Amazon has recently updated its Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform with various changes that authors must be aware of to optimize the discoverability of their books. One of the most significant changes is the way book categories are chosen on Amazon.
Amazon KDP has changed how book categories are chosen
Previously, authors could choose from a list of 3,000 categories that were mostly self-appointed and poorly managed. However, with the new changes, authors must now select categories based on the industry standards, which are known as Book Industry Standards and Communications (BISAC).
Bisacs are book industry standards used for organizing books in libraries worldwide
BISAC standards have been used in libraries and the publishing industry for decades. They were introduced as a way to standardize book categories and ensure that everyone in the book industry uses the same classification system.
Amazon store categories are different from bisac categories
It should be noted that Amazon store categories are different from BISAC categories. While BISAC categories are industry standards, Amazon store categories are specific to the Amazon platform and are used to help readers find books they may be interested in purchasing.
Authors can now choose three Amazon store categories based on their primary marketplace
With the new Amazon KDP, authors can choose up to three store categories for their book based on their primary marketplace, such as the US, UK, or Canada. These categories are specific to Amazon and are not part of the BISAC standards. It is important to note that the categories selected should be relevant to the content of the book.
Accuracy is crucial when selecting categories for a book
Picking the right categories for a book is critical for its success as it helps it to be discovered by readers who are interested in the topic. Accurately selecting the right categories will improve discoverability. Readers browsing a particular category will likely come across your book if put in the right category.
Being selective and choosing relevant subcategories can improve discoverability
Authors should be selective when choosing their categories. Amazon has over two million books, and standing out is essential for new authors. Choosing a broad category is not always useful, and choosing narrow subcategories can lead to better discoverability.
Category eligibility is based on various factors and Amazon reviews selections for accuracy and reliability
Amazon’s algorithms are designed to reward accuracy and reliability in selecting categories. They automatically cross-check the title, subtitle, and other metadata to ensure the selected categories are relevant. It’s essential to note that Amazon will monitor your sales and reviews to ensure that the book is a suitable category. Sometimes, Amazon may shift a book to another category.
It is recommended to avoid frequent category changes and give categories time to work their magic.
Changing categories frequently is not advisable. Amazon’s algorithms take several days to update the category changes, and if changed too frequently, this may impact the discoverability of the book. It’s essential to give the categories some time to work, and observe how it impacts sales.
Why is selecting the right category important?
Selecting the right category is essential for the book’s discoverability by discerning readers interested in the topic.
How many categories can authors select for their book?
With the new KDP changes, authors can select up to three store categories for their book based on their primary marketplace.
What is the difference between BISAC and Amazon categories?
While BISAC is an industry standard used in libraries and publishing industries, Amazon store categories are specific to the Amazon platform used to help readers find books they may be interested in purchasing.
What do Amazon’s algorithms consider when selecting categories?
Amazon’s algorithms cross-check the title, metadata, and reviews to ensure the selected category is relevant, and it takes some time to observe the book’s performance.
Is it advisable to change categories frequently?
Changing categories frequently is not advisable. Amazon’s algorithms take several days to update the category changes, and if changed too frequently, this may impact the book’s discoverability.
In conclusion, selecting categories is a crucial aspect of publishing a book on Amazon. Choosing the right categories based on the BISAC and Amazon standards will improve the book’s discoverability on Amazon. Therefore, authors should research and select categories carefully and monitor sales and reviews to ensure their books are performing well. By doing this, they increase their chances of success by making it easier for search engines and discerning readers to find their books.