Hey there Sea Changers and welcome back. Today we continue our series covering some of the ways that we can fund our sea change by investigating how to make money selling books online. Yep..books. Do people still read books? Well as a matter of fact – absolutely they do. In fact, I did some research, and not only do people still purchase and read books, but over half of them do it online.

make money selling books online - header

Now I will of course double check those figures myself, but I am actually not flying blind into this one. You see I was at a BBQ on the weekend where one of our friends brought in a whole pile of books to give to another. The conversation around books was then had – quite a long one in fact – but the wash up was that out of the 10 people in the conversation, 7 still purchase and read books at least monthly. And to my way of thinking, 70% (granted from a very small focus group) certainly make this subject well worth exploring. So let's check it out…

How do we get started?

Before we get started, let's just confirm/discount whether there really is a market for this online. Based on my initial research, I am confident, but I would hate to convince anybody to start their own online book business and have it fall away due to lack of interest. So as usual, let's see what people are searching for:

What are people looking for?

To start let's just confirm our market numbers:

1. Number of monthly searches

As we are looking to see if there is an interest in the purchase of books online (so we can sell them), let's start by checking for purchase related searches. You will need to find yourself a good keyword tool (I use Jaaxy) and enter in the keywords that best describe your market. In this case, let's start with the basics:

make money selling books online - buy books

Not bad – including variations there are over 7000 odd searches – Admittedly this is not as high as some other niches I have written about but it shows an interest. I would certainly not be warning you off this one based on those numbers. To be sure let's just check a few breakdown niches as well:

make money selling books online - cookbooks

Again, not huge numbers (the results for varying search commands scroll a fair bit further than shown), but it definitely shows that people are at least looking at how to purchase certain book types. What about another product:

make money selling books online - used books

Wow – didn't see that coming. Really good numbers for used books. Maybe a good sub niche here.

2. Growth trends

Another important aspect of online sales and niche selection is to check that interest is maintained or increasing over time. To gain an insight into this let's check out how the searches for books are trending online.

Note: due to the search results above I have added a trend for used books as well.

make money selling books online - trends

So what does this tell us? Well let's break it down:

  • Interest in purchasing these products has been well maintained over the past 5 years.
  • There is a definite interest in the purchase/trade of used books online
  • There are definite spikes in interest at different times of the year – potentially Christmas and other occasions such as Mother's day etc.

All in all, I really see a good opportunity here.

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What is our niche?

Ok, now the fun part begins – as we start to look at how to sell books online, we need to break down our market into a niche. Based on the stats above – and others from my research – I tend to think that you could build a successful site around ‘books' in general allowing for discussions about a large range of materials.

However, that is not to say that there is not a great range of topics should you wish to narrow down to a sub-niche. Examples include:

  • Used Books – Well obviously – based on what we have seen so far.
  • Fiction – crime, romance, fantasy etc.
  • Non Fiction – biographies etc.
  • Hobbies – cooking, fishing, automobiles, electronics etc.
  • Gaming – big enough to be a sub niche on its own.
  • Children – Another huge market.
  • Travel – As with children's books – a very popular area to specialise in.
  • Electronic and Audio books – Kindle etc.
make money selling books online - reading on beach

As you start to think about this, the question to ask yourself is whether the content you are covering is too large to cover effectively. The risk here is that if you start with a niche that is too broad, you may not be able to cover everything to the level required or to become authority on the subject – which you will need to be if you are going to convince people to purchase from you and not their local store.

Don't forget, you can always add a new section to your site as you grow as well. As you work through narrowing your targeted niche, consider the following:

  • Are you able to solve a problem – Most people undertake searches on the internet to solve a problem – see next section.
  • Is it a subject that you have an interest, or knowledge in– I am guessing that you are in this post as you know about, or have an interest in books – or at the very least the subjects being covered by the books. If you don't have either of these, maybe consider another market as, to be honest, you might struggle to produce solid content if you don't know much about them – or worse, have no interest in them – and trust me, people will know immediately if your information is not up to scratch.

Let's investigate this a little further by discussing the problem solving elements of niche selection.

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What problem are we solving?

If this is a niche that you are interested in, you may already know what it is that you are trying to sell. If not, then maybe start to look at it from the perspective of solving problems.

