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sell books amazon

How To Sell Books on Amazon

15 min read

These days, the goal of many writers is probably to sell their books on Amazon. Some will stop at nothing until they achieve that goal. Whatever stage of book-writing you are in, it is never too late to dream big about your book’s publication prospects. And if you’re a writer (or just dreaming of calling yourself one), we’re here to help you understand how to get your book onto Amazon.

There are many ways to make money in the world of books and the written word. Selling books on Amazon is one of the proven means to make some cash. Amazon is directly in charge of up to 50% of book sales in the United States.  That means it might be the right time to start building an Amazon business. However, to do so, you’ll need to learn the ropes on how to sell books on Amazon, the types of books you should sell, and other basics relevant to the business.

Without mincing words, Amazon is the best place to start when it comes to selling books online. And the reasons are not hard to understand. Amazon is considered an authority when it comes to modern book selling, and offers sellers massively versatile pricing options. Besides, on Amazon, there is always a new niche to explore. And where there is exploration, there is opportunity.

Tellingly, there is no such thing as being stuck when it comes to selling books on Amazon. And given the fact that ecommerce has witnessed immense growth over the last few decades, selling online has gone significantly seamless. In the quest to seek a perfect solution and provide actionable service to all — yourself inclusive- Ecwid’s approach is an option to consider. Meanwhile, we will answer your question of “how to sell books on Amazon” in this post by providing a comprehensive and in-depth insight into the subject.

Read on to learn more.

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Why Sell on Amazon?

So, if you are like our inquisitive friends, you might want to ask why Amazon? And if there are other platforms, what distinguishes Amazon from the rest? The answer is simple. Amazon is the best place to look to sell your books online. The following facts and figures establish the point even better:

With these facts at the back of our minds, the best way to answer the question of “why Amazon” is to look at it from the angle of “do I have the necessary resources to create a profit-driven and viable online store?”

In the next sections in this post, we will go through a step-by-step guide, following through with a compilation of everything you should know before you decide to sell books on Amazon. Consider it a checklist, a list of free tips, and a wealth of profoundly reliable advice, basically everything you need to take as a profitable adventure.

Selling Books on Amazon

Selling books online has never been easier. This is especially true with the advent and growth of Amazon. Selling through the platform has been the best way to quickly and easily develop the infrastructure to get it done. Candidly, buying and selling books is a reliable means of making money through Amazon. And there’s even a lot more you can do.

The Hustle says you need at least 11 hours in a week to build a promising and profitable side business. That’s an average of 2 hours a day. Therefore, you will need to block off the hours in your calendar if you want to make it work. You will also need to be organized. And you can create a reliable solid plan that resonates with your action. Likewise, selling on Amazon is easier than you imagine. In essence, you must be able to answer these questions:

  • How to get books to sell?
  • What is your preferred shipping method?
  • How to get a suitable Amazon account?
  • How to boost/enhance sales of your book on Amazon?

How To Sell Books on Amazon

#1. How to get books to sell on Amazon?

Selling books on Amazon seems like an easy decision, especially if you choose to go the way of a niche everyone can relate with. In the print book aspect, you can also decide to sell new or used books. Pretty straightforward.

Selling used books is the most risk-free option. That is, selling your books- the ones you have used. So, check out your closet and book drawer and see if you can find any books that you can resell. That’s one interesting way to practice selling books online if it is your first shot at the business.

Typically, some of the books that you could consider are rare finds, old editions, niche books, textbooks, and any type of old book. Meanwhile, do not be deterred if you can’t sell your books immediately. Just keep stashing your books online, and over time, it would be considered as a reflection of your taste and it will not take long before the sales roll in.

You can as well take advantage of Amazon’s trade-in program which allows you to buy back the already-used textbooks and other things if you want to dispose of them. Besides, if you want to know the books that people- your audience- are looking for, you can use a reliable ecommerce tool to identify the keywords with a high search index on Amazon.

More so, there is a proven way to determine or identify the type of books that sell best and fast on Amazon. You can check the website’s Best Sellers Rank (BSR), and you can also see the ranking of each book on the page listing. As you would expect, the lower the rank, the more the number of books that sell in a month. That is, a book ranked #1 could sell up to 1,500 copies in 30 days. In theIn the same way, a book listed or ranked at 1,000,000 might not make one sale.

Coming to how much you can make selling used books, the general idea is that you are highly likely to break even if you set the price of your books at $7. That is, setting it at $10-12 will guarantee a profit. But note that setting the price cheap implies higher Amazon fees.

