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In Today’s post, you will learn how to make money buying and selling books. There are two methods. Selling used books or selling your self-publishing books.
How to Sell Books
Whether you’ve got a collection of books that needs thinning or you’ve self-published your own book, there are plenty of ways to sell books. Do your best to get your books in perfect condition, do a bit of research, and you’ll be well on your way to having cash in your pocket and books off your hands.
Method 1 Selling Used Books
- Repair any damage done to the book. If you have a pile of well-loved books that you’re trying to resell, the first thing you’ll want to do is get them in tip-top shape. You’ll get a much higher price for a book that doesn’t have rips, bent pages, writing, or frayed edges. Although not all of these things can be fixed, do your best to repair any damage done to your books. Unfold any ‘dog-ears’ and remove old bookmarks or sticky notes, tape the edges to prevent them from fraying further, and patch any tears that might be visible.
- For textbooks that are worth quite a bit of money, it may be in your best interest to purchase book-repair materials commonly used by librarians.
- If you’ve written in your book, erase marks if possible or use white-out to cover up ink.
- Determine the price of your book. It may not always be easy to know how much a book is worth, but you should try to find a ballpark price range prior to selling it. That way, you’ll know what to charge or whether you’re being offered a decent amount. Check the price online of books in similar condition as your own; if prices vary, take several that seem ‘normal’ and take the average to get the price for your book. If there are no other copies of your book on the market (it is a vintage copy or textbook), look at books similar to your own to gauge your selling price.
- A damaged book will never be worth very much, no matter what the content is.
- Look into selling your books online. If you’re looking for ease and a quick sell, your best option for selling your used books is to try an online store. Look for venues/sellers specific to your type of book – textbooks, vintage, cookbooks, fiction, etc. – and go through the process of registering online with them. There are two general ways you can sell online: sell directly to a large buyer, or create a posting for your book that people can search. The former gives you the fastest means of selling your books, but the latter gives you more control over price and where your books go.
- Look on websites like Amazon or eBay to see what their selling process is like.
- If you don’t want to pay for shipping, look into possibly selling locally via a website like Craigslist.
- Check for used bookstores in your area. Although chain bookstores tend to be the go-to for many readers these days, there are plenty of used bookstores around for those of us on the more frugal side. Used bookstores get their stock from people trying to sell books. You go in, drop off the books you want to get rid of, they search/price the books they want, and give you a quote for the total. Used bookstores are nice because they get books off your hands immediately, but they may not buy all your books from you.
- It is becoming more and more common for used bookstores to give store credit rather than hard cash for any books they decide to purchase from you. Make sure you check on this policy before trading in your books.
- Keep in mind that used bookstores can sell good-quality books for much more money, so if you’re trying to get rid of books that are bent up and damaged, they probably won’t buy them from you.
- Try selling your books at a yard sale. If the weather isn’t too bad and you have quite a load of books you’re trying to get rid of, it might be in your best interest to host a garage or yard sale. Here, you’ll be able to set up shop and sell tons of books, fast. Yard sales are a favorite hunting grounds of book lovers, as there tends to be a large variety for little cost. Put your books on display, price them cheaply, and people will be snatching them up off your hands quicker than you can put them out!
- Advertise your garage/yard sale a few days in advance for the most traffic. Place an ad in a local newspaper, or put up signs around your house so that people know where to come to.
- If you have a friend with lots to sell, you can draw in more people by doubling up and creating a big yard sale. Bringing in more stock from a friend will get people much more interested than just a few books sitting out on a table.
Method 2 Selling Self-Published Books
- Make sure your book is in perfect condition. The biggest mistake you can make in selling a self-published book is putting it out on the market while it still has mistakes and needs editing. Make sure that your book has been well-edited, is formatted correctly, and has a matching cover and appearance with the story. A good-looking and clean book will sell many many more copies than a book that has numerous mistakes or an obviously hand-made cover design.
- It is worth your money to hire a professional editor or cover designer to help get your book ready for selling.
- Don’t rely on friends and family only for opinions/editing help on your book. It will be clear if you were lazy and took the easiest way out for getting your book prepared for selling.
- Advertise it on social media. You need to make as many people aware of your novel as possible, which means using multiple social media platforms to get the word out. You should be posting regularly about your book on various platforms to get people other than your close friends and family involved. Try using social media like:
- Goodreads (like Facebook but for books/authors)
- Do local events and book signings. If you make appearances in places where your book-buying audience is likely to be present, you’ll be sure to sell plenty of books. See if any local bookstores, radio stations, or libraries will host you for a public interview or book signing. If you make a public appearance and can use your charm and wit to lure people into reading your book, you’ll be able to get plenty more buyers than just sending your book off to be sold somewhere.
- If you can get a book deal at a local store and a book signing event, you’ll be golden.
- Getting published in a blog or online magazine might be a great way to get word out about your book. Look into blogs/magazines that tend towards your reading audience, and ask if you can be hosted on their page.
- Create a mailing list. If you’re able to get a group of fans to sign up for a mailing list, you’ll be one step closer to getting your book into the hands of people who may not have heard of you before. Have people sign up for either letters or emails (the latter are more popular these days) which you can send out any time you have an event or need their support. Using this mailing list strategically will help build stronger relationships with your fans, while using it too frequently and not professionally will cause people to stop following you. Do your best to stoke interest in these lists, and your fans will likely forward them on to other friends and family.
- Do plenty of marketing. Marketing isn’t easy; there’s a reason entire college degrees exist in the field. However, if you treat selling your book like a business and do tons of marketing, you’ll sell way more books than a self-publishing author who does not. Hire a marketing agent to help you get your book out in the world, or do a bit of research in marketing on your own. In the end, it will be worth the money and time spent, as you earn it all back and open the eyes of hundreds of readers to your writing.
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