How to Sell Books on Amazon: The Complete Guide for 2024

Contents

Are you considering selling books on Amazon? This is a fantastic idea for achieving success in 2024. With millions of potential customers and a user-friendly selling platform, Amazon offers an exciting and lucrative opportunity to establish your own book selling business.

In this article, we will outline eight steps you can follow to achieve success as an Amazon book seller. From selecting the right books to optimizing your product listings, we will share valuable tips and tricks that will help you increase your sales.

Selling books on Amazon is a great opportunity, especially if you want to become an Amazon seller. Get ready to take your book business on Amazon to the next level and experience a successful start to 2024! Here are the contents of this article:

  1. 4 Reasons Why You Should Sell Books on Amazon
  2. How to Find Books to Sell on Amazon
  3. How to Get Started Selling Books On Amazon
  4. Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s dive right in.

Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Sell Books on Amazon

Some people want to get rid of their old books. Others want to start an Amazon FBA business. Here are the top four reasons why you should sell books on Amazon, regardless of your goal.

Reason 1: Earn money with used books

The most obvious reason is that you can make money by selling used and even old books on Amazon. For example, Dave Hamrick from Jungle Scout claimed that he built a business generating thousands of dollars per month by selling used books on Amazon.

This can also be a good way to gather capital for future investments as an Amazon seller, such as entering Amazon FBA and selling private label products. However, it’s crucial to avoid overestimating the revenue potential initially.

Reason 2: High demand for books

The demand for books is not going away. More people than ever are interested in reading books. Statistics show the books, films, music & games market is expected to rise to an impressive 177.10 billion Euros by 2024.

Even more impressive is the forecast for 2031, which predicts a market volume of 165.33 billion USD. This corresponds to an expected annual sales growth of 2.2% (2023-2031). The figures clearly show that books still make up a significant part of the entertainment market and offer a lucrative opportunity for Amazon sellers. 

Reason 3: Amazon Is a Great Marketplace to Sell Books

Amazon is the largest online marketplace for products worldwide. 59% of milennials head to Amazon before any other Ecommerce Website.

Here are some interesting facts about Amazon:

If you want to sell online, there’s no better option than becoming an Amazon seller. Some people claim selling on eBay is better, but I prefer Amazon. You can read our article about selling on Amazon vs. eBay to find out what’s better for you.

Reason 4: Amazon Makes Your Life Easier

On Amazon, you can choose between three fulfillment options:

  • Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM): You list your product on Amazon, pack it and ship it to your customers.
  • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): You list your products on Amazon. Amazon stores, packs, and ships your product to your customers.
  • Amazon Vendors (AMZ): You act as a vendor and sell your products directly to Amazon.

Amazon FBA is a great way to get started as an Amazon seller. That’s because FBA sellers can invest more time in marketing and selling their products. They don’t have to worry about storage or shipping.

When you begin selling on Amazon, you can opt for Amazon FBM and handle the packing and shipping of products yourself. But when you start selling more products, I recommend switching to Amazon FBA.

How to Find Books to Sell on Amazon

There are two essential things you should look for when considering books to sell on Amazon:

The Best Seller Rank (BSR) tells you how quickly a product sells on Amazon. A higher BSR indicates that a product sells slower on Amazon. A lower Best Seller Rank indicates that a product sells faster. That being said, the BSR of the book you want to sell on Amazon shouldn’t exceed the 100.000 mark.

After deducting all costs and Amazon fees, the net profit should be at least 3 USD for books – 4 USD is better. You can easily calculate the net profit with Helium 10’s Profitability Calculator. Here’s a screenshot of it:

Helium 10 Profitability Calculator

I highly recommend signing up here for free.

It’s crucial that every book you sell on Amazon satisfies these two criteria. This ensures that you’re able to sell your books quickly and that you make enough profit to sustain your book-selling business. Let’s now talk about where you can find books to sell on Amazon:

1. Sell Your Books

Perhaps the simplest way to sell books on Amazon is to sell the books you have at home. It’s likely you have tons of books you have already read. Rare books, textbooks, and old comic books are particularly valuable. 

2. Library Sales/ Thrift Shops

There are several places where you can purchase used books for sale. Thrift shops and library sales are just a few options.

