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The "hidden influencer" of book sales

Plus, how figuring out two simple things can bring in extra exposure for your catalogue.


Where do book sales come from?

We all know by now (hopefully) that selling more books pretty much comes down to 2 things:

  1. Traffic, and
  2. Conversions

That is, getting people to see your book in the first place, then making your book enticing enough that people want to buy it.

Figure both those parts out, and you can scale up (profitably) to where you want to be.

Of course, in reality, nothing’s that simple.

“Getting traffic”, for example, could mean:

  • Organic traffic (people finding you on their own while on Amazon and the other stores)
  • Paid traffic (pay-per-click or pay-per-impression advertising like Amazon Ads, or featured deals like Bookbub that go out via email, or display ads, sponsorships, and a bunch of others)
  • Partner traffic (joint promos, affiliate relationships, guest blogs, etc)
  • Subscriber traffic (clicks from your email list)

And pretty much anything else you can think of. There are as many ways to “get traffic” as there are people trying to do it.

Meaning, there are a million options – but only a handful of approaches actually get consistent results.


Which is best?

All traffic is good traffic. But some sources will naturally convert better than others.

In particular – Organic Traffic is some of the highest-quality clicks you can get.

They convert (much) higher than other sources, and are far more likely to join your email list and buy from your again in the future.

(Sample stats: when I ran my USA Today bestseller campaign, paid traffic converted at about 9% whereas email list traffic collected from organic signups converted at 35%. And it was free).

The downside? Well, we’re relying on people “finding you on their own”.

So… how do we influence that?


The “Hidden Influencer” of Book Sales

Getting people to find your books on their own means paying attention to 2 key things:

  1. Keywords, and
  2. Categories

(These 2 things are often referred to as “meta-data”).

Getting these right means your books show up where your target readers are already looking.

Combine this with a solid traffic strategy for other types of click, and you can significantly boost your overall results by combining expanded organic reach with paid / partner / subscriber traffic to multiply the effect.

(In other words, getting more bang for your buck).

For organic traffic, you can set your category and keyword choices in your Amazon KDP dashboard (and your publishing dashboard on the other retailers).

For categories, you can also email KDP Support and ask them to manually add you to multiple “hidden” categories that aren’t selectable during the publishing process – giving you an extra edge there, too.

The effect of a targeted keyword and category approach are pretty clear cut:


sales graph^^ choosing the right categories and keywords helps your book show up in the right place at the right time


And it’s not just for organic traffic, either.

If you want to run a successful advertising campaign with Amazon Ads, you’ll need to make sure your advertising keywords are on-point…

If not, you’ll end up with zero impressions, no clicks, and no sales.

Or, even worse, you’ll wind up attracting the wrong people and paying for clicks that will never convert to sales.

So, getting this right can make a big difference – especially across multiple books.

How does it work?

The basics = choose categories and keywords that have high traffic and low competition.

Simple, right?

Unfortunately, in practice, it can be pretty tricky to figure out which categories and keywords fit these criteria best for your catalogue.

Now, there is a manual way of doing it (which takes a little while, and requires a little bit of “eyeballing”) and there’s a faster, more precise way of doing it with the Publisher Rocket software.

If you want to get the rundown of both approaches, check out this video I put together on YouTube that’ll run you through the process.




And, if you’d like to make your life easier (especially if you’re using Amazon Ads and need hundreds of keywords) I’ve got something lined up you might like…

Here’s the Deal

The founder of Publisher Rocket, Dave Chesson, and I have been friends for a few years now.

(We share a love of internet geekery, Land Rovers, and Whisk(e)y. What can I say?).

Dave emailed me last week and asked if I’d be interested in offering a special deal on his Publisher Rocket software.

And seeing as I use Publisher Rocket myself (as do thousands of other authors) I figured this was a perfect opportunity to get you a little something extra if you wanted to give it a spin.

In a nutshell: Publisher Rocket is an automated way to find hundreds of keywords and category choices for your book catalogue.

The software is hooked up to the Amazon API and can search in real-time to find meta-data choices that fit your criteria.

Meaning, instead of spending hours (and hours) trying to manually find the right keywords – and having to “eyeball” whether they’re good ones or not – you can get all the data you need in seconds.

  • For organic traffic – you get 7 keywords per book to play with and 2 categories (plus up to 7 “secret categories” if you email KDP support).
  • For Amazon Ads – to run successful campaigns, you’ll need to find hundreds of keywords for each campaign you run.

Publisher Rocket will find you tons of options for each of these, and you’ll easily be able to see which ones hit the right “traffic vs competition” criteria for you.


publisher rocket^^ simple interface, easy to use. Quickly get hundreds of keywords and targeted category choices to boost both your organic and paid ads traffic (and get estimates for daily and monthly sales totals too).


In short, Publisher Rocket is a brilliant tool for nailing down your organic keywords and categories.

For your Amazon Ads keywords, it’s pretty much required if you’re running more than one campaign and need to make your process more efficient (and lots of ads agencies and publishers use it because of this).

So, if you’d like to give Publisher Rocket a spin, Dave has a little “something extra” lined up.

Until Sunday, if you use my special (affiliate) link to purchase a license for Publisher Rocket, Dave’s team will send you the KindlePreneur “Mastering Keywords and Categories” online course for free (value $50).

Here’s a closer look at the course (which you’ll get for free)

In this course you will learn how to:

  • Improve your books discoverability on Amazon
  • Find profitable keywords
  • Use your keywords in the most effective manner
  • Understand how Amazon uses keywords to show your book
  • Use a proven process to select bestselling categories
  • Unlock the hidden categories that most authors and publishers don’t know about
  • Increase the number of categories your book shows up for

All you need to do is sign up for Publisher Rocket before Sunday, and the KindlePreneur team will send you the bonus course for free.

The Publisher Rocket software also comes with a 30 day guarantee – and no recurring pricing (one-time fee only) so you can give it a test-drive and make sure it’s a good fit without any risk.

All you need to do is grab the Publisher Rocket app right here:

Check out Publisher Rocket and get the free “Mastering Keywords and Categories” Course

Getting your books’ meta-data set up the right way can pay huge dividends in the long term, and can very often help propel a “lethargic” book or series into the charts.

I always recommend figuring these steps out as early as possible – and if you’d rather avoid the manual way of doing things (which is particularly loathsome if you’re running ads and need hundreds of keywords) then this might be a great tool for you.

Note: if you purchase Publisher Rocket via the link in this email, KindlePreneur will send me a commission (you don’t pay extra). But I recommend the app because I use it – and so do thousands of other authors – and for the right author, it’s a fantastic tool. But, of course, being compensated for this recommendation does mean I am biased, so please do check out the links in this email to get the full picture before you decide to buy. Thanks!


publisher rocket testimonials

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