Selling books on Amazon is a popular way to earn money from home and on a schedule that works for anyone. Books are often the first category new Amazon sellers start. Because books are plentiful, cheap in used condition, and easy to work with, the newbie Amazon seller can learn this category fast. Books don’t require any special processing or handling, have a low return rate, and are easy to pack and ship.
Those new to selling books often think the most popular authors and titles are the best to sell. The opposite is actually true – the more unusual or scarce, the better. Generally speaking, book sellers should avoid mainstream fiction and titles and authors that are highly publicized like James Patterson, John Grisham, or anything on Oprah’s Book Club. Even some non-fiction books should be avoided, such as titles by Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, or political figures. The more highly publicized a book is, the more copies of a book are in circulation, and the lower the value because the books are too plentiful. This is the simple law of supply and demand.
To make money on books, the savvy book seller must search for books that are unusual, unique, or very niche oriented. The weirder and more specific the better. For example, instead of selling “The Joy of Cooking,” which won’t sell for very much on Amazon, a seller would look for niche cookbooks like “101 Blueberry Recipes,” or “Gluten-Free Italian Cooking.” The more scarce a book is, the more it will be worth.
Many Amazon sellers speak of making great profits on textbooks, but that can be a tricky category. The book must be relevant and still used for homeschool, high school, or college. A drawback of textbooks can be returns. Because of Amazon’s generous return policy, a student could actually use the book for the quarter or semester and return it at the end of the term. This hurts an Amazon seller’s bottom line when the book sold for over $100 and Amazon deducts the refund automatically. No business is without risk.
Here are some suggestions for categories of books that may do well on Amazon. Remember to check Amazon.com for sales price, sales ranking, and other data before buying a book for resale. This is just a general list.
Religious and Spiritual books, especially topics out of the mainstream. Middle Eastern and Far Eastern religions, New Age, or cult topics can do well.
Travel books such as Fodor’s Guides, DK Eyewitness Guides, and Frommer’s Guides.
Books for Certifications such as obtaining a real estate license, Nurse Practitioner certification, financial planner certification, etc. Use caution with books related to computers and technology. Because technology changes so quickly, even a 2-year old book can be obsolete.
Cookbooks out of the mainstream do well. Skip the Southern Living or those mass produced by anyone on the Food Network. Look for cook books about specific dietary needs (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, etc.), country specific, or ingredient specific cookbooks. Also keep an eye out for older Martha Stewart cookbooks ,
Books about specific hobbies can sell well. Again, think out of the mainstream. A book about caring for Bonsai trees will sell better than a book about scrap-booking, simply because raising Bonsai trees is not as common as scrap-booking. A book about caring for a antique wooden boat will sell better than a book about power boating.
Learn more about making money selling books on Amazon.