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A Guide to Selling Books on Amazon

Posted on: 20-03-03-Tue 00:45
Home Guide to Selling on Amazon A Guide to Selling Books on Amazon
How to Sell Books on Amazon
How to Sell Used Books on Amazon
Best Books to Sell on Amazon
How to List Books on Amazon

Amazon is a great platform for making money. There are different ways of making money on Amazon. The common way of making money on Amazon is through selling. There are different types of items that can be sold on Amazon. Actually, there are millions of items currently listed on Amazon for sell. These items are grouped into various categories to make their management easy. The items that are related to one another are placed in the same category. This makes it easy for sellers and buyers when searching for items. Some sellers have ventured into selling books on amazon as a way of making money on Amazon.

Amazon is well-known as a site where one can get various types of books. In the USA alone, 45% of online print books are purchased on Amazon. It's simple to start selling books on Amazon, making Amazon the right platform for you to start your book selling business.

selling amazon books

However, a lot of work is involved for one to publish their first book on Amazon. You will also find many other amazon sellers selling the same book as yours. This means that one has to learn a lot in order to sell books on Amazon. For more guidance with your Amazon FBA selling business handling books, but need a little extra nudge in the right direction, check out IO Scout's functionalities - which now include Live Chat Personal Amazon Business Consultant. IO Scout personal assistant - 24/7 expert chat feature is there to assist in the daily running of your Amazon business, and provide real-time, instant solutions to your queries about selling books on Amazon's Marketplace.

How to Sell Books on Amazon

Selling books on amazon is a great source of passive income. It presents an opportunity to those who hate their nine-to-five jobs. Most people are looking for a way out of such jobs. If you're one of them, you can venture into selling books on Amazon.

The good thing with selling books on Amazon is that you don't need much money to start. You choose to sell either new or old books. You must have some used books in your house. You can convert them into money quickly. Selling used books on amazon provides sellers with a great opportunity to start their amazon selling business. It doesn't require one to have much money in order to start. Again, it's good for those who fear risking their hard-earned money. You can start with used books and have dozens of books listed after few days.

You don't have to quit you nine-to-five job to start selling on Amazon. You can start selling books on amazon as an extra way of making money. With time, you bookselling business will stabilize and you'll quit the nine-to-five job.

There are 3 main approaches provided by Amazon through which you can sell books on their platform. They include:

Amazon Trade-In

With the trade-in or buyback program offered by Amazon, you are not selling books. Instead, you exchange your old books for Amazon gift cards. It provides a cheap way of disposing off your old and unused books for something else.

However, not all books are accepted in the Amazon's Trade-In program. Before you can consider this option, check to see whether you current books are accepted.

amazon best selling books

Once you find that a particular book is accepted, submit it via the provided submission form. You can then trade-in more books. When you're ready, provide your address, print pre-paid shipping label then send the items for free within 7 days. Your books will be send to Amazon's warehouses. Amazon will notify you on whether they have accepted or rejected your book.

It's possible for one to check their trade-in status anytime they need from their Amazon Trade-In account. To check payment, they simply need to check their gift card's balance. If Amazon rejects your books, they will be returned to you and you won't incur any return shipping costs.

Before venturing into Amazon's trade-in program, note that the value for the books will be lower than the cost you paid for them. However, it's good for you since you're no longer interested in reading them.

Kindle Direct Publishing

If you love writing books, this is the best option for you. With KDP, you won't need to sign with a publishing house. With Amazon's KDP , anyone can create then publish their own books for sell on Amazon. One can choose to create books, audiobooks or ebooks.

KDP gives sellers an opportunity to exercise 100% control on their book's rights, meaning you've ability to edit your book anytime you need and earn royalties of up to 70%.

When self publishing via KDP, your book will get to the Amazon market quickly without incurring additional expenses, providing you with an effective way to Sell Books on Amazon.

Selling Books for Cash

Other than the process of trading used books for amazon gift cards and self-publishing books on KDP, Amazon provides another way of selling books on amazon. Amazon allows you to sell books on their platform, even if you didn't author them. You simply list the book on Amazon and wait for sales. You can do this via the FBA, FBM or AMZ programs.

If you choose to use the FBA program, you will let Amazon sell the book for you and handle all transactions, including packaging, shipping and processing payments. They will also store the book for you.

If you choose the FBM program, you will the tasks for yourself. You will store the books, handle customers orders, ship items to customers and process payments and returns/refunds.

If you choose the AMZ (Amazon Vendors) program, you will be selling books to amazon directly. They will buy the books at cheaper cost, but it's an effective way to help you dispose unused books in your compound.

