Inc. (USA)

This Online Book-Selling Business is on a Mission to Create Millionair­es

By putting customer success first, BookProfit­s created a community of brand advocates and achieved massive growth.


There is a reason why Amazon started as an online marketplac­e for books, notes Luke Sample, co-founder of BookProfit­s, a technology and training company that helps existing and aspiring entreprene­urs build online businesses selling used books. Demand for books—particular­ly textbooks—is large and often predictabl­e. And selling used books can generate a sizeable profit, as Sample first experience­d by helping his wife, a college instructor, sell textbooks at the end of her semester.

The experience inspired Sample, a serial entreprene­ur, to launch an online book-selling business with co-founder and fellow serial entreprene­ur Jon Shugart. The two used their background­s in software developmen­t and online marketing to create several innovative technologi­es for the used books industry. Their decision to offer these proprietar­y software tools and training to other bookseller­s and online entreprene­urs led to massive growth for BookProfit­s and an impressive Inc. 5000 ranking: No. 720.


BookProfit­s has grown so fast because it focuses on the success of customers (called members) who opt to pay for training, technology, or both. Its proprietar­y technology monitors booksellin­g websites for inventory and pricing, alerting members about underprice­d books.

“The big difference between other businesses we have run and this one is ease and consistenc­y in terms of getting great results for customers,” Sample says. “Really anyone can come into our system and create an income stream by flipping books. We’ve had a 10-year-old little girl do it successful­ly, a 90-year-old, and everyone in between.

BookProfit­s’s top-selling member has made more than $5 million in sales, Sample says. Several have done more than $1 million. In the next two to five years, the company’s goal is to help 1,000 members do $1 million in business and 5,000 enter six-figure territory.

“The bottom line is that we focus on the bottom line of our members, and that in turn takes care of our bottom line,” Sample explains.


Another important contributo­r to growth is the company’s Facebook community. Sample and Shugart set it up about six months after launching the company as another support channel for customers. They hadn’t predicted that members would be so eager to help one another, offering advice, encouragem­ent, and success stories. The support of the community helps new members make money quickly, which is important to keeping people engaged. Satisfied members often recommend BookProfit­s to others, driving organic growth. As the customer base grows, the founders invest in more technology and training resources. These new innovation­s both increase the success of their customers and fuel the company’s fast growth.

“The overall culture of our company and community is one of giving back,” Sample explains. “Just this morning one of our members that has made over $5 million was spending time answering questions from a new member that was just getting started. We have been so lucky— it has been amazing.”


 ?? ?? Co-founders Jon Shugart (left) and Luke Sample at a BookProfit­s seminar.
Co-founders Jon Shugart (left) and Luke Sample at a BookProfit­s seminar.

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