This is one of those things you don’t know you need until you learn it. Then you don’t know how you lived without it.
Over the years I have scanned or keyed-in many hundreds (maybe thousands) of books that came up as one of the following:
- “Invalid ISBN”
- “No results found”
- “No seller listing”
It depended on the scanning app I was using, but it all communicated the same message: “This book is not for sale on
This is where I did the dumbest thing imaginable: I put every single one of those books down and walked away.
Really, really dumb. Because each of those books was an opportunity. I’ve since learned the err of my ways, and I’m going to explain my new approach here.
The benefits of creating your own product page
There are over 30 million book product pages on
Two benefits to creating your own product page:
- You’re the only one selling that book (until more sellers come on board)
- As the only seller, you can set a high, high price (and often get it)
A case study: The $100 experiment
Recently one of the big internet marketing gurus published a book, which he offered for free to anyone who sent him $5 for postage. I sent him $10 – one copy for me, one for
I created a product page (using the method I’m describing below). Nice image, detailed annotation, all the details. And as the only seller of this title, I set the price at $99.99.
It sold in one week.
This was a book you could (and still can) get for $5 from the author. This is the power of
Notes from setting up my own product pages
It wasn’t until about 2 years ago I really started to “get it”, and stopped looking at books with no listing as opportunities instead of mild disappointments.
Today, assuming a book looks like it may have at least a small amount of demand, I’ll buy the book and list it for sale by creating my own product page. And depending on the subject matter, I will price anywhere from $49.99 to $499.99. Learning to know what subjects and kinds of books can command the highest prices is a time-honed skill.
Here’s another testament to the power of having the only copy of a book anywhere on the internet: I’ve sold two of the books I created pages for for $499.99. The people who wanted them simply had no other choice.
Another interesting thing happens when you set up a product page: Not only do the books sometimes fly out the door (though usually not), you will often see many other sellers jump on board with their own used copies. So not only can setting up a product page reveal pent-up demand, it can also reveal pent-up supply. It shows how few sellers are aware they can just set up their own product pages.
How to set up a product page
- Go to the Inventory tab, click Add a Product
- Go to Create A New Product
- Fill out the book’s “Vital Info”
- Create your offer (you can do this later if you’d like)
- Upload product images
- Fill out the book’s description
- Enter keywords to aid in the product appearing in search results
- Enter the book’s dimensions and subject category
And there you go. Your page is live almost instantly. At least for now, you have the only copy of this title anywhere on
Here are a few screenshots of the process: