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Getting Your eBook in the Proper Category for Improved Ranking

Linked (Prophecy Book One)This info page is compliments of Hope Welsh author of Linked. Visit Hope at her blog: HopeWelsh.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter @HopeWelsh or hopewelshwrites@gmail.com. Thanks Hope and as is customary when an author provides a blog post or other tip we always share their links and book cover.

Getting Your eBook in the Proper Category

You’ve done it all. Your book is up on Amazon. You uploaded an edited and well-formatted version of your book. It looks great in the sample. The review sites you’ve sent it to are giving it great reviews. Is it not selling still? Maybe it’s because of your categories.

Today’s Tip is on getting your book in the proper category on Amazon. My two books have been up for a bit and have done so-so. I believe that in a large part, this was due to them not being in the proper category.

When you publish your book to KDP on Amazon, there is a large list of possible categories to list your book in. I’m sure, if you’ve already published, you’ve picked the category that you feel fits to a T. But does it?

Let’s use an example from my own work. THE STORM WITHIN & TABLE FOR TWO is an anthology of romantic suspense. Its ranking has been dismal–until I fixed the category.

Here is the main thing to consider–people have to FIND your book to buy it.

As of 6 a.m. on the date I wrote this—April 2, 2012, THE STORM WITHIN & TABLE FOR TWO is at #6 in Romance Anthologies (Kindle e-books)  and #37 in Romance Anthologies overall. (The latter list includes both print and e-book)

Below is a screen shot.

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My other book, LINKED, is also in a Top 100 List–and has been every day since I targeted my categories.

How did I do this? Did I write the best books in the world? Did I spend a ton of money to promote them on every website in the world? No, I didn’t spend a dime. Really.

LINKED is a paranormal romance. It’s Book One in the Prophecy Series I’m writing. Now, if you’ve looked on Amazon KDP, you’ll notice that there isn’t a category for Paranormal under Romance. While LINKED is available in print and e-book—I’m  marketing the e-book on KDP. The print version is done through Create Space.

What did I do? It was actually very easy. I simply picked the categories that best matched my books based on their content. I emailed KDP and asked them how to get in the proper categories.

Here are the steps to do:

1. Know your category! Is it romance? Is it a thriller? Mystery? Great—but what else is it? Is there a sub-genre to your work? Does it fit in any other category? Sure it does. Every book does. The trick is to get it there. For instance, is it an anthology? There are fewer anthologies, of course, than there are romances over-all. So, why not put it where it’s more likely to be found?

2. Go to your Amazon page (for the book) and scroll down to the bottom. See those categories there? Look at the lists. There will be several of them. See the image below:

Does one of them fit? GREAT! Now, copy the two that fit the best (remember, you want to be found under e-books) so don’t pick the ‘overall’ category of ‘books’ unless yours is a print book.

In the above instance, I picked “Anthologies” and “Contemporary”. Remember, narrow down your list as much as possible. “Romance” is too general. There are thousands and thousands. Unless you’re selling 1k books a day–you’re not going to rank high on that list when there are literally thousands of romances.

The key is narrowing. Pick several books from the Top 100 List in your genre. See what categories are available. Pick the ones that most closely match your work.

3. Now that you know what category you want it, you need to let Amazon get you there. Copy the exact line you want, like this:

# Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Anthologies

When you contact Amazon KDP, they will put your book in whichever categories you ask. Be sure to list your book as non-classifiable under KDP. I was told by Amazon KDP to do so. Amazon will not create a new category—but they will add your book to any existing category.

Give it a few days and watch your books climb the charts! Remember, once you make a bestseller list—you’re an Amazon best-selling author. Granted, it’s bestselling in a particular genre. That’s fine. It can take up to three days for it to cycle through.

It’s fine to say “Amazon Top 100 bestselling romance anthology” or “Amazon Top 100 bestselling in its genre” or even “Amazon Top 10 bestseller in its category” when it hits the Top Ten.

As an author—we need to make every effort to get our books in the hands of readers. Many readers buy their books based on those lists. The best day LINKED had last month was the day it first made an Amazon Bestselling Top 100 list. The same for THE STORM WITHIN & TABLE FOR TWO. Both consistently make a Top 100 list in the US and now in the UK as well.

Editors Notes:

Thanks Hope. (Digital Book Today – Anthony Wessel)

Authors, it can be done. I (a non-author) pulished a simple book of 30 pages that contained one minute stores of my dad as an experiment to learn the KDP publishing system (pub. Oct 1. 2010).

Yes it is a homemade cover! 6 years later it screams “this is what you are not suppose to do with a cover”.

Recently I took this book (not really a book – sold one copy – to myself) and went through the process of putting it into categories. I contacted Amazon and told them how I wanted my book categoized. They responded twice within 6 hours each time.

One Minute Washington D.C. Travel Stories is now an Amazon Bestseller – in a very small category. I used 2 of my KDP select free days. Promoted it on our The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books List. Gave away 251 copies. Initial rank was 756,256. After my free days it reached an overall rank of 244, 849.

End.