28 October 2013

SELF PUBLISHING - PART 7 - Choosing The Best Categories

If you choose to publish on Kindle Direct Publishing KDP, you will be asked to place your book in to two categories so I suggest you give some thought about what categories relate to your particular book.  For example, for a work of fiction in the mystery genre you would first choose the following:-

FICTION>Mystery Thriller & Suspense>

As there are several sub-categories under Mystery Thriller & Suspense, you can then choose two sub-categories.  The following are your choices:-

Mystery Thriller & Suspense
  • Mystery
  • Cozy
  • Crime
  • Police Procedural
  • Suspense
  • Thriller
  • International Mystery & Crime
  • Crime Fiction
  • Series

FICTION>Mystery & Suspense>Police Procedural
FICTION>Mystery& Suspense>Mystery

Before you make your choices, however, do a bit of research in to how many books are listed on Amazon in the sub-categories you plan to use.  To do this, go in to Amazon, click on Kindle eBooks and on the left hand side of your screen you will see a list of categories.  If you drill down in these categories, you will then see how many books there are in each sub-category.

For example, at time of writing:-
Police Procedural 4,601
Cozy 1,486
Mystery 50,825
Crime Fiction 26,077
 -Murder 5,428

International Mystery & Crime 745
Series 411
Suspense 33,507
Thriller 43,616

As you can see from the two examples I chose above:-

FICTION, MysteryThrillerSuspense, Police Procedural
FICTION, MysteryThrillerSuspense, Mystery

the sub-category I chose for Police Procedural has a lot less competition with only 4,601 books compared to the Mystery sub-category with 50,825 books in it.  If you do happen to have a run on sales, you have a far better chance of obtaining a good rank in a sub-category with fewer books in it.

Therefore, rather than the Mystery sub-category, I would have been better off to choose Cozy that has only 1,486 books.

FICTION, MysteryThrillerSuspense, Cozy

Then again, I could have chosen Crime Fiction that has an extra sub-category:-

FICTION, MysteryThrillerSuspese, CrimeFiction,Murder

Crime Fiction does have 26,077 books , but Murder only has 5,428.  Your book will get exposure from both these categories.


  1. Jill...you are doing a great service to authors wanting to self publish their books. You detail it so well, no one should have any problems following your directions. Thanks for being so generous with your time and experience!

  2. Thanks, Anna. I hope it does add to the knowledge of those wishing to self publish.

  3. Thanks for sharing.
    I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!