If you want your book to reach the right audience, it is important to choose the correct categories in which to list it. Your book sales may depend on it! Learn how to target your book to customers from the start.

It’s often the subtle change of a category choice that can improve your book sales—and you need to know that you are choosing the best ones possible. So, how do you go about it?

What exactly is a book category?

A book category is a group your book can belong in, depending upon its contents. While the definition of a book genre may change over time, the category does not change. It defines your book in groups that are constant. For example, your genre may be science fiction, but if your book includes fighting scenes or a quest, you can categorize your book as action and adventure.

How many categories does each platform allow you to choose?

Amazon lets you choose two categories for your book. You must choose at least one, though they highly recommend that you choose two.

Besides being able to choose two categories, you’ll have an additional advantage of adding up to seven search keywords for your book. You can find Amazon’s list and suggestions here.

In CreateSpace, you can choose only one category. However, if you want, you can e-mail them and request to be included in at least one more category.

Kobo and Apple allow you to choose up to three categories for your book.

How do you choose your categories for maximum effect?

Keep the following points in mind:

  • Browse the best seller books of your genre in the platform you are publishing with and see what categories they use.
  • Try to make a note of books with content similar to yours that come up in the top of the search results. See what categories they chose.
  • It is often recommended to use a category for your genre that applies to your book but isn’t so competitive. Consider choosing categories that have fewer competitors.
  • Selecting categories is also very important for your non-fiction book. Remember to narrow down your niche. For example, if you have a grammar book, instead of choosing grammar as your category, choose vocabulary or comprehension, whichever niche applies more to your book. That way, you’ll filter out hundreds of books in the category grammar.

Categories are included in your book metadata and are vital for the marketing of your book. So take your time, do some research, and choose cleverly.

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