Over the years, I’ve written a lot about Amazon: how to get more Amazon reviews; what to do if a review is pulled; the different types of Amazon reviews, etc.
I’ve made it my mission to help authors understand Amazon because I know how crucial it can be to the success of your book. I also understand that at times, Amazon can seem daunting. So I’ve written a two-part series, that will help you understand the differences between keywords, categories, and themes to optimize your Amazon book page.
How to Make the Most of Your Amazon Book Page
First, as we start to understand how to best utilize keywords, themes, and categories on Amazon, it’s important to understand that Amazon functions like a search engine.
Second, it’s important to note that Amazon is actually two sites: one for print books, and one for eBooks (this is the Kindle Store).
So, keeping these two facts in mind, let’s dive into categories. Amazon has a limited number of categories for print books, which are based on an industry standard of categorizing and sorting books—one that is used by e-stores and brick-and-mortar stores alike–called BISAC (which we previously discussed here). Due to this standardization, you are limited in the number of categories you can select in the print store.
As a result, understanding how Amazon functions as a search engine is most useful in the Kindle store. While you are limited to a set number of categories based upon industry standards in the print store, in the Kindle store, categories are unlimited and are influenced by search from everyday Amazon users. Over the years, Amazon has created various eBook categories based on previous user searches—few of these actually match the BISAC ones mentioned earlier.Now, I know that an unlimited number of categories may seem daunting at first, so let’s walk through how to identify the best category for your book. (More on using categories here.)
Find the Kindle store: Go to Amazon.com, highlight “Kindle Store” in the dropdown bar and (leaving the search bar blank) click on the magnifying glass on the right to be directed to the Kindle store.
Something to keep mind: you should monitor the categories available on Amazon. There may be new categories which work better for your book in the future. Here’s why: categories often get weighed down, especially if a new trend takes over your particular category. You want to make sure that you are selecting categories that will help your title to stand out.
Changing Categories: When you’re selecting these more creative categories, you can not make these changes via your KDP Dashboard and these categories will only work for eBooks. Category changes have to be made through Author Central. Just log into your account and click “Help” and send them an email.
What About My Print Book?
Ever heard the phrase, the rising tide floats all boats? Well, the same is true for your eBook vs. your print book. Let’s say that you have a very standard category for your print book but found a narrow, niche one for your eBook—as long as these two versions are connected, the eBook will pull the print book with it. Meaning they’ll both show up in search.
Using the information above, you now have the tools to find and select categories for your book. In the second part of this series, we’ll discuss how to best utilize themes and keywords in on your Amazon book page.
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