Writer’s Journal: Amazon Categories

Welcome back to Austen Promises and the Writer’s Journal!

One thing that often looms large in an author’s mind, particularly new authors or authors writing in a new genre, is the categories into which they should put their book when they self-publish it. I struggled with that myself when I wrote the first Pride & Prejudice & Racecars book.

Readers might wonder what’s so difficult about choosing categories, but as a writer, I can say that putting your book in the correct category is vitally important; and putting it in the right ones complicated. For example, the book I referred to in the previous paragraph, which goes by the title Darcy’s Race to Love, is a modern variation of Pride & Prejudice. It is set in the world of NASCAR, though I created my own series name and did not even attempt to get NASCAR’s permission to use theirs.

Usually, I write variations set in Regency England, and I put them in certain categories that I know readers and buyers will look in. Those Regency books are in categories right up there with many other JAFF authors; it’s easy to know what categories to use for those ones.

Darcy’s Race, however, left me stumped, because I could not use my regular categories. I ended up putting it in fiction classics, I think, and sports. Well, it does not really fit sports, and I had not dug deep enough into Amazon’s store to know what to put it in. Because it’s a sweet romance, I emailed KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon’s publishing arm) and asked them to put it in the clean and wholesome category. The book has sold relatively few copies. I was, and remain, totally underwhelmed with the volume of sales.

I have largely put that series on the back burner, despite the love I have for it. There will be more books, but no more than one or two a year. Unless, of course, I find the categories I need to be in.

I went on Sunday, during a red flag (one of three) during the Talladega race, to Amazon’s Kindle store and started searching. I had to refine my search a few times. I’m not a big shopper and not used to searching for what I want, so I had to start with the big idea until some more refined ones came to me. In the end, however, I searched “car racing romance” and hit gold. There, listed before me, were several (I only looked at one page of the results) romances with car racing as the setting. Not all were NASCAR, and one lady must have braved the powers that be in Daytona because she used the actual NASCAR name in hers, but they were all auto racing. And, even better, they were not all erotic romance or even regular sexy romances. There were “clean” books in there, too, where the bedroom door was firmly shut behind the couple. You best believe, I took pictures of the categories these books are in! Further, you best believe I’ll be using those categories, even though I have to email KDP to do so!

I know some authors will be laughing behind their hands at me. “You didn’t know that?” Nope, I didn’t. Go ahead and laugh away. It takes me a while sometimes, but I get there eventually. I figure it’s better late than never. Half the fun of this indie author journey is learning new things.

If you’re a reader of mine who enjoys modern variations, you need to make sure you have joined my mailing list, or connected with me on social media, or even follow me on Amazon, because the next time I put out a racing book, you won’t find it otherwise. 😉

Come back next Wednesday for another peek into my journal! <3

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