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How to sell books on Amazon

Do you want to earn online? Selling books is one of the many options to consider. It’s no secret that Amazon, the biggest online retail marketplace, started as a vendor for both new and used books. Amazon sold books, carrying 2.5 million titles, and earning over $150 million between 1994-1997. Amazon continued to sell books exclusively until 1999 when the company started expanding into selling electronics, toys, hardware, and tools.

Why sell books on Amazon?

Selling books on Amazon is still a smart choice as Amazon’s growth continues at a steady and outstanding rate. There has also been a continued emergence of many brick-and-mortar Amazon bookstores.

How Can I Sell Books On Amazon?

Before you can start selling books on Amazon, you have to consider three things:

  • The fulfillment method (FBA or FBM)
  • What type of seller would you be (Individual or Professional)?
  • How to source your inventory

Once these decisions have been taken care of, you can immediately list your books on Amazon and await your first sale! If you are looking for useful tools for Amazon, IOScout is what you need: https://ioscout.io/listing-builder. With these tools you can easily optimize your listings instantly with a proven keyword strategy to rank high!

How Will Your Orders Be Fulfilled?

There are two ways your orders on Amazon can be fulfilled: FBM and FBA.

Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)

Using this method, when a sale is completed on Amazon, you will pick, pack, and ship the book by yourself, using your preferred carrier (e.g., UPS, FedEx, etc.). As an FBM seller, you are also responsible for warehousing your inventory.

When calculating your costs, always remember to consider storage fees if you aren’t storing your books at home. Additionally, consider things like shipping and handling expenses, time spent packing, and shipping your orders.

It is recommended that you utilize FBM if there are only a few orders for you to fulfill or if your operation is large enough that the shipping costs for your orders are significantly lesser than those of Amazon.

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

If you are using this method, when a sale is completed on Amazon, Amazon will pick, pack, and ship the book on your behalf. Amazon is also responsible for storing your inventory and taking care of customer service. Therefore, in contrast to taking care of the warehousing, handling, shipping expenses, and labor by yourself, Amazon collects a charge (FBA fee) to cover these processes.

It is recommended you use FBA if you have numerous orders for you to fulfill or if your operation is not large enough that the shipping costs for your orders are significantly lesser than Amazon’s FBA fees. Plus, there is no need to worry about book storage as Amazon’s fulfillment centers are obligated to hold your books pending sales. Use a free IO Scout FBA calculator https://ioscout.io/fba to calculate product revenue and fees.

What Type Of Seller Would You Be?

There are two categories of Amazon sellers.

Individual sellers

These sellers characteristically sell less than 40 products monthly. This is the recommended method for Amazon sellers who only have limited products to sell or engage in selling only as a hobby. The individual sellers have different fees compared to professional sellers.

Professional sellers

These sellers characteristically sell over 40 products monthly. This is the recommended method for Amazon sellers with massive inventories and wants to generate steady monthly revenue from their Amazon sales.

How To Source Your Books

Many sellers look to sell books they presently have online; however, your inventory source can come from many different areas to continue the growth of your Amazon book sales. Some of the most popular methods include

Selling your books

This is the simplest method to discover books to sell on Amazon. Search around your home or office and see if there are any old books gathering dust. Some of the book categories to consider include textbooks, old comic books, rare topics, etc. These are among the Amazon best-selling books.

Book sales

Many sellers relish attending book sales as the atmosphere makes it seem like some treasure hunt. Plus, there is continuously a book sale going on at a particular place, especially at libraries. Attend these sales with your book scanner and search for good picks to purchase and list online.

Online arbitrage

Well, if you don’t relish the idea of going out, no worries. Some Amazon sellers search on websites outside the Amazon website for books with lower prices compared to what the same book sells for on Amazon itself. This is typically referred to as online arbitrage. Just follow these simple steps:

  • Purchase the books from the third-party website
  • Wait for your orders to arrive
  • List them on Amazon

Other ways to source for your book inventory include:

  • Bulk purchase/wholesale,
  • Estate/closing sales, and
  • Free books

However, be careful when taking in free books as they could be listed by other Amazon sellers who want to get rid of their books that didn’t sell.


Learning to sell books on Amazon is one of the best ways to grow your e-commerce business. Additionally, you can also sell books to Amazon. Selling books to Amazon can be done as an Amazon vendor. These books will be significantly cheaper; however, it is the fastest way to upload your books if you are considering closing down your brick-and-mortar bookstore.

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