How to Launch Your Kindle Book to a #1 New Release on Amazon

Part 1 of three articles looking at best practice for launching your book

By Nick Blewitt

Happy Days! We just hit the Amazon number one spot for new releases in Digital Publishing with our new marketing book! The Self-Publishing Guru is a list of must-have tools to support new authors with their book promotion tool kit. You get a pretty orange #1 bestseller banner on your book page. This doesn’t mean you have sold a truckload of books, as that depends on how competitive your particular categories are. But, it gives you a nice helping of social proof and will help you sell more books as a result. We were pretty sure we would hit that top spot. But how could we know? And what mind ninja tricks were we using? In this series of three blog posts, we will show you how we did it by looking at the core building blocks of a book launch that will give your work the best chance of a flying start.

Before we jump in, we will presuppose you have completed these three things before you plan your launch:

  1. You have written a killer book! If you are writing non-fiction, it shows your readers how to meet a proven need. If fiction is your thing, are you writing to market? Is there a large enough readership waiting for you? Is your story hitting the correct tropes of your genre? 
  2. You have gone through having beta-readers and a copyeditor look at your writing to give you a professional and error-free piece of prose. There should be no shortcuts when developing your book. You can only build a sturdy house on a solid foundation.
  3. You have a professional cover that sits neatly next to the best-selling books in your subject or genre. Your cover doesn’t have to cost the earth, but it has to be as good as the traditionally published covers and meet your readers’ genre expectations. 

With these elements in place, we start with two key features in your Amazon self-publishing launch plan. Keywords and categories. 

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How do you find keywords and categories when self-publishing on Amazon’s KDP?

Finding relevant and optimised keywords and categories for your book are crucial to getting your book found in the saturated Amazon book store. They are essential for online visibility. You need to find the ‘sweet spot’ keywords and categories that people are searching for yet don’t leave you competing against the best sellers! The first step to finding keywords is to do some research. It’s important to think about the themes of your book. Are you writing a fantasy novel? If so, what elements could you pull from it to establish your pool of keywords? Does your book have a magic system in it? Wizards? A medieval setting or a mentor character? We can use these aspects as your starting point for research. 

When uploading your manuscript to KDP, you can choose two categories from ‘Book Industry Standards and Communications’ (BISAC) codes. Not everyone knows (because KDP doesn’t make it clear) that you can have up to 10 categories for your eBook and paperback. You can have these added by the KDP support team via the help section in your dashboard. Categories are also different for every country your book is being sold in. The other thing to know is that Amazon’s KDP has over 16,000 categories. Wading through these lists on Amazon trying to find the right category is both time-consuming, and it’s very hard to know which ones your book could rank for.There as some handy Chrome browsers that expand the usual list of keywords when searching on the Amazon store, but one of the most helpful tools you can invest in to help your marketing research, by a country mile, is Kindlepreneur’s Publisher Rocket. It is down to this software that we knew we would hit that top spot!

Publisher Rocket can help you in four key areas:

• Finding the best keywords for your book,

• Finding who your competitors are and what their books are earning (so you can learn from them)

• Finding the best categories for your book 

• Finding the best keywords for your AMS ads

The software lists all of Amazon’s categories and subcategories, along with how many books you would need to sell in order to be the #1 bestseller in that category in USA,UK and Germany. Genius! So instead of sifting through all those categories ourselves, by things purely on relevancy, this tool gives us the extra dimension of letting us know how competitive the category (or keyword) is. Also, if you run sponsored ads on Amazon for your books, then this tool is absolutely indispensable, because its ads feature helps us effectively and efficiently create a comprehensive list of profitable keywords for any of your campaigns. It’s also not expensive. In fact, it doesn’t cost much more than paying someone to do the research for you.

Check out Publisher Rocket here.

P.S. When you get your orange banner, don’t forget to take a screenshot and shamelessly use it in your marketing (Just like we have!).

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