Proven Method to Unlocking the Secret Kindle Categories

How to Unlock the Secret Kindle Categories

Proven Method to Unlocking the Secret Kindle Categories

Have you ever noticed that when you go to publish your book and select a category on Kindle, certain categories just cannot be found?

After doing hours of research to find that perfect category for your ebook, you discover that you just cannot select it?

As it turns out, Amazon doesn’t offer every existing category when you go publish your book.

Frustrating right?

Well, you wouldn’t be alone in this frustration. However, there is hope. There are a couple ways in which you can ensure that your book is included into the “secret category list” that amazon doesn’t offer you.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The Importance of these secret categories
  • Step by step on how to unlock them

Okay, let me be clear. The list isn’t secret. As matter of fact, they even publish a page to help you find out what categories exist that aren’t offered, but we will get into this later.

The point is, they don’t exactly make this information public unless you know what to look for…or, you’re a fan of the 😉


Simply put, these secret categories are not selectable in the KDP dashboard…that’s why.

For this reason, they will definitely have lower competition than the available ones on the Amazon dashboard.

Be sure to check out my article on how to find low competition categories that will help you to reach best-seller status here.

I don’t have any solid numbers, but I don’t think it is too far off from the truth to believe that only 35% or less of self-publishers know about the ‘secret’ category list, and only a smaller percentage actually know how to unlock them.

That means that more then 65% of all kindle self-publishers target the pre-generated list of categories that you find in the Amazon dashboard.

Starting to see why unlocking that list can be important?

If you need help finding the most opportunistic categories, then you should check out my favorite software for the job: KD Spy.
Get KD Spy Here!


When you go to upload your book for the first time, you’ll be offered a select list of categories to choose from. You will probably notice that these categories are very broad and do not include every subject that you see other books listing for.

Amazon does this because they want new books to be included in well-known e-book lists.

Over time, Amazon will sometimes automatically add a book to a secret category because it feels as though it belongs. However, if you’re like me, then you don’t want to just leave it up to fate and hope that Amazon will one day decide to include your book in a particular category.

So, to get your book showing for the category you want, just follow these two simple steps:

Step 1: Amazon Keyword Selection

Try to place the title of your category as one of your “Amazon Keywords” in your Kindle submission form. This will automatically tell Amazon that your book belongs in that particular category.7 Amazon Keyword Selection screen

In some cases, a specific keyword must be used in order to unlock it. Check out this Amazon page which actually lists which categories require what keyword in order to join that category:

Step 2: Strategic Category Placement

If you can legitimately place that category name into your title, subtitle, and/or summary, it should also help to persuade the Amazon algorithm that your e-book is best served under that particular category. In a way, this is a sign that your book is about that particular subject and should therefore be included in the category.

These two steps will help Amazon to see your book as a part of that category.

Potential Step 3: Flat Out Tell Them!

However, if that doesn’t work and your book isn’t automatically added into the particular category, there is one more step in which you can get Amazon to notice it.

Contact Amazon and ask them to include your book into that particular category. Amazon will then look at your book, it’s cover, and the information you placed on your product page and will make a determination as to whether or not your book will be suitable inside a particular category.

Be sure that this category is a legitimate fit for your book or else otherwise Amazon will reject your claim and might even penalize you for such a request. So don’t be SPAMMY!

How to Contact Author Central

What many of you don’t know is the path in which to get them to notice your book. To contact Amazon so as to include your book into their secret category list, perform the following:

First go to Author Central:

On the Contact Us Form:

  1. Under “Select An Issue” select “My Books”.
  2. Under “Select Details” select “Update Information About a Book”.
  3. In the fields that appear, select “Browse Categories”
  4. Then “I want to browse categories in the Product Details section.

Contact information for changing your Kindle CategoryNext, in the “Question/Feedback” area provide your book’s ASIN and which browsing path you would like as your new category and which category this will replace.

The Category path should look like this like this:
# Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Anthologies

learn about kindle sales rankings and how this effects the Category SelectionMake sure you start with Kindle and not book…unless this is for the physical book. I have made this mistake before and of course was rejected on the basis of me being stupid.

Once you’ve submitted your email request, give it a few days and check to see whether or not Amazon placed in that category.

In most cases though, authors will see the fruits of the email labor in a matter of 24 hours…which is nice.

In Closing…

So, there you have it. Simple steps towards unlocking the coveted secret categories of the Amazon Kindle world. I hope you enjoyed this and please comment below on how these process worked for you.





