How to Choose Your Book’s Kdp Categories on Amazon
Choosing the right categories to set your book in is one of the most key factors of reaching your readers. The best categories are going to be specific but not too specific, and broad enough to have readers without being too broad to compete in. Clearly, this can be a difficult balance to achieve. But by really knowing your book’s audience and doing a little market research, you’ll find categories that make a good fit.
The best categories are ultimately going to be where your book can be easily found by readers and where your book can most likely *rank*. So that means that very general, very large categories are generally not going to be a good choice. While some people may think that placing your book in a bigger category might increase its visibility, it actually often does the opposite. Think of your book against the sea of other books in a large category. If someone is looking in “general cookbooks”, how likely do you think that they’ll be able to see and pick out your book on cat treats among the thousands of other titles in that category?
Aside from sizing down the competition, choosing a more specific category will allow your book to get seen by the people that are specifically looking for it. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to pick the smallest, most niche category that you can find.
There are plenty of people who have technically become “bestselling authors” by gaming the ranking system in this manner. If your book ranks within the top 3 spots in either the entire Amazon store or in any category, however small, your book is then awarded a bestseller banner that stays on your Amazon page. Your book could become a “bestseller” with even one sale by setting it in a category that’s small enough, but an overly niche category is going to hurt your book’s chance at getting found more than the perceived prestige that an ill-gotten bestseller banner could possibly help.
Ultimately, you have to consider where a potential reader would be looking to find your book. List out all of those possible categories. You’ll probably notice that while these categories are specific, they aren’t overly so. These are the categories that you want to pick from.
You can decide which of these categories to pick by figuring out which of these categories are going to be the easiest to be able to compete in. Now, how do you do that?
Start by finding the #1 book in each of the categories you have listed out. Go down to the book’s product details, then to its best sellers rank. That first number is going to be the book’s rank in the entire Amazon store. Write that number down.
Once you have the number for each #1 book in each category that you listed out, look for a “best seller calculator” online. There are plenty available and you should be able to find one in the first search result. A best seller calculator can take the bestseller number that you’ve written down to tell you about how many sales that that book has to make every day to maintain its #1 spot within that category and its general rank. The lower that their daily calculated sales are, then the less competitive that category is.
To get the best chance at ranking, visibility, and sales, you ultimately want to pick categories with low competition but that still fit your book. By listing out related categories and calculating the daily sales of their #1 title, you can then figure out which of these categories are going to be both appropriate for your book and easy to rank in.