Skip to Content

Selling Books on Amazon – What It’s Really Like (The Inside Scoop)

Selling Books on Amazon – What It’s Really Like (The Inside Scoop)

Have you ever thought about selling books on Amazon? It’s a flexible work-from-home business that can be lucrative (if you do it well!) I had a business selling books on Amazon FBA and will share the inside scoop on the good, the bad, and the annoying, so you can see if it’s for you!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

If you’re new to Amazon FBA, you might want to start here: How Does Amazon FBA Work: Everything You Need to Know to Run Your Business.

How I Started Selling Books on Amazon

A couple years ago, I wanted to dip my toe into selling books on Amazon. Even though I started and ran a successful catering business and bakery, I was new to having an online business. I didn’t want to invest thousands of dollars into an Amazon business and then find out I didn’t like it.

So before I bought a single used book to sell…

I scanned every single book in our house!

Kids’ books, adult books, fiction, poetry, cookbooks, you name it.

I realized how many books you have to scan before you find winners. Out of all the books in our house, four ended up being profitable enough to sell.

Related reading: What to Sell on Amazon FBA to Help You Reach Your Profit Goals

The thing is, if you find four profitable books in a store, you will buy up all the copies of those books.

Then what many Amazon sellers do is drive to the other locations of that store and buy up all the copies of those books too.

Yes it’s another trip, but well worth it as you have already done the scanning part and know these books are profitable on Amazon.

Related reading: How to Make Money on Amazon FBA – Lessons From a 6-Figure Amazon Seller

Selling Books On Amazon: What You Need

A scanning app for selling on Amazon

There are lots of Amazon scanning apps out there you can use.

I tried a few of them:

Camel camel camel

Profit Bandit

Amazon Seller App

The Amazon Seller app was my favorite. It’s connected directly to your Amazon seller account which is awesome. It’s a free app and is pretty simple to use (there’s a bit of a learning curve with all the scanning apps).

What you need to know (this is SUPER important) is how profitable the book you’re scanning could be.

Just because a book looks great, sounds popular, unique, or you just have a good feeling about it, means boo-all.

You need to know with actual numbers, the profit you would make on that book after Amazon’s selling fees are subtracted for selling that item.

Find out how much it costs to sell on Amazon here: Amazon FBA seller fees.

Related reading:

Shipping boxes for selling books on Amazon

When I started selling books on Amazon, I didn’t even spend money on shipping boxes right away! I had a good stash of (ahem, Amazon) boxes stored up. Because when you become an adult you have to save the really good boxes.

So at first I used the large, strong boxes I had around the house to ship books to Amazon.

When I ran out of those boxes, I bought packs of boxes from Amazon (to then be shipping back to Amazon…I know, so meta).

These boxes are strong and a good price.

Related reading: How to Ship Products to Amazon FBA: Ultimate Guide to Save Money and Time

Persistence to be successful at selling books on Amazon

Selling books on Amazon is just like selling toys on Amazon or selling electronics on Amazon in one important way – it is a numbers game.

You have to scan A LOT of items to find books or clothing or toys that will be profitable to sell and not a waste of money. If you scanned 10 books and found 1 sellable one that would be lucky.

You might have scanning days that are discouraging. Maybe you scanned entire shelves of books and only found one or two sellable used books. Persistence is SO important with selling on Amazon.  

Kind of like in Finding Nemo, this needs to be your motto: “Just keep scanning, just keep scanning…”

You could be a scan away from finding a REALLY profitable book to sell on Amazon!

Related reading: Best Amazon FBA Course If You’re Serious about Making Money on Amazon


You have to have a very specific type of confidence to be successful selling books on Amazon. Or selling any used products on Amazon for that matter.

If you are using the retail arbitrage method of sourcing products (what I used when I sold books on Amazon), you will be scanning items in stores. Retail arbitrage means buying new or used goods and then selling them somewhere else (ie. Amazon) for a profit.

It’s perfectly legal to scan items, but in some stores you will stick out. Most people will completely ignore you. Some people will stare; over time you’ll probably get asked a question or two. If you’re totally shy and don’t like sticking out at all in public, retail arbitrage for selling books on Amazon is probably not for you.

I didn’t always love standing out while I was scanning books for resale – you can read my selling on Amazon FBA review here.

On the other hand, if you are sourcing products online then you don’t need this kind of confidence because you won’t be standing out in public! What you need instead is the knowledge of how to find and source profitable products online. The best tool I have found that does this is Jungle Scout.

Jungle Scout gives you everything you need to find a product, source it from a supplier, list it on Amazon, and start selling. It’s seriously amazing! They also offer private trainings so your Amazon business will be successful.

Jungle Scout even offers a risk-free 7-day money-back guarantee so there is zero risk to try it out! My link here even gives you a special discount if you want to continue past the 7 days.

The Secret to Finding Profitable Books to Sell on Amazon

Selling books on Amazon for a killer ROI isn’t about luck.

Sure, occasionally you might luck out and happen on a really great deal on a book that will be super profitable. But you don’t want to rely only on luck because you don’t know when that’s going to happen to you again.

If you are serious about making money selling books on Amazon, you need the ebook called Niche Book Profits. It is a steal of a price and it will teach you exactly how to find the best books to sell on Amazon.

Grab the ebook here:

The Best Course to Learn How to Sell on Amazon

I want to introduce you to a family that are the EXPERTS on selling on Amazon. 

Jessica has been making a full-time income on Amazon since 2009 and her husband Cliff joined her in 2012.  The first full year they were both working on their Amazon business they net over $100,000 in PROFIT!! 

They’re called The Selling Family and they have been teaching people how to sell on Amazon  since 2012.  They make a killer income (working part-time!) and they were able to pay cash for their new home! #jawdrop

If you are serious about making money selling on Amazon, The Selling Family course is the best choice to help you do that.  Their Amazon courses come with a money back guarantee so you can feel 1000% confident about your purchase.

They even offer a totally free starter course so you can start making more money asap!

Sign up for a FREE Amazon FBA starter course here:

Good luck friends with your business selling books on Amazon! And more than luck, learn everything you can from people who are farther along than you. That’s the key to success in selling on Amazon, and just about anything out there!

And if you just love reading, I have an awesome post for you! Here are 11 legit ways to get paid to read books!

Pin selling books on Amazon to save for later ⬇️

How to sell books on Amazon (& make $100,000+/yr) - stack of books on a table

I hope you loved these tips for selling books on Amazon!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Kathleen Aherne

Monday 21st of June 2021

Our JULIE has chosen your informative post to be featured in the next Blogger's Pit Stop. Kathleen


Monday 21st of June 2021

Thanks Kathleen and Julie! <3 It was an interesting experience selling books on Amazon and I wanted to share what I learned.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.