Kurt B. Ellis

Science Fiction and Contemporary Fiction Author

Why Research Categories? – New Pangaea – Utopia of Revenge: A Rigid Dystopian Society in a Post-Apocalyptic World”

Why Research Categories?

Today, I’m speaking with you about how I research categories. Choosing the correct categories is critical for the successful launch of a book.

Categories can make or break an author regarding getting recognized by readers and making sales.

Hi. This is Kurt B. Ellis, a science fiction and contemporary fiction author who self-publishes with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.

Stay tuned, and let me share information about how I research categories.

Finishing the Edits

Last week, I talked about a short story I’m working on. It’s a spinoff of a book I published in March 2022 called “New Pangaea – Utopia of Revenge: A Rigid Dystopian Society in a Post-Apocalyptic World.”

After I finished writing the first draft of my short story, I secured an outside editor with Upwork to proofread, edit and make suggestions to improve my draft.

This process took a few days, and now I have the results.

For the last step, I’ll incorporate all edits to create the final copy.

Finding the Best Categories

Proper categories are needed for Amazon’s metadata. There are two main slots to fill in the best categories you can find to support your book.

The slots offered by Amazon are the main BISACs common to the book industry.

BISAC is an acronym for Book Industry Standards and Communication code. BISACs is a universal book classification system.

There are slightly under 4000 BISACs to help book retailers know where to place one’s book.

But just using BISACs is limiting to successful book sales.

You need to expand your category research to include the over 16,000 Amazon categories constantly being updated and added to meet consumer and market demand.

You can accomplish two outcomes using the best combination of BISAC and Amazon categories.

First, these increase your book’s chance of becoming a best seller.

Second, these help your book to be seen or noticed by book shoppers.

Since categories may differ for each book type, you’ll need categories for each type of book, that is, in my case, a collection for Kindle and another for the paperback.

I recommend setting up at least ten best category combinations for each type.

I use Publisher Rocket, a software tool to research categories.  

I use an iterative process of searching for possible categories starting broad and narrowing my searches. For example, I’m looking for the best sales placement and rank combination for my book types. And this may lead to new searches.

I run this process multiple times, refining my research each time.

And presto! In the end, I have a list of categories that are not intensely competitive and potentially used by buyers when searching for books.

Thank You for Your Time

Stay tuned for my soon-to-be-released short story. Also, click on the links below and give my books a try.

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Thank you for your time, and have a wonderful day.


As a busy writer and author, I shop online at Amazon.com for excellent products with quick delivery, which helps me to save time when taking a break as an avid gardener.

I recently purchased a USB 3.0 multiport expander* for my laptop. I love it! You can also charge other devices from the ports.

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