How to Sell Used Books on Amazon

If you want to start selling books on Amazon, you've to make the following decisions:

  • Choose your fulfillment method, whether FBA or FBM
  • Choose the type of seller you need to be, whether Individual or Professional
  • Know how you will be sourcing your inventory.

After you've decisions about the above, you can list your books on Amazon, then wait for sales. Let's discuss the above further.

Hot To Fulfill Orders

For you to sell books on amazon, you have to choose one from the two fulfillment methods offered by Amazon. You can choose either:

  • Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)
  • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

Fulfillment by Merchant

When using this type of fulfillment method, you do most of the tasks as the amazon book seller. You will wait for customers to make orders for your books, then you pick the book, pack it then ship it to the customer. You'll be responsible for following up to ensure the book has reached the right customers and on time. To ship the book to the customer, you will have the chance to choose the carrier of choice. You will also take the responsibility of storing and taking care of your inventory.

This means that when calculating your costs, you've to consider the storage fees if your books are not stored at home. You also have to consider the shipping costs and handle the expenses and the time taken to pack and ship the orders.

It is recommended to use FBM is you only have a few books to sell and you'll only receive few orders from customers. Again, if you've large operations that can help you reduce your shipping costs, use FBM. There are cases where a seller incurs less shipping charges than when shipping through Amazon. In that case, you can use FBM as the fulfillment method. However, ensure you've a place that is large enough to store your books.

Fulfillment by Amazon

With this fulfillment method, you're relieved of most of the tasks that sellers have to do. When a customer makes an order for your book, Amazon will pick it, package it then ship the book to the customer. This means that Amazon will have relieved you of these tasks. With FBA, you won't have to store the books yourself. You simply source the books then ship them to Amazon. They've warehouses, commonly called fulfillment centers where they can store your books. Amazon takes care of your books while they are in their fulfillment centers.

Amazon also takes the responsibility of shipping your books to their customers. This means that you will not have to pay for shipping costs. Since they do the processes of storage, picking, packing and shipping of your items, you won't directly pay for these. However, Amazon will charge you FBA fees to cater for the costs of these processes.

This means that you should use FBA if you have many orders that need to be fulfilled, or when your operations are not enough to help you reduce your shipping expenditure. Again, when using FBA, you must not have a place to store your books since Amazon will store them for you in their fulfillment centers.

Choosing Amazon Seller Type

To sell your books on Amazon, you choose to be:

  • An Individual seller
  • A Professional seller.

Let's discuss these two in detail.

Individual Seller

With this type of amazon seller account, you incur a cost of $0.99 per every book sold. This means that you if you are selling many books monthly, it will be costly. That's why it' recommended for amazon sellers who sell less than 40 items monthly. If you are targeting to sell not more than 40 books monthly, choose this type of seller. However, to reduce your costs because of the $0.99 per item sold, Amazon offers you another option, the Professional seller, providing you with a cheaper way to sell books on amazon.

Professional Seller

You should choose this type of seller is you're targeting to sell more than 40 books monthly. You will not incur the $0.99 charge per item sold. You will however incur a cost of $39.99 monthly on your account. This means that if you sell more than 40 items monthly, you will incur less charges since there is no $0.99 per sold book. Choose this type of seller if you've a large inventory and you want to be generating a steady income on Amazon.

Inventory Sourcing

Most people interesting in selling books on amazon already have books online and they need to sell the same books on Amazon. However, there are several other ways through which you can source books for sell on Amazon. Let's discuss various ways through which you can source books for sell on Amazon:

Selling Own Books

This is a simple way of finding books to sell on amazon and it helps many sellers get started. If you look in your house, you must find some used books lying there with no one waiting to read them. These can help you start your business of selling books to amazon customers.

If possible, choose books that cover rare topics and old comic books.

Book Sales

Most sellers prefer going to book sales to hunt for treasures. You will always find a book sale happening somewhere like in a library. Visit such with a book scanner, then identify some of the good books that you can acquire and list them on your Amazon seller account.

Online Arbitrage

You may not feel like going from store to store to look for potential books to sell. However, there is a simpler way you can find then sell books to amazon customers. It's called online arbitrage. There are many online sites with many books on sell. The difference between the cost of the book and its price on Amazon will mark the amount of profit that you make.

You simply buy the book from the site, wait for the book to arrive then you list it for sell on Amazon. Most Amazon shoppers are not looking more into the price, but quality. You can take advantage of this to sell your books at a profit.

