How To Choose the Right Kindle Keywords

Whether you’re a famous author or this is your first book, Kindle Keywords are an important part of any book marketing strategy.

Kindle keywords allow your book to be discovered by hungry shoppers on the world's largest book market, Amazon, even while you sleep.

They help make it so that your book gets discovered without having to do major marketing.  Plain and simple, they are important.

So, if you have an incredible book, but don’t know how to make it so that Amazon shows your book to the right readers, then THIS is the article for you.

In This Article, You Will Learn:

  • What exactly are Kindle Keywords
  • How they help both fiction and nonfiction authors
  • How to find profitable kindle keywords
  • Kindle keyword tools that will help
  • How to increase your book rankings and increase your sales
Extra: There is a tool that will help you do all of this more efficiently, but in this article I'll show you how to do it manually.

What Are Kindle Keywords & How Do They Work To Sell Books?

When people shop for their next book on Amazon, they generally go to the search bar at the top of Amazon and describe the type of book they are looking for and hit search. Amazon uses those words that the customer typed in, and other things that we’ll discuss in this article, in order to decide which books should be shown to the customer.  The phrase or word the customer types in is what we, as authors, should consider as “keywords.”

Keywords, or more specifically, Kindle Keywords when talking about Amazon books, are the words a shopper uses when looking for a book or ebook, and thus, they are the words we want our book to show up for when someone types it in.

Therefore, so long as Amazon shoppers type something into Amazon’s search bar when looking for their next book, understanding keywords, and being smart with them, should always be a part of your marketing plan.

Speaking of marketing plan, what I'm about to show you has not only been effective for authors, but was also promoted by Amazon itself telling authors they should use these tactics to optimize their book's discoverability.  So, don't let anyone tell you it doesn't work:

So, now that we know what Kindle keywords are, how they are important, and that Amazon itself recommends the following steps to finding the best, let's get to it.

How To Find Profitable Kindle Keywords

Before we get into the exact step-by-step process I use to find profitable kindle keywords, let’s talk about what makes a profitable kindle keyword in the first place.

In order to be worth your time, a Kindle Keyword should be a phrase or word that:

  1. Shoppers actually type into Amazon
  2. Shoppers will actually pay money for
  3. The competition isn’t too hard

Now that we know what makes a good kindle keyword phrase or word, let’s attack each one of those three steps.

Step 1: Find Kindle Keywords People Actually Type into Amazon

In order for our book to be found by shoppers, we need to know what terms shoppers type into Amazon – otherwise, our target keywords will be useless.  Luckily, Amazon created a function in their search box that guesses what you are going to type into it based on the popularity of particular terms from other shoppers typing things into it – the autofill function.

But to get those, there are a couple of steps you should take:

  1. Ensure you are using Incognito mode on your browser so that your previous information doesn't affect what Amazon shows you.  If you aren't familiar with this, or how to do it, then check out this video.
  2. Select “Kindle Store” or “Books” as the Amazon category. You want to know what is popular in your industry and not be shown products or terms other than book terms.
  3. Start typing in a word, and look to see what Amazon immediately pre-populates in the search box.
  4. Once you've found a phrase that you're interested in, add each letter of the alphabet at the end of your word/phrase, and see what comes up.

An example of Step 4 is:

“Science Fiction a”…then, “Science Fiction b”…then, “Science Fiction c”…

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And so on…You would do this with every letter of the alphabet – even ‘z’ – and look to see how Amazon completes your search phrase. You’d be surprised what Amazon will come up with!

However, before you're done, make sure that none of the phrases you have is something that violates Amazon's Keyword requirements (it's under the “Keywords to Avoid” section).  Just because Amazon suggested it, doesn't mean you can target it.

Now, the above steps don’t tell you how popular they are; they only tell you that people type this into Amazon. If you’d like to know how many people type those words into Amazon, you’d need a tool like Publisher Rocket.  Publisher Rocket will not only list all those keywords for you, it will also tell you how many people type it into Amazon – thus giving you better information.

See Rocket in Action!

Step 2: Find Kindle Keywords That Shoppers Will Actually Pay For

Shoppers may type in the above words, but that doesn’t mean they’ll find what they are looking for or decide to purchase. There are some terms out there that might get a LOT of searches but just don’t get sales. That’s why this step is important.

To find out if a kindle keyword is making money, first, do a search for that keyword in Amazon. Then click on the top three books that show up for that search.

Next, go to their Amazon Best Seller Rank (ABSR), copy, and paste it into my Kindle Calculator. This calculator will convert the ABSR of a book or kindle into estimated sales that day.

