BISACs vs Amazon Categories – I Can’t Find the Category I Want!

Updated : Jan 10, 2020 in Articles

BISACs vs Amazon Categories – I Can’t Find the Category I Want!

Did you know that when you go to publish
your book on Amazon or to change your categories through the kindle direct
publishing dashboard that the categories that Amazon shows you aren’t actually
Amazon categories those are actually called BISAC and there are 3935 BISAC
categories whereas Amazon actually has 16,000 plus
Amazon categories huge difference right so the begs to ask the question what
exactly are BISACs why does Amazon use them and how can we
authorize the 16,000 plus categories instead of the measly four thousand that
everybody else does well that’s exactly what we’re gonna cover in today’s video
but before we get there if you would like to learn more about book marketing
go ahead and hit that subscribe button as well as the little bell icon to the
right so you get a notification when my next book marketing video comes out and
with that let’s begin alrighty before we can get into Amazon categories
let’s go ahead and talk about what BISAC are and why Amazon starts us off
with them to put it bluntly BISACs categories or a universal based category
system created by the book industry study group it’s a series of categories
that most libraries bookstores and online stores use as a universal
classification system the list of categories from this or the industry
accepted standard of classifying a book which is used by stores like Amazon
Barnes & Noble mom paw shops and more so with BISACs when a publishing company
creates a book they can choose a buy sack category and stores will
immediately know what shelf to put it on and how to inventory it those stores can
use their own knowledge of their own market and recategorize them if they
please so why does Amazon start us off with their 4000 BISAC categories when
ultimately there’s sixteen thousand Amazon categories out there with BISACs
the industry norm is that big publishing companies choose through buy sacks and
disseminate the books to all the markets out there in Amazon is pretty much
abiding by that norm by initially offering BISACs upon publishing however
upon selecting your buy sack category Amazon then uses that information and
other metadata to automatically put a book in an equivalent Amazon category
sometimes Amazon has a category that is exactly like the by sack and sometimes
it doesn’t all right so far we’ve covered what by sacs are and why Amazon
uses them let’s talk about why Amazon still has 16,000 plus Amazon categories
I mean why not just use the BISACs like just about every other store does and
just be done with it well that’s because Amazon knows their market better than
anyone else and they know how to serve their customers Amazon’s own categories
in their constant changes and additions were created based on Amazon’s knowledge
of how their shoppers shop they see the rise in Gaslamp book sales and quickly
create a category for it even though BISACs don’t have one and since it’s an
online system they see whether or not the new category helped shoppers find
the Gaslamp books they were looking for or whether it deterred them from others
basically Amazon adapts and changes with the market whereas by sacs not so much
so to recap BISACs were made as a universal system to help books
logistical e-catalog and enter into markets and stores however Amazon
categories were developed to help Amazon shoppers shop better and find the books
they are looking for so why not just select from the BISACs and just let
Amazon figure it out right well there’s actually a couple of reasons why you
shouldn’t do that number one there are just under 4,000 BISACs categories
while there are over 16,000 Amazon categories that means that you’re
missing out on 12,000 potential categories which brings me to number two
if you’re using BISACs for your categories only then you’re getting put
into the same categories everyone else is that makes these probably the most
competitive categories possibly on Amazon number three if you’re just going
after buy sacs you’re at the mercy of Amazon to figure out which Amazon
category that fits in there are many cases where what Amazon put you in
wasn’t what you actually had in mind when you selected that BISACs category
and yes there are definitely some weird ones in there all right so now that
know how important Amazon categories can be and why you shouldn’t just leave it
up to selecting a BISACs and having Amazon automatically put you into
something let’s go ahead and talk about how you can find the right categories
for your book and the information you need to tell Amazon to change you from
that original BISACs to something much better the first method is either by
finding a category someone is already a part of clicking and then manually
creating a category string like this the second method is using a software like
publisher rocket which already has the 16,000 plus Amazon categories inside of
it it also lays out the category strings so you don’t have to manually build
those and it even tells you how many books that day you need to sell in order
to be the new number one bestseller or at least in the top 25 that information
alone can help you choose the best categories as well as the most likely to
help you to be the number one bestseller all of which will save you a lot of time
and make your efforts much more effective alright so now that you have a
list of categories in their category strings and you’re ready to be able to
get your book change to those go ahead and access the video I have up here
which will give you the step by step system to getting Amazon to change your
books categories into anything you want another really cool thing about this
process is that by using it you can actually get your book added to total of
10 categories instead of what everybody thinks is just 3 pretty cool right ok so
in this video we discuss what buy sacks are and that these are not Amazon
categories we also discuss how to change your BISACs selection to an Amazon
category as well as why you should definitely do that so there you have it
no longer let Amazon willy-nilly put your book into any category as well as
fight with everybody else for the same 4,000 categories instead ethically go
through and find the right categories for your book take control and get them
included and the ones that you want also don’t forget in the descriptions below
I’ll have a couple of links to other really important category videos as well
as articles to help get you into the right mode to be able to find the right
one and if you would like to see more videos
like that be sure to hit that subscribe button as well as the little bell icon
so that you get notification when the next Kindlepreneur video comes out and
with that I’m Dave Chesson of Kendall preneur signing off


  • Great! But at 5:35, I think you forgot to embed the link to that other video you reference. Just a heads up (maybe it has to be processed or something?)…

  • This is great info for all authors! I write children's books, and first I just assumed getting 10 categories was a small benefit for the trouble. But following this advice may even be more important than just expanding from 3 to 10. In my case, I selected the 2 best categories, but Amazon has an age restriction (0-3) on the best one, and it refused to place my paperback in that category at all! I had just assumed the books were at least appearing in the 2 I selected, but one book had only one category assigned, and others were assigned to weird categories! Now that I followed Dave's advice (and used Published Rocket to choose the optimal categories), my books are all in the top 100 of many categories, even top 25 in some. And I'm still improving using Rocket. Listen to Dave Chesson!

  • Thanks for this. 🙂 I was wondering about the differences and haven't gotten around to researching them. You made it easy!

  • Dave, I watched the video, but I had some problems getting that complete category string. I was never asked for the ASIN, only the book title and my email address. I used Rocket's category search, picked out a few likely book and then I went into the book descriptions on Amzaon and, at the bottom, looked at the categories where they were located and made my list from that. Phoned Amazon and was told some categories only apply to paperback, not Kindle, but had my ebook and paperback linked (the man was very helpful) and got 8 instead of 3 categories now. So, all good, but still missing 2 categories.

  • I tried to have amazon add my short story into 30 minutes read and they claimed that it goes in the automatically and that we can't request to add a book into those categories. Any idea why? I love all your videos and have learned a lot.

  • The problem I see is that if Amazon is changing its categories all the time, then you could put your book into one that's discontinued. Then where would it go?

  • Please post LINK for Video for Amazon Step by Step System to change my categories into anything I want?. Thank you! Amazing info.!

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