Self-Publishing on Amazon: Categories & Keywords

AmazonWhen publishing your book on Amazon, it’s important to choose your categories and keywords carefully.
Take into consideration not only what best describes your books but also what will maximize the chances that a reader who is browsing through the Kindle store will find your books,” says Author M. Louise Locke.
The categories and keywords that you select can have a big impact on visibility and sales. When you upload your book into KDP, they only give you the more general categories to choose from. There are secret categories are not selectable in the KDP dashboard… For this reason, they have lower competition than the available ones on the Amazon dashboard. Here’s an article that explains it well:
By carefully choosing your category, you make it much more likely that a reader will find your book. The smaller the category, the less competition and more of a chance to be found by a potential reader. When someone is browsing for a book on Amazon, each time they go one step further down the hierarchical categories, there are fewer books to browse. You want to choose one of these lower competition categories.
In Let’s Get Visible, David Gaughran says::
There are a huge number of books in Fiction (over 1,000,000). Choosing Fiction as a category is a waste because: electing a subcategory of Fiction will get you into the Fiction category as well. Even if you drill down several levels to choose something like Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Political, your book will still show in all of the top-level categories above the one you have chosen (i.e. Fiction; Mystery, Thriller & Suspense; Thrillers). In other words, when you pick something more specific like that, you are multiplying your potential visibility opportunities rather than restricting them. Also, where possible, it is advantageous to opt for two distinct categories to maximize visibility, rather than choosing two categories that are both roots of the same top-level category.
Mystery & Thrillers is one of the most competitive categories in the Kindle Store, second only to Romance. Appearing on any Mystery & Thrillers list is a serious challenge that requires impressive sales—something that might be beyond most writers until they have several titles out and have built a dedicated following. However, with a little poking around in the subcategories, you can identify some that don’t need very many sales at all. Technothriller is one, and Mystery > Series is another. Neither is selectable from the KDP interface, so there aren’t many books in either category. You might be wondering how to get into these categories if you can’t select them from the KDP dashboard. It’s pretty simple. Email KDP through the dashboard with the full path of the category you wish to appear in (e.g. Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > Series). If you get a confusing or incorrect response, you must persist. It may take multiple exchanges, but you will get it resolved eventually—and it’s worth it.
It can be helpful to switch up your category every so often – in order to reach new potential readers. Changing categories can introduce your work to a whole new group of readers. Identify a number of alternative categories for your book, so that you have options to try.
Here is the full list of categories you can choose from:

Increase Your Amazon Sales by Using Kindle Unlimited

kindle unlimitedAmazon’s Kindle newest addition, Kindle Unlimited, is a subscription service that allows customers to read as many Kindle books as they’d like for a monthly fee of $9.99, instead of paying for each book individually. This allows readers more freedom to branch out and try different authors and genres that they might not have before.
When enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, authors are paid royalties based on the number of pages read/e-books downloaded by customers. Even if it takes months for an individual customer to read pages in your book, you will still collect royalties when it does happen.
We spoke with one author about her experiences with Kindle Unlimited so far. After one month of having her e-book on Kindle Unlimited, she received $200 from Amazon.  She is currently making a steady $1000 a month and is on Kindle Unlimited’s Top 100 list with very little effort.  There aren’t any secret tips or tricks to getting there, but it is important to have an eye-catching cover, well written synopsis, and praise from your adoring fans.
To start the Kindle Unlimited program, you must first be enrolled in KDP Select (click here for more information on KDP Select). Once you are enrolled in KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited, a badge will appear by your book(s) in the Kindle Library indicating to Kindle Unlimted customers that they can read your book(s) without buying it individually.
Kindle Unlimited is marketed to readers as a great way to discover new authors and genres, and therefore can help authors gain readership and sales. Customers who are unfamiliar with your work might not have spent money on your book individually, but may be more willing to try it with the Kindle Unlimited program. Because you can choose which of your books are enrolled in the program, customers who read one of your books with Kindle Unlimited and enjoy it might also be more willing to purchase your other books. Author Hugh Howey blogged about his success with Kindle Unlimited:
“Right now, the best experience for readers, and the way to reach more of them, is through Kindle Unlimited. This isn’t a commercial for the service; this is professional advice from someone who has tried both routes with a keen eye on the data. Try it for yourself and see. If you ask me, KU is a KO.”
To learn more about the Kindle Unlimited program, visit the Amazon Kindle page here.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and, most likely, your Kindle Unlimited success won’t happen overnight, so give it some time; but try uploading your book to Kindle Unlimited and give it the old Centurion try!

