Saturday, April 26, 2008

Where is the best place for me to list?

I'm off and running as a bookseller, but sales aren't expanding as I expected. My prices aren't high, but more and more folks are listing and I don't have very rare books. So what can I do to improve sales?

(This photo is from the early days - I have some other shelving and more hardcovers now.)

eBay just keeps getting more and more expensive (and hasn't stopped just because I quit listing there!), Amazon sales are so so. So eBay was the first to go. I don't need to pay them all my revenue just to have the privilege to list there!

I already included pictures of the books on my website. But it can be real hard to get your site noticed by the general buyer.

I belong to two booksellers email groups, and I read what was recommended and not, and why one works for somebody and not somebody else, and finally decided to bite the bullet and join Alibris. They took more commission than everyone else, but I thought they would improve my sales.

They have, but they certainly take their piece of flesh.

From there I went to Choosebooks and chose to only pay a commission on sales. I added, and I have chosen to only pay on commissions there.

And I eliminated Amazon - they were not making me enough money to make it worthwhile.

Of course, as time went on, I elected to have Alibris also offer my books on Barnes & Noble and other vendors they have an agreement with, and when they added Amazon and offered to match our books with Amazon's "Basin" numbers so more would show for sales, I did a bit better with them.

But they all take a large overhead cost out of my poor little profits.

When I went to Chrislands as a host, they have many features I couldn't manage for myself that makes my books more available. They upload to Google, they have set up gateways for payment by credit card or Pay Pal, and they have made it possible to integrate Google Check Out. All of this has resulted in more sales on my own site, which is wonderful.

But it takes good books, unusual books, books other folks don't normally carry, to make really good sales.

And that has proved to be another adventure in this journey!

Jo Ann Hakola, The Book Faerie,

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