Now, let’s talk about where to find those promising little niches: inside broader categories. Dive into the major ones — genres like Romance or Science Fiction & Fantasy — and you’ll see them branching off into a dizzying array of subcategories. Readers who love Romance, for instance, can choose between Clean & Wholesome, Time Travel — even Sports. Science Fiction, too, lets fans pick their poison: Galactic Empire, Colonization, or First Contact?
When it comes to subcategories, Romance readers aren’t hurting for choices
You can probably picture your book slotting into several of these niche subcategories quite comfortably. Luckily, there’s no need to narrow it down to your One True Category: you can choose up to 10. The Kindle Direct Publishing dashboard, where you go to publish your book, only lets you pick two. But if you contact Amazon directly post-publication, but you’ll be able to add up to 8 more.
Once you’ve gotten the lay of the land when it comes to categories, it’s time to pinpoint how your book fits into that dizzying topography. Which categories are both relevant to your story, and niche enough to let you duke it out for bestseller status?
Say you’ve written a YA fantasy about an angel and a demon, both undercover as juniors at the same boarding school. Each has no idea that the other is also an ancient supernatural being, leading to hilarious (and heartwarming) hijinks when they fall in love.
You feel like this novel — let’s call it Game of Smoke — has the potential to inspire fannish devotion in teen readers, as long as you can get it onto their Kindles. Picking the right categories is the first step to doing just that.
Game of Smoke was randomly generated by Reedsy’s Fantasy Title Generator
Now, take Game of Smoke’s premise, and look through the categories on the Kindle homepage. Right away, you’ll identify a couple of places where it can comfortably slot in. For instance, there’s Fantasy → Romantic and Teen & Young Adult → Fantasy → Contemporary.
3. Figure out your comp titles — and see where they fit
Still, if you rely solely on browsing through the homepage, you’re bound to miss a few promising niches. To find additional categories, look for inspiration from your comp titles — books that are, well, comparable to yours.
For Game of Smoke, you might turn to other teen-friendly titles featuring angelic or demonic protagonists; high school stories with a supernatural twist; or lighthearted tales of unlikely love. Find some of those titles on Amazon, and scroll down to their Product Details. Under each book’s “Amazon Best Sellers Rank,” you’ll find three of its categories listed.
Let’s look at a couple of potential comp titles for Game of Smoke. There’s Maya Shah’s The Demon’s Angel — it stars a high-school-aged angel being raised by a demon. Its categories include Children’s Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural Books and Teen & Young Adult Paranormal & Urban Fantasy. Could those fit?
Product details for Maya Shah’s The Demon’s Angel show 3 categories that it ranks in.
There’s also Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s hilarious apocalypse novel, Good Omens, which centers in large part on an unlikely alliance between an angel and a demon. It’s ranked for Humorous Dark Comedy, another promising addition.
Looking into your comp titles can help you see your own book in a new light, clarifying its place in the literary landscape. The more you poke around in other books’ categories, the more you’ll be able to spot your niche with pinpoint precision — putting your book in the hands of its perfect fanbase.
Lucia Tang is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects self-publishing authors with the world’s best editors, designers, and marketers. Reedsy also provides tools to help authors write and format their books, and resources on all things book marketing, from building an author platform to navigating the pros and cons of Amazon exclusivity. Lucia also covers various publishing-related topics on the Reedsy blog. In her spare time, she enjoys drinking cold brew and planning her historical fantasy novel.