Tag: KDP

Selecting the best Amazon book categories is one of the most important and overlooked aspects of publishing and one of the easiest to do. Most self-published authors and professional publishers give little thought to the category placement. They often place a book in a category that either too broad or too competitive.

Why Amazon Book Categories are Important

Although most Amazon customers don’t browse for books by looking in the category listings (they use keyword searches), your category choices still matter. Why? Because Amazon’s algorithm gives priority to books that rank higher in categories. This means that if you can get your book to #1 in a category then Amazon will be more likely to place your title higher on the keyword search results and suggest it to more customers.

So getting a #1 ranking is not only important for your credibility as an author but is important for getting more exposure and sales for your book. This is why it’s so important to get right.

Which Amazon Book Categories are the Best?

The best Amazon book categories are the ones that have the fewest books (less competition for you) and its top-ranked books have low to moderate Amazon rankings. By low I mean an Amazon Bestsellers Rank (ABSR) of about 10,000 or worse (e.g. 10,000 – 3,000,000+). If the bestselling book in a category has an ABSR of 10,000 or better (i.e. 1 – 10,000) then it is obviously selling quite well and will be harder to beat.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Categories

When choosing your Amazon book categories I offer these tips:

1. Go deep

Go deep. In non-fiction Amazon often has subcategories that are nested several levels deep like this one, Direct Marketing, which is four levels deep in the Kindle eBooks section:Amazon book categories

2. Choose less competitive categories

Chose a category where the #1 bestselling book has an ABSR that is the least competitive. For example, in Direct Marketing the #1 book at the time of writing this blog is “One Hour Content Plan”. It has an ABSR of #9,835. And while a ranking of #9,835 puts this book in the top 1% of all eBooks, it is only selling about 15 books per day. So if you can sell 16 books per day then you can rank at #1 in this category and claim #1 bestseller status!

3. Best fit vs. loose fit

Chose one category that is the best fit for your book based on its genre and title. Then choose a second category that is a looser fit for your book but is less competitive—one that you can more easily win the coveted #1 spot.

4. Don’t settle for only two categories.

Send an email to Amazon Author Central support and ask them to add you to additional categories. Copy and paste the exact category path that you want to be in into your email and you can be instantly placed in multiple categories.

5. Check and rotate

Check your categories monthly and change them if you see a more competitive category open up.

Choosing the best Amazon categories is easy and can help you become a #1 bestseller more easily and with no cost to you. It’s worth spending a hour or so doing your research so you can make the best choices.

Geoff Affleck

Geoff Affleck is a 5-time #1 bestselling author and creator and facilitator for the eBook Bestseller Bootcamp for first-time nonfiction authors.

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How do you format a book for Kindle? Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is the most popular way to publish eBooks. It is relatively simple to take your manuscript and publish it with KDP. The easiest way is to write your book using good old Microsoft Word. Even though I’m a Mac Pages fan, I don’t recommend writing a book in it because Amazon can’t convert it to an eBook format.

Using Microsoft Word Styles to Format a Book for Kindle

Before you start typing your eBook you should set up your Word document using Microsoft Word styles. Styles are simply pre-formatted settings for your chapter titles, sub-headings, second level sub headings, bullet lists, numbered lists and quotes. Using styles helps you easily format your book for Kindle.

For example, your chapter titles you’ll use “Heading 1”. Your sub-titles are “Heading 2”, etc. Heading 1 might be a 20pt font while heading 3 is 16pt and your main paragraph font is 12pt. It doesn’t matter which font style you choose because KDP will convert it to a standard style. And besides, when people read their eBooks they can often decide on their own preferred font styles and sizes.

Formatting Tips for Kindle eBooks

  1. Don’t use your spacebar to add extra spaces or indents
  2. Set your paragraph text style to add a 12pt space after each paragraph rather than hitting the “Enter” key twice at the end of each paragraph
  3. Use numbered lists rather than typing numbers
  4. Use styles for your headings rather than manually bolding text or increasing the font size
  5. Insert hard page breaks after each chapter (but remember that you can’t control the way your eBook looks on an eReader so don’t bother trying to end your chapter at the end of a page.
  6. Don’t use page numbers for an eBook!
  7. Don’t use Headers or Footers for an eBook
  8. Do use Word to create your Table of Contents (page numbers are unnecessary)
  9. Do include links in your eBook to your opt-in page, website, or other resources

Other Supported eBook Formats for Amazon

Amazon does support other formats besides word including HTML, MOBI, EPUB, RTF, TXT and PDF. RTF and TXT files are fine if you don’t have any images. PDF has limitations too.

Here are some recources you will find helpful:

Amazon Supported eBook Formats

Amazon Formatting Guide

Geoff Affleck

Geoff Affleck is a 5-time #1 bestselling author and creator and facilitator for the eBook Bestseller Bootcamp for aspiring self-help authors.

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Post a comment or question below. I'd love to hear our thoughts on this.