Out of the many businesses online, selling books online is also a great idea. And you can sell through Amazon without investing in an eCommerce site.
Do you know Amazon started the now gigantic business by selling books? And later scaled to such a massive global enterprise!
If you are ready to pursue straightforward business goals relentlessly, you can be the next Jeff Bezos.
Are you excited?
Let’s dive further to understand the detailed steps to sell books on Amazon to launch your next successful venture.
1. Choose the type of books you wish to sell
With thorough online research, you will realize what books are trending and what kinds are selling fast. You can start selling the books you have if you think they fit the bill and if they rank in the fast-selling list of books.
In case you don’t have any books with you, you can obtain them from various channels, like
- Distributors or publishers
You can buy books online or from physical bookstores at wholesale prices, which are less, than the retail price from the distributors or publishers. You can buy several copies of several books, depending on your budget.
- Local bookstores
You can visit your local library, second-hand book stores, budget book shops, yard sales, etc., and procure the books you require. You can also go to estate sales and search for collectible books.
Similarly, you can look out for book auctions and search for used and collectible books.
A word of caution: You should follow Amazon’s detailed guidelines before you list your books. You must fully understand the guidelines for collectible books and new and used books, and then list the books on your seller account.
The following information will help you to understand what kind of books are rejected by Amazon.
- Illegal or copyright-violated content.
- Books having offensive, pornographic, threatening, and terrorism-promoting content.
- Books having missing pages or pages with unreadable text.
2. Creating Amazon Seller Account
There are two options for a seller account. You can either register as a professional seller or an individual seller.
Let’s compare both plans to understand them better.
|Monthly subscription plan
|Pay as you go
|$39.99/- per month + additional selling fees
|$0.99/- per month + additional selling fees
|Should be paid irrespective of your listing or selling of any book
|You will pay only when any book gets sold
|Referral fees charged
|Referral fees charged
|Advanced selling tool
|Basic listing and Order Management tools
|Inventory management tool
|No such tool
|If you intend to sell more than 40+ units
|Ideal for professionals
|Ideal for beginners
Based on your status and budget, you can select the plan and open your seller account.
After choosing the plan, you should consider calculating your per unit sales margin. Amazon provides you with a cost calculator to help you with that.
Once registered as a seller, you can start selling through Amazon, which will open access to the Seller Central Dashboard. The dashboard allows you to list your books, manage the inventory and fulfill orders.
3. To decide how to fulfill orders
This step involves two options:
- Merchant Fulfilled Network (MFN) and
- Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
As the name suggests, MFN allows you to handle inventory, packing, and shipping by yourself.
While by FBA, you just need to deliver the books to an Amazon Fulfillment Center, and Amazon takes care of the entire supply chain to supply the book to the customer.
Using FBA for dispatching your products is a simple way to procure the Prime Badge. The Prime Badge indicates fast and free shipping services, and the chances of customers choosing you over your competitors will be more.
Choose the one which you feel is appropriate for your business.
4. Setting the price of books
Now is the time to set the price of your books. The pricing obviously will depend on the book type and its condition. The best way to set your prices is to keep an eye on the competitor’s prices and accordingly adjust your prices.
You can change the pricing of your books multiple times. Let’s look at some factors affecting the pricing of books.
- The state and shape of the book?
- Whether the book new or used?
- Is it collectible, such as the first edition?
It’s imperative to add the packing and shipping costs to your pricing.
Protip: Amazon provides you to manage the pricing automatically. With the Match Low Price feature of the Automated Pricing Tool, the system will help you effortlessly match the current lowest price on the platform for specific products within no time.
5. Listing your books
Locate the product page and check the titles of books you wish to list. Follow the following steps:
- Every book printed after 1970 has an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) code. You should enter the ISBN code of the book into the search bar. Enter the title manually if the book was printed before 1970.
- Click on the “Sell on Amazon” button on the product listing page.
- Next field is to enter the SKU (Stock Keeping Unit). You can enter your own SKU. If you wish to get that generated by Amazon, keep it blank.
- Choose a suitable price. Click the “Match the Lower Price” button to adjust the pricing accordingly.
- The default quantity is one unit. Enter in case of a higher number.