Think about your own search behaviours when you are online – I would hazard a guess that most searches you do are in order to solve a problem. These can be in a number of ways such as:

  1. You know what you want to start cooking french food so need a recipe book to do so.
  2. You have a problem and need a solution – I.e. “I need something to do on my vacation by the pool”.

Your goal here is to determine just what problem/s you are trying to solve for your readers. This maybe one problem that spans your site or differ for each post that you write. For example, if you have chosen recipe/cookbooks for your niche, then problems might be:

  • Matching ingredients – They want to know what ingredients they need to stock as staples – you would outline these with recommended books to match.
  • Which to buy – There are a number of French cookbook options – but which is best?

In these cases, people would be searching for those topics based on having a problem and needing a solution. Your site would outline and review the best options for them.

Alternatively, if your site is about fiction novels, then you would be addressing problems such as the fact that I know I want to purchase a couple of books for my vacation but not sure what I should get. You would then be outlining the best books for sitting by the pool. You could potentially categorise them based on:

  • Genre
  • Size
  • Mood
  • Price
  • New/used
  • and so on…

Note: You do not need to identify every possible problem that your readers may have straight away. In many cases, the more you write, the more ‘problems’ will present themselves so initially you really just want to make sure that there are some that may need solving as we have found here.

How are you going to convince them to buy?

make money selling books online - book stack

Now that we know our niche (or are at least working on it) and have an idea of the types of problems that we want to solve, there is one last thing to consider which is the issue of consumer buying habits. I have mentioned that this is a great niche when it comes to online purchase behaviour so your sales/post pitches just need to match the needs of the problem that your site visitors are looking to solve. Some examples include:

  1. Those that like fiction often read as an escape, or to relax. Highlight these emotions when discussing or reviewing a book.
  2. Those looking for self-help/tuition type books will want to know exactly what the book is going to cover.
  3. Parents will generally only purchase books for their children if they can be convinced that they are appropriate.

So at the end of the day, even though we do have purchaser behaviour on our side, to be successful in selling books online, consider the following:

  • Solve problems without purchase – That's right – write your posts in a way that actually makes it easier for people to do their research and buy elsewhere – by doing this, you are solving problems and helping readers out. If they trust you, they will be more likely to return next time and buy from you then – especially if you follow up with posts on similar books that might interest them!
  • Provide the intangibles – The advantage of books – which is maybe why people will purchase online – is that we don't really need to know what they feel like before we buy them. For fiction books however, as we stated above, we will need to provide the intangibles in our posts – I.e. is it a really deep thriller, really funny or will it make them cry?
  • Know your audience – A big mistake many make here is to target the product at the user and not necessarily the buyer. This is especially important around children's books etc. where parents are buying for their kids. They don't always care too much about the subject rather want to know specifics around appropriate wording, learning levels or picture colours etc.

Tip: Still not sure? Have a look and see what others are doing. It might just help you with some ideas.

What do we need to do?

Ok, so now that we have an idea in regards to our niche and know some of the problems that we can investigate, we need to choose and setup the media that we intend to use to sell our product. This can include:

Build a Website

Websites allow you to solve problems via blog posts and videos that people can view in order to identify the solutions that they need. Usually, this process is fairly straight forward in that you build your website, write posts (on the differences between certain authors for example), then provide links so that they can view/purchase the relevant materials from your links.

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Promote on Social Media

Social media is a powerful platform that can allow you to get your message out there into the big wide online world. It has the power to reach thousands and allows you to target specific segments if you choose the correct platform. In terms of selling books online, a good platform to start with is FaceBook where you can discuss books with your audience.

Pinterest and Instagram can also be good for book visuals such as recipe pictures and/or showing pics of people reading your books in different places such as beaches, by the fire etc.

Join like-minded groups

If your book niche is aimed at the hobbyists, you can really get amongst them quickly as there is usually some sort of social media group, online forum or membership page that you can join to gain you exposure to potential visitors and sales. FaceBook is a great place to gain access to hobby groups and can not only allow you to interact with customers but also gain more information and education in terms of content ideas for your posts or products.

make money selling books online - FB group

Note: Many of these groups will not allow you to spruike or promote your sites directly, however if you can interact and demonstrate your knowledge then people will ask you directly for the information. At the very least, as above, it is a great way to get ideas and insight into what people in this area really want to know about and what they are buying online.