Bring your book scanner to these sales so you can find books that will get a big payout on Amazon. The scanner will help you identify books that will bring a profit. 

You can also use scanning apps to tell you how much you will earn from your sale after product costs and seller fees. Here are some apps you may consider using:

  • Amazon Seller App: This app is free for all Amazon sellers. It tells you things like product category, FBA fees, approximate profit, best sellers rank, and the number of competing sellers. 
  • ScanPower Mobile: This app is one of the more expensive scanner apps, but it provides you with a wealth of useful features. It will tell you if a product is selling, it will create listings and print barcodes automatically, and it offers advanced inventory features.
  • Profit Bandit: This less expensive premium app will connect with your central seller account so you can create listings on the go. It integrates with Keepa and CamelCamelCamel. It also allows you to see which offer has the buy box. 

3. Online Arbitrage

Online arbitrage works like retail arbitrage with one crucial difference. You don’t buy books offline; you buy them on other online marketplaces like eBay. Here’re some examples:

  • eBay
  • Craigslist
  • Facebook Marketplace

Simply purchase a book on one of these sites and sell it on Amazon at a higher price to turn a profit. 

Here’s a great article about Online Arbitrage. Check it out if you are considering this seller strategy. 

4. Wholesale Purchases

Wholesale and bulk purchases allow you to buy books for less. You can sell them individually at a lower cost. Many eBay and FaceBook sellers offer bulk purchase options.

If you choose this option, ensure that you purchase books that haven’t been sorted or scanned. Otherwise, you might end up buying books that other Amazon sellers have discarded as unprofitable.

5. Estate Sales

People often get rid of their book collections when they move. Look around your area for estate and closing sales. You are bound to find plenty of low-cost books that you can resell on Amazon. 

What Kind of Books Sell Best on Amazon?

Obviously, it’s important to sell books people will want to buy. So which books sell best on Amazon? Here are a few categories to consider. 

  • Niche Books: Niche books have low print runs that make them rare and therefore, in demand. Books that are part of collections tend to be rare as well. 
  • Comic Books:  Comic books sell well on Amazon. You will do especially well if you have comic books with first appearances and limited runs. 
  • Collectible Books: First editions, autographed books, and other rarities may qualify as collectibles. Make sure you are allowed to sell your collectible on Amazon before you list it. 
  • Non-Fiction: Non-fiction tends to do better than fiction on Amazon. Fiction will sell, but non-fiction is a safer bet. 
  • Hardcovers: People tend to prefer hardcovers because they are a durable choice. Sellers can also price hardcovers higher and hopefully turn more of a profit. 
  • Textbooks: These are a great Amazon seller items because they are always in demand, especially in the fall and spring when kids are going back to school. However, be aware that some publishers may “brand gate” their books to prevent non-certified sellers from selling new or used books online. Do some research to determine if you can sell a certain textbook before listing it.

What Type of Books Don’t Sell Well on Amazon?

  • Fiction: As stated earlier, fiction books tend to not do as well as non-fiction books on Amazon. This is because fiction books typically have larger print runs than non-fiction books so they are not as rare. Additionally, people usually get rid of a fiction book after they read it, whereas they will hold on to a nonfiction book and reference it when necessary. 
  • Children’s Books: Children’s books are difficult to sell because of their lack of staying power. Children outgrow their books quickly so they are not worth much to buyers. Children’s books also tend to be priced lower so they won’t generate as much of a profit. 
  • Popular New Books: Popular new books won’t do as well older rare books. Sellers will even have trouble pushing new hardcover and non-fiction books. Why? Because it’s likely Amazon is also selling the book and you will have a tough time beating their prices. 

How to Get Started Selling Books On Amazon

Step 1: Choose a Method to Search for Books

The first thing you have to do is choose the best method for attaining your inventory:

  • Do you have tons of books at home? You may choose to sell your own books. 
  • Love thrifting? Seek out library sales and thrift stores in your area.
  • Do you like to do business online? Try online arbitrage.
  • Are you a tough businessman? Go for the wholesale method.
  • Thrifty shoppers may also enjoy searching their neighborhoods for estate sales. 

You will be successful with offline methods like thrifting and estate sales if you keep a keen eye on community events. Look for yard sales and used book sales. Talk to bookstore staff to find out about other places to buy books second hand.

