Skip to content

How to Choose the Best Amazon Categories for Your KDP Book!

NBG Choosing Good Amazon Categories

Picking the right Amazon book category can make or break your bestseller dreams. Get it wrong, and you could sell a ton but still not hit that coveted Amazon bestseller list.

But choose wisely, and hello, bestseller status—with less hustle on your part!

Don’t get me wrong, a category will not make up for a poor book or poor marketing. But it can help with your organic reach.

So you thought picking an Amazon book category is straightforward? Nah-uh, there’s a bit more sauce to it.

  • Hidden Kindle Categories: Amazon’s got these secret categories they don’t advertise.
  • Limited Options: You can only choose up to 3 categories for both book and eBook. So make ’em count.

Amazon keeps tweaking its category system. Keep an eye out; you don’t wanna miss the boat!

Score that #1 Amazon Bestseller Spot

So you wanna be the top dog on Amazon’s bestseller list? Trust me, it’s not just for bragging rights. Hitting that #1 spot means more visibility and more sales, honey!

Understanding Amazon Best Seller Rank (ABSR)

First things first, let’s talk about Amazon Best Seller Rank or ABSR. Amazon slaps an ABSR on each book based on its sales and downloads compared to all the other books on the platform.

  • High ABSR: If your ABSR is 1,000,000, it means 999,999 books are outpacing you. Ouch.
  • Low ABSR: Got an ABSR of 1000? Only 999 (out of millions) are beating you. Yay!

The lower your ABSR, the higher you climb on the bestseller list. Simple as that.

The Category Game: Make or Break Your ABSR

Your chosen Amazon category directly affects your ABSR, which means it affects whether you snatch that #1 spot.

Quick Example:

  • Competitive Category: A #1 book with an ABSR of 2,000 means you need an ABSR of 1,999 or lower. That’s like selling 90 books a day.
  • Chill Category: If the top book has an ABSR of 70,000, you only need an ABSR of 69,999 or lower. That’s just 3 books a day!

See the difference? 90 books versus 3 books. Huge, right?

Uncover the Perfect Amazon Book Categories in 4 Easy Steps!

Want to discover the best Amazon category for your book? It’s not rocket science but a crucial step to hitting that bestseller mark. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Dig Up Potential Categories

Did you know Amazon has over 16,000 categories? Yep, but they don’t list ’em all in one place. So, how do you find the best fit?

Option 1: Search for Similar Books

  1. Type keywords that describe your book into Amazon’s search bar.
  2. Scope out the competition. For each similar book, check out its category list.

For example, if your book is about language, you might find categories like:

  • Language Experience Approach (Kindle Store)
  • Education Reference Books
  • Linguistics Books
  • …and more!

Option 2: Browse Amazon’s Categories

  1. Head to the sidebar on Amazon and drill down through categories.
  2. Note down the ones that could be a good fit for your book.

Step 2: Check the Top Dog in Each Category

Once you’ve got a list, time to find out which category can give you the bestseller status. Here’s how:

  1. Click the category link on any book’s sales page.
  2. Spot the #1 bestseller. Check its ABSR and note it down.

Pro Tip: Use a Kindle Calculator to see how many daily sales you’d need to beat that ABSR and claim the #1 spot.

Crunch the Numbers: What’s Your Best Bet?

Let’s say you find that for the category “Language Instruction,” the #1 book has an ABSR of 19,761, and you’d need 13 sales a day to beat it. That could be your golden ticket to #1!

Remember, categories vary for print and Kindle books. So repeat Steps 1 and 2 for both if you offer print versions.

Step 3: Explore All Amazon Book Categories with Publisher Rocket

Hunting for the best category among 16,000+ could be a major time sink. Enter: Publisher Rocket.

Why Use Publisher Rocket? 🚀

Here are some of the main reasons why I use Publisher Rocket for this task, and why you should as well.

  • Lists every Amazon book, ebook, and Audible category
  • Calculates how many books you’d need to sell to be #1 or in the Top 10
  • Sorts categories from easiest to hardest for ranking

Just click a button, and boom! You’ve got all the data.

Extra Perks:

  • Percent KU and Percent Large Publisher: See what percentage of bestsellers are from large publishers or enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. Super helpful for strategy.
  • Historic Category Data: A deep dive into how categories have performed over time.

The historical category data is particularly helpful. Here are some things that you can learn from analyzing each category individually:

  • Sales needed to rank #1 or #10
  • % of bestsellers in KU
  • % of bestsellers from large publishers
  • Average price, age, rating, and page count of top books
  • Sales trend lines for that category

With this data, you’re not just guessing; you’re making data-driven decisions for your book’s success.

Step 4: Set Up Your Categories in Amazon KDP

Big Update: As of May 2023, Amazon allows you to select up to three categories yourself in KDP. They no longer accept special requests for category changes.

So with that in mind, here is how to select your 3 categories through Amazon’s KDP dashboard.

How to Do It:

  1. Navigate to “Book Details” in your KDP Dashboard.
  2. Select preference for Sexual Content: This could limit your category options.
  3. Click “Choose Categories”: Under the section labeled ‘Categories.’
  4. Pick main and subcategories: The more niche, the better.
  5. Add more if needed: Click “Add another category” to pick more subcategories.

What to Watch For:

  • Age Restrictions: Books for Teen or Children’s audiences need the recommended reading age set.
  • Comic Books/Manga/Graphic Novels: Must be a “fixed layout comic format book.”
  • Kindle Singles/Short Reads: Amazon assigns these.
  • Companion Books: Should only be added to “Study Aid” category.

