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KDSPY vs Publisher Rocket Comparison: Which is Best?


Welcome to this KDSPY vs Publisher Rocket review. A good kindle keyword research and competition analyzing tool is a must-have for authors who are serious about upping their marketing game. Kindle Keyword research will help you create Amazon ads that convert and choose Kindle keywords that better place your book in the market. More importantly, they give you insight into the Amazon market and a better understanding of how your book will do.

All in all, they are really valuable tools for serious authors.

However, when it comes to choosing a book marketing tool, there are really only two worth looking at:  Publisher Rocket and KDSPY.  So, which one is best?  Which one is worth the money?

Well, I own both Publisher Rocket and KDSPY.  So, having used both over the years, I can help you to compare the two and help you see which one is the winner.  And yes, there is a clear winner.

What is the difference between KDSPY and Publisher Rocket?

The main difference between Publisher Rocket and KDSPY is the fact that KDSPY is a browser extension, and Publisher Rocket is an installable software product. They are otherwise very similar in functionality, but have a few key differences in their capabilities and design. 

The design is particularly distinctive in each program. Publisher Rocket has a much more user-friendly design, while KDSPY still looks like it’s coming from the ’90s, but more on that later.

KDSPY vs Publisher Rocket: Features I will grade them on

So, in order to best show you their capabilities and compare them, I’ve broken down my analysis into four features and capabilities that I will grade them on.

I’m all about getting the most value for my money, so I’m excited to dive in and find out which tool is better. So, let’s find out who’s the winner…

Publisher Rocket vs KDSPY: Side-by-Side Comparison

The below Publisher Rocket vs KDSPY comparison table shows two things:

  1. Check marks represent which one had the better feature
  2. Specific information I think is important to know in a side-by-side comparison.


Keyword Researchgreen-checkVisit Publisher Rocket
Competition Analysisgreen-checkVisit KDSPY
Category Searchgreen-checkVisit Publisher Rocket
Amazon Ads Keyword Researchgreen-checkVisit Publisher Rocket
International MarketsUSA
Cost$67$97Visit KDSPY
Ease of Usegreen-checkVisit Publisher Rocket
Return Policy60 Days30 DaysVisit KDSPY
Check It Out!
Check It Out!

* Reported Coming Soon

Okay, so now that you can see some of the specifics of the two softwares, and my overall winner for certain features, below are the specifics on why one won best for that specific feature.

1. KDSPY vs Publisher Rocket: Keyword Research

There are different types of keyword research, but they all rely on a similar principle. Figuring out which keywords will help put your book in front of the right readers–thus leading to more clicks and sales.

KDSPY Keyword Research Feature

Right out of the gate, KDSPY has some awesome keyword features. KDSPY works in your browser as an extension, meaning you click on it while you’re on Amazon to use it. Simply put, KDSPY pulls all of Amazon’s ‘seed keyword’ predictive results for a specific keyword you input with a click of a button. Check out the image below.

kd-spy-urban-fantasyAll you have to do is enter a keyword then hit ‘Pull Results A-Z’ to get the entire list of Amazon’s predicted searches. These are keywords that real customers use.

KDSPY shows you the number of competitors for each keyword, the average monthly revenue authors are earning for those keywords and how competitive they are with a simple three light system: green being the easiest and red the ‘no-go.’

You can then hit analyze for a specific keyword and learn more about it.

kd-spy-urban-fantasy-freeIn the case of the keyword above–it’s popular, has minimal earning potential, and quite a bit of competition. You can export keyword information at every step of the process.

You get the top 20 results, their average sales rank, revenue, price and number of reviews. I like that all of the information is right on the page and you don’t have to look around for it. It’s a great snapshot of any given keyword.

There are handy links at the top which allow you to see the result, analyze them, access a word cloud (more on that in the extra features section) and track the rank of a specific book. The keyword analysis button is pretty snazzy. Check this out:


By hitting that button, I can easily evaluate whether the keyword is worth my time. If a book has a lot of green highlights as seen in the image above, it means you can easily compete against it with yours. Pretty neat.

