I’ve read a few places that properly choosing your book’s two categories on Amazon can be a key factor in its success. The theory is that you want to make a big push when you release your book in order to get it in the top ten of its categories. Just by virtue of the book appearing there, you’re going to get additional sales that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Your category needs to meet the following criteria:
- It needs to fit your book.
- The tenth book in the category needs to be ranked low enough in overall sales that it’s possible for your book to supplant it.
- The tenth book in the category needs to be ranked high enough in overall sales that supplanting it is worth the effort.
This is the methodology I used to determine my categories:
On the top left side of the Amazon home page, I chose Books -> Books. This brought up “Browse Books” and, under it, “Book Categories.”
Power of the Mages is first and foremost a fantasy novel, so I investigated “Science Fiction & Fantasy” -> “Fantasy.” This brought up the following categories:
- Alternate History
- History & Criticism
- Magic & Wizards
Out of those, “Epic” and “Magic & Wizards” had the most relevance, so, for each of them, I looked at the sales rank of the tenth book. To do so, I clicked on the category and on the tenth book. Then I scrolled down to the “Product Details.” “Amazon Best Sellers Rank” is the last item listed.
For “Epic,” the tenth book is 354 overall versus 1927 for “Magic & Wizards.”
Make a Killing on Kindle contains a chart that shows you daily sales versus sales rank. I believe the chart to be out of date, but it at least gives me an idea. 1927 means that the book is selling in the neighborhood of 120 books a day. 354 means a whopping 350.
I don’t think I have a big shot at even 120, but I know there’s no chance of 350.
The great thing about fiction, however, is that a book can have many themes. Power of the Mages has a strong romantic subplot and features young protagonists. I also explored:
Romance – Fantasy and Futuristic (#10 is 2988 overall)
Teens – SciFi and Fantasy – Fantasy (#10 is 237 overall)
Teens – Love and Romance (#10 is 1400 overall)
Literature and Fiction – Genre Fiction – Coming of Age (#10 is 2515)
From these results, I’d say my two best chances are:
- Romance – Fantasy and Futuristic ~ 60/day
- Literature and Fiction – Genre Fiction – Coming of Age ~ 70/day
Of course, my book fits much better in Magic & Wizards Fantasy than Coming of Age, and the difference between the sales numbers in those two isn’t huge.
Note that I will not be choosing the two categories that best seem to fit the book (Epic Fantasy and Teen Fantasy) as those are way out of my potential sales range.
I’m not counting on these choices to propel my work onto best sellers list, but, for me, marketing is all about giving my books the best opportunity to succeed.