Amazon’s Digital Text Platform Kindle books to five categories. Carefully choosing your book’s categories is a vital marketing strategy overlooked by many authors. Why is it so important? Because choosing wisely can make your book a best seller.
What is a Category?
Categories are separate from “Tags,” which are chosen by readers after publication and used to find your book in searches. But the right categories applied prior to hitting that “Publish” button is vital to obtaining a best-selling status.
They assign your book to smaller sectors where you have less competitors and could determine whether you ever reach that top 100 in sales rank anywhere. And they are permanent, so choose them wisely.
How Do You Choose the Right Categories?
For example, my new how-to that just went live a few days ago, The Rewritten Word: How to Sculpt Literary Art no Matter the Genre, is under these categories at Kindle:
- Reference/Handbooks & Manuals
- Reference/Writing Skills
- Business & Economics/Business Writing
- Language Arts: Editing & Proofreading
- Study Aids/Workbooks
I chose every single category (within their limit of 5) that my book topic addresses. Some may seem unimportant to our starry eyes at publishing time, such as these two categories for my novel Rightfully Mine: the category of God’s Word and Egypt. But it was in these categories that my novel became a best seller in both Amazon print and Kindle version.
Can Specific Categories Land You a Best-seller?
So, can the right category land you a best-seller? Yes. Because you will garner a category best-seller, not the overall best-sellers.
The Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store list is compiled from general overall sales from millions of authors, and is the only one posted by Amazon. If your novel is only listed in huge and general categories like “Fiction,” “Historical Fiction,” “Paranormal Fiction” etc. you’ll be competing with vast numbers for ranking.
A category best-seller doesn’t have nearly the competition so is more obtainable to most of us. And a best-seller is a best-seller.
Though most of us may never obtain overall best-selling status we can definitely compete within the smaller, more specific categories. Don’t underestimate their importance. When my novel, Rightfully Mine: God’s Equal Rights Amendment made three top 10 best seller lists in one day it was in the smaller categories God’s Word and Egypt.
How Do I Know if I’m a Category Best Seller?
Amazon won’t even list the categories your book is in unless your sales put you in the top 100 of one or more of them. But if you made it, you’ll find the details listed on your Amazon sales page under Product Details (which you should check often because they change several times per 24-hour cycle). If you haven’t ranked in the top 100 of a category it will look similar to the fist image below, No Best-seller Lists.
Notice in the No Best-seller Lists image, which was taken October 7, 2010, that my Amazon Bestsellers Rank is #335, 609. Compare that to the top 10 best-selling image, Best-Seller Lists, where my overall Amazon.com Sales Rank was #20,195.
At #20,195 even though the novel ranked as top ten in three categories, it was still nowhere near the top 100 overall list, but because it’s listed in all the appropriate more specific categories it was still top 10 in three categories. This is the difference choosing all appropriate categories will make for you too.
Publishing in Amazon Print vs. Kindle
There is no either or. You must do both. But some authors neglect publishing in Kindle format too. That’s a mistake. It is much easier to rank higher in Kindle sales than Amazon print book sales.
Compare the print version of Rightfully Mine’s Amazon Bestsellers Rank of #2,395,051 in the image below, RM Print Book Rank Oct 2010. Print books have much stiffer competition than Kindle books, so make sure you place yourself in the electronic running at Kindle too.
Get Your Best-Seller
Want a category best-seller? Want the words bestselling author in front of your name? Start by listing you book in every category that applies to your topic.
I’ll see you in the best-sellers circle!