How to sell books on Amazon simply by watching TV!

By Sharon Fussell, July 6, 2011

I often notice that books relating to films being released at cinemas or on Sky TV will sell quickly. And I also find that, should a celebrity be in the news for any reason, biographies and autobiographies about them will quickly be snapped up. In short: media coverage will boost book sales.

For example I sold copies of Alan Sugar’s autobiography for £8.99 (a nice profit from a cost of 25p). Although I would expect this title to be of interest at any time of year, the fact that series of the Apprentice was on at the time helped to sell the books on Amazon within a few days of them being listed.

To sell books on Amazon it really does pay to be aware of current affairs…

Next year is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. This week alone I sold two books written about this disaster. One I listed at £24.99 and sold within a few days, the other took a while longer (8 weeks) but as it fetched £49.99 I didn’t mind the wait – especially as both titles only cost me 25p!

Last week I sold a book concerned with Bin Laden who, of course, was recently killed by USA forces and today I sold a copy of a book relating to the Stephen Lawrence case, which has yet again been back in the news.

So, it is well worth taking note of current or upcoming reality TV shows, films and any media related events when selling books on Amazon UK.

Amazon’s Fulfilment By Amazon

It appears Amazon sent out an email in error to non-FBA sellers. It is interesting in that, although I do not think Amazon UK are currently operating this new system, I am sure they probably will in future.

Basically, it looks as though Amazon are attempting to clear out FBA non-selling stock that is taking up room. It is clear that many FBA sellers are sending multiple copies of books to Amazon’s fulfilment centres. Now, this is fine, but what tends to happen is that a seller with multiple copies (in some cases thousands of one title) will undercut the price to get rid of them. That’s up to them, but it causes other daft sellers to try and undercut that low price.

I believe, no matter how low a price one seller offers their titles at, you do not need to copy them. I have a minimum price structure of £2.80 per book. In most cases this will ensure my book stays on page one of the selling page. If not, because the price of books have been set low, I do not list my copy but put it to one side to look again in a few months or sell on ebay.

If you are selling using FBA, you will not want to pay long term for multiple copies of unsold books to be stored by Amazon. So this clear out is a good idea.

Of course if, like me, you mostly list single copies, then Amazon’s clearout will not affect you. Saying that, when I first started sending books to Amazon’s Fulfilment centre, I did have a few multiple titles that I sent up and have only sold a couple so presumably this Amazon change – when it takes effect in UK – may affect me personally. However, there are so few that I would not be too concerned about.

So, how do you prepare yourself for this change should it be adopted by Amazon UK?

* Only list duplicate copies using the same SKU if the title has a very high ranking, is in demand, and should sell quickly.

* List multiple copies on separate SKU’s. But! Be aware doing this is called ‘page hogging’ and Amazon can remove duplicate listings by the same seller.


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