This entry is part 4 of 12 in the series Book Promotion

If your sales rank on Amazon goes up, the likelihood that other people will find your work and purchase it also goes up. Why? It works much like a search engine: if more people are buying your book, then the relevance of the book increases, and it will be listed sooner than other books with a lower rank.

The key here is relevance. Keeping your title more relevant in customer click-through browsing means your book will appear sooner rather than later, which means people will be that much more likely to land on you even if they’ve never heard of you or your book.

To help your sales rank increase, make sure that all the categories and sub-categories under which your book is listed (read: where your book can be found if a customer is browsing) are correctly listed. It’s sometimes surprising to find how a book might be listed. You’ll find the categories for your book on its page. Scroll down past the publishing information to where Amazon-specific information is listed like Tags and Categories and Similar or Recommended Titles.

Sometimes books are incorrectly categorized, or a sub-genre is missing from the list of options. Should this be the case with your book, simply email Amazon and let them know. They’ll correct that for you, but it may take several days.

There is no easy way for a writer or publisher to directly put their products into the right categories on Amazon. There are at least three (!) different categorization schemes at work if you publish something through KDP:


  1. The KDP Categories

Book Categories - KDP


  1. The Amazon Departments

Book Categories - Department


  1. The Amazon Bestseller Categories

Book Categories - Amazon Bestseller


Then there are all the categories for printed versions of the book! So it can be quite confusing for a first-time self-publishing author to get her book into the right categories. Your best chance is to correct the categories after the fact.

More Stars = Higher Relevance

Another very effective way to increase your relevance rating is to have more positive reviews with lots of stars for your book. The search engine notices the increased attention your book’s page is getting and it consequently gets bumped up.

Amazon Star RatingDo not be shy about asking people to write a positive review of your book. Ask your mom. Why not if she likes it and gives an honest review? There is no shame in doing this and it’s a good way to show people that at least your mom likes your work. When your book gets higher relevance in browsers and people start to recognize your work, then fans and total strangers will start writing rave reviews as well.

 First get noticed. Then let your work speak (or read) for itself.

Facebook Likes and Amazon Likes

Amazon is intermittently experimenting with a “Like”-Button. The more people who Like your book, the higher your relevance.  This is different from Facebook Likes, as it is specifically an Amazon function. It is also a feature of the Amazon Page that you may or may not see, depending on the ever changing whims of their server and / or legal department.

Amazon - Like Buttons

That said, more storybook writers and illustrators are starting to list every single book they ever worked on as a Facebook Page that people can Like.  While this can be very helpful for a first-time storybook creator to get their title more attention and perhaps improved Google awareness, it becomes ineffective for those who have a career and many books with their name on them. When this happens, even serious fans of the writer &/or artist stop clicking the Like button. They click the creator, maybe click Like for the first couple of books or big hits, and then stop.  This means their lesser known titles don’t get Liked, which might make a prospective reader wonder what’s wrong with it if they are discovering that storyteller for the first time.

Take Control

There’s a lot you can do to market your own book, and even if you are carried by a major publishing house you should still take care to market yourself. It’s the only way to be sure that your business, your business of creating great storybooks, will thrive in the market. No one writes and/ or illustrates a book so that it can end up unread. Take the reins. Go forward.


--Download How To Make Amazon Work For You, #2: Sales Ranking & Category as PDF --

K.C. Hill
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