Get Approved for More Amazon Book Categories: 3 Steps


When it comes to self-publishing your upcoming book, do not make light of selecting your Amazon book categories!

Although it may appear to be a small detail, you must realize that your readers often resort to categories when looking for books on a specific topic.

Therefore, selecting the best book categories for your upcoming bestseller is a critical decision as it will impact your book sales.

Here are more notable reasons why your book should have best-fitting categories:

  • It can help you become a bestseller. Like the New York Times bestseller, Amazon can also tag your book with an orange badge that says “#1 Bestseller”. And with thousands of Amazon categories to compete and rank for, this means that there’s plenty of opportunity for you to become an Amazon bestseller!
  • You can gain more exposure on Amazon. By appearing in different categories, your book can appeal to different audiences. And if your book ranks in the top ten of any category listings, Amazon will include your book to its “Recommendations Engine”  which will generate more publicity!

But with plenty of book categories on Kindle Direct Publishing as well as the plethora of books competing for attention, how do you choose the right categories to make your book stand out to your reader?

In this post, we will share our best strategies to help you pick the right categories for your book that will increase your sales rank and obtain maximum exposure through Amazon’s search engine.

Here are the three topics we will cover:

  1. Research Your Competition
  2. Strategically Select Your Category
  3. Apply for Additional Categories

Let’s get started!

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How To Effectively Market A Book in 2021

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How many categories can my book be in on Amazon?

Amazon will allow you to apply for three book categories as the maximum at first. However, with our method outlined below, you can get into up to 10 categories total, which will expand your book’s reach.

How often should you update categories and keywords?

In order to keep your book in the right categories, we recommend to our students to update your book’s cateogires on Amazon 1x a year, and also add 10 categories to the UK and DE store using Publisher Rocket.

For your Amazon keyword (separate, but also related to Amazon categories), check these every 3 months. You may find that you’ll often replace these several times a year.

Not all of them but only those not as relevant anymore (since this space and the Amazon algorithm change so much.

Where can I find the best Amazon categories for my book?

If you want to find the categories that will best set you up for success with your book, we recommend using Publisher Rocket, and our students even get a discount code to purchase the software.

When it comes to keywords, what works best is actually looking at the keywords other books like yours (that are ranking well) are using, and refreshing those when needed, as stated above.

How to Get Approved for More Amazon Book Categories

If you want your book to be more visible on Amazon, the trick is getting it into more categories so it can rank in them. Not just any category, though.

It has to be a category that will put your book in front of your unique target audience.

#1 – Research Your Competition

If your goal is to appear on the first page of search results on Amazon, then you must take advantage of every window of opportunity to succeed. In order to do so, you first must research your competition.

When you begin researching for book categories, you should start by scanning the bestselling books on every first page results of your target category.

amazon categories

The reason is simply due to the fact that the first page results are most likely what your readers are going to be looking for! Therefore, it’s important to identify the top selling books for each category you want to target.

Next, go through each of the books on the first page results and study its category string links. For example, here are the category links for Taylor Pearson’s book, The End of Jobs:

book categories on amazon

Notice that for a book on Entrepreneurship, it’s ranked highest for “Labor & Workforce” and “Economics”. This goes to show that by placing their book into such unique categories, the author completely understood their target audience which is why The End of Jobs appears on several first page results.

So if you want to have a high ranking for your category, make it a priority to research your competitors’ categories and emulate their methods with your book.

Action Plan: Research the first page competitors in five categories of your choosing. Take note to any unique categories your competitors rank in, and apply them to your upcoming book.

#2 – How to Strategically Select Your Category

Because the Amazon’s Kindle Store has thousands of categories to choose from as well as an overwhelming amount of books fighting for attention, the competition can be relentless and unfair to new writers. But there is one approach that will have you stand out: Select trending categories with little competition.

What is considered a competitive rank?

We find that any categories with books ranking higher than #2000 is considered very competitive and not a recommended category for new writers.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t place your book in a competitive ranking, but if you do, be sure to have a well-planned book launch with a sizable audience that can provide a lot of verified reviews. For new authors with a smaller following, we recommend aiming for certain categories with books that rank between #10,000-30,000.

Once you’ve completed this research, you should have a list of thriving categories to place your book in that will outrank your competitors.

Action Plan: With the five categories you’ve researched, take the time to review your competitors’ ranking that fall between #10,000-30,000. For even better results, we also recommend using the KDP Calculator to calculate how many books you would need to sell in order increase your ranking.

#3 – How to Acquire Additional Categories

When you publish your book on Amazon, they will offer you a select list of categories to choose from. At a first glance, you will notice that the selection seems rather limited and is missing plenty of categories that you’ve seen other books rank for.

Unfortunately, Amazon has done this intentionally so that they can place new books into their own kindle categories.

Don’t let Amazon determine your categories! There are thousands of sub-categories you can rank for, and you can even include an additional eight sub-categories not found in the usual channels.

Here how you can acquire these categories:

  1. Use Amazon Keyword Selection. Include the name of your category as one of your “Amazon Keywords”. In order to obtain a particular category, you must include specific keywords in the Kindle submission form. For more information on Keyword requirements, visit Amazon’s browse category page to learn more.
  2. Place your categories in strategic places. To convince Amazon that your book should be placed in specific category, strategically work the words of the category onto the title, subtitle or even the summary of your book page.
  3. Contact Amazon. You can contact Amazon and request your book to be placed in a particular category. Amazon will then assess your entire book and determine if it’s an appropriate fit for the specific browse category. If approved, These categories will appear in the “Look for similar items by category” at the bottom of the book page.

Action Plan: Experiment with these strategies to acquire additional sub-categories for your book. Remember you can include eight additional keywords that can convince Amazon to place your book in the categories of your choosing.

If you want a successful book launch, you must not overlook even the tiniest of details.

By following these guidelines on how to select your book category, your first book will have maximum exposure and the best chance to appear in the Amazon bestseller list.

SELL MORE COPIES CONSISTENTLY

How To Effectively Market A Book in 2021

The Real Reason Your Current Promotional Strategy Isn’t Working and How to Fix it in 3 Easy Steps!

Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Self-Publishing School may earn a comission if you click through to make a purchase.

Scott Allan

Scott Allan is a student success coach and in-house content creator here at Self-Publishing School. He is a bestselling author of 12+ books that includes The Discipline of Masters, Drive Your Destiny and Relaunch Your Life. Scott has a passion for teaching strategic life skills and inspiring people to take charge of their lives. You can connect with Scott at: www.scottallanauthor.com He believes that successful living is a series of small, consistent actions taken every day to build a thriving lifestyle with intentional purpose. By taking the necessary steps and eliminating unwanted distractions that keep you stuck, you are free to focus on the essentials. Scott currently lives In Japan where he resides full time, and is at work on several new writing projects. You can connect with Scott at scottallanauthor.com

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40 comments

  • AirplaneJane says:

    Thank you for putting this together to help others. It is is always great to see people sharing how they created success. Much appreciated. The kindness will bless you 10x over

  • Lindsey Hulstrom says:

    Excellent advice loaded with great information. Thank you for such a helpful article. You’ve done all the research! Appreciate it.

  • Alan McComas says:

    Great info Scott. You always come through for me at the right time. I can’t wait to implement this in the next few days.

  • Virginia Reeves says:

    Scott – this will be helpful as in my categories (general self-help) there are thousands of books. Thanks.

  • Yes! Thanks Scott for reminding me of this, I knew about this ‘hack’ but had completely forgotten about it, just went and did it for my latest book. Thanks for providing the exact layout on what to do, super helpful 🙂

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