Publisher Rocket Keyword Research Feature

Publisher Rocket is a downloadable software that works directly on your desktop. Just from a little tinkering, I find it’s a robust tool for keyword research. The section for keyword research is clearly marked and the software itself is easy to navigate and understand. Check out my search below:


All the relevant information is displayed on one page for each keyword. You can export everything (as you can in KDSPY) and instead of a traffic light system for measuring competition, you get a score. The lower the score, the better. And it’s color-coded so you know what a good score looks like.

CRITICAL: Another amazing feature that Publisher Rocket has is the Estimated Amazon Searches Per Month. You can literally see how much a given keyword has been searched for–that means you can tell how relevant it is and how much use it will be to you in your ads and your Kindle keyword section.  This is something KDSPY does not have, and yet, is probably the most important part to keyword choice.

A neat advantage of this keyword search is that you can check out the competition for those keywords by hitting the ‘Competition’ button.


Three things I love right away:

  1. I can see the covers of the competitors who are ranking for the keyword I’ve selected. That means I can design my cover to compete by analyzing what bestselling covers look like.
  2. There’s a handy link to click and check out the book on Amazon–Check it out.
  3. The age of the book is displayed. The newer a book, the higher the rank should be–if a book has a high rank but has been around for many days, it means they’re doing something right or that the keyword is working for them.

Overall, the layout is simpler than KDSPY’s but I do find myself scrolling and clicking more than I do with KDSPY.

Verdict for Keyword Feature: Publisher Rocket Wins!


I like that KDSPY has a traffic light system and felt that it was clearer than the scoring because it gave me a general idea of the competition rather than an abstract number I didn’t quite understand other than–high is bad, low is good.

However, Publisher Rocket has a few features that set it apart. It has covers in its keyword competition results and tells you the age of the books, and it tells you how popular a keyword is with the estimated searches per month value. KDSPY gives you the publication date of a book, but not the actual age. Plus KDSPY does not tell you the searches per month.

For these reasons, Publisher Rocket inched ahead.

Get Rocket at Its Best Price Here!

2. KDSPY vs Publisher Rocket: Competition Analysis

Analyzing your competition and understanding which categories they place their books in or which keywords they’re using to rank highly in the Amazon Bestsellers lists can change up your marketing strategy.

KDSPY Competition Analysis

Naturally, KDSPY allows you to analyze competitors through your keyword research tool as shown above, but there are other ways to check out competition. For example, by using KDSPY to analyze author pages. To do this, I simply head on over to an author’s page and open KDSPY.


Here, you’re privy to all the information you need about the author. You can organize their books from best to worst selling, see how many monthly sales they’re making per book, their reviews, their total and average revenue and their sales ranks for each book as well as an average. By clicking on ‘S’ you can see the search results for a certain book in Google (which I found a bit… meh, not that important).

What’s cool is you can toggle between the Kindle and Paperback books an author has up for offer, as well.

Interestingly, you can actually track an author’s book over time to see whether it’s selling consistently by hitting the ‘T’ on the page. That’s an amazing tool–especially if you want to figure out what an author is doing to sell well.


Finally! I get to see the cover of a book in KDSPY… and I get to track the book over a period of time, which is both creepy and cool (that’s why it’s called KDSPY I guess). I like that all the book’s information is right at the top for reference and that you can track the rank over time.

Publisher Rocket Competition Analysis

If I check out the same author using Publisher Rocket’s Competition Analyzer, I get these results:


Once again, what I like about these search results is that there are covers on the page for me to admire and take inspiration from for my stories. I can also check out the book sale’s page (you can do this with KDSPY too) and I’m privy to information about the monthly and daily sales for each book.

Notably, though there’s no option to organize the results for competition analysis and while I love that the age of the book is shown, boy, it would be neat if I could track a book’s Amazon Bestseller Rank (ABSR) like I can with KDSPY.

I can export results too, which is neat, and I love the general feel of the software when I’m working in it.

Verdict Competition Analyzer: KDSPY Wins!


