I ship over 100 poorly ranked books to Amazon. Six months later, here are the sales results.
In June, I did a post on pulling over 100 books from the university library dumpster. The library was (and still is) in the midst of a massive book purge (to make way for more computers), and I am perhaps the largest (and only) beneficiary. I.e. they throw their books in the trash, and I retrieve them.
Before I go over the results of this experiment, here’s a recap of that haul:
- Total transport and listing time: 4 hours
- Quantity: 112 books
- Average rank: Approx. 4 million
- Total listing price: $5,900
Now, nearly all the Amazon “experts” out there would tell you to never ship in a book ranked 4 million. Most of them will tell you not to mess with anything ranked worse than 1 million. My experiment with this shipment offers a different lesson.
Seven months later, the results:
- Total books from this shipment sold: 32
- Total selling price: $1,278.85
- Price of most valuable book sold: $499.99
- Approximate net profit: $767
This haul contained the most obscure, esoteric books imaginable. These were old, arcane university press books from the 1970s and 1980s. The average rank (again) was about 4 million. And I’ve been averaging over one sale a week.
That’s over $750 for 4 hours work. If you’re doing the math, that’s almost $200 an hour. And note the ratio of books sold: Over 25% in 7 months.
Someone should forward this post to the “experts” who tell you not to bother with books ranked worse than 1 million.
No book is too obscure. The importance of sales rank is greatly overstated. If the book has “on paper” value that allows for huge margins, no sales rank should be poor enough to matter. Most books (that are non-fiction, and do not have a later edition available) will sell eventually.Also, claim your free book: