Publishing on KDP

I wanted to write a little about the classification system that Amazon uses.

As you can probably guess, prior to uploading your novel to Amazon you need to get all your materials together, such as your cover, all your text, you need to format it and a whole other bunch of things. I write more about that process another time.  Once you have uploaded your materials you need to select two categories that you feel your novel fits into and you also need to select seven keywords.

The theory is that you want to get your book into one small category that has little competition, so you can get ranked highly more easily. You also want to have your book in a category that is a little bigger, as more people are browsing the bigger categories. After getting my head around this I went out to Amazon and clicked through every possible category that could be relevant for my novel and recorded the number of books in each category in a spreadsheet. Yes, very scientific. I picked a couple of categories and then went to KDP to select the categories.  Lo and behold, I could not find the exact categories that I wanted.

Some folks would find this extremely frustrating. Not me, I just shrugged my shoulders picked my categories and then selected seven keywords that I thought described my book. I posted the whole thing and then waited twelve or so hours for the whole thing to work through the system and show up on Amazon.

When it finally appeared on Amazon (twelve hours is an eternity when you are waiting for your first novel to show up) it was in a category that I did not select and it was pretty close to what I originally intended to select. That is when I figured out that the category selected on KDP and your keyword determine which category you land in.

At the moment I am experimenting a little to see which keyword correlate to which categories, but this whole process is a little more complicated than I originally imagined. I even have a working theory that Amazon has an algorithm that looks at your book description to classify your book.

I’ll post more on this subject as I figure it out.

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