How to make money selling books online

Ok, now we come to probably the most important aspect of this whole online selling caper in that we need to consider what products we are going to promote. It should be noted here that the main process that I will be discussing is to sell them via an affiliate marketing arrangement.

In short, this means that you will write about books and then refer your readers to a link where they will purchase directly from the vendors. You then make your money via commissions from those vendors. Let’s have a look at some of the best avenues for essential oil vendors:

Affiliate programs

Affiliate programs are setup directly by companies or marketplace platforms (Amazon, Ebay etc.) that allow you to join and then refer traffic to them via customised affiliate links.

To find affiliate programs in the books space, simply type “affiliate: books” into your search engine:

make money selling books online - afiiliate books

From here you can search through and find programs that:

  • Relate to your niche/problems that you are solving.
  • Have quality products – your brand can be severely damaged if you promote poor quality products or fake books.
  • Have solid payment and customer service arrangement.
  • Pay decent commissions.
  • Have good testimonials covering commission payouts and quality of product.

In most cases, you will need to apply for the program before you are allowed to promote their products – don’t take this step lightly or you will be rejected. Affiliate programs will generally want to know:

  • Your website name.
  • Traffic levels.
  • Why you want to join – (so I can make money by selling your travel books is unfortunately not generally a good enough answer).
  • How you plan to promote their products.

One thing to be aware of here I guess is to keep in mind the issues we discussed earlier in regards to selling books online. You need to make sure that the programs you choose can be trusted and that the consumer is comfortable that they have recourse if something goes wrong. For this reason you will need to make sure that your chosen programs are going to resonate with your readers and your niche.

That said, some marketplace programs such as Amazon and EBay can give you access to these types of products and as they are more trusted, then they maybe worth a look for sure.

Note: the advantage of the big sites such as Amazon is that they most often offer their books in both paper and electronic forms giving you access to a potentially larger customer base.

Trade your own stock

If you are one that prefers to work with more tangible products, then maybe you could also investigate working with your own stock – especially if used books is your thing. The process for this is quite simple:

  • Find your products – this maybe via a wholesaler, local dealer, flea market, op shop or any other source where new and second hand books are sold.
  • Promote the product for whatever price you see fit – often via a marketplace site such as Shopify, Amazon or Ebay.
  • Sell the product and ship to the customer.

This process requires higher setup costs than affiliate marketing as you will need to purchase your books to start with. The real advantage here though is that with this method, you can build your stock gradually and relatively cheaply as there are so many avenues to purchase books from as listed above. You can then sell them via your site as a purchase or even a trade type scenario.

To assist in finding out where to acquire books, you can again so some searches online such as “wholesale books” for example:

make money selling books online - wholesale books

Note: These results will usually be based on your geographical location so you may at times need to sort through a few pages.

From here you will need to follow the same processes as with affiliate programs in determining whether they are a good fit for your business plans including:

  • Relate to your niche/problems that you are solving.
  • Have solid delivery and customer service arrangements.
  • Have good testimonials covering service and quality of product.

Alternatively, keep your eye out in your local area for book fairs and swap meets. These are a great way to find and purchase your products at good prices – you never know, you might even find a solid supplier for future sales as well.

Tip: This method can be very effective in driving online traffic and sales via the implementation of more traditional sales methods such as kiosks and market stalls etc. As people get to know you, they can purchase from you there and then be directed to your website for future sales.

Conclusion

And there it is – How to make money selling book online. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, need some advice or have any experiences to share.

Do you want further assistance with any of the above or need help to build your own book based website?

Are you looking for a comprehensive training platform that can give you step by step training, 24/7 support, tools to develop and host your very own book based website, ongoing assistance with SEO and social media and access to some of the best affiliate marketing minds on the planet, then click on the following link to read more about Wealthy Affiliate.

Until next time

Have fun

Paul

Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price.

Introducing Wealthy Affiliate, My #1 Recommendation for Setting Up Your Own Online Business

wealthy affiliate new home page

When I started, I knew I wanted to work online, but had absolutely no idea where to begin! You see I had watched friends of mine run a sales party to sell essential oils and someone asked if they could just sell them online?

