How to add categories to your book on Amazon

Have you ever noticed that some books seem to be in lots of Amazon categories, and not just the two KDP allows you to choose when you publish your book?

Did you know you can add your book to more categories simply by contacting KDP support? You can have it in up to 10 categories, making it much more likely people will come across it when they search their Amazon site.

But why would I want my book in more categories?

Put simply, the more categories your book shows up in, the more people will see your book on Amazon.

Your book will show up in every step of the category pathway, for example, if one category path for your book is:

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks>Science Fiction and Fantasy>Fantasy>Action & Adventure

your book will show up in each of the categories mentioned. Ideally, you want your book to rank highly in one or more categories, and those at the very end of this pathway list are going to be the place you might find that opportunity, as the number of books in the broader ‘Science Fiction and Fantasy’ is far greater than in ‘Action & Adventure’.

Holding a higher ranking (a lower number, with no.1 being the highest rank), gives you greater visibility on the Amazon site, which will lead to more sales.

What categories is your book in already?

There’s a nifty website that will allow you to see the categories of any book: BookLinker

Open up the front page, click on CATFINDER on the top menu, insert Amazon’s ASIN (which you can find both in the web address, and in the book’s details lower down the page), et voila! All the book’s current categories right there for you to see.

This is what you get from the two categories you choose when you upload your book. So how do you know where else you want it to show up?

How do you know what categories are available?

1. Go to https://www.amazon.com/
2. Go to the search bar across the top
3. Change “All” to the “Books” Department. Click Search.
4. Find the section titled, “Show results for” on the left side of the webpage.
5. Scroll down to view categories under “Books”
6. Click on a category to view subcategories. Choose which ones fit your paperback(s). This will be your category path.

[DO NOT put your book into unsuitable categories, as you won’t be putting it in front of your ideal readers, and it may have an adverse effect on reviews if people buy it and find it isn’t what they were expecting.]

Copy the category path (I made a new document to keep these in, and this made it quick and easy when filling out the request form) in the following format: “Books > CATEGORY > SUBCATEGORY.”

What you now need to realise is that category paths are different in different countries.

It would be SO much easier if they were the same, but that’s obviously asking too much of Amazon. As it stands, you need to repeat the above procedure for each Amazon country site – do you see why I made a new document to keep them in?

The same applies to the Kindle eBook categories – they aren’t the same as the paperback, and are largely different in each country, so repeat these steps:

1. Go to https://www.amazon.com/
2. Go to the search bar across the top
3. Change “All” to the “Kindle Store” Department. Click Search.
4. Click “Kindle eBooks” under “Kindle Store,” located on the left side of the webpage
5. Now you can find available categories.
6. Click on a category to view subcategories. Choose which ones fit your ebook(s).

Send Amazon the category path in the following format:

“Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > CATEGORY > SUBCATEGORY.”

This is what I ended up with for THE PRINCE’S MAN

Here’s how to add your books to those extra categories

Go to KDP dashboard and click: HELP (top right)

 

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘Contact Us’ (bottom left)

Select help topic from the left hand menu: click on ‘Amazon Product Page and Expanded Distribution

From the drop down menu, select ‘Update Amazon Categories

Now make your choice – you can call on the phone, or email. Probably don’t call if you are outside the US!

Click on email, and this is what you get:

And this is what it should look like, after you’ve filled it all in

Send it off, and, provided you have followed these steps precisely, within a day or two you will have confirmation from Amazon that your book has been added to the categories you requested.

33 comments

  1. Didn’t know any of this. Wow.

    1. Jacqui, I’ve known about it for years, but never been able to implement it – until now. In marketing courses we are always being told to ‘drill down’ to the smallest, most niche category our book fits into, to get it into as high a ranking as possible, for visibility. I just hadn’t been able to find any niche categories that fitted mine, but now I have a handful!

  2. Deb, thanks bunches. I’m just about to take off for vacay but bookmarked this to get on it. Thanks! ❤

    1. Have a great time, and ‘see’ you when you get back ❤

      1. Thanks Deb! ❤

  3. Indie author gold! Many, many thanks.

    1. Very welcome – I always find it useful to write these things up for myself, because I will undoubtedly need to refer back to it in the future, and only too pleased to share: the indie world is such a lovely, generous place.

  4. Thank you so much for this. xxxx

    1. Just wish I’d known this stuff sooner myself!

  5. I just implemented this yesterday for the US site. What a pain that we have to go country by country!

    1. I simply DO not understand why the sites have to be different, it makes no logical sense, and makes for extra time to do the work that we really don’t have 😦

  6. Wow, Deborah. Awesome post. I need to shut myself in a room for a couple of hours and follow your instructions. Incredibly informative. Thank you!

    1. Lol, I actually took time to shut myself away and do this – well worth finding it out, and glad I can help others follow the process. I wish I’d known all this long ago.

      1. I knew about it, but didn’t have clear instructions and it seemed daunting. Definitely following through this time – thanks to you!

      2. That’s how I felt about it until I did this course, and I knew it would be useful to others, as I wished I’d known how to do it before myself 😀
        Glad to have helped.

  7. Thanks so much, Deborah! 🙂 Sharing.

    1. Thank you Bette – I do so love the indie approach to sharing information that makes us all richer in both knowledge and, hopefully, income!

  8. Thanks Deborah for this info. I’ll have a go!

    1. Have fun, and thanks for the reblog

  9. Reblogged this on Stevie Turner and commented:
    Informative post here by Deborah Jay for self-publishers.

  10. Would this also work if we just added the categories to our book’s ‘Keywords’ category on KDP? We’re given 7 keywords to add, and most books don’t have more than 7.

    1. I’ve never found that to work, though it was what I’d been told to do before. Far better to actually go through the process and ask them directly, particularly as the categories are different for the different countries.

  11. Thank you for this. Brilliant.

    1. Pleased to help 😀

  12. Reblogged this on Just Can't Help Writing and commented:
    Wow! I’ve been waiting for this information for ages. Join me in trying it, and let me know how it works for you!

  13. Reblogged this on Plaisted Publishing House and commented:
    Such a lot of work. Obviously, it works…

    1. 😀 But so much easier when you have detailed instructions…

      1. Totally. Which is why we love people like you, doing posts like these 😀

  14. […] Amazon KDP allows you to pick two categories. Here’s how to add more. […]

  15. Just noticed your article about categories. I’m the owner of the BKLNK site you mentioned.

    Thanks for the nice thoughts about the site. It’s all free, plus the CATFIND will show sales rankings and has links to the category page. I think it’s a great tool for determining the proper categories for your genre – you just research other author’s book in your genre. (Note that CATFIND only works for the US store – the site’s Errata page tells why.)

    BKLNK also lets you (with a free signup) automatically add your Zon affiliate links to your books. Even if you don’t sign up, BKLNK lets you easily make a Universal Book Link for your books that will send you to the proper Zon country store.

    I hope BKLNK is a helpful tool for your readers. Glad to provide this free service to Zon authors.

    1. Hi Rick, glad you found the post, and thank you for providing such an awesome resource!
      I didn’t know about adding the affiliate link, that’s even more great information, cheers for that!

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