Last week, we covered keywords, now it’s time to tackle Amazon KDP categories.
Amazon uses BISAC categories like every other publishing platform, bookstore, library, etc. out there. BISAC stands for Book Industry Standards and Communications. It is the internationally accepted system for categorizing books.
The problem new self-publishers often run into is that these categories don’t look the same on the front end of Amazon as they do during the publishing process, so things can get confusing.
I’m going to show you the more time-consuming free way to find categories for your books and the easy way, just as I did with keywords.
Amazon KDP Categories – The Time-Consuming Free Way
There is nothing wrong with doing your categories using this method and honestly, I do it this way in addition to using Publisher Rocket.
Even with Publisher Rocket, it’s always good to know how to use Amazon Search to check the competition, and get proof of concept for your book before publishing.
So, you’ve searched up and sized up your competition on Amazon and they are absolutely crushing it. You need to know what categories they’re using!
So you scroll down and you just see a measly one to three categories.
What’s that you say?
You only need two for KDP?
Oh no, my friend, you can have up to 10 categories for your eBook and 10 more for your print version.
I know, I know there’s only two slots, but you can use the form email through the Contact Us link in your KDP Dashboard to add up to 8 additional categories.
If this is new information for you, then I probably just blew your mind.
I’m going to take things a step further and show you how to find all of those categories because if you’ve ever searched BISAC categories, then you know it’s no fun.
How can you see all of the categories your competitor is using?
Copy the ASIN from Amazon for the book you want to check.
Go to bklnk.com. <– Click here to visit because they’ve added some extra navigation on their site. This link takes you directly to the page for the next step below.
Paste the ASIN into the box and click Go Find.
The results will appear below the box and there will be a copy/paste friendly version at the very bottom.
Rinse and repeat this process with additional best sellers in your niche until you have a solid 10 categories for both print and eBook.
I’ll show you what to do with them a little later.
Amazon KDP Categories – The Publisher Rocket Way
I know I sound like a broken record, but I firmly stand behind this software and the guy who created it. You might know him. It’s Dave Chesson, the Kindlepreneur!
I use it myself and I endorse and promote it because it does what it says it’s supposed to do and once you purchase; you get free updates for life.
So, as the software evolves to include other platforms and tools, you get all of that at no extra charge ever.
It’s 97 bucks, and I realize that is quite an investment, so just keep in mind that you can use the free method and/or there are providers on Fiverr who offer Publisher Rocket tasks as a service at an affordable price.
Using Publisher Rocket is pretty straightforward and intuitive. As you can see, the Competition Analyzer and Category Search are front and center.
You simply use keywords, or the ASIN to get started. Don’t forget to specify whether you are searching for eBook, print, or audiobook categories at the top.
Build your list of 10 categories each for your print and eBook.
NOTE: Some niches will not have a full 10 categories.
Contacting KDP to Add Your Categories
Once you have your list of categories, put the two best ones in the category slots when you publish your book.
Which are the best?
Go with your gut. Which two from each format fit your book the best? Those are the ones.
Now you’re ready to contact KDP and ask them to add the additional ones.
From your KDP Dashboard, scroll all the way to the bottom and click the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page.
Click the radio button next to Amazon Store & Product Detail Page and select Update Amazon Categories.
This will open a form email and all you have to do is follow the on-screen instructions.
You should receive confirmation from KDP within 72 hours that they’ve added your categories. If, for some reason, they weren’t able to add them, they should provide additional information. Otherwise, you’re done!
What Do You Think?
Is this new info to you? Is this common knowledge for you?
Get the conversation started in the comments below.