Then, as I sat on the bus heading into my office job, I started to wonder if I could do just that, sell essential oils online.

Anything to stop having to catch this bus to and from work every day right!

The trouble was, as I mentioned above, I had no idea how to even start.

So of course I started to look around online and found all these courses! They all promised me riches then took my money but left me with no riches!

Then I stumbled across the program that didn’t promise me riches, but told me it could help me get started even with no experience!

So I did that, joined Wealthy Affiliate that was it, and the rest as they say, is history!

But it doesn’t come without work!

That is the key here! I began on their starter membership and did the training! I then joined as a member and did some more training!

Each night after work, I would do a little more, then a little more.

And to cut a long story short, after 10 months I realized I didn’t really like writing about essential oils, so I sold the site for about $2000. But I had learned so much that I started another – about fishing and camping!

Then, after 18 months (by which time it had earned me close to $10k), I was offered $17k for the site, so I sold it too.

Now, through my travel blog, I’ve been able to fund my passion for travel and explore different places around the world.

In the past few months, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to some amazing destinations, including Bali, Los Angeles, Dallas, Vancouver and Las Vegas.

The success of my travel blog has allowed me to fully fund my travels and explore new destinations with my family.

Steps to Creating a Successful Travel Blog - Me at Whistler

Try the Wealthy Affiliate as a Starter Member and Build your First Hub!

As you start your journey, Wealthy Affiliate is there for you with the most comprehensive training package I have ever seen – And as I have mentioned, I have used a few in my professional career trust me.

To get you started, Wealthy Affiliate has recently introduced the Hub.

The Hub

The hub is an AI based niche and website creation tool that will get you up and running with the foundation of your OWN business in just a few minutes. This includes:

  • Your website – hosted and inclusive of a WordPress editor
  • Your brand
  • Your ‘done-for-you’ research
  • Your blueprint
  • A task list that is going to help you drive the creation and growth of your business moving forward.
Wealthy Affiliate Review 24 - Hub screen

The hub makes the website creation process simple which allows you to get started on the training with a solid base and understanding of the processes.

All you need to do is choose your subject – which is known as your ‘niche’ – and follow the steps on the screen.

Oh, and as you run through the training below you may realize that what you created above is not exactly what you want. That’s ok, you can just create a new hub!

Wealthy Affiliate Training

Then as you continue your journey, the Wealthy Affiliate Hub is there for you with the most comprehensive training package I have ever seen – And I have used a few in my professional career trust me.

Above we discussed the use of the Hub to set up a website. Once you have done this, you will be able to access the “Step-by-Step Core Training”.

This is available to all members including starter members and will give you everything you need to know to continue to create your online business.

Wealthy Affiliate Review 24 - step by step core training

Member Training

There are also Live weekly classes taught by REAL industry experts on a range of topics like artificial intelligence (AI), SEO, YouTube, WordPress, PPC marketing and more.

wealthy affiliate master training

Great, What Else Does Wealthy Affiliate Have To Help You?

So, let’s keep this short, Wealthy Affiliate is a one-stop-shop platform that provides:

  • The Hub – this is the starting point and uses AI processes to assist you in determining your niche and creating your brand.
  • Complete training programs to assist with the development of your own affiliate marketing website in your own niche.
  • Website creation and publishing tools including access to WordPress editors and themes.
  • AI Content article design and content creation
  • Domain name purchasing (you get a free domain when you upgrade to the Premium membership).
  • Website hosting, security and backup.
  • Online help and chat forums.
  • Weekly live training events.
  • 24/7 support.
  • Keyword access tools.
  • SEO assistance.

The platform has been active for over 15 years with the original developers and owners, Kyle and Carson, still extremely active in its day to day operations – especially as they rollout their AI capabilities.

wa first two steps

You Can Try it Yourself For Free

Now of course I can tell you all about how Wealthy Affiliate works (because it does) until I am blue in the face. But every other program out there – including the shams and scams – will tell you the same thing!

So how about you just try it for free yourself. The Wealthy Affiliate Starter membership is free to join and gives you access to everything you need to get started – all without the need to spend a cent!