Unlocking Amazon Categories: Make Every Choice Count with Publisher Rocket & Smart Strategy

So you’ve got a killer book, and you want to make sure it lands in the right categories on Amazon. With only three categories to pick (down from ten), every choice matters. Here’s how to max out the impact of your limited options.

Use Publisher Rocket for Data-Driven Decisions 🚀

Publisher Rocket Home screen

The good news? With Publisher Rocket’s Category Insights tool, you’ve got your personal guide to navigating Amazon’s book categories.

Why Publisher Rocket is a Game-Changer:

  • Real-Time Category Performance: Know how a category is doing now.
  • Trend Analysis: Is the category growing or shrinking over time?

If the trend arrow is pointing up, that’s your green light to consider that category for your book. It’s like peeking into the future of book sales. 📈

Best Practices for Category Selection 🎯

Publisher Rocket category search

Your categories must be relevant, thoughtful, and strategic. Anything less, and you’re missing out. Here’s the key:

  1. Pick Relevant Categories: Don’t trick the system by picking low-competition but irrelevant categories. You risk being kicked out or placed in unwanted categories.
  2. Niche Down: Go as specific as possible with subcategories. This not only reduces competition but also helps Amazon better understand your book. Bonus: You’ll automatically be included in the broader categories.
  3. Think Outside the Box: If your book has unique elements that fit into other less-competitive categories, take advantage. For instance, an epic fantasy book with Norse Mythology can live in both “Epic Fantasy” and “Norse Mythology” categories.

Maximize Publisher Rocket:

With this tool, you can meticulously analyze data to select the most relevant and potentially profitable categories for your book.

The Opportunity to Innovate 🌱

Look out for new categories that are in need of fresh content. If you can write a book that fills that gap, why not go for it?

Amazon’s Wild Card: Additional Categories 🃏

You get to pick three, but Amazon’s algorithms might decide you belong elsewhere too. They consider:

  • Your chosen categories
  • Keywords
  • Book description
  • Book content

The Upside and Downside:

  • Good News: Amazon might place you in additional, fitting categories if you optimize your keywords and content well.
  • Bad News: You’re not guaranteed to stay in your chosen categories if they aren’t a good match.

Key Takeaway: Don’t Play Games with Categories 🚫

Being deceptive in category selection won’t just backfire; you’ll miss out on potential readers who are actually interested in your content.

Quick Summary: Make Your Choices Count

  1. Use Publisher Rocket for data-driven category selection.
  2. Be meticulous and relevant when picking categories.
  3. Know that Amazon might have its own plans for your book’s categories.

It’s a complex process, but hey, who said becoming a bestseller was easy? Your categories can either elevate your book or sink it, so make those three choices count. 🌟

Tips, Secrets, and Tools to Score That #1 Spot 🏆

So, you’re all set on the basics of Amazon book categories, but ready to up your game? Let’s spill some more tea on advanced tips and tricks to help you soar to that elusive #1 spot.

The Dynamic World of ABSR (Amazon Best Sellers Rank) 🔄

  • ABSR Changes Every 2 Hours: That’s right, the game changes quick! What got you to #1 today may not keep you there tomorrow.
  • New Books Shake Things Up: A category that’s a goldmine today might get crowded tomorrow. Stay woke!

Your Move:

Monitor Categories Regularly: Use Publisher Rocket or do it manually—just keep your eyes peeled. Adapt your strategy as needed.

Gear Up with Publisher Rocket 🚀

This tool isn’t just handy; it’s a necessity for serious authors.

Perks of Using Publisher Rocket:

  • Speed: Change categories in a jiffy!
  • Efficiency: Don’t waste time on bad fits.
  • Effectiveness: Get data-backed choices.

Morality Check: Keep It Real 🎯

Don’t be that person who mis-categorizes their book. Be moral about your choices. No one likes a cheat taking up a spot where they don’t belong.

Got a Print Version? Do the Research Twice 📚

Your eBook strategy won’t necessarily translate 1:1 for your print book. Research categories for both formats.

Secret Sauce: Unlock Hidden Categories 🗝️

Secret #1: BISAC Is History, Long Live Amazon Categories!

Once upon a time, “BISAC categories” were the industry standard. But as of June 2023, Amazon ditched them in favor of their own categories.

Why This Is Awesome:

  • Specificity: Amazon categories let you get super specific.
  • Relevance: Say goodbye to one-size-fits-all and hello to pinpoint accuracy.

Secret #2: How to See All the Categories a Book Ranks For

You pick three categories, but Amazon might slip you into more. How to spy on them all? You have two options:

  1. Publisher Rocket: It lays out all your categories.
  2. My Tool: No Rocket? Input your book’s ASIN or ISBN-10 into this tool.

Your Action Plan: Get Listed, Climb Ranks, Repeat

Become a Bestseller, but First, Be One

As bestselling author Jeff Goins says, “Before you can launch a bestseller, you need to write a bestseller.” So start there, and then dive into this complex but rewarding game of categories.

Keep Tabs On Your Categories 🕵️

Whether you’re using Publisher Rocket or the good old manual way, you’ve got to keep checking. Why? To stay at #1 and snag those extra sales, duh!

I hope those tips and tricks have been useful for you. If you’ve learned nothing else from this article, learn this: Publisher Rocket is your best friend, and without it, you won’t get any good categories without wasting dozens of research hours.

And those are hours that are better spent writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *