Currently, when an author uploads his/her book onto Amazon it can be listed in two categories. Choosing the right categories is RIDICULOUSLY important as you are essentially choosing a what path a reader is likely to find you on.
Choosing the right sub-categories can be daunting but equally as crucial.
- While your main category (say, women’s fiction) is broad, in order to show up in search results, you want to find sub categories that are less competitive. For example: Contemporary fiction has 85,183 titles in it and women’s fiction has 17,181. BUT, when you add the “single women” sub category to the search listings, there are only 616 titles in it. The listing would look like this:
Contemporary Fiction –> Women’s Fiction –> Single Women.
- The more niche you go, the fewer titles you see, which is great for visibility in the wild west that is the Kindle store. Some more examples:
Fiction –> Religious Fiction –> Romance (2,538)
Fiction –> Religious Fiction –> Biblical (30)
Religion & Spirituality –> Christianity –> Theology –> Theism (34)
To understand a little more about how this strategy works, check out this article (link)
Want to know my secret weapon for fantastic keyword research? Check out this fantastic spreadsheet which is updated DAILY giving you an idea for niche categories.
Of course, you can also use Amazon to do some category research:
For books go here: http://amzn.to/pWbfwP
and for Kindle books, try this link: http://amzn.to/LJU6ie
With a little strategic legwork done on your part by employing the right keywords, trending tags and niche categories, you can increase the hits and the number of sales of your book.
Update August 2012:
- The categories Amazon offers when you upload your book to KDP are book industry standard genres. (BISAC) You can choose two of these easily.
- BISAC categories and ‘browsing-path’ categories are not always the same though, so if you’ve done your research and found a category you want to be in but it’s not offered, this is where confusion often abounds!
- Solution that some authors have found =
- Choose ‘non classified’
- Write to KDP support and ask for them to manually enter the category
- Contact Info: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/contact-us (on your KDP account page, bottom right)
- Come back and let us know how you got on!
Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!
Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.