- Next is to describe the quantity. Be honest about the actual quality of your book.
- Lastly, select the fulfillment channel, whether MFN or FBA.
Step 6: Promotion and marketing
Marketing and promotional activities are a must for any business. Amazon provides you with numerous tools to promote your book-selling business. You can also use other channels like social media and Google Adwords to promote your business for a wider audience reach.
You can view free training videos on Amazon’s Seller University to train yourself with the basics of sales and selling tools, along with advertising and promotions. Drive sales and grow your book-selling business with Amazon Advertising, which also helps you to measure your KPIs.
Authors can promote their own published books with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
Social Media is a powerful tool to enhance your business promotion and targeting the right audience to buy your books. Invest in Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn ads with paid advertising campaigns, and measure the effectiveness of your ad program with the tools provided by these platforms
You can also promote your business with the Google Adwords program and drive traffic to your business.
Take reviews on a serious note:
Always pay attention to customer reviews and take them as constructive feedback. It will help you to improvise on many aspects, which will eventually help you to scale your business.
Positive reviews will boost your confidence. To earn good reviews, here are some tips:
- Keep transparency and honesty about your book condition.
- Ensure you deliver all shipping on time.
- Address customer inquiries as soon as possible.
- Solve all issues as early as possible.
7. Packing and shipping
You should be careful to dispatch the books to your customers safely and securely. Customers’ getting the book in their hands is the first instance where you can impress them and create a long-lasting bond with them. If they are happy with quality delivery on time, you will get repetitive orders from them.
Here are the steps if you are fulfilling orders with the FBA method:
- Create the shipment via your Amazon Seller Central account. Follow the step-by-step process to ship or restock your inventory to Amazon.
- You can pack the books to dispatch to the nearest Amazon Fulfillment Center.
- Label the packages as per the guidelines mentioned for shipment label requirements.
- In case of brand new books, check requirements for FBA products listed as new.
- Check how Amazon will receive and store your inventory.
- Go to your seller account and Manage Orders.
- Securely pack your books.
- Once you are ready with the packing slip, print it. A PDF product and shipment label will be generated by Amazon. (see print a packing slip)
- Dispatch your books using any delivery service of your choice. You can also dispatch to Amazon’s Fulfillment Centre using Amazon’s discount shipping.
- Confirm your order (see how to confirm a shipment).
Buying Shipping services is recommended
In case you are fulfilling your orders, it is recommended to use Amazon’s Buy Shipping Services. It allows you to buy shipping labels, and ship, confirm and track orders in one place.
Amazon’s Buy Shipping Services guarantees you a trusted network of shipping carriers associated with Amazon. Opting for this service eliminates the step of confirming the shipment, as confirmation is automatic.
Pro Tip to Sell Books on Amazon – Dropshipping
If you find searching and buying books too tedious, you may opt to become a dropshipper and connect with your Amazon seller account. It will help you to boost your business.
Dropshipping does not involve investing in buying books beforehand. You just display the books without paying a penny and pay the merchant only when a sale happens on your seller account. The customer will pay you and the original price + shipping costs will be deducted as a payment toward the merchant, saving you your profit margin.
To summarize, dropshipping is a no-risk, almost zero investment business and easy to scale business, provided you are equipped with the appropriate marketing tools.
First, consider the millions of existing clients hooked to Amazon, the mighty online marketplace. Secondly, with a dropshipper, you can have several books of different genres including best-sellers to research-oriented books to cater to the millions of book lovers from Amazon.
And with the other marketing tools, we mentioned previously in this article, there won’t be a stop anywhere unless you wish to. In a word, dropship books on Amazon might be a great way to sell books online.
Conclusion: How to Sell Books on Amazon
Nowadays, millions of book lovers around the world are continuously checking for new books. Selling books online is a great business and can be scaled to a higher level in a short period.
Amazon provides a platform to sell books, old and new, regular and collectibles. You don’t have to create a new eCommerce site to start your online book-selling venture. Just register as a seller on Amazon to start your new endeavor.
Amazon also provides you with logistics and shipping services, giving you the freedom to concentrate more on your business, check for trending topics, and accordingly replenish your store with books having high demand.