Key Points:

  • USPS and Amazon are both great ways to ship books for eCommerce merchants
  • Packaging your books safely and securely is a vital step in the shipping process
  • Easyship provides the cheapest rates available for shipping books domestically or internationally, with discounted rates of up to 91% off on 250+ couriers

Shipping books may not seem like a real page-turner of a topic when it comes to eCommerce, but a quick look at the data reveals that it’s something that online merchants should definitely consider doing. Per Statista, 675 million printed books were sold in the U.S. alone in 2018!

After all, it wasn’t that long ago that a little company named Amazon transformed itself from a successful but niche online bookstore into an eCommerce goliath that ranks among the world's largest and most influential companies.

Even if you’re not aiming to become the next Amazon, understanding how to ship books, especially the cheapest way to ship books, is crucial for success. Here’s a quick look at just that and more!

Table of Contents

How Do You Pack Books for Shipping?

To ship your books safely to their destination, the first step is to pack them properly. A variety of book shipping boxes are available in various sizes for effective shipping, but making sure the books are packed securely is always key. Here’s how to do it!

1. Gather Supplies

Get your supplies in order and clear a counter or packing station. You’ll need the following supplies to pack the books:

  • Book shipping boxes
  • Corrugated cardboard roll
  • Stapler
  • Packing Tape
  • Scissors
  • Clear plastic bag or bubble wrap
  • Bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or other packing materials
  • Books

2. Place the Book and Order Slip in a Plastic Bag

Put the book in a clear plastic bag or bubble wrap and close the zip lock if using a bag. If it doesn’t have a zip lock, then fold the open end and tape it firmly so it won't open.

Pile of Books Ready to be Shipped

For old books whose covers have become fragile and withered, bubble wrap can be the better option. Just wrap the book in the bubble wrap and cut it to size. Then, fold and securely tape all the open ends so that no part of the book is left exposed.

3. Secure the Book with Cardboard

The next step is to further protect the book from the wear and tear of the shipping process by wrapping it in the corrugated cardboard roll.

Place the plastic-wrapped book on the top of the roll, wrap it around the book tightly and cut the extra sheet. To secure it, wrap a double layer of cardboard.

4. Staple and Tape the Cardboard Roll

Staple the open ends of the cardboard roll to secure the book inside. Then, further secure the cardboard roll by taping the seams.

5. Place the Books in a Shipping Box and Add More Protection

After securing the books in cardboard rolls, place them snugly in a shipping box. Put some packing materials like bubble wrap, packing peanuts, craft paper and the like in for added protection. Place the printed shipping label on top or on the side of the box.

6. Ship the Box of Books

Finally, ship the box of books to the customer. For the cheapest way to ship books, remember to compare couriers with a tool like Easyship’s shipping rates calculator!

Packing Books for Shipping

What Size Box is Best for Packing Books?

While this depends on the size of the books being shipped and how many are going to the customer, a standard cardboard box of 17”x12”x12” is generally enough for a large shipment of books to a customer.

USPS flat rate boxes and padded envelopes are also economical, reliable options for smaller shipments of books. Additionally, the cheapest way to ship boxes of books is typically to buy shipping boxes in bulk, which can save your business money and time in the long run.

What's the Cheapest Way to Ship Books?

For the cheapest way to ship books, your best bet is to compare various shipping solutions. Here’s a closer look at just that!

USPS Priority Mail

USPS Priority Mail, in general, is also an affordable shipping solution for the U.S. market. This shipping option is fairly fast, offers insurance of up to $50 and free pickup, meaning it’s great in terms of overall value.

USPS Flat Rate

USPS Flat Rate boxes are another solid option if you’re looking for the cheapest way to ship books. Flat Rate envelopes are ideal for shipping single books, while medium and large Flat Rate boxes work very well for larger shipments.

USPS Media Mail

USPS Media Mail is a great shipping option for shipping books affordably and reliably. This service is designed specifically for shipping books, CDs, audiotapes and other forms of media. The cost of Media Mail depends on the weight of the package.

USPS Parcel Post

USPS Parcel Post is another affordable option for shipping books. The cost of Parcel Post delivery is determined by the weight of the parcel and the distance it has to travel.

Amazon

Amazon is another great option for shipping books. The eCommerce platform, currently building out its own courier fleet, offers access to a global marketplace as well as an affordable and ever-increasing delivery service that includes reliable ground and air transport options.

UPS Ground

UPS Ground is another reliable and fairly economical option for shipping books within the United States. Prices are very competitive compared to other ground shipping solutions, while its three-to-five day delivery window offers a reasonable delivery time frame as well.

How Easyship Can Help

You don’t have to be a bookworm to realize that shipping books mean big bucks for online merchants! The enduring popularity of print books worldwide and ease of selling online make selling books a great idea for any entrepreneur.

For the best way to ship books, be sure to sign up for Easyship today. We make it easy to find the cheapest way to ship books by offering access to 250+ shipping solutions from dozens of couriers worldwide with discounted rates of up to 91 percent. With Easyship, you can turn the page to better shipping rates and go global with your online business.

Shipping Books FAQ

How much does it cost to ship a book through the post office?

USPS Priority Mail 2-Day costs $11.60 to ship a 5oz book from New York to Los Angeles.

What's the cheapest way to ship 20kg of books from the US to the UK?

UPS Worldwide Expedited is the cheapest way to ship 20kg of books from the US to the UK. This service costs $155.92 and takes 1-2 business days for delivery.

What is the best package to ship 1 single book?

USPS, UPS, and FedEx all offer free packaging supplies, even for shipping books. Instead of paying for packaging, you can get it for free at your local courier store or online.