Book sales on Amazon generate approximately $28 billion in revenue every year. Amazon is also responsible for about half of all the sales of the top 5 global publishers and controls over 80% of all book sales in the U.S.
These astounding statistics are enough to make anyone ponder how to sell books on Amazon.
The prospect may sound counter-intuitive at first. After all, how profitable could selling books on Amazon be? Wouldn’t the books you intend to sell already be listed by Amazon and other third-party sellers?
The answers to such questions are more nuanced than they appear. However, they definitely favor encouraging sellers in setting up shop and selling books on Amazon.
Before we delve more into that, let’s examine why Amazon allows individuals to sell books on the platform.
Types of Books to Sell on Amazon
From fiction to collectibles to non-fiction titles, when it comes to selling books on Amazon, almost any title stands to be sold. Ofcourse, terms and conditions apply. Textbooks, niche titles, collectibles, and hard-covered ones are generally considered to be well sought books. Fantasy books, books on business, computers, biographies, manga, and more hold the potential to sell like hot cakes provided the right customers find them.
How to Start Selling Books on Amazon
First off, you need to decide three things before getting started.
- The fulfillment method
- The type of seller you’d want to be
- How you’d source your inventory
Amazon offers two main fulfillment options for booksellers:
Merchant Fulfilled Network (MFN)/Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)
With MFN/FBM, you have complete control over order fulfillment. You can list books on Amazon and handle the packing and shipping yourself. This allows you to maintain direct customer contact and manage the fulfillment process according to your preferences.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
FBA enables you to leverage Amazon’s extensive fulfillment network. You can send your books to Amazon’s warehouses, which take care of storage, packing, and shipping to customers. This option provides convenience and scalability, freeing up your time for other business activities.
The Type of Seller You’d Want to Be
Depending on your book-selling stance, Amazon offers two ways to choose the type of seller you’d want to be.
The Individual Seller Plan
This plan offers a flexible, pay-as-you-go approach. You can utilize basic listing and order management tools. You also have the option to create listings individually by matching products to existing pages or by creating new pages in the Amazon catalog.
One of the notable advantages is that you only incur fees when an item sells. This makes it an ideal starting point for newcomers in the online selling arena.
The Professional Seller Plan
This plan is designed for businesses seeking more advanced selling capabilities. It entails a monthly subscription fee, irrespective of whether you list or sell any items (in contrast to the individual plan’s per-item fee structure).
The plan provides access to enhanced selling tools, including inventory management, that allow you to upload batch files and efficiently manage your orders using feeds and reports. The professional seller plan is particularly beneficial for medium to large businesses looking to streamline their operations and optimize their selling experience on Amazon.
How You’d Source Your Inventory (Books)
There are several ways to go about finding books to sell on Amazon. So, how to resell books on Amazon? Here are some avenues to begin with:
Thrift Stores and Secondhand Bookstores
Visit local thrift stores, used bookshops, and charity outlets. These places often have a wide selection of books at low prices. Estate and garage sales can also be a treasure trove for finding books.
Library Sales and Book Fairs
Take advantage of library sales and book fairs in your locality, where you can find a wide selection of books, including donated or retired library books, available at affordable prices.
Localized Online Marketplaces and Ads
Explore online marketplaces like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or classified ad platforms for people selling books locally. You can negotiate prices or purchase book lots in bulk.
Look for books that are priced lower on one platform compared to their selling price on Amazon. This price discrepancy presents an arbitrage opportunity, allowing you to purchase the books at a lower price and list them at a higher price on Amazon.
When sourcing books for resale, it is crucial to assess their condition carefully. Adhere to Amazon’s comprehensive condition guidelines. Here are a few points to be mindful of:
- Familiarize yourself with Amazon’s guidelines that outline the specific criteria for different condition categories, including new and used books and guidelines for niche items like collectible books.
- Consider the category-specific guidelines that Amazon has in place for certain types of books.
- Before listing a book, thoroughly inspect it to confirm its condition matches the guidelines.
Steps to Selling Books On Amazon
How to start selling books on Amazon? Here is an outline of steps on your book-selling journey on Amazon.
Step 1: Decide the Type of Books to Sell
Determine the genre, category, or specific types of books you want to focus on. Consider factors like your personal interests, market demand, and potential profitability.
Step 2: Create Your Amazon Seller Account
Sign up for an Amazon seller account by providing the required information and completing the registration process. As discussed above, choose between an Individual or Professional selling plan.
Step 3: Decide How You’d Fulfill Orders
Select your preferred order fulfillment method. You can choose between Merchant Fulfilled Network (MFN) or Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
Step 4: Set Your Book Pricing
Determine your pricing strategy for the books you want to sell. Research the current market prices for similar books and consider competition, book condition, and demand. Establish prices that are competitive in the market while maintaining a professional approach.
Step 5: List Your Books on Amazon
Use the Amazon Seller Central platform to create detailed product listings for each book you want to sell. Include relevant information like the book’s title, author, edition, condition, and a compelling description. Add high-quality images to enhance the appeal of your listings.
Step 6: Promote and Market Your Books
Implement marketing strategies to increase visibility and sales. Leverage Amazon’s promotional tools, such as running limited-time discounts or participating in programs like Amazon Advertising. Use social media platforms, book-related communities, and your network to spread the word about your books.
MORE: Learn about the best Amazon Marketplace Research tool.
Step 7: Pack and Ship Your Books
If you have chosen the MFN option, ensure that you follow Amazon’s guidelines for packaging and shipping to provide a positive customer experience.
Benefits of Selling Books on Amazon
The overhead for starting with selling books on Amazon is minimal. Entailing benefits include:
Thanks to Amazon’s technological prowess, you wouldn’t require a separate website for your outlet or create systems for online ordering and fulfillment. Amazon houses all the necessary tools you’d need.
Easy Entry With Minimal Inventory
You can start selling with just a few books. There’s no need to maintain a large inventory upfront. This allows you to test the waters and gradually expand your offerings.
Wide Genre Categories
It’s a no-brainer that Amazon is a vast marketplace with numerous book genre categories. The potential to reach diverse reader types is huge.
That said, Amazon has over 16,000 categories for books alone, from generic and familiar genres to extremely niche genres. It is advised that you thoroughly understand how Amazon categorizes books so that the right customers may find you.
Flexible Payment Options
According to Amazon’s payment policies, you can receive payments in regular payouts and on flexible terms. You can accommodate different buyer preferences and potentially attract more customers.
Versatile Selling Methods
Amazon offers various ways to list and sell books. You can sell by title, ISBN, weight, or by scanning the barcode using tools like the Amazon Seller App. This versatility makes it easier to match your inventory with customer demand and streamline the listing process.
Why Amazon Allows Third-party Book Selling
WhenWhether it comes to reselling books on Amazon, the more the sellers, the healthier the ecosystem. The competitive marketplace dynamic gives consumers expanded products and price selection. FurthermoreBesides, it aligns with Amazon’s goal of creating a holistic online shopping platform that caters to a wide range of customer needs. Not to mention the commissions or profit shares that Amazon can reap through third-party sales.
Selling books on Amazon continues to be a promising business prospect even in 2023. Here’s a recap of the essential points you need to know to sell books on Amazon:
- Amazon offers several options to sell books based on your business stance and preferences.
- Often, selling books on Amazon comes down to the kind of book you’re selling.
- From selling books you own to acquiring them from book fairs and thrift shops, there are several ways to add books to your inventory.
- Amazon has comprehensive guidelines regarding categorizing your books. It’s a crucial requisite that you list them with the correct categorization.