Friday, January 18, 2013

Self Publishing to Success Part II

Knowing how to categorize your books is a very important element in your success as an author.  If there is one thing that has pushed the Tears of Crimson Books up the rankings, it's learning that skill.  Since Amazon is where we sell best, that's what we're going to focus on when it comes to categorization.  Learning this now will save you tons of time later on.

Head on over to Amazon, and take a look at the categories available.  Since I'm most familiar with romance, that's what I'm going to use as an example.  If you're writing in another genre, you can use your topic, just remember there are several different classifications that any book can fall under.

I always start with Bestsellers, because that's the place I want all my books to end up at.  So if I go to the bestseller list, and then click on romance, I discover that to even make it to the #100 spot on this list, my book has to be listed at #392 overall.  Eventually that's where I hope to be, but there has to be a method on making it to at least the top #100 romance bestseller spot.  Using other categories is how I'll attempt to do that.  So since Romance is where I want to be that's one of the categories I will list my book in.  Since you can do two, this is where the work comes in.

You'll notice under the romance category, there are several different categories you can use as a secondary choice: African American, Anthologies, Christian, Contemporary, Fantasy & Futuristic, Historical Romance,
Paranormal, Romantic Suspense, Series, Short Stories, Time Travel, Vampires, and Westerns.   The most popular of these is Contemporary Romance, and you'll notice that to reach the top #100, you'd still need to be at #594 paid in the Kindle library.  While that number is a little more accessible, it's still hard to reach, so if you're writing contemporary romance, you still need an edge over all the competition out there.  For me, I thought long and hard about the 10 Nights series, and decided it was also a Drama.

What the Drama category allowed me to do was get visibility in a top #100 category that I wasn't going to get under Contemporary Romance.  Since I don't know what type of book you've written, I can't tell you exactly which category your book may fall under, and you'll have to research that on your own.  The top #100 book in Drama is #24,642 overall in the paid Kindle library.  Do you see the huge difference in numbers there?  So instead of having to be number #562 in paid books, I've now opened up an avenue that will allow me to have a bestseller in Drama when I reach number #24,642 instead.

This becomes important because Amazon's own system will work for you when you reach that top #100 in any category.  With the first 10 Nights book, it was the #1 American Drama which gave it huge visibility and gave a September earning of over $17,000.  What being in that top ranking does is increases your books chances of being seen on the right side of the page as a "Hot New Release" which is going to give you the visibility you need for readers to find you.

The best advice I can give to you about finding categories that work for your book, is to research the top #100 bestselling list of the categories your book might be considered as, and check the number #100 spot.  It will tell you exactly how high you have to be ranked to be in that bestselling category.  Whichever category has the highest ranking at the #100 spot, and your book can still fall under, that's the choice you should go with.  As an example here's the top #100 spot in Drama today: Romeo and Juliet  #24,042 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Arts & Entertainment > Theater > Stagecraft
#9 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > World Literature > British > Shakespeare
#9 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Drama > British & Irish

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