If you prefer the wholesale or online arbitage methods, you may find bulk sellers and discounted items on Craigslist, Facebook, or Google or eBay. You can also talk to library staff and bookstore workers to learn about their favorite places to buy wholesale and discount books.

Step 2: Create an Amazon Seller Account

If you want to become an Amazon seller, you’ll need an Amazon seller account. There are two types of seller accounts:

  • Individual Seller Account
  • Professional Seller Account

With the Individual Seller Account, you need to pay a $0.99 fee per sale. With the Professional Seller Account, you need to pay a monthly fee of $39.95.

So, if you sell more than 40 products per month, a Professional Seller Account is totally worth it. I highly recommend checking out this article about Amazon FBA Fees.

Here’s how to create an Amazon Seller Account:

1. Go to Amazon

2. Create a regular Amazon account.

AMazon Sign In

3. Once you’re logged in, your name will appear in the field next to the search box. Click on this field.

4. Scroll down and click on “Your Seller Account”.

Amazon Seller Account

5. You will be redirected to the next page. Click on “Start Selling”.

Bildschirmfoto 2019 11 17 um 09.11.49

6. Now, you have to decide whether you want to have the Individual- or Professional Seller Account. The site will require you to enter a valid credit card, bank account, phone number, and tax information.

7. Complete the registration process.

8. After you’ve created your account, you should have access to Amazon seller central.

If you can afford it, I recommend creating a Professional Seller Account right away. If not, switch to a PSA soon as you can.

Step 3: Use a Tool to Analyze Costs and Profits

You probably won’t remember how much money you’ve spent on each book. It will be challenging to determine which books make money and which do not.This will make it difficult to optimize your Amazon business. 

I recommend using a tool to analyze the costs and profits of your bookselling business. Here are my recommendations:

Jungle Scout Sales Analytics

SA Units Sold

Jungle Scout Sales Analytics organizes and tracks all your Amazon sales data in real-time, so you can focus on profits and cost-saving strategies and make more money.

Price: $49 per month with Jungle Scout.

Helium 10 Profits

Helium 10 Profits Dashboard

Helium 10 Profits analyzes cost and profits. It will help you minimize unnecessary factors that cost you money. With Helium 10 Profits, you can get the maximum profit out of your Amazon business.

Price: $37 per month with the A la carte plan or $97 per month with the Platinum Plan.

Step 4: List Your Books on Amazon

To create your book listing, enter the book’s ISBN (usually below the barcode) into the Amazon search bar. Then click on “Have one for sale”.

How To Sell Books on Amazon

Amazon will guide you through a simple process where you will provide some information about your book.

You must also provide information about the condition of your book. There are five possible conditions, which are explained below:

Amazon conditions books

You can learn more here.

You also need to set a price for your book. Don’t set the price too high. The lowest price usually wins the buy box.

Step 5: Use Amazon FBA to Sell Your Books

Fulfillment by Amazon  eliminates the hassle of shipping your books to customers. Amazon will store, pack and ship your books. Plus, products you sell via Amazon FBA are eligible for Amazon Prime.

However, you must send your books to an Amazon fulfillment center. Here’s how to prepare your books for Amazon FBA step-by-step.

Create Your Shipment

  1. Log into your Amazon seller account.
  2. Click on Inventory and then on Manage Inventory.
  3. Click on Edit and select Send/Replenish Inventory.
  4. Fill out Ship from address.
  5. Choose Individual products for different books with different ISBNs. This option is used when you are sending items that are  different from one another. In the context of books, this means each book has a different ISBN, thus they are different products.
  6. Choose Case-packed products if you’re sending multiple versions of one book. This option is used when you are sending multiple copies of the same item. For books, this means every book in the case must have the same ISBN. Also, enter how many copies of each book you’re sending to the Amazon fulfillment center.
  7. Select No Prep Needed and you’re good to go.

Labeling And Calculating Your Costs

  1. The next step asks you to label your products. Your books will already have a manufacturer barcode, so click Continue.
  2. Amazon will tell you to which fulfillment center to send your books.
  3. Choose your shipping service.
  4. Enter your package dimensions and weight.
  5. Click Calculate to see your shipping cost.
  6. After you review everything, accept the charges and print your shipping labels.
  7. Stick the shipping labels on your package and send them to Amazon. Drop your boxes off with your carrier, or arrange for a pick-up at your home.