KDSPY tickled my espionage buttons here. With KDSPY, you can actually track a competitor’s book over time and that you can do that with multiple books.  However, this feature isn’t fully functional, and requires a lot of steps to get to work, but it is there. While Publisher Rocket has some amazing competition analysis features, KDSPY squeezes ahead for me here. That makes sense to me since Publisher Rocket seems aimed more toward keyword research than anything else whereas KDSPY is the overall ‘spying on other authors’ package. But that’s just my opinion.

So… KDSPY wins the Competition Analysis category.

Get KD Spy at Its Best Price Here!

3. Publisher Rocket vs KDSPY: Category Search

A little-known fact: you can put your book into up to 10 categories by contacting Amazon through Author Central. This gives you a big advantage–your book can rank highly in relevant but less competitive categories. But which ones should you select? That’s where tools like KDSPY and Publisher Rocket come in. Let’s compare them.

KDSPY Category Search

In KDSPY you can search for both kindle and book categories for your books–though you’ll have to be on the EXACT page on Amazon to do this. If you want to analyze a particular category, you simply navigate to that particular category on Amazon then hit the KDSPY extension in your browser tab. Check out my results below:


Notice that KDSPY gives you all the relevant information you need about a particular category, including how competitive it is, using the three light system. You can see monthly revenue, the average price of books, the average number of reviews, and even the page length of books in the category.

What’s neat is it shows you the top 20 and their ranks, and you can pull results past the top 20 and right up to the top 100. Very cool.

You can also do this:


By hovering over the information button in your chosen category, you’ll find how many sales you’ll need to hit number 1 in that category and then how many to hit number 20. This should give you a good idea of whether you can compete or not.

However, there are a couple of problems with KDSPY’s Category Capability:

  1. You have to navigate to the exact category in order to get this data. This is a lot harder than it sounds due to there being over 11,000 Amazon categories.
  2. Because of the immense amount of categories, KDSPY doesn’t help you to discover new ones or ones that work for your book
  3. When I find a category I like, there’s no way I can actually pull that category string and use it in an email. In case you’re wondering, a category string is something like this:

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > United States > African American > Urban

Therefore, KDSPY falls pretty short on Categories since it doesn’t help me to discover new ones, or give me the information I need to actually change or add categories to my book.

Publisher Rocket Category Search

On to Publisher Rocket we go! Once again, I’m excited by how clean and easy it is to work in Publisher Rocket. It’s an impressive-looking piece of software, but can it do what I need it to? Here are my results for a category search for urban fantasy:


It’s easy to search for ebook and book categories at the same time–in KDSPY, you need to navigate to the specific book category separately. Here, all the information is at your fingertips. Even cooler, you can copy the category strings out, and you can organize them according to their ABSRs at number 1 and 20 and how many sales it takes to get to number 1 and 20. You can also check out the category page.

There are over 11,000 categories on Amazon and Publisher Rocket gives you the ability to check out all of them and figure out how popular they are.

The only drawback is that there’s no competition indicator like there is in KDSPY.

UPDATE: Rocket, just added a new feature to their Competition Analysis called “Unleash the Categories” (I think they have a sense of humor).  With this, when you are looking at other books, you can click a button and quickly see every category they are a part of on Amazon.  This is a really cool new feature that helps authors in seeing what their competition is targeting and can help spark new ideas for categories to use.  I LIKE this a LOT!

Verdict For Categories: Publisher Rocket Wins!


The fact that Publisher Rocket lists all 11,000+ Amazon category strings and you can organize them according to sales to number 20 or number 1 in each overarching category is a massive positive. It’s easier for authors to select those category strings and simply email Amazon with the ones they want to be entered into.  Furthermore, the new Unleash the Categories is making hunting for new categories pretty fun.

Sadly though, KDSPY does not provide a list of Categories.  Instead, you have to hunt around for them.

So… Publisher Rocket wins in the Category Search category in a big way!

Get Rocket at Its Best Price Here!

4. Comparison: Amazon Ads Keyword Research

Keyword research, as I mentioned before, is one of the most important things an author can do to further their marketing strategy. With good keywords, you can create great ads that help you sell more books. So what do these two tools offer by way of Amazon Ads Keyword Research?

