can list textbooks in dozens of categories, depending on your sales strategy.
As with every other Amazon category and listing, the product price is up to you, but youll have to pay a fee for each textbook sold.
If you want an alternative, you can also take up the textbook buyback option. Amazon will make you a best offer on the title, which means you wont have any control over the listing price. If you choose to accept, youll be paid with an Amazon gift card.
Since both options have their pros and cons and really depend on a sellers inventory and business style, take the time to research the marketplace before deciding which one is right for you. One of the top things you should be looking at is the prices for your stock as an indication of what you could reasonably expect to earn.
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Write An Author Bio That Doesn’t Put Readers To Sleep
A strong author bio humanizes you in the eyes of your readers. Write a strong one, and theyll feel like theyre tapping into a genuine connection every time they read your words. The world of online advertising often feels faceless and cold, so playing up the personal touch can boost your sales. Think of your author bio as a perfect opportunity to do just that: showing off the brain and heart behind your book.
As a KDP user, youll set up your bio through Amazon Author Central. This service, available to all authors on the site, gives you access to a dashboard for tracking your sales and managing your reviews. Most importantly for our purposes, it also allows you to personalize an Amazon Author Page with a warmly engaging bio. You can learn all about how to set this up on our tutorial.
How To Use Amazon Trade
Books are just a part of their buyback program. You can also trade in your unwanted electronics such as phones, computers, games, and e-readers.
These are more ways to get rid of items you no longer use or want and make something extra to put towards your gift card.
process is straightforward and fast. Here are the five steps that are involved when you trade in your textbooks.
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How To Sell A Book Nobody Else Is Selling
Listing a unique book or something youve written yourself takes a bit more time and effort. Youll need to create a listing, which involves steps like writing a description.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, Ill just point you to this Amazon tutorial for the basics:
Creating a listing is fairly straightforward. But creating it well, and making sure people will find your book and want to buy it, is a little more complicated. These resources will help you do it right:
Where Can I Sell My Books For The Most Money
If you have a large collection of good-quality books, you can make a decent amount of money using a platform like AbeBooks or Amazon.
But if youre just trying to sell a few dog-eared paperbacks, youll need to reset your earning expectations. You can take them to a second-hand bookstore to see how much they will pay, but its unlikely youll make any serious money.
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Write A Catchier Book Description
Your book description tells would-be readers what your book is about and, more importantly, why they should care. Use it as an opportunity to hype it up think sales copy, not high school book report!
Remember, your book description will be most readers first point of contact with your writing. If they dont like what they see, theyll have no reason to want another several hundred pages of the same. Heres a guide on how to craft a perfect book description, but lets quickly go through the basics right here.
How Much Money Can You Make Selling Books On Amazon
Given that there are three distinct methods outlined above, the amount of money you can make selling books on Amazon can vary.
For trading in books, youre limited to what you have to sell from around your house. Textbooks are going to fetch the most amount of money, and even then, youre selling them for about 10-15% of what you paid. Still, thats better than letting them sit and collect dust forever.
As for Kindle Direct Publishing, the sky is the limit here. Youre selling a digital product and are in control of pricing, but youre also responsible for the marketing and sales as well.
Finally, reselling books. This is the area youll want to focus on if you want to make serious money in this space.
Scan the UPC codes of the books in your inventory and see how much theyre currently listed on at Amazon. You can quite easily find books that sell for 2x, 5x, and even 20x what you pay for them. Granted you need the right buyer, but with enough inventory, you can pull in a few extra thousand per month.
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Sell Used Books Directly To Students
Some of your underclassmen will need to get the same textbooks you bought last semester. You can sell your books directly to these students.
Pros: You can potentially make a profit by cutting out the middleman.
Cons: Finding a buyer isn’t always easy. Even students who want to save money might feel uncomfortable paying you for textbook. There’s also the possibility that students will drop some classes. When that happens, they may come to you for a refund. You don’t have to give them their money back, but it’s an awkward conversation that can make you look like the bad guy on campus.
Leave The Reader Wanting More
Finish strong with a snappy takeaway that explains why readers should pick up your book in particular. What will they get out of it?
Draw connections to relevant bestsellers in your genre explain why your YA romance will tug at the heartstrings of people who cried at The Fault in Our Stars, or why your self-help book is the Gen Z-friendly update to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Highlight the value you bring to readers.
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