It generally takes 1 to 2 weeks for packages to arrive at Amazon, then another three days for your books to be entered into their inventory. Amazon will notify you once your books have arrived and are ready to be sold.

Step 6: Analyze Your Costs and Profits

Once your book listings are live,  monitor your sales to see which books perform best and which are not getting as much attention. You can track your sales with Jungle Scout Sales Analytics or Helium 10 Profits.

You will get more buyers if you keep your prices low. However, you must be aware of your margins . Be sure you’ll make a profit when the book sells.

With books, customer service is a bit easier than with normal products. Since you didn’t write the books yourself, you don’t have to worry about reviews.

But you still need to consider your seller reviews regarding the quality of your books.

You need to state the condition of the book correctly. If you describe your book as being in good conditon when it is really in poor condition, then you may get bad reviews.

Conclusion – Sell Books on Amazon

To wrap up this article, let’s quickly go over the key points you need to keep in mind when selling books on Amazon. Firstly, you really want to stick to books that have a Best Seller Rank (BSR) under 100,000. It’s a sweet spot that suggests the book is in demand and likely to sell fast.

Profit-wise, make sure each book nets you at least a $3 gain after all the fees and costs are squared away. Don’t forget, you can source books on several places such as library sales, thrift shops, online or even sell your own old books.

Lastly, be honest about each book’s condition to keep reviews positive. And here’s a pro tip: funnel those profits into launching a private label product. It’s a great next step to scale up your Amazon business and really start seeing some serious dough.

Frequently Asked Questionsscnn

Donate Books

One of the easiest ways to get rid of your old books is to donate them. Call a non-profit organization like the Salvation Army. They will send a truck to pick up your old books. You’ll get a receipt that you can use to claim a tax deduction.

Used Bookstores

Sell your book to used bookstores. This option requires little effort, and you’ll walk away with cash in hand. The drawback is that used bookstores only pay a small amount of money, even for books that look new.

Sell Books on eBay

You can also sell your books on eBay. However, I prefer selling books on Amazon because I have had more success with it. This is mainly because there’s more demand on Amazon, and you can use metrics like the Amazon Sales Rank (BSR) to determine how likely it is that a book will sell.

Yes. Amazon has a program called Amazon Trade-In. It allows you to exchange your old books for Amazon credit. The downside is that Amazon is very picky about what they accept, and you won’t get many credits for your old books.

  • Textbooks
  • Niche books
  • Comic books
  • Collectibles
  • Non-fiction
  • Hardcovers

Like most online marketplaces, Amazon charges  seller fees. Here’s an overview of all the fees you must pay to sell books on Amazon:

Fees for Amazon Seller Account

The fees you pay will vary depending on the  type of Amazon seller account you choose. Your options include:

  • Individual Seller Account
  • Professional Seller Account

The Individual Seller Account requires no monthly flat fee. However, you must pay Amazon $0.99 per sale. The Professional Seller Account requires a monthly flat fee of $39.99, but no fee per sale.

The plan you should choose depends on the number of books you sell on Amazon per month. If you sell more than 40 books, the Professional Seller Account is more worthwhile. 

Referral Fees

You must pay a referral fee of 15% for Amazon book sales. 

Closing Fee

Media products such as books, DVDs, CDs, and Blu-Ray requrie flat fee of $1.80 per sale.

Shipping Costs

There are two ways to sell on Amazon: Fulfillment by Merchant and Fulfillment by Amazon.

If you choose Fulfillment by Merchant, you must pack and ship products on your own. You must pay for shipping, resources, and cost of labor.

With Fulfillment by Amazon, Amazon will handle all of this for you. In return, you’ll must pay a fulfillment fee to Amazon.

In most cases, this fulfillment fee will be lower than the normal costs for shipping. However, you must decide whether Amazon FBA is worth it for your business or not

  • Fiction
  • Children’s books
  • Cookbooks
  • Mass market paperbacks
  • Popular new books
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Moritz Bauer

Moritz Bauer studied industrial engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Constance. At the age of 16, he build his first online store. Today, he teaches companies how to set up their business online.

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