KDSPY Amazon Ads Keyword Research

Keyword research for Amazon ads is pretty much the same as research for Kindle keywords in KDSPY. You click on the ‘Keywords’ button, type in your keyword and pull the results from A-Z for Amazon’s suggestions.

It’s pretty neat, but it’s not tailored specifically to Amazon ads, not technically.


All of the same rules apply as in the keyword research section above. You get competition indicators in the form of traffic lights, you can analyze each keyword (see below), and export all of your results so you can upload them to your Sponsored Product Ads.

kd-spy-sci-fi-boxed-setKDSPY’s keyword tool is super useful, and I enjoy fiddling around with it, but I would’ve liked a clearer indication of how many times a keyword is being searched for as I got when doing keyword research with Publisher Rocket.

Publisher Rocket Amazon Ads Keyword Research

What’s cool about Publisher Rocket’s Amazon Ads Keyword Research function is that… well, they have one! They have a completely separate section for AMS ads research, and that gives them a big thumbs up from me. Particularly, since I’ve been increasing my AMS ads spend and the more profitable my ads are, the better.

Check it out.


So Publisher Rocket takes my seed keyword (sci-fi in this case) and returns results in several categories:

  • Amazon Suggestions
  • Amazon Suggestions A-Z
  • Search Results
  • Authors
  • Certain Genre Category Results (i.e. Cyberpunk Science Fiction in this case)

I can also filter my results and decide which types of results I want to export. I get an excel spreadsheet with the results. I know you can upload spreadsheets directly to your Sponsored Product Ads to add keywords, but I never do this–I prefer to filter my results and paste them in. Still, it’s super handy that the results come in the form of a spreadsheet.

If I want to exclude a keyword without filtering it from the general filter section, I can also uncheck the box next to it.

All of this makes Publisher Rocket’s AMS keyword research function unique from its other keyword research tool.

Verdict for Amazon Ads: Publisher Rocket Wins!


The fact that Publisher Rocket has a keyword tool specifically aimed at AMS ads set it apart in this category. I love that it separates the results into different sections and filters them for you. While KDSPY is no slouch when it comes to keyword research, KDSPY doesn’t compare in this particular area.

So, Publisher Rocket wins the Amazon Ads Keyword Research category!

Get Rocket at Its Best Price Here!

KDSPY v Publisher Rocket: Other things to know

With most tools, you get what you pay for and nothing more. Let’s look at what extra features these tools have that will enable you to get ahead of the crowd of self-published books out there.

KDSPY Extra Information & Things to Consider

Let’s take a look at some of KDSPY’s cool extra features that we haven’t already discussed.

Compatibility: KDSPY is compatible with Mac and Windows, and available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Brave browsers. It won’t be made available on other browsers in future–since there aren’t that many popular browsers around.

Tutorials: Once you’ve purchased KDSPY, you get your own login information to the site, where you have access to a series of welcome videos that explain all the features to you simply. You also get some pretty cool bonus materials.

Bonuses: You get three bonuses when buying KDSPY, completely free. An Amazon Kindle Tracking ROI sheet that helps you track your ROI per book, a free ‘Create Your Own Website’ course on Udemy, and three ‘Kindle Cheat Sheets’ that give you information and strategies for getting started as an author.

In-browser app: Depending on what you like, the fact that KDSPY is an in-browser app might be preferable to you rather than a downloadable app. I enjoyed being able to click and bring it up whenever I wanted.

While I was using KDSPY, I noticed a strange irregularity. I think it’s because of where I’m based, but when using KDSPY’s category search to check out books, I noticed that some of them have weird rankings that don’t match their positions on Amazon. That’s probably because of my location and the fact that KDSPY uses my browser to pull information from the store. Check out what I mean in the picture below.


Just something to be aware of!

Another point that annoyed me about KDSPY was that every time I clicked away from the Amazon tab I was in that had KDSPY open, it would automatically close. When I navigated back, I’d have to reopen KDSPY again and wait for all those results to load. Not a huge deal-breaker, but still irritating.

Publisher Rocket Extra Information & Things to Consider

Compatibility: Publisher Rocket is compatible with both Mac and Windows! It’s not available in your browser.

