by Sherrie Wilkolaski

How to sell more books is a question that authors are constantly asking themselves.  If you’re an author interested in another way to use Amazon help drive book sales, take a look at Amazon’s Marketplace.

What is the Amazon Marketplace?

Amazon’s Market place is a third-party online storefront where you can sell your books, or other products, alongside Amazon’s catalog of goods.  It is free to put your products in the marketplace and you only pay a fee when you sell a book.  Instructions on how to set-up your account at the end of the article.

Why should an author sell books in Amazon’s Marketplace?

To be clear, this book sales and marketing tool is not for every author.  If you are willing to carry a small amount of book inventory or if you have excess inventory you’re trying to get rid of, this is ideal.  It’s a nice way to control your retail pricing and make more per book sale, because you buy your book at wholesale pricing and then sell direct to the consumer.

Benefits of setting up your marketplace account.

The Amazon Marketplace is a nice sales channel that provides you with all of the exposure and traffic Amazon has to offer, with you controlling the pricing and managing the fulfillment of the orders.  You can add or remove books any time you like.  Get the account started so you’re ready to sell, when you need it.  Amazon will pay you as orders come in.

Important fact:  You MUST have inventory of your books on hand if you are going to sell in the Amazon Marketplace, if you have a book listed.  You cannot wait for orders and then order books.  This is against the rules and Amazon will shut you down and you don’t want that.

Top 5 tips for authors looking to use Amazon’s Marketplace:

  1. Price your book, just below Amazon’s retail price.  Why would you want to compete with Amazon?  People go to Amazon to find the best prices on books and everything else.  Price your book just slightly lower than the retail price listed at Amazon to entice potential buyers to order from you directly.  You should run the numbers to make sure that you cover your costs.  Buyers pay for shipping and handling.
  2. Sell off the books sitting in your garage. Have you done a book signing and have extra books you want to unload?  Use your Amazon Marketplace account to sell those books.
  3. Readers like autographed copies.  If you are managing book sales via Amazon, you can offer autographed copies.  Just sign your name, don’t worry about personalizing anything.  Keep it simple.  In your online listing mention the books are autographed.
  4. Don’t use your author name or book title to create your reseller account.  In the event you have a buyer that posts a negative review (yes this is a possibility if you’re dealing with the public) even if you provide excellent customer service, you don’t want to have your author name or book title tied to this account.  Also, if you decide to ever sell any other books, DVDs, or any other item, then you’re covered.
  5. Get your orders shipped out within 1-2 business days. Getting your orders out quickly will help to get you good reviews.  Amazon customers are sent follow-up emails from Amazon to check on their service providers, so you want to get good reviews, so more people will buy from you.   Use media mail to ship your packages and always use delivery confirmation.  It is worth the money to ensure the package arrives.  Send the tracking code to your customer when you ship out the order.

To set up your free Amazon Marketplace account click here for detailed instructions.

Use your online storefront wisely.  It’s a great way to get rid of excess inventory and sell to the more savvy reader looking for a deal.

Do you use Amazon’s Marketplace to sell your books?

Image courtesy of akaak19.