Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Write Books? What's in a Category?

There's nothing worse than staring at a blank page, except having a great book that you've poured your soul into and can't seem to get people to read! What's a writer to do?  Back in 2009 when I started this crazy idea of self-publishing I was in the same spot.  I've picked up a few tricks along the way and dealt with the frustation of watching my efforts sink like the Titanic.  Fortunately, I've also discovered a few things that worked!  If you know you've got a bestseller and just need people to find your work to figure that out, hopefully these tidbits will help.

Let me start off by saying it doesn't matter how incredible your work is if people can't find it!  So we'll begin there.  Categories!  (I'll be focusing on Amazon for this)  Putting your book in the right place is the choice between life and death for any book.  Yes, it's that important.  But this is a simple process, right?  It is when you know what categories will help you get the visibility you need!  I'm a romance author, so obviously that's what I've studied.  If you write in another genre, well I'm hoping these tips might help you too!

So we know we need a category.  Unless you're already a bestselling author getting a book to reach one of the bestseller slots isn't easy.  Contemporary Romance for example, at the present time the #100 book in contemporary romance is also #419 in all the paid books on Amazon.  I'm no expert in how that levels out in book sales but judging from my own sales I'm thinking you need to be selling at least 300+ books a day to get to that #419.  Could be more or less.  (I come to this conclusion because one of my books is at #119 overall paid books and I'm selling about 650+ a day).  So listing your book as Contemporary Romance is fine but you better have another category that will help you get seen.  You can choose two categories, so my advice is to list your book where you eventually want it to be, then choose a second category that's easier to break into a bestseller list!

Yes your book is about romance, but there is also an underlying theme that could be categorized somewhere else.  An example:  Say my book was about a man marrying a woman and the main idea was their relationship.  I could list it as Contemporary Romance AND Family and Relationships, General.  Why on earth would I do something like that?  Because when you look at the top #100 books in family relationships number #100 is listed at 22,558!  Huge difference between the Contemporary Romance bestseller number of books sold, isn't it?  So who cares?  You will!  Getting your book into one of those top #100 means that people might see your book as "Hot New Release" in the sidebar on the Amazon Product Pages!

By taking the time to look at the Bestseller categories on Amazon and finding a niche that your book relates to, you are helping people find your title.  It's a pain in the butt to do this, but in my opinion worth the effort. What I suggest is going through your book and writing down a small list of categories it might fit into after looking through the bestseller categories.  Obviously you want the category to have the #100 book in the bestseller list to be obtainable.  The higher the numbers of the book, the better your chances are in getting a placement there.

This is just one step and I'll be writing more about this topic as time permits.  Feel free to leave a comment if there's anything I can help you with or you have a question.

New Adult college romance

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