Wholesale/Bulk Purchase

This involves buying many books at a go from other websites at super low prices. Examples of such sites include CraigsList, eBay, Facebook and others. Target the books listed at low prices, buy in bulk and even ask for more discounts if possible. Sell them on Amazon at higher profits to make profit.

Estate/Closing Sales

You can find cheaper books during estate sales, moving sales and closing sales. During these, you will find many books being sold cheaper and at once. Target these and you'll find nice deals to start your interest to sell used books on amazon. You will be shocked by the price at which you will be offered to purchase the books at.

Free Books

You can easily find someone trying to dispose a book or books for free. You can find such people on Facebook and Craiglist marketplaces. You simply need to find such people and get the books. Selling such books on Amazon can help you fetch some sales, helping you earn some money.

Sometimes, other sellers may list such books on Amazon. Just be watching out for this.

Best Books to Sell on Amazon

It's easy to find books to sell on Amazon. However, listing books on Amazon isn't a guarantee for sales. There is no need for any seller to list any books that won't fetch sales. That's why each seller has to know how to find best books to sell on Amazon.

The following tips will help you sort out books and choose best ones to sell on Amazon:

Consider Book's Best-Sellers Rank

Each item listed on Amazon is assigned a Best-sellers Rank ( BSR ). It's a numerical value. Amazon items with low value of BSR rank high upon search. The reason is that only few items come before them, which increases their visibility when customers search for items on Amazon. This makes such items attract more sales than those with high value of BSR.

A book with a BSR of #1 can make up to 1500 sales monthly. However, a book with a BSR of #1,000,000 may never sell for one month. To know the BSR for a book, open its item listing page.

Sell Books on Amazon

Your goal should be to target books with a BSR value of below 100,000. This will mean your book will fetch sales within 24 hours. This way, you can easily find the amazon best selling books.

Estimate Book's Likelihood of Selling

Before joining the amazon sell books investment, you must check the likelihood of a book making sales. This will tell you whether the book is worth selling on Amazon or not. Luckily, you've access to various tools that can tell you the likelihood of making sales with a particular book or not. Example, IO Scout, Jungle Scout etc.

Some of the tools are free while others are paid. Identify the right tool to use based on your budget and requirements. Estimate the likelihood of making sales for any particular book. List the books with high likelihood of making sales.

If you're the kind of seller who doesn't care storing books in their home for long, or doesn't mind paying extra storage charges, you can list books that sell slowly. Choose what you feel comfortable with.

How to List Books on Amazon

Once you have registered to Sell Books on Amazon, you can start to list your current books. The easiest approach is visiting the actual product page for book you need to list. It's possible to list your books from Amazon page rather than creating completely new listing. Once you've listed the book, it will appear on same page.

sell used books on amazon

To access an item's listing page, type the ISBN of the book (book's registration code) into the Amazon's search bar, the same way you search for items on Amazon. The ISBN for a book is found on its barcode or inside its dust jacket.

sell books to amazon

Books printed before 1970 don't have ISBN. Searching them using their title. On the product's listing page, you'll see a green button written "Sell on Amazon" below Buy Box.

selling books on amazon

After clicking the button, you will see a new screen where you should enter more details.

sell used books on amazon

The SKU is your personal code you need to assign to the book. Use any number, but ensure it's easy to remember. If you leave the space blank, Amazon will generate the SKU for you . For the price, sell the book at lowest price. For the quantity, enter the number of copies you've for the book. For the condition, you can choose either New, Like new, Very good, Good, or Acceptable based on book's condition. For fulfillment channel, choose either FBA or FBM.


There are different ways to make money on Amazon. Selling is the most popular way of making money on Amazon. There are different types of items sold on Amazon. When you visit Amazon, you will find millions of items listed for sell. These items are grouped into categories. More similar items are put in similar categories, while items with huge differences are put into different categories. This makes it easy to find items on the platform for both buyers and sellers.

Selling books on amazon is one of the ways to make money online. One doesn't have to sell new books, but selling used books on amazon is acceptable. It's up to the seller to choose whether to sell new or used books on the platform. Of course, this will be determined by their method of sourcing for the books. You can start small and expand your bookselling business with time. You can even start with the books within your compound if you don't read them anymore. You can also target anywhere else from where you know you can get free books for sell. You can also choose to be selling new books on amazon. You can source such books from wholesalers. if you're a good author, you can write your own books and list them for sell on the platform.

To sell books on amazon, you can choose to do it via the FBA, FBA or AMZ programs. With the FBA program, Amazon will do most of the tasks related to selling books on your behalf. With FBM, you will take the responsibility of doing the various tasks on yourself. With the AMZ program, you sell books to amazon directly. They normally buy books at cheaper prices.

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