Book Publicity Services Helps Authors Increase Their Amazon Reviews to Encourage Book Sales

authorIn the world of public relations, adding credibility to actions and announcements can make or break a campaign.  This is no less true in the realm of literary publicity.  One of the best ways to determine a book’s credibility is through the unbiased opinions of readers.
Book Publicity Services provides book reviewers with the opportunity to receive a free copy of their clients’ books in exchange for honest reviews.  Many of these reviewers write regularly on their own blogs or for larger outlets.  Regardless of their affiliations, Book Publicity Services asks each of these reviewers to not only publish their thoughts to their own websites, but on the books’ Amazon pages as well.
“An incredible number of people are ordering books from Amazon nowadays,” says CEO and Publicist, Kelsey McBride, “Our main goal is to generate as many book reviews on Amazon for our clients as possible. We have found that the more reviews you have, the more sales you’ll see.”
Social Media Manager and Publicity Assistant, Taylor Ytuarte, states, “Much of our daily lives and interests have become undeniably intertwined with online culture.  We receive world and national news, contact friends, and read reviews through the internet.  The best way to garner interest in these books and their amazing authors is to make information about them available through that medium.”
When booklovers seek out the newest and best in the book world, they often turn to the internet for guidance.  By utilizing Amazon, Book Publicity Services allows their authors books to be rated, ordered, and discounted all in the same place, making for a trustworthy and convenient vendor where authors can promote and offer their books to bibliophiles of all tastes in interests.
“As a first time author, I was very fortunate to be introduced to Kelsey McBride by an associate. With Kelsey’s great contacts and connections, she has gotten Moon Hoax into newspapers and magazines. For any author, getting reviews is the name of the game. Kelsey has put Moon Hoax into the right hands of quality reviewers who have taken the time to read the book and give an honest review. Not only have these reviews helped to spread the word on the book, they have also helped to increase sales. Kelsey also has set up multiple interviews, both in print and on radio. You cannot go wrong having Kelsey McBride on your team!” – Paul Gillebaard, author of Moon Hoax
“I highly recommend Kelsey and her team for your PR needs.  Kelsey secured many book reviews, blog opportunities, and promo spots for my book.   To my relief, Kelsey and her team also provided consistent social media management which gave me time back in my day to focus on my next book.  I will continue to use her services for my next books.” – Corine Dehghanpisheh, author of #BabyLove: My Social Life
About Book Publicity Services
Book Publicity Services specializes in coordinating book reviews, generating media exposure, distributing press releases, promoting through social media, and organizing speaking engagements. The public relations campaigns are designed for authors trying to break through and get noticed by consumers and the media. For more information, go to
For more information, please contact Kelsey McBride at (805) 807-9027 or

Amazon Advertising – An Author’s Advantage

AmazonWith all of the advertising opportunities out there, it was only a matter of time until a retail website like Amazon got themselves a piece of the action.  Amazon currently offers a series of advertising opportunities to vendors of all kinds, but it’s their Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Ads that we’re particularly interested in today – and you should be too if you have a book that needs some TLC.
The process is actually very simple and similar to Facebook advertising if you’re at all familiar with that process. They do have one stipulation. During the period in which you’ll be running your ad, you must be registered as a KDP Select author. What this entails is a contract with Kindle ensuring them that you will distribute your book exclusively through them for the duration of your membership.  Basically, you can’t sell your e-book anywhere else other than Amazon. Not on your website, not through Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, etc.  This sounds a bit limiting, but it’s not forever and you would be able to take full advantage of the KDP Ad program, which many authors have attributed to their increase in book sales. For more information on the benefits of being a KDP Select author, see our article at:
Should you choose to become a KDP Select author, a whole new range of possibilities open to you.  You can set up your ad with a $100 minimum and start promoting your book using targeted audiences by genre or product.  Let’s use that Grasshopper Tea Party example again. So you’ve written The Grasshopper’s Tea Party and are ready to advertise. You could select genres like picture books, nature, parenting, bugs, and/or specific products that are similar like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Rainbow Fish, and Miss Spider’s Tea Party. People who have bought these items, anything like them, or have shown an interest by clicking on them would be targeted for an ad about The Grasshopper’s Tea Party.   The ad could show up in a few different places including the sidebar of a desktop on or on readers’ Kindles themselves either as a banner along the bottom, or as a screensaver.
Amazon provides you with a detailed report of your ad’s performance at the end of your campaign so you can decide from there if you could widen your audience, target it to a smaller group, or try something completely new! For more information about Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Ads, visit:  We’ve given you a lot to think about, I know, so take a moment, consider the options, and put those feelers out there!