How To Get Your Book Found In A Crowded Amazon Marketplace
You’ve created a book people will love, made an amazing cover, done your keyword research, written a persuasive description, and now as you enter 2021 and you are about to publish your book you’ll be up against millions of competitors, who are likely to outrank you on Amazon.
How will you ever be found in the crowded Amazon market place?
Having done all of the above there’s still something else you need to do. You need to place your book into appropriate categories.
What are categories and how do you find the best categories for your book?
First of all, categories are those sections of the Amazon website where customers can find your book.
Imagine you are walking into a bookstore. Books are divided up into sections: fiction, history, adventure, cooking, children’s picture books, biographies, and so on.
Categories are the big broad terms that describe a book and they indicate where a book fits.
If a customer wants a book about how to get rid of skin blemishes and then finds it in the fiction section they will not be all that impressed and will probably not buy the book.
Learning how to find the right categories, just like selecting the best keywords, increases the chance of a book being found on Amazon. If a book gets found on Amazon then it may convert to a sale.
Categories help readers find books they want to buy. The right categories increase a book’s conversion rate because they attract the ideal buyer.
If your book is featured in the wrong category, your ideal reader won’t be able to find it. If readers can’t find it they can’t buy it.
Two sorts of categories
Categories can be very confusing for newbie self-publishers. This is because there are two sorts of categories.
1. BISAC CODE
When you enter your book’s details on the KDP Bookshelf you are asked to select two relevant categories from the drop-down list.
These categories are called Bisac Codes (Book Industry Standards and Communications) and they are designed to help a reader find your book.
These BISAC codes are an industry-wide standard for classifying books and they are commonly used in libraries and bookstores. Amazon uses them.
The BISAC Codes are a pathway for customers to follow and to find your book.
Amazon may also assign additional browse categories depending on your BISAC selections and assigned keywords.
2. AMAZON BROWSE CATEGORIES
The other categories are Amazon browse categories. In reality, Amazon allows up to ten categories for your book but when you are doing your book’s listing on KDP you will start with just two.
You will select just 2 BISAC categories for your book’s listing and then after you publish your book you will need to contact Amazon and request the 10 browse categories you want.
The more categories you can put your book into the more eyeballs you can get on to your book’s sales page.
Best Seller Badge
If you select the right categories an author increases their chance of getting a “Best Seller” badge – that orange icon you sometimes see on a book’s listing.
The ideal game plan is to rank #1 in a category on Amazon so that you can get a Best Seller Badge.
This in turn will help you to increase your sales.
To get a Best Seller Badge you need to find out which categories are best for your book. If you list your book in a category that is not too competitive it may be easier to get a Best Seller Badge.
How to choose categories?
- Brainstorm the categories you think will apply to your book
- Get ideas for categories when doing your keyword research.
- When you are analysing ebooks and books listed for certain keywords take a note of the categories of books similar to yours.
- You will see Categories listed under the Best Sellers Rank (BSR).
- Select Kindle Store
- Then find Best Sellers & More
- Select Kindle eBooks
- Under Kindle eBooks you’ll see a list of categories eg.
- If your book is a positivity motivational self-help book you could select
- Self-help>Personal transformation
Search for other categories that your book could fit into.
- Select a category and examine the 100 best selling books in a category. Look at the book in the #1 position and then look at the book in #100. Identify books similar to yours.
- Examine the BSR. Does a best selling book have a BSR of 100,000 or less?
- If the BSR is under #25,000 be assured that the book is selling well. The higher the BSR the less it sells and the lesser the competition.
- The optimum position for your chosen Category is a BSR # 25,000-50,000. (Some say to consider books between #10,000 and #100,000.)
- Find a category where book #1 is under BSR #2500 and book #100 is between #25,000 and #50,000.
- This kind of analysis will give you a snapshot of the whole category and you can quickly determine whether or not a category is worth pursuing.
- Sometimes in a category, it’s only the first book that is making money.
Do your research. Make a list of relevant categories that could apply to your book.
Select the best 10 categories and try to select ones with the least competition. It is easier to achieve a higher BSR if the competition is smaller.
How to change your categories
After you’ve published your book change your categories. Make the changes after logging into your KDP account.
Once you’ve found the browse categories you want, contact KDP on the Help page and in an email, put in a request to change your categories to the ones that you want.
When requesting a change in categories write them out according to the following format.
Kindle Store>Kindle eBooks>Education & Teaching>Teacher Resources>Curricula
Kindle Store>Kindle eBooks>Nonfiction>Politics & Social Sciences>
Social Sciences>Sociology>Race Relations
If you’d like access to more tips and advice tune into my free video Masterclass on writing and self-publishing in the Fast Self-Publishing Online community.
Author & Coach