Sunday, 28 December 2014


For the last few days I've been playing with Amazon KDP. I have a new book coming out on January 25th 2015 (do you like the way I shoved a subtle plug in there, eh?) and I'm trying to get it into a couple of categories which are genre applicable.

I don't mean broad categories either, I mean nice and specific and in which I may have a chance of my book actually being found by someone casually browsing their favourite niche book categories.

First I started off well enough with the BISAC codes where I can just select what I want, but everything after that has gone straight downhill.

My book is applicable for the New Adult category. Amazon has not yet put this out there as an option, so I'm trying to get it into the Teen & Young Adult category (whilst restricting the age to 18+) and also into the normal Adult categories.

As well as this I would like the categories that I select under Book to also be the categories that Amazon put the title into under Kindle eBook.

You may think this makes sense, and would be somewhat automatic. You would be wrong.

Young Adult - Social Issues. I can directly select this category under the BISAC codes and it shows up perfectly well under books, but Kindle just isn't going to go there.

Fine. I've been around this block before, I can just try to hack it then using Keywords. Keywords like Teen & Young Adult, Social Issues. Great. And it only uses two of my seven keywords, so I can try to maneouver it into a few extra places, like Mysteries & Thrillers for old people.

Well I got ahead of myself there, didn't I?

On the bright side it ended up in Thriller>Conspiracy which I hadn't foreseen at all. Probably because I hadn't nudged it in that direction. On the other hand, that could maybe apply?

I stripped the whole caboodle back. I determined that the reason it hadn't been successful was due to overwhelming the system with options. So the next time I went in I tried taking out all reference to adulthood and mystery and just trying to get some teen social issue action going.

Nope. Now it was Kindle eBook Teen Literature, but nothing social about it.

So I tried to directly hack all of the keywords by typing in every subcategory exactly as they appeared on Amazon, down to beginning with Kindle eBook.


I should probably point out about now that each attempt takes a minimum of 12 hours and a maximum of 48 hours to perform. Each time I submit new keywords or new categories I have to wait for Amazon to check all of the content again and make sure that it still meets their guidelines. My deepest fear now is that at some point they get cheesed off and say NOPE. Reject. And it won't end up anywhere at all.

I thought that perhaps I should try for an easier category. I'm from New Zealand, there's a section for Australian & Oceanian that I could possibly squeeze into. I'll take a break from haranguing the Teen & Young Adult market and I'll just try to shove it in there instead.

Prove to myself that my magic wasn't completely gone.

My magic is completely gone. It ended up in the category Fiction>Literature. That's the category that EVERY SINGLE BOOK ON AMAZON THAT'S FICTION GOES INTO. It's not a category at all, unless you need to tell it apart from television sets or car radios.

If I exhaust all possibilities I could always try to contact Amazon Support and ask them for help. But that seems to work in direct opposition to everything that attracts me about self-publishing. ie I never want to have to communicate with anyone at all because I'll be doing everything myself.

Still, it may come to that.

So make a note to look out for Skeletal by Katherine Hayton on January 25th. With any luck it'll be listed in Non Fiction>Lifestyle>Garden Gnomes by then.

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