Despite the growing popularity of ebooks and audiobooks, printed books are still in high demand. For both newbies and established Amazon sellers, selling books on Amazon as part of your business model may help generate additional profit for your Amazon business.
If you are considering venturing into Amazon bookselling this 2021, here are some important things you should know.
Selling Books On Amazon: Quick Run Through
Amazon Bookstore: Brief History
Many shoppers and online sellers are not aware that bookselling is not something new for Amazon. In fact, printed books were the very first items sold on Amazon. “Amazon.com: Earth’s Biggest Bookstore” was even displayed on the Amazon logo.
In retrospect, the first book sold on Amazon.com was Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought, by Douglas Hofstadter.
At the onset of their business as an online bookstore, Amazon sold to all 50 U.S states and more than 40 countries. It was in 1998 that Amazon decided to go beyond selling books and started selling CDs and DVDs. And the rest is history.
Key Books and Reading Data
In order to understand why there are still online sellers that sell books on Amazon, let’s look at some of the key statistical data relating to books and reading.
- Despite the prevalence of ebooks and audiobooks, in 2019 the United States book publishing industry still managed to record an increase in net revenue in comparison to its preceding year.
- 2019 American Time Use Survey Summary revealed that Americans still spend time reading despite the existence of modern forms of entertainment, like internet browsing and watching television.
- Statista also detailed that in 2019 the average reading time spent by individuals in the United States amounts to 16.2 minutes. By age bracket, those aged 75 and above consume around 44 minutes of reading time per day, and adults over 65 were observed as the most avid readers.
- Worth noting that in 2018, it was reported that “Amazon controls almost “50% of all book sales across the US.”
The information displayed above constitutes the reasons why selling books on Amazon is still a profitable avenue for Amazon sellers and would-be Amazon sellers.
Books You Can Sell on Amazon
When it comes to selling books on Amazon, knowing the types of books that sell well is essential. Similar to other listed products on Amazon, product research should be carried out.
Simply checking Amazon Best Sellers Rank may not be enough, you should also consider niche, type, quality, and the value it brings. In general, there are two main options Amazon sellers choose from: new and used books.
The selling of new and used books on Amazon has its own advantages and disadvantages. For new books, the main advantage is demand – a considerable population of readers and online shoppers prefer new books over used ones. However, acquiring brand new books to sell on Amazon can be quite challenging since you need to find a reliable source that can supply you with a voluminous inventory. On the other hand, selling used books on Amazon is somewhat easier as they can be easily acquired, but the downside is that compared to new books, the demand for used books is not as high, nor are the profit margins.
Top Book Genres for Amazon Bookselling
Selling books on Amazon does not only mean choosing between used and new books. You will also have to consider genres, categories, and sub-categories. To widen your selling options, here are some of the best selling genres and categories to choose from.
Textbooks: This type of book is a highly in-demand book on Amazon. Whether it is used or brand new, a great number of shoppers purchase textbooks, either for leisure, learning, or references.
Comic Books: Whether for timeless collection or entertainment, shoppers buy comic books, either single issues or graphic novels.
Non-fiction Books: Selling books on Amazon would not be complete without non-fiction books in your inventory. As compared to fiction books, non-fiction books tend to maintain their value over time, mainly because shoppers use them for references even after reading them.
Niche Books: Another popular book genre on Amazon is niche books.
Collectibles: Collectibles are in demand online. Books that are signed or printed as first edition books are being sought by collectors who are willing to pay a reasonable amount just to obtain a copy of a collectible item.
These are just some of the available options for Amazon sellers to start their Amazon bookselling business. As for book categories, some of the top-selling categories include but not limited to: Self Help; Memoirs and Biographies; Health, Fitness, and Dieting
In contrast to in-demand books, there are also book types that sellers should be cautious of. In particular, books that people tend to get rid of quickly such as children’s books, and even cookbooks should be ventured into with caution. However, if you are adventurous enough or have already experienced dealing with these types of books on other online selling platforms, you will most likely be able to navigate on Amazon.
Where To Look for Books To Sell On Amazon?
Selling books on Amazon requires sellers to have well-prepared inventory. Therefore it is recommended that sellers set-up their operations and suppliers before beginning their Amazon selling journey.
For new books, Amazon sellers have three sourcing options. Sellers may choose to source books either from wholesalers, distributors, and/or publishers who are willing to sell books directly to retailers or Amazon sellers. Alternatively, in order to maintain an inventory of used books, Amazon sellers have plenty of options to source books. Sellers can easily find used books in thrift stores, library sales, book store sales, yard sales, or even on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist.
Amazon Book Selling Preparation Tips
Similar to other online selling platforms, there are things to consider and prepare for when planning to sell books on Amazon. To give you a headstart with your Amazon bookselling business, here are some tips:
Create an Account
In order to start selling books on Amazon, you should first have a seller account. For account creation, there are two options to choose from.
You may either choose to open an individual seller account. Although the account creation is free for this type of account, you will have to pay Amazon $0.99 every time you sell an item.
If you plan on expanding your Amazon bookselling business, try the Professional Seller account, which will cost you $39.99 a month. You will not have to pay the $0.99 “Per Item” Fee, and you will also gain access to selling categories that are ideal for business expansion.
If you wish to create an account and start selling books on Amazon today, CLICK HERE!
Secure Your Inventory
Before you start selling on Amazon, you should secure how to source your inventory. Similar to other Amazon niches and categories, Amazon bookselling requires sellers to have a reliable and consistent source of inventory items to avoid frustrating would-be customers and maintain good standing with Amazon.
For reference, discussed above are some of the highly suggested avenues through which you can secure consistent and reliable inventory items for your Amazon bookselling business.
Be sure to research and outline the price range of books while also considering other expenses such as Amazon fees, especially for the used books category that normally lacks the suggested retail price. When selling books on Amazon, you should also take into account that the use of Amazon’s free repricer can be quite tedious, especially for voluminous inventory, not to mention the possibility of racing towards the bottom price. To avoid pricing mistakes, the use of automatic Amazon repricers is recommended.
Choose Efficient Fulfillment
When it comes to selling books, the majority of online sellers prefer the Amazon FBA program. It is preferred by top Amazon sellers because after creating a listing, they simply send their books or inventory items to the Amazon fulfillment center and it is Amazon’s responsibility to pick, pack and ship the items to customers.
Alternatively, if you are insistent on choosing Amazon FBM, make sure that you package your items well and partner with a reliable carrier capable of delivering goods to customers without any delay or damages to avoid negative reviews.