Amazon KDP Select: Categories and Keywords. Ebook marketing.

So, you’ve written your future best-selling novel, and have pressed the publish button on Amazon KDP Select. What happens next? It would be nice to think you could just sit back and wait for the cash to roll in as readers purchase your work of art. Sadly however, this is unlikely to happen, unless your name is A G Riddle or Hugh Howie!

UnknownThanks to Amazon KDP, there are a few things you can, and must do, to give your book the best chance of succeeding however.
When logged into your KDP Select home page, the first thing you need to do is to choose two CATEGORIES. Choose two that best fist your book’s theme and subject matter. For example, my latest book, VAPORIZED, is a SciFi action adventure thriller/horror. It’s a bit of a mix, granted, so i’ll take you through the categories and key words I have used in this book, to help you decide which best fit with the book you have written.
First off, the categories. Amazon allow you 2 choices, so choose wisely. For Vaporized, I have gone with the THRILLERS – TECHNOTHRILLER, category, and the HORROR, category. Whilst Vaporized could equally be described as a science fiction adventure, I have gone with these categories, as essentially, vaporized is a slow burn alien invasion action-thriller, involving moments of horror, as Amber, the female protagonist tries to escape a deserted apocalyptic London, to get home to Wales. It would fit into the technothriller category, or indeed Scifi adventure category, and I might even choose the latter at some point, depending upon how sales go. The great thing with Amazon KDP Select is that it allows you to chop and change if you want to. Nothing is fixed in stone as far as the categories and key words are concerned.

One point for me, as far as the Technothriller category is concerned, is that I find that the book is more likely to start showing up in the best seller lists for technothrillers, once sales rank gets to as low as 20,000 odd… That means, there’s around 20,000 more books selling better than your own, and equates to around 30-35 sales a week, in that category, my experience. At the time of writing this, VAPORIZED has a rank of 175,000. It’s been out a little over a week, and i have had 11 sales in the USA. Pretty much as I expected, for a newly released book, but hopefully sales will start to accelerate as it becomes more visible within Amazon’s pages.

Once you’ve selected your categories, you need to move onto the KEYWORDS. Amazon allows you to pick up to 7, so use them all. Now, you need to choose keywords that would be most closely associated with your book, as these words will help buyers find your book when searching for it in the Amazon store. The keywords are also important for the categories and sub-categories your book falls into in the column displayed on the left of the Kindle Book search page. You can also see what keywords buyers are using by typing them into the search bar, when in the Kindle Store, Kindle Books section. If you were to start typing THRILLERS into the search bar, you will see that Thrillers In Kindle Store, and Medical and Legal thrillers are popular searches. If your book was a medical or legal thriller, then you would use those keywords.
For VAPORIZED, I used the keywords, Aliens and Monsters, which are sub categories found in the HORROR category, and keywords, techno-thrillers, action-packed, scary and dark, which are sub categories in the THRILLERS category. I also used the keyword, Female Protagonist, which is another searched for term, and which also of course fits the book’s theme.

So, with all those categories selected, I have now done as much as I can on KDP Select, as far as selecting categories and keywords is concerned. As the book ‘finds itself’ it should have a good chance of rising in the ranks, within the selected categories.
Fingers crossed! Good luck with your novel, and category/keyword selections!
Si Rosser is the author of the Robert Spire Action-Adventure series;
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