Excerpt from Publisher's FOCUS February 2005 newseletter by Dr. Linda Beattie Inlow contributing editor:
Many of our members have books – boxes of books – stacked in garages, back rooms, under stairwells, or in a warehouse. All of us want to sell them; after all selling books we’ve published is one of the top three reasons most of us are involved in publishing. The question of how to move these books out of their boxes and onto shelves of other people or bookstores lurks mercurially in the background of everyone’s business plan.
One-way to move the books is by expanding the book(s) presence on the web, that is outside the publisher’s website. Without creating too much fuss or need to be computer literate, I found six places to make my books available for purchase. Some involve a deep discount, others allow me to set the price and control the inventory. Some involve drop shipment of titles by the publisher others maintain an inventory. All handle payments (credit card, MO, check) directly.
For books that are new but perhaps became scuffed or slightly battered during shipping put them up for sale at one or all three of these places: half.com, halfvalue.com, amazon.com.
Half.com is a subsidiary of eBay. The publisher maintains the inventory, however large quantities of one title can be placed at the site. There is no upfront fee for posting the book(s). At the time of sale half.com takes 15% to 20%, charges the customer $2.25-3.50 for shipping (you can also opt for how you want to ship), and sends a check electronically twice a month. The inventory is easy to manage. Sales are notified via email. The publisher has two business days to confirm the sale and ship the item. The publisher can even “go on vacation” and not miss sales.
Halfvalue.com looks almost identical to half.com in layout and management. They have a special upload for publishers using Excel as a database, although single titles can be sold as if the publisher is an individual seller. Personally, I had difficulty posting to this site as an individual. Four out of five of my ISBNs were not recognized and therefore unable to be sold immediately. At halfvalue.com there is a one to two week waiting period to be “approved” to use their site as a publisher.
Many of our members are already selling books at Amazon.com, however the books, which are not in pristine condition, can be sold individually at the book’s location under new/used books for sale. If it is a new book and autographed, the price must be higher, but if it is a new book with some damage it can be offered following some very easy fill-in the blank steps. The publisher will then be responsible for shipping and Amazon.com will offer payment, preferably electronically (an $8 fee if a check is issued!).