Self Publishing – Lessons Learned Part 2

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So, it’s been a little over 2 months since I self-published my debut Young Adult novel, Merch Girl on Amazon using their Kindle Direct Program. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way. To read Part 1 of my lessons learned about self publishing, click here

Categories Matter

Amazon gives you the option to choose two categories for your book. I chose Teen Romance and Coming of Age when I launched my book. I believe that I chose the correct categories, because Merch Girl cracked the Top 100 in the best sellers list, and even the Top 30 in the Hot New Releases lists in both categories. This helped with the visibility of the book tremendously. 

Sales May Drop After 1 Month

Because of the visibility on the Hot New Releases list, Merch Girl was purchased much more than I ever imagined it would be. However, after about a month, the purchases did drop slightly. I played with the categories a bit, and it seemed that the book was doing better in Teen Romance than in Coming of Age. So, I removed it from the latter and categorized it instead under Music since the book is about rockstars and concerts. The book actually placed in the Top 10 best sellers in the Popular Music and Pop Culture Categories immediately. Exciting, right? Yes, it was cool to be a best seller again, but I kept it in the category for about two weeks and realized that it wasn’t helping sales at all. In fact, i think they were slipping because of it (less visibility to the type of readers I was trying to attract). 

I decided today to add it back into the Coming of Age category and see how it goes. I’m also planning on using my “free days” that Kindle Select gives you for being exclusive with them for 90 days. I’ll report more on that experience after the free days are used!

Happy categorizing!

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