How To Choose the Right Kindle Keywords and Reach More Readers

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 get it in front of the right readers, then THIS is the article for you.

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.

In this article, you will learn:

  1. What exactly are Kindle Keywords
  2. How they help both fiction and nonfiction authors
  3. How to find profitable kindle keywords
  4. Kindle keyword tools that will help
  5. How to increase your book rankings and increase your sales

What Are Kindle Keywords & How Do They Sell Books?

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

Why? Because readers search for what they want to buy, and the top 3-4 results have the strongest chance of selling, as we’ll see below.

So basically, if your book shows up when a reader searches for a book, there’s a good chance that they will buy it, and you will make money.

Don’t believe me? Well what I’m about to show you is not only effective, but Amazon itself promoted it. It works, these tactics will help you sell more books.

Now that we know what Kindle keywords are and how they are important, let’s get to it.

How To Find Profitable KDP 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 the Most Searched Amazon Book Keywords

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.

How to Do it Manually

To get those search terms, 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.
  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”…

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.

How to Do it with Publisher Rocket

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.

screenshot of Publisher Rocket showing the search volume for a keyword


Not only does it give you the search volume data, but it’s also color–coded so you know what is a good amount of search traffic.

This is not just a color assigned to specific numbers. It also uses historical data and an intricate analysis system to decide if that keyword is more likely to end with a sale. So while you might see a yellow keyword even if the search volume is higher than a green keyword, you know it’s still a better match to go with the green.

Use Publisher Rocket’s Category Keywords Tool to Start

If you’re using Publisher Rocket, you also have access to a cool feature under the categories section. Once there, you can search through various categories, find the categories that best suit your book, then look at the keywords that it suggests.

Select Keywords from Categories

This not only helps you find seed keywords that you can plug into the keyword tool to find more, but it also helps your book rank for the appropriate category.

That’s why I recommend that at least 1-2 of your 7 keywords should be category-inspired, meaning they should be keywords that confirm to Amazon that your book should be in that category.

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.

How to Do it Manually

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.

How to Do it with Publisher Rocket

If you want to do this properly, you should analyze not just the top three results on your search, but all of the high-ranking books for each of your keywords. If you’re doing this manually, it can take up to an hour per keyword to do this well.

To save you time when doing this, Publisher Rocket will show you the Average Monthly Earnings for all of these top-selling books, which shows you one convenient number for every keyword without you having to research anything.

screenshot of publisher rocket showing the average monthly earnings for each keyword


Alrighty then…now that we know which keywords get searched and help to sell books, let’s 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 Amazon Kindle keyword shoppers. Otherwise, your keyword won’t help you.

How to Do it Manually

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? Does it make sense? If so, then know the author is targeting this term strongly.
  • 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 beat the competition.
  • Book Description: Book descriptions are more important than people think. It’s what makes shoppers click to buy. 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. Look at their website, the number of reviews, and the overall rank of their books to get an idea of their popularity.

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!

How to Do it with Publisher Rocket

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.

screenshot of publisher rocket showing the competition score


Like the search volume column, it’s color-coded to give you an idea of what a good competition score is, with green being the best.

Basically, when you find those keywords that are green for search volume and competition, you’ve likely found a keyword that will sell books.

This is vital information if you want to understand your competition for a keyword. Get it right, and there will be no stopping your book from ranking well for that keyword.

Kindle Keyword Results for Fiction and NonFiction

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

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

Keyword Examples for NonFiction:

Let’s take a look at a Nonfiction example:

Data was collected using Publisher Rocket

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