With the starter membership, you get:

  • 1 Limited Business Hub
  • 1,500 AI Word Credits
  • Try the AI Author Platform (BETA)
  • 1 Practice Website
  • Jaaxy Starter
  • Limited Help & Support
  • Core Niche Training (8 Classes)

And of course I will be there to help you every step of the way as well!

Look, in the interest of transparency, whilst Wealthy Affiliate does offer a free starter membership, this is designed to give you a look around, have a practice and see if it is worthwhile for you – which is a really great option.

However, as with all new businesses, you will need to make some investment so if you are serious about making money online , you will need to upgrade to a premium membership as this will give you access to all the tools you need in the one spot to succeed!

Afterall, every business needs tools to grow!

So How Much Does This Really Cost?

Wealthy Affiliate does not use upsells once you join – but as I mentioned in the video, to succeed here you will need to invest in a membership. There are a couple of options that provide access to all the tools, training and assistance that you could need – and a free domain as well.

Wealthy Affiliate offers a trio of membership tiers, as detailed on their pricing page.

You can opt for the Starter membership at no cost, the Premium membership for $49 per month or the Premium Plus+ membership for $99 per month. That’s the full extent of it – and you can absolutely build your website without having to spend another cent.

You won’t encounter any unexpected additional charges or covert fees and as a Premium member, you’re equipped with all the essentials to initiate, develop and expand a thriving online enterprise.

Those who opt for the Premium membership are provided with

  • Hosting for their websites
  • A complimentary domain name
  • Access to hundreds of hours of current expert tutorials
  • Various marketing and research tools
  • Personal guidance from seasoned professionals in the field
  • And much much more

And for those of you who want to make a serious investment into your future, there are some yearly options as well below to give you peace of mind that you have a whole year ahead of you to get stuff done!

And Don’t Forget the Personal Coaching

Once you join, not only do you get plenty of assistance from me, but you also have access to expert coaching, support and mentorship from real industry experts.

I mean, you can have access to all of the top-tier affiliate marketing training in the world, but inevitably, questions arise, particularly during the initial stages.

With an exceptionally dynamic and engaged community that boasts over 2.7 million members, Wealthy Affiliate offers an environment where you, as a member, can fully immerse and leverage this network.

You’re never alone; you have the collective wisdom of an entire community at your fingertips, ready to assist at any moment.

Plus, there’s always-on, rapid-response website support to handle any technical queries you may encounter.

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Wealthy Affiliate Works: Real Results From Real People

As I have mentioned a number of times, Wealthy Affiliate has helped me make real money online though its training and tools.

I have made money each month as well as a sale for $17,000.

But again, those promoting other programs will tell you the same thing!

So let’s get away from me and see what others are saying:

To start with, Wealthy Affiliate has a 4.9 out of 5 Star TrustPilot rating, which is a remarkable accomplishment in any industry, let alone the online business industry.

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And here are some of those reviews:

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And this is what people are saying within Wealthy Affiliate as well:

home page - success at WA

So, Let’s Make a Decision!

Let’s be frank, you have read this far so why not go all in, click on the button below to get started on the way to your very online business.

And once you are in and have had a play around with the hub, look for the little envelope on the top right and there will be a message from me. It is of course automated so respond to let me know you are there and we can start this journey together.

(oh, and the profile is mine so you can find me that way as well)

wealthy affiliate envelope

See you there

Paul

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4 Comments

  1. Selling books is something that has once in a while crossed my mind, not just selling every kind of a book or novels but i have always wanted to sell poetry books. I’m in love with poetry and have a collection of beautiful love poems i wrote and i called the book, Letters to Juliet as this were inspired by my then girl friend. Maybe I will one day start a poetry blog and find ways to make that book get some views and maybe put it on Amazon and see how it can sell. 

  2. People read books – including myself – but, nowadays readers want what’s more accessible to them, which is finding books in PDF format. Of course, there are people that like to collect books and will definitely search for them online since it’s somehow rare to find a bookstore (there’s only one in my town) accebility is key and I think selling books online is a great starter point to start having some income. 

    1. Hi Stephanie

      Yep, there are so many ways that people consume books these days  – that is what makes this such an advantageous niche for an online business.

      Thanks for stopping by

      Paul

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