Well ok, I might be stretching the definition of “secret” a little bit here, especially considering they’re listed on the KDP help site. But it is true that unless you know those pages exist, you might wonder how the hell books manage to get into categories like Romance > New Adult or Teens and Young Adult > Detectives. Well, wonder no more!
All you have to do is use certain keywords when you’re publishing your new book.
Now, let’s say I’ve written a novel, similar to James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club novels. Of the two main categories I’m allowed to choose when publishing my book in KDP, I’m obviously going to choose ‘Mystery, Thriller & Suspense’ as one of the categories. Because I’ve done that, I can now use the keywords that Amazon allows you to pick to describe your book to get into even more categories. You can see the full list by clicking the link above, but here is a sample of what those keywords look like:
So, using this list, I might make my keyword list look something like this:
As you can see, I have three of seven keywords that correspond to these extra categories: murder, serial killer and female protagonist.
This means that my book will now show up in these categories! This will increase my book’s exposure, giving it a greater chance of success. This is a very, very easy way to increase your book’s exposure right off the bat, and something every author should be using. Every time I publish a new book, I open up the list for my genre and I scroll through it once more, making sure every single category that can apply to my book gets added to my keywords.
Of course, don’t spam categories that you don’t belong in. You might get a few extra sales, but you’re also likely to alienate readers who weren’t after what you were selling in the first place. Plus, it’s just a really douchey thing to do.
But there you go! If you ever saw books in your genre in some of these categories and wondered how the hell they managed that, here’s your answer.