Amazon has defined 31 major Kindle categories. Obviously they are organized alphabeticaly, which is very practical for readers. Not so much for self published writers trying to find the most profitable kindle categories to increase their income!
What if we messed with this natural and arbitrary order?
Let’s rank these categories differently, hopefully you will know more about readers preferences and learn to target the best kindle categories to increase your income!
All data presented hereafter is available on Kindle Ranker if you want to replicate the results (I twisted the display page a bit to only show relevant data to each paragraph).
Top 10 most competitive kindle categories on Amazon
As you can guess, we define a competitive kindle category as a category where most new writers will struggle to break in to the front page of the Kindle bestseller list (50 first books). Based on this definition, we can order kindle bestseller lists as follows:
I am sure you can hit a spike of 90 or 100 daily book sales decent promotion tools and make it to the “History” bestseller list for instance, but it is another story to achieve the same number consistently and organically (no ads, no bookbub, no email pestering, etc.)
I was a bit surprised by the “Biographies & Memoirs“, “History” and “Religion & Spirituality” Amazon book categories showing up on this list. No indie blogger ever lists them as top Kindle bestselling categories, yet here they are among the most competitive ones!
Keep in mind that this study only focuses on the 31 main Kindle categories on Amazon.
There are much more accessible sub categories in “Literature & Fiction“, (Check out my article on Historical Fiction for instance) so do not despair and keep writing. I will break down subcategories in futrue posts 😉
Top 10 most competitive Amazon book categories
Top 10 most profitable kindle categories
The most competitive criteria may spike your curiosity a couple of seconds, but what you really want to know is which kindle categories are most profitable.
That depends on two main factors: the median price of books listed as Kindle bestsellers and the book’s daily sales.
If we crunch the numbers, we get the following order :
“Literature & fiction” is always on top with a staggering sales volume of $462,473 per month and that’s just an average! Some kindle books are likely selling much more, while others are far behind.
Does it mean that there are authors making 6 figuree income every month? If they are indie authors you bet your sweet face they are, though you need to account for Amazon’s cut (30 to 65% depending on a variety of factors).
If they are traditionnally published, it is the publishing house that gets the lion’s share then gives their due to the author (8-10% of the book’s price usually).
You can see that some Amazon book categories are very cheap, around $2.99 per book (Romance) for instance. But they sell a lot of copies to compensate and still end up in front of more expensive categories like “Children’s ebooks”.
However, if you are an indie writer who just started dabbling with self publishing, maybe you would rather go with the “Children’s ebooks” category given it’s relatively low bestseller threshold. Less marketing efforts and less advertisint cost for a pretty good payout!
When deciding about your pricing strategy keep these numbers in mind and align your strategy with the category’s pricing model.
Top 10 Kindle bestseller lists with the highest income
Top 10 Kindle categories where indie writers are most succesful
Now, which categories are buzzing with indie authors? Or to phrase it more accurately, which best seller lists are conquered by indie authors…Remember that we only look at best seller lists, not the whole category.
I honestly expected “Literature & Fiction” to be on top..or at least “Romance”, but no..The winner is “Kindle eBooks -> Foreign Languages” with a high 65% ratio of indie books!
“Kindle eBooks -> Foreign Languages“, “Kindle eBooks -> Education & Teaching“, “Kindle eBooks -> Humor & Entertainment“…These are not categories that indie blogs talk about, yet the data is clear. These are the categories where indie authors are most successful!
This particular result set varies frequently due to ever changing rank orders. One clear pattern emereges however. Non fiction categories tend to reward more indie authors than their fiction counterpart. Most fiction categories hover around 10-25% indie books in their front page bestseller lists.
Top 10 Amazon book categories where indie writers are most succesful
So there you have it! Three very different to look at Kindle bestseller lists when considering your next title. If you would like to have another metric added to Kindle Ranker, drop me an email 😉
I will try to do the same for sub categories in future posts so stay tunned!
Alex from KR