Historical Category Data: How to Find and Dominate Amazon Categories

In March of 2023, Publisher Rocket released the latest update for the program, and this one is one of our biggest yet!

With this update, authors now have the opportunity to analyze all 16,000+ Amazon categories and gain unique insights into the growth of that category, how competitive it is, the age of the category, book length, review score, and more.

And now I’m going to break it all down for you.

In this article, you will learn:
  1. All of the new features added
  2. How you can leverage the data
  3. A list of insights you might gain

And if you haven’t picked up Publisher Rocket yet, you’re missing out! In addition to all the new features you’ll see in this article, you get incredible data to help you select your keywords, Amazon ads keywords, and more.

Check Out Publisher Rocket Today

What’s New in Publisher Rocket?

With this new category update, authors now have access to entirely new information that you couldn’t get before.

Here is a complete list of those insights that you can select from:

  • # of Sales Needed
  • Kindle Unlimited vs Large Publisher
  • Price
  • Average Age
  • Average Rating
  • Average Page Count
  • A Graph of Top 30 Bestsellers
  • Related Categories
  • Category Overview
  • Unique Category Insights

We’ll now go through each of these one by one to give you an idea of why they’re important.

# of Sales Needed

Sales Needed data in Publisher Rocket

This data was previously available before, but now you can see it as part of the overall data. Rocket lets you see how many sales it will take for your book to:

  • Reach #10 in that category
  • Reach #1 in that category

If those two numbers are high and close together, that means it may be difficult to show on the first page for that category, because all of the top 10 are difficult. However, if it only takes a few sales to get to #10, even if it takes a lot more to get #1 (see example image above), that might be a good category to target, because it shows that there's not a lot of competition in the top 10 listings.

Kindle Unlimited vs Large Publisher

KU vs Publisher data in Publisher Rocket

For the first time ever, you can now see the percentage of books in the top results of each category that are either enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, or are published by a Large Publisher.

Side note: by “Large Publisher” we include anyone with a significant publishing house, which includes all traditional publishers but can include some larger indie authors as well.


Price data in Publisher Rocket

We’ve shown the average price of a category before, but now you can see the average price for both the Indie books as well as the books from larger publishers. This gives you additional insights into what you should price your book at.

Average Age

Average Age data in Publisher Rocket

The average age of the the books in that category tells you how likely your new book is to rank.

An older age may indicate that the books are stale and in need of fresh content. If the average book is new, that may mean there is a lot of turnover.

Average Rating

Average Rating data in Publisher Rocket

The average rating tells you how high the average reviews are for the top selling books in that category.

If the average rating is high, you can deduce that a high-level of quality is expected for books in that category, and you will need to make your book really shine.

Average Page Count

Average Page Count data in Publisher Rocket

Average page count tells you how long or short the average book in that category is.

This gives you a sense for how long your book should be if you are targeting that category. For example, a cookbook is likely to have a much lower word count than, say, an epic fantasy.

A Graph of Top 30 Bestsellers

Graph of Top 30 Bestsellers data in Publisher Rocket

For the first time, you can now see historical performance in EVERY category. This is a simple graph that shows the sales trends for the last few months.

Note: in roughly September of 2022, Amazon made some changes that skewed the data considerably. You may see significant changes (usually what look like drops) in sales around that time. Data since then has been consistent, so I would disregard most of the data prior to Sep. 2022.

Related Categories Button data in Publisher Rocket

The “Related Categories” button will take you to a list of other categories that are similar to the one you chose.

This is a great way to find other categories that you should rank in, without having to go through the trouble of searching through them individually.

Category Overview

Category Overview Feature data in Publisher Rocket

The Category Overview gives you a summary of what the data reveals for each category. This overview is designed to let you know how healthy the category is, whether it’s high competition, low sales, etc.

Unique Category Insights

Unique Category Insights data in Publisher Rocket

Along with all the other information that the new update gives you on all categories, Publisher Rocket now translates that information into unique insights that can give you a much clearer picture on actions you may need to take to find success in that category.

The insights that you find may vary depending on the category. The following is a complete list of insights that you might encounter:

  • Percent in KU:
    • When Low: “Low amount of books in KU.  Readers may be willing to pay a higher price for these books.”        
    • When High: “Many books in KU, indicating hungry readers may want more KU or low priced content.”
  • Percent Large Publisher:
    • When Low: “Low activity from large publishers.  Independent authors or small teams are likely prevalent here.”
    • When High: “Significant activity from large publishers.  Professionally made books with financial backing are likely the norm.”
  • Average Rating:
    • When Low: “Low number of ratings, so readership might not be high in this category.”
    • When High: “High number of ratings, meaning books are well read and potentially more competitive.”
  • Average Review Score:
    • When Low: “Lower than normal review scores, indicating there may be opportunity for high quality new products.”
    • When High: “Abnormally high review scores, so the expectation of quality for new books is likely high.”
  • Average Price:
    • When Low: “Low prices, indicating lower margins.  Publishing in this category may require competitive pricing.”
    • When High: “High prices, allowing for greater margin and potentially higher ad spend among authors.”
  • Average Series Length:
    • When Low: “More standalone books or shorter series, indicating lower cross readership.”
    • When High: “Significant amount of larger collections by the same publisher.”
  • Average Age: 
    • When Low: “Younger books are in the bestseller lists.  This category likely experiences fast churn and many new books.”
    • When High: “Older books are in the bestseller lists. This category may be stale and in need of fresh content.”
  • Average Page Count:
    • When Low: “Shorter books than most, so shoppers may be looking for a quick read.”
    • When High: “Longer books. Readers may expect more content per item and may not be satisfied with shorter works.”

How to View the Historical Category Data

All of this is great, Jason, but how do I actually view this data?

The answer is simple.

Assuming you have already purchased Publisher Rocket (if not, go here), all you have to do is click on the “Category Search” tab.

How to Use Historic Category Data 1

You can then scroll through the MANY categories from there, or run a search in the search bar.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget, you can also filter by Books, Kindle (ebooks), and Audible as well. 

Once you’ve found the category you want to analyze, click on the link to the right that says “Insights” and a new window will pop up that gives you all of the juicy details.

How to Use Historic Category Data 2

And that’s it! It really is that simple. Now you’ll have access to multiple times the data that you had access to before.

This is a FREE Upgrade for Existing Customers

At Kindlepreneur, we don’t believe in paid updates. We like lifetime subscriptions and we like free updates for life.

However, with upgrades like this one, the processing power needed to run Rocket on our end goes up considerably.

Which means that we will eventually need to increase our pricing.

So if you haven’t had a chance to purchase Publisher Rocket yet, it’s time to hop on that now, before the price increases!

If you purchase today, you get LIFETIME access to Publisher Rocket, and all future upgrades (like this one) will have no extra cost.

And believe me, there’s always more features coming down the pipeline.

Pick Up Publisher Rocket Today!

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