If the three books ranking at the top of Amazon don’t make any money, or less than other keyword options of yours, you now know one of two things:

  1. Not many people search for that keyword – thus, low sales
  2. People who do search for that keyword didn’t find what they were looking for and didn’t buy.

Now, go through your list, repeat, and see which of your keywords are not only getting searched, but also making sales.

The right kindle keywords can make or break your book sales. Choose wisely with these steps, my friends #SelfPubClick To Tweet

Alrighty then…now that we know which keywords get searched and help to sell books, let’s take a look at the level of competition and see if we can get our foot in the door.

Step 3: Check the Kindle Keyword Competition

If we can’t get our book to show up for a keyword, or show up at the top of the results, then that keyword won’t help us.

Don’t believe me, check this out:

The above is a chart showing what percentage of shoppers click on the books that rank #1-14 in search results.  So, if 1,000 people type into Amazon “How to write a book” per month, then statistically speaking, 270 will click on the book that shows up at the top, but only 60 will click on a book that shows up #6.

As you can see, we NEED to beat the top ranking books (1-5) in order to benefit from the kindle keyword shoppers. Otherwise, your keyword won’t help you.

So, to help you with this step, here are some things you should consider when looking at the top 10 books that show up for those results.

Book Covers: A great looking book cover design is super important. If the book cover design stinks, but that book is making sales, then GREAT! Verify that you can create a cover better than what is there.

Titles and Subtitles: Is the keyword in the title or subtitle? If so, then know the author is targeting this term strongly. Also, does the book title or subtitle make sense?  Here are two articles to help you craft a bestseller book title, and a subtitle that converts.

Book Reviews: How many book reviews do they have? Are they recent or super old? Are they verified or unverified? What rating do they have? Having better and more reviews than your competitors is a sure fire way to get the sale over the competition. Here’s a great tactic to help you increase your reviews legitimately.

Book Description: Book descriptions are more important than people think. It’s what makes shoppers click to buy. It’s that last-ditch act of convincing shoppers they need to buy the book. So, is their book description well written, or are they structuring their book description so it looks presentable, like my free Book Description HTML tool will help you do?

Age: Newer books usually still have a lot of Amazon love, and are usually doing big marketing pushes. So, their numbers and popularity are a little inflated. However, if the book you’re competing against is years old and still crushing it on the market, then beware!

Author’s Popularity: If the author is super famous or has a large following and email list, then they are really competitive. First, go to their Amazon Author Page and check their author rank. You can also do a Google search for their name, and look at the website (use this) to figure out if they are getting people to their website, look at their social media and see if they have a huge following, and just get a general feel for how much this author is invested in the subject matter.

After looking at the level of competition, you should have some terms/phrases that not only get searched, and bring in money, but they won’t be too competitive for you to use and get in front of a buyer’s market. – Congrats!

If you're not sure how to figure this out how competitive something is based on the above, or it seems like too much work, Publisher Rocket will actually do all of that for you.  It looks at the information, and gives each keywords a score from 1-100 on how hard it would be for your book to rank for that term.

Kindle Keyword Results for Fiction and NonFiction

If you've done the steps above, you should start to have:

  • list of keywords
  • how many people per month search for that keyword
  • An understanding of how much books are making for those keywords
  • how competitive they are

Let's see what that would look like using a fiction and nonfiction example:

Keyword Example for Fiction:

Data was collected using Publisher Rocket

In the example above, I showed how just niching down in genre can really help.  Looking at the numbers we can see that something like Space Marines has a lot more opportunity than something like Sci Fi Military and still gets decent searches per month.

As a new author, targeting Space marines would be much better than going for Science Fiction or even Sci Fi military.  And the numbers help us with this.

But fiction keywords don't have to be genre terms.  We can target settings, events, moods, etc.  Here is an article showing you more about finding fiction keywords, but as an example, let's just look at the difference of types of Wizards and how this plays on the market:

Data was collected using Publisher Rocket

As you can see, just the choice of type of wizard affects our ability to be discovered, as well as our potential share of the market.  Now, think about what it would be like just guessing at this instead of looking at the numbers.

That's why this is SO important in our book marketing research.  More so if you're using this information before you start writing.  Imagine knowing that a certain demographic needs your nonfiction book, or your target fiction reader describes your kind of book in another way.  Powerful, right?

Keyword Examples for NonFiction:

Let's take a look at a Nonfiction example:

Data was collected using Publisher Rocket

As you can see, a broad term like Parenting is extremely hard.  However, there is a lot of promise in targeting “toddlers” or even “ADHD.”  Of if you're someone like me, who has a strong-willed child, that might be a good one too.  

