Amazon allows you to pick two “browse categories” for your book. Think of them as the section of the bookstore you’d like your book placed (literature, fiction, history, etc.). You can select up to two categories.
How to Sell Books On Amazon
Categories are important for selling your books on Amazon because so many people use them to find the books they want. My goal is to get you into the Top 10 best sellers in a category. That may sound like a tall order but it’s completely doable because Amazon has created bestseller lists for hundreds and hundreds of different categories. While it may be next to impossible to break into the Top 10 of all books, it’s entirely possible to break into the Top 10 for say, “Etiquette,” as my book, Flirty Text Message Helper has done.
Once you get into the Top 10 of any category you’re going to notice a self-perpetuating cycle of sales. There are two reasons for this:
Customers Browse The Categories Of Books They’re Interested In.
Let’s say you’re looking for a book on texting. You found Michael Master’s TextAppeal and read the book description. You’re unsure about it but you notice in the “Product Details” section that it’s in the following category:
Nonfiction > Reference > Etiquette
So you click on the “Etiquette” category link and it takes you to the top sellers in that category. Lo and behold, there’s my book, The Flirty Text Message Helper at the #6 position. Your curiosity is up, you click on my cover and bam! The possibility of a sale.
Customers Purposefully Browse A Category They’re Familiar With.
Some people know exactly what they want. If I’ve previously bought books in the etiquette category I may decide to check that category out to see what’s new. I simply go here:
Kindle Home > Kindle ebooks > Nonfiction > Reference > Etiquette
Click on the Etiquette link and lo and behold, my book is there at rank #6. The cover and the title of my book intrigue you. You click on the cover and bam! Another possible sale.
If my book wasn’t in the Top 10 you might not ever know about it (assuming you couldn’t find it through keywords in the search box). Now, this isn’t a zero sum game. It’s not as if this self-perpetuating sales dynamic doesn’t occur if you’re ranked #19 instead of #1. It’s just that the association between number of sales and category ranking gets stronger and stronger as you get to the top.
If you liked this article, you’ll love our guide, How To Sell Books On Amazon.
Of course, there’s the chicken and the egg question: Are your sales improving because you made the Top 10 in a category or did you make the Top 10 because your sales improved?
The answer is both. Obviously, you can only get into a Top 10 if your sales improve, but once you’re on that list it tends to perpetuate your sales.
As you can see, getting into a Top 10 in a category is a powerful way of selling books through Amazon. So the question is, which category should you be in? The truth is that over time, Amazon will put you into the category they see fit (their algorithm slots you into a category by looking at how buyers tend to find you. Sometimes these categories are ridiculous but once Amazon decides you don’t have a choice). However, you do have a choice to decide which categories you want to be in for the first few months. And if you make it to the Top 10 in those categories Amazon will leave you alone.
We’ll continue with our Kindle marketing model of attracting buyers next week. You’ll want to tune in for the next post about your competition.