Book Publicity Essentials: A Few Quick Tips on How to Categorize Your Book on Amazon

Too often we encounter authors who want robust book publicity campaigns, are ready to start, and then we discover their Amazon page is seriously lacking key information.

Like it or not, Amazon is the number one bookselling site, by far, and you must use Amazon’s power to your advantage. One of the ways to do this is to make sure you have your book accurately and thoroughly categorized.

It’s all about discoverability. Keep in mind that aside from hearing about a book through media coverage or word-of-mouth, many people use Amazon as a book search engine to discover books they want to read.

The categories in which you place your book are essential for proper positioning to target audiences, and to help it show prominently in search engine results.

Here’s a brief overview to get you started in understanding Amazon categorization,

First, find successful books in your genre and see how their books are tagged. Understanding your book genre and subgenres is essential for discoverability and to maximize the benefits of driving people to Amazon who hear about it through your book publicity campaign.

For example, here are the categories for three books. Note how the publisher distinguishes each book by different categories:

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell:

Chesapeake: A Novel by James A. Michener:   

Outlanderby Diana Gabaldon:

Tag your book in a niche category—one with perhaps fewer competitive titles—as long as your book is a good fit. For example, we worked with a children’s author on a book about helping grieving children. However, her book was onlytagged in the “Children’s” category, which has almost 1.5 million books! To better help people find the book, there are categories perfectly suited for her title that both better describe her book and help people find it. See how the sub categories worked nicely to narrow the competition for a title like this:

Children’s (1.5 million titles) > Growing Up & Facts of Life (160,000+ titles), > Difficult Discussions (12,000 titles) > Death and Dying (2,800 titles).

It’s much easier to get attention for your book and potentially reach the top of Amazon bestseller lists when a book is categorized like this. However, only do this if the niche category makes sense for your book as you don’t want to deceive or confuse readers, and end up with bad reviews. Note: you can change these categories to get your book in front of new audiences.