Createspace Publishing is the greatest way to self-publish paperback books to release on the Amazon marketplace and a bevy of other platforms through their expanded distribution.
If you are quick to write off Createspace Publishing as inferior to Kindle Direct Publishing, then you’d be leaving a ton of money on the table.
For those of you familiar with this option, you may not be aware of a way to increase exposure and optimize searchability.
Don’t know what I mean?
Then, you may want to hear what I have to share today about how to add categories to paperbacks on Amazon.
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Before we jump into things, I’d love to know if you publish paperback books?
If so, do you use Createspace or Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing to produce paperbacks?
Or, are you taking advantage of Amazon alternatives like Nook Press, IngramSpark or other competitors?
Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments below and I’ll try to respond to as many of you as I can.
Createspace Publishing Categories
When you publish a paperback book on the Createspace Publishing Platform, you can choose one category, also known as browse paths in Amazon insider lingo.
In the Createspace metadata, it is referred to as the BISAC category.
This category determines how your book is organized and found in the Amazon store.
Much like I shared in a recent video Kindle Publishing: How to Choose a Category on Amazon in 2017, categories will appear on the sales page for your book in the product details once it has had at least one sale.
Unlike the Kindle ebooks, Amazon’s algorithm will not determine a second and third complementing category to give you the allowed maximum of three displayed browse paths.
After some investigation, I discovered a simple call or email to Createspace support solved the issue.
I researched appropriate browse paths relevant to my books, chose the two best categories and then put in a request.
Within three to five business days, all three browse paths appeared in my book’s product details.
The Secrets of Createspace Publishing
Not too long ago, I was on the phone with Createspace customer support when I stumbled on a secret.
The phone rep explained how Amazon recently changed their policy on the maximum browse paths allowed for a single publication.
Much like the Kindle ebooks, though only three browse paths appear in the product details, a publication could be listed in up to ten categories.
And, if you dig a little in the Amazon Book Store, you’ll find some categories unavailable in the BISAC category menu on Createspace.
I’ve heard from some online resources that Amazon has tens of thousands of categories and are continually adding new browse paths regularly.
What You Didn’t Know about Createspace Publishing
Keep in mind that even though you only see three categories in the product details, your book can be listed in up to seven additional categories.
This means if you have at least some book sales, you could appear in up to ten categories…
And something to bear in mind is that each of these categories represents a best sellers list.
Find the right categories or newly launched browse paths, and you could kick your book into a best sellers list without much work.
And, your book could even become a number one best-selling book in ten categories.
The Exclusive Book Category of Createspace Publishing
This is particularly exciting for anyone releasing a new book.
If you can hit the best sellers list in the first 30 days, then you may get in the hot new releases.
Hot new releases are a sub category of a given browse path that shows the highest performing books released in the last thirty days.
If you have a few sales in the first 30 days and use all 10 browse paths…
You can literally double your book’s exposure and increased the likelihood for purchasing.
Now, all you have to do is find the browse paths best suited for your book.
How to Find Profitable Categories for Your Createspace Books
Simply watch my video Profitable Kindle Niches: What Are the Most Profitable Categories in Kindle Publishing? to get a complete step-by-step walkthrough.
But, pay attention to categories ONLY in the Amazon Bookstore and NOT the Kindle store.
There is a difference in browse paths and you cannot enter a paperback into a Kindle category and vice versa.
There are some exceptions to the rule and I haven’t the foggiest on HOW they do it.
And, it’s no surprise, Amazon is NOT willing to share this little loophole.
How to Request Createspace Categories
- Once you have up to 10 categories, log into your Createspace account.
- Click the gray Contact Support button on the left and the inquiries page will pop-up. It’s fairly intuitive from here.
- I get the best results when I speak to a customer service rep on the phone. But, you can always contact them by email with your request.
- Ask them to add your book to the following categories.
- Copy and paste the full browse paths into your communication.
- If you have ten category requests, then ask they remove categories you don’t want on your book.
Are Createspace Categories Permanent?
Keep in mind, these categories aren’t permanent and you can change them anytime.
However, be selective about how often you change out your categories.
There’s a delay in fulfilling your request, so it’s hard to measure the effectiveness of the category change.
I try to keep a book on a category for at least 30-90 days before changing to another one.
Last Words on Createspace Publishing
Hey, that’s all I have for you today.
However, if you enjoyed this post, then do me a favor…
Share it with someone who you think might enjoy it.
Also, if you want to learn more about how to publish and profit the right way, then check back at SelfPublishingWithDale.com for daily posts.
Now, get out there and add your paperback to some categories, you savvy self-publisher you.
Till later, this has been Self-Publishing with Dale and I’ll talk to you guys soon.