You Can Publish Your Kindle E-Book In Up To Ten Categories

You’ll be offered two or three — but there are more options.

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

When I was growing up self-publishing had a bad reputation. Indistinguishable from “vanity publishing”, it was easy to feel as though self-publishing was reserved for those without the talent to make it via traditional means.

That undeserved reputation still sticks with some writers. But honestly, if that’s your view you might need to change it. Self-publishing is not the preserve of typo-ridden nonsense and homemade covers done in MS Paint. Much of it is as good — or better — than what you get from traditional publishers.

Plus, you can make a good living. I know, I know, we’re artists and we don’t do it for the money. But I know of authors bringing in high four figures and five figures per month from their self published novels.

And sure, those people have years of experience and big back catalogues of titles behind them, but still — who’s to say that couldn’t be you in a few years?

Part of the attraction of self-publishing is that it’s easy. You can set up an e-book on Amazon’s Kindle store in literally minutes, and have it available for people to buy in hours. You could type “The End” and be getting sales hours later (though I’d recommend taking some time to get it edited first!). It is easy, but also paradoxically very hard. How do you get sales as a newbie author? How will people even see your book in the sea of competitors, buried on page ten of their Amazon search results?

Well, that bit’s not easy. I don’t have a magic formula to earning five figures a month (if I did, I’d be typing this from a tropical beach) but I do have a little trick that might help you get more sales — and maybe even earn that elusive bestseller tag!

You can put your book in up to ten Amazon categories

You’re probably thinking “duh, of course you can!”

You’ve seen books listed in multiple categories every time you’re browsing.

But the thing is, Amazon doesn’t make this obvious.

When you’re setting up your e-book, Amazon asks you to place your book in only two or three categories.

Yup, that’s all.

And the options…well, let’s just say the choice isn’t exactly overwhelming.

But you do have more choices.

Amazon has over ten thousand categories in which it could place your book. You’re offered a small fraction of that to pick from for your book when you’re first setting it up.

If you want more, you can find them. Take a look at the kind of books you’re competing with in your chosen genre. Do any of them have categories you would have chosen if you could?

Well, you can.

If you go to Amazon’s Author Central help/contact page you can email (or, in the US, ask them to call you) them and ask them to add your book to more categories. You just need to provide them with:

  • The title of your book
  • The book’s ASIN number
  • The full string for each category you want it to be added to (for example: Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Genetic Engineering)

Honestly, that’s it. You’ll generally get a response within a few hours confirming your new categories.

So as well as being in a very broad category like science fiction which might see your book get lost among the weeds, it could also be in a more niche category depending on the type of sci-fi (in this hypothetical example) that you’re writing — first contact or genetic engineering for example. It means fans of those specific sub-genres are more likely to see it.

What About Becoming a Bestseller?

Look, nothing guarantees that, and if your book isn’t good there’s no way it will happen. But being visible in more categories gives you a shot.

Using our previous example, being a bestseller in general science fiction is going to be near enough impossible. But being a bestseller in a more niche area of science fiction like novels involving genetic engineering? You have more of a shot.

That’s not to say you should put your book in unrelated categories. You probably don’t have to sell many books in the “woodworking” category to be labelled a bestseller, but don’t go sticking your sci-fi masterwork in there to try and game the system. For one thing, it’s a surefire way to get bad reviews from angry woodwork enthusiasts, and no writer wants bad reviews. Trust me.

But pick the right categories and you can get more eyes on your book — and more potential sales. Don’t just stick to two.

Thanks for reading. Keep in touch on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, join the mailing list, or reach out via email: davefox990@hotmail.com.

Navigating parenting with a disability and trying to write a novel. Email: davefox990@hotmail.com

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