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The Best Tool For Finding Profitable Keywords

Obviously, the above steps are quite tedious and back when I did it.  That's why my team and I created Publisher Rocket, formerly known as KDP Rocket. This self-publishing software does exactly what we just talked about:

Along with helping you to find keywords, it will also:

  • Help you find the best categories for your book to be a bestseller
  • Create profitable Amazon Ads effectively and efficiently saving you time
  • Help see what your potential competitors and doing and what's working
  • And more

Here's a sneak peak of it in action finding keywords.

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Publisher Rocket has been seen on Forbes, Entrepreneur, and more. Increase your keyword research efficiency and effectiveness for a one-time fee of ONLY $97. Soon, we will be making it a subscription. So lock in your lifetime access now!
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I’ve Got Kindle Keywords, Now What?

The above were steps to researching and finding profitable keywords, so now what? Well, it’s time to convince Amazon that your book should show up for those keywords when someone types them into Amazon. In the search engine world, we call this “getting indexed.”

Here are 3 ways to convince Amazon your book should show up for those keywords:

1. Your 7 Kindle Keywords : In your KDP dashboard, Amazon will ask you to give them 7 kindle keywords where you can fill each to over fifty characters each (that's fifty different letters and spaces total). Go ahead and put your well-chosen keywords here. I highly recommend that you don’t stuff a bunch of keywords into this area – regardless of what others recommend. Amazon is a lot more competitive than it used to be, and I personally think that you shouldn’t dilute the strength of your keyword push by throwing other words in there. You did some great research – stick by that.

2. Your Book Title or Subtitle: Having the keyword phrase in your title or subtitle is a great indication that your book is about that. I’m not saying you should just ‘stuff’ a bunch of words in there…no no. But remember that Kindle Keywords are the words your target shopper uses when looking for their next book. A great way to get a customer's attention is to use their own words. So, keywords can be great for helping you improve your sales copy 😉

3. Your Book Description: The same goes for your book description. There is debate, as to whether or not Amazon checks for Keywords in the description, but I am of the belief that they do, since their algorithm A9 used to say it on their homepage. However, like I said in #2 above, keywords are the words your customer used to describe what they wanted and a good book description should convince them this IS the book they want. If Amazon continues to see that when people type in a specific keyword, they buy your book, Amazon will wise up and realize, you’re the best product for that keyword 🙂

To Sell More Books, Kindle Keywords should be a FIRST thought...not an AFTERthought. #BookMarketClick To Tweet

Doing the above three steps, you should ‘show up’ for the keyword if a shopper types it in.  But like you can see on the rankings chart above, if you aren’t ranking #1-5, then you’re not getting much out of that keyword. Even more so, the book that ranks #1 gets 2x more shoppers than the book that ranks #2.

So, how do you convince Amazon to rank your book #1 for that keyword so that your book benefits from all this research?

Well, that’s a completely different subject. Luckily, I have a full free pdf that shows you exactly how to do exactly that, legitimately.


Keywords are important. In order to make your book stand out from the crowd, you must learn how to strategically choose them and ethically harness their power. (Check out Kindlepreneur's 70 Book Marketing Tips!)

There’s a difference between Amazon Keywords and SEO Keywords. I’ve shown you how to choose and use them both to increase your ebook sales.

The right keyword combinations can open up new markets for you. Strategic keyword selection will drive more viewers to your book. You can use keywords to gain more viewers and ultimately, make more sales.

Find the right keywords one of two ways: either use my free methods, or pay once for Publisher Rocket and have all the dirty work done for you. With Publisher Rocket, you will have instant access to loads of incredibly valuable information at your fingertips.

Whichever method you use, just use this information ethically and you will enjoy the rewards.

BONUS: Don't forget to download my free guide to increasing your kindle rankings. Just click below to download and start getting your book in front of more customers.

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74 thoughts on “How To Choose the Right Kindle Keywords

  1. Thorsten Nesch

    just fyi free KWfinder is down to 2 a day

    1. Dave Chesson

      Seriously? Ah…that’s not as cool anymore. 🙁 Used to be a perfect amount for the non-seo’ers out there. 🙁

  2. Sakura

    “But to completely snub this simple tactic is like the Fellowship of the Ring not using the eagles to fly to Mordor…they still got there, but only after a ridiculously long period of serious struggles and some bumps along the way.”
    ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The eagles are NOT a taxi service! They are a highly intelligent species that have free will and their own form of government! Not only that, but do you think Sauron would have hesitated to shoot them all down the moment they were spotted in the sky? The purpose of the Fellowship of the Ring and the linchpin of the entire strategy decided on in Rivendell was to destroy the Ring in a mission of secrecy!

    1. Dave Chesson

      haha…fair enough.

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