Book sales, both physical and digital, have grown steadily in the UK over the past few years. In 2020, more than 200 million books [Statista],[Feb 1, 2022] were sold, and in 2021, book sales generated more than £6 billion in revenue [Statista], [May 9, 2022].
This shows that selling books online can be a potentially lucrative business opportunity. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re interested in starting your online bookstore.
Tips to start your online bookstore
Keep these points in mind before starting your business:
- Decide whether you will set up your own website or use an existing one like Amazon UK. This can affect various aspects down the line.
- Be very sure of what you’re going to sell: research bestselling books, popular genres and categories. Understand readers’ tastes and preferences, and choose the exact type of books you want to sell.
- Build good relationships with your sources for books, whether they be independent publishers, established retail shops or book wholesalers.
Tips to grow your online bookstore
Once you’ve set up your store, here’s what you can do to boost business:
- To expand your reach, use social media platforms effectively. Run campaigns on platforms your customers frequent, to increase visibility.
- Certain niches, like rare books or out-of-print books can potentially be more lucrative. So, do a check to see if you can add such products.
- Price your books to stay competitive in the market segment and monitor these prices across all categories and titles.
- Be ready to capitalise on the latest trends, such as a new movie launch that may spur an increase in related books and comics.
Tips to sell books on Amazon
Amazon remains one of the most popular online bookstores, so here are a few tips specific to selling on this website:
- Third-party sellers on Amazon UK can only sell physical books, not ebooks or audiobooks. So, first off, focus only on this category.
- Secondly, Amazon has very specific guidelines for listing the physical condition of books being sold on the site. Know these guidelines intimately, and be transparent in describing the condition of your books.
- Know Amazon’s shipping guidelines and pack your books properly. Have appropriate and multiple packing materials available. If you are shipping more than one book, make sure you wrap each one individually or use single book boxes for protection.
Can I sell my own books on Amazon?
Yes, you can sell your own books on Amazon – but they must be physical books.
What types of books can I sell on Amazon?
You can sell all kinds of physical books, including new books, used books, collectibles, textbooks and comic books, subject to Amazon’s Content Guidelines
Should I only sell my books on Amazon?
No, you are not limited to selling your books only on Amazon. However, monitor your inventory and sales carefully if you choose to sell on multiple sales channels.