Downloadable app: It’s a downloadable app, which I love–once you’ve bought a license for it, it’s your forever! It’s easy to use and looks great!

AMS Ads free course: Along with the awesome AMS Ads Keyword Research feature that Publisher Rocket provides, Dave Chesson also has a completely free Amazon Ads course that is super easy to use and goes well with Publisher Rocket. You can check it out here.

Easily accessible tutorials: Publisher Rocket has a series of awesome tutorials hosted by creator Dave Chesson–they’re easy to follow along and, like the app, are updated so you’re never left in the dark.

Which is better, Publisher Rocket or KDSPY? My Conclusion

Which is better for you, KDSPY or Publisher Rocket?


It depends on what’s important to you, really. If you’re focused on keyword research, both of these tools perform well, but Publisher Rocket definitely pulls ahead with the sheer power of both Kindle and AMS ad research. It’s category analysis feature is amazing too, and the fact that it shows you the covers of the bestsellers in your chosen genre and the amount of Amazon searches there are per month for a given keyword.

If you’re interested in the brass tax of what an author is earning or how well a certain keyword is doing, KDSPY is a good choice, especially since it’s currently cheaper than the alternative, and it has a longer money-back guarantee.

In truth, I use both of these tools–KDSPY for competition analysis and Publisher Rocket for all things category and keyword. Also, you can find individual reviews for both of those here:

But if I had to choose just one, as many authors will have to do, I would choose Publisher Rocket because I get more value out of the category search and keyword tools, and it does still do competitor analysis. Buying it has helped me sell more books actively, thanks to Kindle keyword research and Amazon ads, and it’s more than paid for itself many times over as a result.

Is it worth the $97?  Absolutely.  It delivers on all areas and the team behind Rocket keeps adding more and more to the program just about every month – which are free upgrades for all current owners.

So, Publisher Rocket is the better tool, and worth the larger price.

But, ultimately, the choice is yours… KDSPY or Publisher Rocket? Let me know what you chose in the comments below!


Is Publisher Rocket any good?

Yes, Publisher Rocket is a great software program. It is the best tool to find keywords and categories for your books, to help you find a great niche and to add keywords to your books that will help them get better discoverability. It is also better than the leading alternative.

Is Publisher Rocket the same as KDP Rocket?

Yes, Publisher Rocket is the same as KDP Rocket. The program was originally called KDP Rocket, but due to branding conflicts with Amazon, they changed their name to Publisher Rocket to avoid potential future lawsuits. Now it is just called Publisher Rocket, which is all you need to know.

Is there a free version of Publisher Rocket?

No, there is not a free version of Publisher Rocket. However, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you try it for 30 days and it doesn’t exceed your expectations (like it did mine), then you can easily get your money back through their amazing support system.

8 thoughts on “KDSPY vs Publisher Rocket Comparison: Which is Best?”

    1. Sam Howard

      After purchasing, you should have gotten an email with the download link and license. Download it on to your computer. If you didn’t, then contact their support.

  1. Could you please review each of their Terms of Service. Publisher Rocket spys on users AND sells their data. Look at what users agree to let them do (get an attorney to explain it to you if you can’t understand it); just the length of it should cause alarm.

    1. Sam Howard

      Hi Cynthia. I’ve reviewed it before and checked it just now. There is nothing out of the ordinary for a downloadable software – what is there is generic legalese that CYA’s the company. Plus, the owner, Dave Chesson is a big person in the industry of writing and self publishing (unlike Wesley of KD Spy) and has always operated with authors in mind. So, there should be no alarm at all and they definitely DON’T sell information or do anything of the sort.

  2. I have both and have been toggling between the two. I love your review of both of these, and I’m glad I have both as they both have different roles and strengths.

  3. Great article. Does Publisher Rocket now include UK in its international markets? If not does it mean the software only searches in USA and Germany Amazon pages? Thanks Mandy

    1. Sam Howard

      Gadzooks! Thanks for the reminder…I need to update this article. Yes, Publisher Rocket added the UK market about 2 months ago and it is glorious!

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