I’ve often thought about updating my first books by applying the many lessons learned over the last five years. Not necessarily a total rewrite, but a “tweaking” that includes what I learned from Dave Chesson’s phenomenal course: Mastering Keywords and Categories*.
It’s More Than Mastering Keywords and Categories
Five years ago, I did not know how keywords and categories worked on Amazon. That put my books at a competitive disadvantage compared to novels published by authors who knew what to do.
Shame on Me If I Don’t Apply What I Learned
Back then, I felt like an accomplished writer after hitting the KDP self-publishing button. But when I heard mostly crickets instead of sales cha-ching, I knew something was missing — but what? Unless I figured it out, my time and effort would not produce an optimal return.
In Dave Chesson’s Mastering Keywords and Categories*, I learned what I had done wrong, and thankfully, he showed me how to fix the problem and increase sales.
How-to Lessons from Mastering Keywords and Categories
Here’s an overview of the course and my essential takeaways.
- Lesson 1 (6 min.): The Art & Science to Kindle Keywords
This lesson explains how categories work and why you need to pay attention and use the correct categories and keywords to optimize sales potential for your book. The lesson includes a handy spreadsheet to record your research and helps you make objective rather than subjective decisions.
🧰 Takeaway: I learned how categories and keywords work together to set your book apart from others and satisfy the search criteria of readers.
- Lesson 2 (27 minutes): How to Find Profitable Fiction & Nonfiction Keywords
Discover how readers find your book and discern how to use that knowledge to enhance potential sales (i.e., choose words that shoppers actually use, trigger profitable sales, and aren’t too competitive).
🧰 Takeaway: The video explained the five keyword types and how to use them: 1. Settings & Time Periods; 2. Character Types, and Roles; 3. Plot Theme; 4. Events and Situations; 5. Story Tone.
- Lesson 3 (32 minutes): Selecting and Using Your Keywords More Effectively
In this lesson, you’ll learn how to select and use the right keywords in the right places and also find out how the different aspects of your keywords affect your book’s overall discoverability and rankings.
🧰 Takeaway: The lesson was based on an experiment conducted by Dave’s team, where they analyzed the actual keywords used for 168 books. The results showed what happened when Publisher Rocket recommendations were used to update keywords and improve rankings. Dave gave specific tips on how to fill in the keywords for your novel based on what goes through a shopper’s mind.
- Lesson 4 (8 minutes): The Art & Science to Amazon Categories
A review of how to find categories that help your book get discovered.
🧰 Takeaway: The video explained the difference between BISACs and Amazon’s categories, helping you understand the importance of category selection.
- Lesson 5 (18 minutes): How to Find Bestselling Categories
This lesson defined what makes a category great and how you go about finding a bestselling one, defining category strings and how to use them.
🧰 Takeaway: While all the lessons were valuable, this one was my favorite because Dave shared the secret of how to get into those categories that increase your potential to earn the coveted Amazon Bestseller status.
- Lesson 6 (12 minutes): How to Change & Manage Your Amazon Categories
The lesson covered how to control what categories you’re part of and Dave answered frequently asked questions.
🧰 Takeaway: The video also explained how to create category strings so you can get your book into additional categories.
Conclusion: A 5-Star Course to Increase Sales
I gave Dave’s 2 hours of training a 5-stars rating because it’s so practical and actionable. For instance, you’ll get straight forward instructions on how to increase the sales potential of your book on Amazon.
- Did the Change in Amazon Categories Hide Your Book from Readers?
- Busy Writers: Self-publish Your Book and Make Your Writing Dreams Come True
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How have you used Publisher Rocket to research genres, categories, keywords, profitable niches, and competition?
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