Hey, NJ, I understand that at one point you had the infamous Basement-Full-O'-Books. How did you deal with it?
I've got that problem now, a book published nearly 20 years ago (trade paperback) by a small press that is closing down with the owners retiring. Because I couldn't bear to see my books head off to be pulped (they're still in fine shape, printed on low-acid paper), I've now got a LOT of boxes.
Amazon helpfully tells me that for only $40 a month plus a cut of the take, I can be a third-party reseller, and would of course have to be ready 24/7 to ship immediately. So that's not going to work. If I sold 4 copies a month I'd maybe break even, but I can't see never taking a trip, so as to be able to ship on a minute's notice. And I'm pretty sure I wouldn't move 4 copies a month.
I assume Ingram (distributor) wouldn't be interested in buying books from me. Any more thoughts, other than selling off my own website?
. I'm wondering what other options there are.
I only had five boxes - down to two now. I have used them as prizes, done give-a-ways, but mostly I have signed a bunch and always have them with me, giving them away like business cards. When I travel I fill every nook and cranny I can find in the suitcase with them and pass them out to anyone who shows the least interest in what I do. I tell them if they like it I hope they might write me a nice review and if they don't like it to feel welcome to write a review and say why. After a nice chat on a plane with a home bound college student I told him to give it to his mom since I was sure a cozy was not his thing. I even left one behind in the paperback trade drawer on the cruise I just took. Not sure if I have generated any reviews, good or bad - I don't get many bad ones - but I will continue to shoot arrows into the air until the quiver is empty. Can't hurt. b
I've never had this, but other than beachgarden's suggestions (which all sound like good ideas to me!) perhaps you could run some Goodreads giveaways and offer up signed copies. You could also donate a few to local libraries, and at the same time offer to give an author's talk or do a reading. Then you could try to sell some signed copies to attendees. Do the same to local bookstores. Maybe contact any writer's conferences coming to your town, as they often have a little bookstore section where authors can put out books and talk to attendees and peddle their wares
I sold them gradually over the years. (I still have some, maybe twenty of a book from 199x and ten or twelve from 2007.)
I signed up for Amazon Advantage when it was free. It worked fine for a few months, but it was not a hot seller and they began replenishing orders one book at a time. That meant two dollars postage plus the cost of a padded envelope -- and a trip to the post office! Not worth it for me. Then they began to assess a $25 annual fee, so I dropped out. I find that Amazon does that a lot -- start with a bargain and gradually tighten the screws -- which is another reason why I avoid Select and sell my books on Barnes & Noble and Apple (and others, though the others don't amount to much).
I sell signed copies on Amazon Marketplace and through my website (using PayPal for that).
BTW, assuming you're in the US, a few years ago when I had a hefty self-employment income, I decided to write off the cost of my inventory. It was a pain, keeping those records. (I'm talking something between one and two thousand dollars.) The IRS didn't raise a peep. I just throw the invoices into a drawer, and when I sell a book I deduct the cost right there.
Sorry you got remaindered, if that's what happened. I've always done better with a publisher than on my own. Good luck! -- NJ
Can't you sell them one at a time without incurring a fee? I used to list books I no longer wanted (not mine though) and never paid a fee. Apart from eBay listings I would think the best way to sell would be through your website.
I've now signed up for Amazon Advantage. It's $100 a year, but at least I don't have to do the fulfillment. If Amazon buys 14 books from me a year, I break even--except of course I still have to pay to ship the books to them. I figure it's worth a try for a year. Amazon just treats the book like any in-print book they are selling.
Of course I've thought of all the things like signings. I did those when the book first came out and may try again, though our local book fair is firm that it wants Only New Titles. Our library used to carry my books but cleaned them out in favor of new titles.
The paperback has in fact sold fairly decently, so I'm hoping to move at least a few of my Big Pile O Books. I have it for sale on my website--no takers yet, because I think my faithful fans already own it. (Got to get me more faithful fans. Love those folks. One bought 10 ebooks yesterday, one each of 10 titles, which is why I conclude it's one person. They got everything in one series but one book, which I suspect they'd stumbled on previously, and it got them hooked.)