  • As far as I know a “secret” keyword is not enough. You also need your book to be listed somwhere in the parent category. Eg. if you want to have your book included in Business & Money/Entrepreneurship & Small Business/Startups you need to have a keyword “startup” AND your book must be listed sowhere under Business & Money. If you picked for example Self-Help and Education & Teaching, the “secret” keyword alone won’t help you at all.

    But if your book already was under Business & Money/Business Life, it will appear in Startups too.

    • Kindlepreneur

      It is in many cases, but there are times where even by following Amazon’s requirements (as per their link which is in the article), they still don’t respond. However, working with many authors, I have never seen a common factor that dictates who has more success over another. So I don’t think it is category dependent. I believe that history, account health, and relevance do play a part though.

      • A more experienced author advised me to do that and it worked for my personal mission statement book. I had appropriate keywords, but the book wasn’t featured in Religion & Spirituality > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Living > Self Help
        till I changed one of categories into Religion & Spirituality > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Living > Professional Growth

        Then the parent category was the same and the book appeared in a couple more subcategories under Christian Living.

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  • C T Mitchell

    Great tips here. I’ll re-read, absorb and apply

  • Ton Bil

    I’ll definitely do this once I’m ready for uploading my book “Love by Breakup” on KDP (in a few weeks). Thanks for the great article.

  • I just tried this. I’ll see if they do it, as well as changing my keywords to reflect the new category. You are AMAZING! Thank you for the step-by-step advice. My brain is hurting, but, I think this will help, since my other category was so generally and I couldn’t get into a sub-category.

    • One more question. Can this work for the paperback as well. Should I send a separate request. I only see an ISBN and not a ASIN for the paperback.

      • Paperback does have their own set as well….so yup

        • Thanks. Amazon just replied and said they can move it to the new category path, but I noticed many books are listed in several categories. They asked me if I wanted the new path to replace the old? Do I? Or do I want it in addition to the other path. I’m still a little fuzzy on how it works. I think I’m on the right path, though (pun intended).

          • Yeah, go for a new path. Most books start off with just 2 paths. However, over time, Amazon will assign and 3rd and maybe even a 4th…but that isn’t guaranteed. In this case, they’ll give you a 3rd path…which is nice.

  • Any suggestions on how to CREATE new categories? I’ve noticed some really niche categories, but they don’t apply to me. I’ve written them and no luck so far.Got any secrets for that? Another blog post?

    • Sadly, Amazon controls what categories they create. But if you find a pre-existing category that you want to be a part of, then the above article is for you.

  • Andrew Taylor

    I tried to pay and it would not work

    • On KD Spy? Hmm….not sure why that wouldn’t work. It runs through JVZoo who’s super reliable.

      • Andrew Taylor

        Is paypal the only way to pay?

  • Emmanuel Hermañez

    For the replacement category, do I put the ones that are in the amazon page or the one in the KDP book details?

    • The string that shows up on someone else’s book sales page.

    • Parchment & Pixels

      Looks like the details part has been removed from Amazon Acentral, I only see a generic box? No drop downs. So I’ve added my details for the cats I want and am awaiting a reply.

  • Parchment & Pixels

    Looks like the details part has been removed from Amazon Acentral, I only see a generic box? No drop downs. So I’ve added my details for the cats I want and am awaiting a reply. Wish me luck

  • Anj Sesbreno

    I’ll try it for my fiction novel. Hopefully, it’ll do the trick. Btw, does changing the keyword/category from time to time also useful? And if it is, when’s the best time to do it? Thanks for such wonderful pieces of advice!

  • Faceless Commenter

    It’s not working for me, and oddly, the categories Amazon shows on that “secret category” page (and the ones used when looking at books similar to mine) are NOT the ones that are available in the Category dropdown. For instance, a certain dark literary thriller occurs under:

    in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

    in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary Fiction > Literary

    in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Women’s Fiction > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Women Sleuths

    But when choosing a category for my book, I don’t see “Literature & Fiction.” There’s Fiction, and underneath that there’s Literary, and beyond that no subcategories.

    In addition, on the page where I’m setting up my book, the Category selection comes before the Keyword textbox, which is odd if the categories depend on the keywords.


    I think the drop down box re browsing categories may differ from Amazon US and UK… I can’t work out the string you suggest on my UK author page. You do write very well and give such excellent advice… this is NOT a complaint!

  • redmar

    my book is non fiction and medical
    This does not work. Help

  • Chad Elliot

    They had me new ebook listed in 3 categories at first. Now, it’s only listed in one. Any suggestions?

  • Emma Grace

    when we publish a e book, it shows no category …. does it take time to apper?

    • Assuming you selected 2 categories when you went to publish it through KDP….yes, it will take a couple of days.

  • Chris Tick

    Great article Dave, will be using this