How to Sell Books on Amazon

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Amazon, the world’s biggest mega store, is home to over 52 million different books that are available at any time. The way we read books is changing constantly – besides,  the traditional hardback and paperback options, readers  now prefer to enjoy a good novel or non-fiction tome in e-reader or audio formats.  Amazon’s main book categories are:

  • Books listed by a publisher
  • Books by an online store
  • Second hand books by Amazon members
  • Self published books by the author.

Before Starting Selling

Before starting Selling

Before becoming an Amazon bookseller, you need should have access to the following:

  • A reliable computer
  • A credit or debit card
  • A hand-phone in order to down the Amazon seller app.

You should also arm yourself with some tools – below are some of them:

  • USB Barcode Scanner. It is essential for those who are going to sell large volumes of books on Amazon.
  • AmazVol. This Amazon keyword search volume tool will help you find the most appropriate keywords for your items. Especially,  when you are a new seller, you’d better start from small volumes. So you will have big chances to represent your books without having competition among already well-known ones.
  • Keepa.The Keepa is an add on to the Chrome browser for bringing comparisons of products and prices. This is a perfect way to help you pay attention to your competitors and price optimization.
  • Inventory Lab. Inventory Lab is a tool to help you to get yourself organized as a book seller.  The onsite Stratify solution lets you research products in order to source books to sell.  Stratify also emphasizes inventory tools and expense tracking and profit analysis to make sure that you can measure how much money you’re making from selling books.

Selling As a Professional or an  Individual

Selling As a Professional or an  Individual

What kind of seller you decide to be mainly depends on how serious seller you are and, how much volume you think to be selling.

Here is an indication of the benefits and limitations of each of the two kinds of seller:

Benefit Individual Professional
Monthly subscription fee None $39.99
Amazon fee per item $0.99 None
Create new Amazon product pages Yes Yes
Inventory management tools None Yes
Order management tools None Yes
Amazon marketplace services None Yes
Amazon set shipping rates Yes None
Seller set shipping rates None Yes
Promotion services None Yes

For Amazon sellers who want to sell only the odd item, the Individual seller option is best, and  for those who want to sell high volumes or a large number of products, the professional option is the right investment.

Selling EBooks or Printed Books

Selling EBooks or Printed Books

 

As already mentioned, books are available on Amazon in a number of various formats, including eBooks and print books in paperback and hardback.

Print books are the traditional format. They are created by a printing press and distributed to physical and online stores.  Print books include a number of costs: printing, packaging and shipping.

EBooks or electronic books are uploaded to an online retailer’s site and, when purchased, they are downloaded to the customer’s electronic reading device.  This retail for a low is connected to the fact that there are no printing, packaging or shipping costs.

When you decide which format to sell on Amazon, there are a number of factors to take into consideration and here we list the pros and cons of each from customers’ reviews.

When eBooks first appeared on the market, many thought that it was the end for traditional publishing.  However the tide has lately started to turn.  In 2017, the Wall Street Journal announced that eBooks had seen a drop in sales of around 17% and in contrast, print books were up by about 5%.  As a seller, eBooks offer a quicker and simpler selling process; but print books are particularly rare or collectible editions and can be extremely productive.

Used Books or New Ones

Used Books or New Ones

New books are those purchased right from the manufacturer or publisher and are items which have not been handled by any consumer.  Most Amazon sellers sell used books which is more profitable; but sellers must follow to a strict set of rules and honesty stating the condition of the book.

There are the following conditions of books:

  • Used- Like New
  • Used- Very Good
  • Used- Good
  • Used -Acceptable.

Fulfillment Methods

fulfillment Methods

When having books for sale on Amazon, there are two fulfillment methods:

Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM)

Fulfilled By Merchant is the process when a book is sold, you package it and ship it yourself from the stock which you already have.  The advantage of FBM is that you avoid paying fulfillment charges.

Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)

This is a method where you ship your product to an Amazon fulfillment center.  When you make a sale, Amazon will pick, pack and ship the product to the customer instead of you. The advantage of Amazon FBA is that you shouldn’t worry about the shipping to the customer yourself; however, you pay fees to Amazon for the privilege.

Pricing

Pricing

When pricing a book on Amazon, there are factors to consider for both eBooks and print books.  These factors include:

Pricing on Print books

  • The condition of the book
  • If the book is new or used
  • If the book is rare or collectible, such as a first edition.

Pricing on Print Books and EBooks

  • If a book is written by a well known author, it’s likely that it will have a higher price than that of an unknown.
  • How many sellers are offering the same book and, at what price.
  • Your book cost plus packing or shipping costs.

The objective of selling on Amazon is to make a profit so you need to be sure that your selling price is higher than your buying and shipping costs.  Before setting your final price, you must do some research to find out how much your competitors are selling the same book in a similar condition for (here you can apply Keepa).

When setting a price for an eBook, you may try the following exercise:  start your book at around $4 and reduce by $1.00 every three days until you reach the minimum price of $0.99. Then you wait a few days and then reverse the process until you reach $4.  So you can monitor the performance of the book at each price point to find the proper price.

Getting Paid

Getting Paid

When you set up your Amazon account, you will need to fill in your personal details including valid bank account details.  When a transaction on Amazon is complete, Amazon will transfer the money, minus its fees – to your bank account. It can take up to five business days.

You should note that your bank statement may show various sources in addition to Amazon Payments Inc, depending on the transaction.

First Order and Review

First order and review

Getting the first order is a great feeling and you can promote your products on social media or through Amazon PPC advertising. In order to be a successful Amazon seller, you also need positive reviews.

Not every buyer leaves a review after a purchase. But there are some useful tools that can help you have these reviews.

AsinKey can help you avoid negative reviews by sending a notification as soon as you get them.

Providing Customer Service

Providing customer service

As with any business, providing perfect customer service is the key to the success. You should always make sure that you respond to customer questions and inquiries as quickly as possible and if you receive a complaint you should show the customer that it is important to you to resolve the situation.

So you should do your research thoroughly to source books to sell and take a look at how many different sellers are already selling the same item.  Being proactive when promoting your books on social media offers a whole wealth of potential customers with Facebook book buying groups. You can make sure that your customer service is the best by responding to queries quickly and positively and you’ll soon be on your way to being a great Amazon book seller.