Christine E. Miller has written an excellent guide for anyone who has, like me, entertained the idea of selling used books online. Looking for a practical step-by-step guide to get you started in this business? Then forget the title of this book if you're not a stay-at-home mom and get this book. From building your inventory to pricing and shipping, this quick, handy reference will teach you the basics you need to know to get your business off to a successful start. Two thumbs up.
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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Hands Down the Most Up to Date Informative Book on the SubjectAug. 23 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
This is the most up-to-date, relevant book I have read on the subject, and without the usual dry presentation of this type of how-to material. Rather than simply detailing information you could acquire yourself, like how to package books, etc., this book does a great job of taking the reader through the process of starting a business on Amazon by interweaving the basics into her personal experience. The writing style makes it feels like you're sitting right there in Starbucks with the author as she lays out a do-able program with an upbeat style, predicting the questions you would most want to ask and then answers them. The author takes you step-by-step through the early days of her business, mistakes and all, to the point where she is making a respectable profit. She profiles the booksellers she knows and how their business models differ from one another, giving you an idea of what the business really look likes from day-to-day, how much money you can expect to make at each stage, how much work you have to do to meet your own income objectives, while addressing both the needs of those who want a part-time and a full-scale business. There's also a potent amount of information about finding and selecting books, with examples of the "types" of books to look for, paired with lots of examples of the books she sold from her own inventory, which I found worth the price of the book, in and of itself.
54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Still My Favorite On the Subject Of Selling Books OnlineAug. 20 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
I have been a fan of this book since it was first released and have subsequently given it to a few of my friends. They have had varying degrees of success, ranging from highly successful to mediocre. I have read other books on the subject of selling books online, but this is the one that really paved the way for me. It was the most helpful, up to date, all-inclusive and systematic in its teaching approach, so it was the one I chose to pass on to others. It contains everything you need to know about the specifics, like signing up, listing books, collecting money, e-mailing customers and so on. But there are a few things that really set it apart from other books on the subject. First is the author's writing style, which made it easy to read. I think someone said that it had an interesting touch of the writing style used to make books like "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" accessible, which I found to be true, and it certainly doesn't read like an owner's manual of instructions, as others have mentioned. Another thing that separates it from others is the heavy focus on finding and selecting books. It does a very good job of giving you a clear picture of what you will be looking for when you go out "book scouting," even listing the types of books that are likely to bring in the most money, and describing the best practices used to find books that may otherwise fly under the radar. The author includes issues of regional differences and timing, when finding books, which I found extremely useful in building my own business. But for me one of the most helpful aspects of this particular book, that I have not seen elsewhere, is the way the author goes through the process that she went through when she got started, step-by-step, presenting information about how to start slow with little investment, how much money you could expect to make each step of the way, how many books you need to have in your inventory to make a good profit (I think she calls it a books to profit ratio), how to go from a small business to a full-scale business, and how many hours you can expect to spend working, depending on how much you want to earn. This gave me a good idea of whether or not I could make it work, based on my own situation. But, the reason I wanted to write a new review for the paperback copy, which I just bought for an in-law who is about to retire and needs some extra spending money, is that I have noticed, from watching friends who followed me into the business, using the same book, that the one who was least successful did not follow the author's advice about going out book hunting while the kids are in school, your husband is home (if you have one), or when you have a babysitter for a few hours. You just can't build a decent inventory of books if you're chasing kids around a thrift store or book fair. If you can get a few hours on your own each week, to buy books, you can do the rest while the kids are sleeping or otherwise occupied. I would also recommend taking the author's ideas about timing seriously. Other than that, the book will tell you all you need to know to be successful, I really think it's the best-written book on the subject, and I've read a few, but it's not free money--you will have to work for it. However, you will be in charge of the parameters which makes it challenging and fun, especially if you reach higher financial goals than you go into the business expecting.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Good Book, But Here's Some Things to Think AboutMay 2 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
First, let me say that these comments are based on the author's Second Edition, published in 2008, which I have sitting right here on my desk. This book was helpful in getting me started in selling books and media on Amazon and it is as useful as folks say it is. But here are some thoughts about the bottom line: how much are you going to make? I don't know if Ms. Miller has adjusted her figures for the latest edition, but in the Second Edition she makes clear that she made over $20,000 her first year with a stock of 1000 to 1200 books. I don't disbelieve her, but here is a contrasting view, based on my own experience of selling on Amazon now for 5-6 years.
I currently have a stock of about 1500+ titles listed on Amazon. It has taken me those 5-6 years to build up that stock, while selling thousands more in the meantime. Right now I'm selling 40 items a month, average. I have pretty good quality stock. I don't sell penny books--in fact, I try to sell as little as possible under $5 as I can. I'm not going to give out gross sales figures (unless you're the IRS...please call first). But I can say that I have never, ever, come close to making $20,000 in one year. And that would be gross. My net is, of course, even smaller.
The author still claims that you can make "thousands" of dollars a month. Yes, you can. But in my opinion, you're usually going to need a much bigger inventory than she is talking about, or your books are going to have to cost a lot more than mine do. And the high dollar books are generally slow sellers, which means you are going to need even more of them to generate thousands a month.
That being said, you should buy this book. Miller has managed to distill a fair amount of information in a slim volume, and it's a great way to get started. But maybe scale back you expectations a bit. Lastly, I would be interested in any comments to this post on how well other sellers have done.
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Best how to book ever!Sept. 4 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
I am a college student who is always in need of money, but has too much on their plate to be working a full time job. I was thinking of selling all of my old textbooks on-line and stumbled across this book. I really had no idea how to go about selling any of my books, so I thought I would give this guide a try since it had such high ratings. Now I am hooked! I wasn't expecting to start a business off of book selling, but this how to guide made it so simple and easy that I had to give it a shot. By following Ms. Miller's book buying recipe I am making enough to cover all of my living expenses while in school and will not have to take out more loans for my senior year of school. I'm really glad that I gave this book a chance, because it gave me a way to earn money that fit my schedule. It is not just for stay at home moms at all, it gave me a way to earn money even though I couldn't fit standard work hours into my school schedule.
Thank you Ms Miller for writing such a clever and easy to follow book! Anyone who needs some extra cash and has a tight schedule should read this book!
49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Underwritten by Amazon?Feb. 10 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
If Amazon didn't fund this book they should have. It's quite an ad for them. To be fair, Amazon is the biggest online book seller and more sellers use it than any other. However, the entire premise of this book is questionable, and that is that a "stay at home mom" can make money by selling books online. What should have been stressed, because it's true, is that getting around to places where one can buy books, buying them, lugging them home, takes a lot of time away from home. Then there's the daily shipping jaunt, disposing of the ones you can't sell, etc. Not to mention a large enough space at home to store your hundreds of books away from little hands and paws. I have not read a book yet about online book selling that is up to date on what you can actually earn. Between the economy, increased competition, kindle, and Amazon fees, it is very difficult. Don't forget you have to drive to get the books and pay for them, wrap them properly for shipping and pay the postage. Do the math and figure out what you actually stand to make after deducting all these costs.Don't forget to figure in your time. You will be in competition with people who have book scanners that cost around 500 - 700. Can you afford that? It takes a great deal of time and experience to learn what books sell and which don't, and don't believe what you read. Everyone has their own ideas about what sells, and many of them may not work for you.