Choosing the Right Categories For Your Book
Can Help Make or Break Your Book
Here is an example of how this works.
Let’s say you have just completed a stunningly beautiful ethnic cookbook. It is filled with over a hundred amazing recipes and each recipe has a fabulous photo to go with it.
You upload it into your Kindle Dashboard … and in the process of choosing keywords and categories, you get to choose 7 keywords. You get some of them right: cookbook, recipes, ethnic, Greek. And that’s where you bottom out so you just guess the rest.
Then you get to choose your categories. You choose:
Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International
Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Reference
WHAT? Why did you put your ethnic cookbook into “reference“?
You probably read some out of date guru who told you to choose a category with very little traffic so you could easily get a BEST SELLER rating for a few days. This is WRONG, so WRONG it makes me want to cry.
The whole PURPOSE of categories is to help people who are SEARCHING for specific kinds of books find what they are looking for.
IF buyers are looking for “Ethnic Recipes” or “Greek Recipes” do you think they will search for Reference Books?
If you didn’t say NO there is something seriously wrong with you. By classifying your book as “reference,” you have just eliminated your opportunity to put YOUR book in front of people who might actually BUY your book.
Further more … IF someone IS searching for reference cookbooks and they see your Greek recipe book in the search results do you think they will click on it? Probably (98%) NOT.
Choosing categories for your books is a HUGELY important decision … and surprisingly enough an important part of your marketing strategy and plan.
Based on the fact that in the Kindle Dashboard you only get to pick up TWO categories, you never would have guessed HOW important categories are.
To further “hide” the importance of categories, the pop up choices you get (the list Amazon displays for you to choose from) are extremely limited and only contain very broad classifications.
Here are some of the choices you “might” see when uploading your book. As you can see they are all broad categories that will have many thousands of competitors.
Finding the Right Categories on Amazon
So how DO you get your book listed under categories that are specific and small enough to give your book a reasonable chance to be noticed?
The first thing to do is search for comparable titles on Amazon’s website. Basically you should look for books that directly compete with YOUR book. You will start seeing sub-categories that are right for your book.
Back to your Greek Cookbook. Type “Greek Cookbook” into the search bar and look at what comes up. Go through the first ten to fifty books and see how they are classified. You will see categories that make perfect sense, categories that flirt around the edges and categories that are simply wrong.
Here are a few of the categories you will see when manually searching … you will NOT see these categories when you are uploading your book.
Make a list of these categories using the FULL category path.
This is what a full path looks like:
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International Cooking > European Cooking > Greek Cooking
Here is the secret to getting YOUR book
into the hidden categories …
ASK. That’s right, all you have to do is ASK … straight from your Kindle Dashboard, contact the KDP help desk and ASK them to add those categories to your book. It may take a few days, but “most” likely IF what you are asking for makes sense your request will be accepted.
The BIG Trick To Fabulous Category Niches
The tricky part is uncovering or discovering what category paths are available. What many authors don’t realize is … there literally are tens of thousands of hidden categories available for the asking.
You can find them manually OR use a software program that makes the job easier and faster.
Choosing Categories that Expose Your Book to Niche Readers
One of the key reasons finding categories helps you sell more books is that these sub-categories or micro-niches are followed by fans and repeat buyers who are interested in a very specific type of book.
Do you write K9 Romances, featuring law enforcement, search and rescue, or military agents and their four-legged partners? If you are able to specifically target K9 lovers you’re guaranteed to get sales not only on your new release, but on your back-list titles as well.
Niche readers can be really passionate about their favorite type of book. Think about the wild wave of vampire and paranormal books that swept the market in the wake of the Twilight series. Writers who were able to capitalize on that niche did very well.
The great thing about Amazon’s specific categories (once you find them) is that they can be a powerful tool to connect you to the readers who want exactly the kind of books you write. THIS is the way to build a solid fan base.
It can take countless hours, even days to search out the really juicy category paths. The difference in sales and visibility for your book is well worth the investment.
For the busy author, time can be a real enemy which is where a small investment can save you time, find hidden categories … AND give you even more tools that put you into best seller status.
The following tools help you crack the code on which Amazon categories and keywords can help you boost your monthly revenue by increasing your book sales. You’ll see a link directly to the program and a link to a review page that gives you an assessment of what the tools do.
Tools to Help You Position Your Books for Success
One of the most competitive tools that help you use categories and keywords to position your book for success is KDSPY. This tool gives you detailed analysis of your competitor’s books and sales as well as ranking available categories by the amount of competition, marketability, and profit potential. KDSPY tells you how many books you need to sell in a single day or over 30 days in order to earn that coveted “bestseller” banner. It’s reasonably priced, too, available for a one-time payment of $47.
Publisher Rocket offers similar data analysis in terms of finding category and keyword data. But Publisher Rocket also shows you how many times a particular keyword was searched on Amazon and Google, which is something KDSPY does not do.
At $97, Publisher Rocket is a little pricier than KDSPY, but it also provides a huge amout of other information you can’t find on KDSpy. Want to know exactly HOW many books your competitors are selling each month? You’ll only get it on Publisher Rocket.
Should you get BOTH programs? Hmmmm good question!
If you are just starting out or have only a few books … pick the program that appeals to you the most.
If you are planning on creating a publishing empire, have a half dozen books or more AND plan on launching a new series in a new niche … absolutely get both. There are enough differences in the information provided to make a difference in YOUR decisions. It is well worth the price, which you will make up in no time by selling more books!
Just DO it!
Find five to seven niche categories that will help you find buyers who are actually looking for your book. Contact the KDP help desk and ask. My suggestion is to break your ASK list into two sections. The first time you ask … just ask for 3 or 4 new categories. Then the second time you ask … ask the help desk to replace your first two “broad” categories with more targeted categories.
Here’s the full MUST DO Before Hitting the Self Publish Button list.