On used book sales and TERRIBLE LIES

I just discovered this.  Clicky to make with big:

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 10.00.53 PM

You may be anticipating that I’m about to go on a rant about people reselling my books– or trying to resell my books– for several times what they’re actually selling for.

But no!  That is not this post. I don’t actually care if people resell used copies of my books.  I am, in fact, quite fond of used bookstores.

Here’s the thing, though.

I know exactly how many copies SKYLIGHTS has sold in paperback.

And– and I’ll admit that this is just the tiniest bit depressing– not only do I know exactly how many copies the book has sold, but I know who bought them.  I have accounted for literally every copy.  So these booksellers are advertising wildly inflated prices for used books that they do not actually possess.

I’m tempted to order them, wait to see if my sales increment, and then cancel the purchase.

I can’t tell if this is a scam– who would buy this book used for that much of a markup?– or if it’s just the result of bots trolling through Amazon, but either way it entertains me.

Published by

Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

6 thoughts on “On used book sales and TERRIBLE LIES

  1. I told one of my friends about this in the past, and she reported someone trying to sell my book for $45 when no one had bought a paperback the entire month. Suddenly, the seller’s listing disappeared. Such a scam.

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  2. Okay! This is kind of disturbing! right? I’d be interested to see if they are actually making any sales? But this must be some kind of skam? I don’t think it is in your interest.


  3. I’ve seen copies of my first and second novel, second-hand, for crazy prices in very unlikely places… as I don’t want to get stung for $83, I’ve never had the courage to attempt to buy. I did try and buy up the first novel (out of print and with errors), but it just popped up again. I’ve just checked and I see a bookshop in Roswell NM has one (I had a friend there, deceased, so that’s real).


  4. You have clicked the box allowing third-party sales in Amazon Createspace. That’s who these are. They do not have copies of your book, they would order it from Amazon. They set the prices through spreadsheets – sometimes these are typos and sometimes they are hoping to catch someone with the higher price. They set up new/used for the same book as part of their data input. It’s a way to increase their inventory (sort of) and get visibility. I think as a marketing tactic it’s pretty dubious, but Amazon allows it. And you do get the royalty if they actually do sell a book since they order it from Createspace – you just don’t get the markup

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