• Bookstore
  • Profile
  • Cart
  • Search

Use Amazon Keywords & Categories Correctly

Zoe Mackey Posted by Zoe Mackey, Director, Digital Marketing, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

Zoe works with our ebook distributors to maximize visibility for our ebooks. She is leading our efforts to expand our direct to customer marketing through online methods. 

Use Amazon Keywords & Categories Correctly

Amazon search results are sorted by relevance, which means that sometimes - particularly when your book has just feed out to Amazon, months ahead of its release - it is not going to be at the top of the search results. Search results are determined by many different factors aside from relevance to search terms, including sales, key words, ranking, traffic, customer reviews, general consumer data, and others. There are a few ways you can help ensure your book makes it to the top of the pile.

Search terms (keywords): We include keywords for our books in book metadata, but our authors are welcome to make suggestions about which would be most effective. Amazon’s advice on keywords is that “it’s important to find the balance between specificity and brevity…choose the subject keywords most likely to be used by readers looking for your book’s subject matter.” Keywords should be no longer than 2-3 words max. Please contact the publisher if you have a suggestion about your keywords - do not make the change in Author Central without consulting the publisher first.

Categories: Amazon Categories are automatically assigned based on the BISAC code we assign your book, but sometimes there are more specific categories that might help customers discover your book. Check your categories to determine if your title has has been “shelved” correctly. The general rule of thumb is that the more specific the category the better. Avoid general categories - these are too cluttered. If it looks like your title might fare better in more specific categories, let us know and we can work on changing the category designation.

Categories are only listed on your title’s product page if your title is one of the top 100 sellers within the category. If you are doing a bestsellers campaign, it is easier to crack the top 100 sellers in smaller, more niche categories where there is less competition. (More about that in the bestseller tipsheet).

Search inside the book: is a feature that allows Amazon to scan the text of your book in returning search results. BK automatically enrolls you in this feature around the ship date of the book.