Deciding how to categorize your book is one of the most significant ways to make sure it reaches the right readers (and as many of them as possible). From collecting years of data on how books sell online, we’ve learned that making the right category choice, even between closely related categories, can be impactful.
Amazon, the most popular retailer, has thousands more book categories than anyone else, and they range widely in terms of popularity and competitiveness. Since there are likely many categories that are relevant to your book, the key is to choose one with the right balance of popularity and competitiveness, so you can position your book to rise through the rankings.
Type a word or genre that describes your book, and we’ll display a list of relevant Amazon categories. Click a category to select it.
For each Amazon category, you’ll see:
This information is intended to help authors evaluate how popular and competitive each category is.
For example, you might notice that Humor & Entertainment > Puzzles & Games has 22,513 books total, and the top book in that category has a sales rank of 171. Meanwhile, a more niche category like Teen & Young Adult > Hobbies & Games > Games & Activities only has 145 books total, and the top book in that category has a sales rank of 35,285. (In other words, it’s a smaller category with a lower-ranked book at the top.)
If both of these categories are relevant to your book, it could make more sense to target that second category, where your book has less competition and is more likely to rank highly.
Remember: you might not want to choose the category that most precisely matches your book’s content. If another relevant category is more popular or less competitive, it may set your book up for more success.
If you published your book on Pronoun, you can change your target categories anytime by following these steps:
It may take a few days for your book’s categories to update on Amazon. If you run into trouble, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help. If your book isn’t published through Pronoun,you’ll need to work with your distributor to update your book’s categories.
Search for your book on Amazon and navigate to your book page. At the bottom, you’ll see a section called “Look for Similar Items by Category.” Your book is in all the categories listed there, and in most cases, the parent categories as well.
For example, since this book is in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Biographies & Memoirs > Women, it’s also in:
Even though all of those aren’t listed here, the book is still eligible to appear in all the Top 100 lists and search results for these categories.
Amazon displays the categories where your book is ranked highest in the Product Details section (alongside the Amazon Best Sellers Rank information).
Amazon doesn’t allow authors or publishers to choose specific categories for their books. Instead, Amazon decides how to categorize your book based on a number of factors, including genre codes and keywords.
On Pronoun, authors choose two target Amazon categories to aim for. We then use those chosen categories to automatically pick the genre codes that give your book the best chance of landing in those Amazon categories.
Because genre codes tend to be broader than Amazon categories, authors should also select keywords relevant to their target Amazon categories. This Amazon help page lists the required search keywords for some but not all of the special sub-categories they offer.
For example, FICTION / Romance / Paranormal / General is the closest genre code for the Amazon category Romance > Paranormal > Ghosts. Adding “ghost” or “spirit” to your keywords would increase the likelihood of entering that Amazon category.
While we do our best to get you into your chosen category, you may find that Amazon places your book in a slightly different one. If you’re not placed in the exact category you chose, you’ll most likely be placed in a closely related category. You can edit your categories and keywords on Pronoun anytime.
We automatically set your categorization settings for other retailers based on your Amazon selections. Your first category shows up as your book’s “genre” on iBooks, and both categories appear as “related subjects” on Barnes & Noble. Kobo and Google Play don’t display your book’s categories, but they use them to organize your book in their systems.