As a beginner, selling new books can be a tall order. This is because you would be required to buy inventory from distributors, publishers,, or wholesalers. Hence, buying in bulk is the only way to make money selling new books on Amazon. Alternatively, you could buy books from authors- especially self-published ones- as they are likely to have no direct connections or interactions with wholesalers. The drawback with this option is that you stand at a high risk as it could go really bad.

#2. What is your preferred shipping method?

As a new seller, you can use Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) for shipping. This implies that you will be the one to pack and ship your orders, and since there will only be a small inventory and few orders that have to be fulfilled, you should be able to manage the workload. You can check Amazon’s FBM fees here.

Also, going for FMB means you will cater for everything, even customer service. Once you become more established in the business, you can then decide to ship with FBA. Your business growth will automatically indicate more time packing and shipping. Shipping may be an essential aspect of your customer service, but ultimately, it is merely busywork. You can outsource it. Meanwhile, the benefits of shipping through FBA are:

  • Amazon ships your books for you and handles the entire customer-related issues
  • Eligibility for Prime Shipping
  • Your products will be more prioritized over FBM products when it comes to the Buy Box
  • In case of a problem with an FBA shipment and with a negative review, Amazon affords you the liberty to remove such a review
  • FBA shipping is cost-effective and scalable, especially for medium and large-size Amazon booksellers

#3. How to get a suitable Amazon account?

You can then proceed by creating an Amazon seller central account, and there is only one last fee structure you have to attend to. How much you will pay on Amazon is dependent on your choice of seller account. Correct! You can sell books on Amazon, for free.

Look up the selling plans and choose which one suits you- whether an individual seller account. This costs $0.99 per item sold plus other fees like closing and referral fees. A professional seller account costs $39.99 plus other selling fees.

The individual seller account is perfect when the total number of books sold in a month is less than 40. You can set up the Professional Seller Account by filling in your business name, contact info, address, bank info, and credit card. This is an advanced plan for people with a more substantial book inventory and those in need of advanced selling tools. In this case, you will not have to pay a fee for every item sold- it’s already part of the monthly fee.

It’s Time To Start Selling!

Having created your Amazon seller’s account, and with a few books in your inventory, you can now start selling. You will have to spend some time creating product pages for your products. Search for each book’s ISBN, and select “Sell on Amazon” from your listing.

Product listings have an impact on the ability of your books to show higher when customers search for them on Amazon. When it comes to setting the price for your book, you will also have to state the number of copies you want to sell, including the condition of the books- whether new or used.

To price your books, Amazon tells you the range of prices listed for each book while you are on the product page. And that’s a good place to start. But it is a great idea to test-run your pricing on Amazon’s calculator to determine how much you would expect to make. Take note of this step if you want to make a profit selling books on Amazon.

#4. How to boost/enhance sales of your book on Amazon?

A revenue data gathered in 2019 said 86% of Amazon sellers are profitable. Then, it might be nice to ask or wonder what they are doing right and how they have been able to sell successfully on Amazon. All they did was study! Due diligence by reading up on everything possible in the niche you plan to sell your books can be the indicator of how serious you are about this business.

Begin with Amazon’s Seller University at the basic level, then graduate to the Amazon Seller Central forums where you get brutal truths that you can implement some practices into your sales. As you grow, there might be the need to promote your books- especially if you have the budget for it. Master the entirety of the ads and learn how to use them. You can sign up for an Amazon seller software as a newbie. To help you get off quickly, you can register with a third-party ecommerce service like Ecwid.

Summarily, you will have to:

  • Register for a seller account by using the “Getting Started” tab on the Amazon website.
  • Deciding what to sell
  • Choosing a selling plan- a suitable one for you
  • Completing your registration
  • Selling and shipping your products

Final Thoughts

In closing, selling books on Amazon is worth it. That is especially correct if you have done your homework by following this guide, which comprises a clear idea of your pricing, time, resources, effort, and leveraging the sweet spot in your chosen niche.

In this post, we have covered practically everything you need to kick-start your book-selling dreams on Amazon. That is bearing in mind that the ecommerce business is highly sought after and incorporating a widget like Ecwid will make this even super-fascinating and increase your tendency to make sales and profits on Amazon.

Ecwid’s ecommerce platform has the right tools needed to create an accessible and business-friendly bookstore online. You will get to take advantage of the tons of benefits including a mobile-friendly website, secure environment, and a platform with the assurance of a fast and safe payment gateway.


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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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