A bestseller tag tells readers that your book is popular and selling better than any other book in its category. It’s instant credibility and social proof.  It’s a pat on the back that you’ve done a great job promoting your book.  It’s a high-five from Amazon.

But here’s why bestselling tags don’t always matter.

If you end up making the mistake of categorizing your books incorrectly, you’ll easily snag that bestselling tag. After all, with lower traffic categories you would likely only need to sell a handful of books to end up in the #1 position.

But in that case, a bestselling tag won’t equate to book sales.

But when you’ve positioned your book in a medium-level traffic category, a bestselling tag is important.

Amazon awards bestselling tags to the books who have the best ABSR (Amazon Best Seller Rank) in its chosen category.

Let me give you an example:

If your book is in the Business/Home Based Business category and holds a ranking of 10,000, a book with a ranking of 9,999 in that same category will rank higher than you.  But if 10,000 is the best ABSR in the category, your book is the #1 bestselling title.

You don’t have to have the best ranking overall, just the best ranking in a specific category.

Make sense?

This is why it’s so important to choose the best sub-categories for your book, rather than focus only on the main categories where competition is stiff and you have little chance of being seen, much less getting that bestsellers status.

At the same time, you don’t want your book included in some obscure category that barely receives traffic. Sure, you’ll be able to get the bestsellers tag easily, but if no one is browsing the category, you won’t make money as it might only take a handful of book sales to hit #1, get the bestsellers sticker, but for what?

If you want to make a living in self-publishing, you need to focus on securing the best ranking within profitable categories, while also combining your Amazon marketing strategy so that you are featured in a mix of middle-of-the-road ones.

It’s all about striking a balance so you give your book the best chance to be seen by new readers.

Plus, since only the top 100 books are featured in each category, if your book ends up ranked at 101, you won’t benefit from any additional visibility. This is why it’s so important to research and choose the best categories for your book right out of the gate.

Idea: You can start off by placing your book in a few less competitive categories and as you gain traction, build a following and grow your readers base, you can switch categories to higher-traffic ones in order to get in front of a larger audience on Amazon.

Posted by Kate

Kate is a New York Times Bestselling author who loves making money from all things writing. When she isn't writing romance novels or business guides, she's usually found creating tools and resources that help other writers cash in on their skills.

One Comment

  1. You make a great point about not paying too much attention to the bestsellers tag. I was obsessed with getting it but the one time I did I wasn’t making anything from it because I was in too small of a category. Great info

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