Did the Change in Amazon Categories Hide Your Book from Readers?

The times are a changing, and so are the Amazon categories.

Amazon Categories Matter!

This change by the mammoth retailer may have gone unnoticed, but it’s a huge problem.

Did you know that over a quarter of the categories on Amazon are now hidden?

That’s right! Because of Amazon’s recent category change, 27% of selectable categories are not discoverable in the Amazon store. Not only that, but books can’t rank or become bestsellers in those ghost categories.

And if your book is in one of those ghost categories, that means you’ll see far less traffic to your sales page than expected.

Learn How to Avoid “Ghost Categories”

Protect your book sales!

This is especially important since books now can only have three categories. There’s still plenty of confusion around all of Amazon’s recent changes. I only discovered the change this week, so it’s your chance to get a jump on your competition for readers. Instead of writing a lengthy post, I’m going to give you the link to the expert.

Dave Chesson’s How to Choose Amazon Categories.

Publisher Rocket Simplifies Amazon Categories

I’m a long-term fan and user of Publisher Rocket.

For example, I’m currently updating a previously published book with a new cover, sales blurb, Amazon page, and wide distribution (Apple Books and a dozen more worldwide retailers). I’ll use my trusty Publisher Rocket app to make sure I implement the changes correctly, especially my choice of categories.

If you read Dave’s article, you’ll see what I’m talking about and he shows how to choose wisely.

Dave’s Videos and Training

And for those visual learners (me included!), after you read Dave’s article, explore how Dave provides videos and training when you get Publisher Rocket.

Also, I use Publisher Rocket to check out authors, their books, genres, book covers, and so much more. If you have an interest, here’s my review.


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How do you go about exploring and choosing the best Amazon categories for your book?

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12 responses to “Did the Change in Amazon Categories Hide Your Book from Readers?”

  1. D. Wallace Peach Avatar

    I have Publisher Rocket, Grant, and like everything else, I just need to make the time to take advantage of it. Your post struck a nerve today, and I swear, I’m going to do this work (at least start it) this afternoon. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Grant at Tame Your Book! Avatar
      Grant at Tame Your Book!

      Thankfully, Dave Chesson and his team do a fantastic job bringing the ongoing Amazon changes to our attention. I liken Publisher Rocket to a Swiss army knife. I’m not saying you can simply flip it from slice to dice, but the app does so many amazing things in minutes that would take us hours (or days!) if done manually.

      As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I don’t regret plunking down my money for an “evergreen” tool that’s paid for itself many times over. Dave has not (yet) raised the price, and he never charges for updates.

      I recently bought the Atticus app. I’ll publish a future post and show how I’m using it to update a previously published book. The app makes it so easy to add inner-book images. Those fancy techniques mostly done by the big-five publishing houses are now available to those of us who like to self-publish. Amazing stuff!

      1. D. Wallace Peach Avatar

        I’m looking forward to your Atticus post, Grant. I use a conversion tool that works fine, but seems limited compared to what’s possible these days. Thanks!

  2. Jacqui Murray Avatar

    Shoot! I better go check.

    1. Grant at Tame Your Book! Avatar
      Grant at Tame Your Book!

      Dave’s nine minute video gives quick insights into how we can use his five steps to solve the dilemma caused by Amazon’s latest change.

      From what I’ve discerned so far, the categories previously used for some books may suffer more than others. With all your published books, that could present a significant issue. The methodical evaluation of a book is the only way to know for sure.

      Fortunately, Publisher Rocket earns its keep by simplifying the task for each book.

      1. Jacqui Murray Avatar

        I checked a few and they seem OK. Maybe I’m blessed–when everyone warned about the print cost increases from Amazon, and I checked my books, they were nominal. Pennies. Whew.

      2. Grant at Tame Your Book! Avatar
        Grant at Tame Your Book!

        I’m glad that’s the case with your books. My review of the book I’m updating and republishing found opportunities to not only pick better categories but also to come up with a new title that included the most-searched keyword.

        I love the way Publisher Rocket lists a category’s most-searched keywords in descending order, helping us to pick the most useful ones.

  3. Vera Day Avatar

    Good stuff to know, Grant. I’ve heard of Publisher Rocket but haven’t used it.

    1. Grant at Tame Your Book! Avatar
      Grant at Tame Your Book!

      Thanks, Vera. Your recent book, When Did We Lose Sylvia, got me to thinking about how Amazon’s change might influence the categories for cozy mysteries.

      With Publisher Rocket, I discovered with a few clicks your book shows up in these duplicate categories: “Kindle Books > Literature & Fiction > Women’s Fiction > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Women Sleuths” and “Kindle Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Women Sleuths.”

      I saw “Kindle Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Cozy” was NOT a ghost category. Also, Publisher Rocket showed over 20 keywords you could use to help readers find your book in this category.

      If you want to learn more, please let me hear from you via email.

  4. Jennifer Arimborgo Avatar

    This is fascinating information, I sure appreciate it, Grant!

    1. Grant at Tame Your Book! Avatar
      Grant at Tame Your Book!

      You’re welcome, Jennifer!

      1. Jennifer Arimborgo Avatar

        🙂 🙂