If you are an author and planning to self-publish your book then Amazon keyword research is not optional: you have to spend time and energy to do your research and use your chosen keywords wisely. If you do you are many steps ahead of your competitor otherwise your e-book may never see sunlight.

I will go one step further and claim that you should find your target keywords and do your due diligence even before you start writing your book. You will understand what I mean when you finish reading my article. Why do I think so? Let me show you.

As you see from the above graph there are some genres, niches, book categories you really need to stay away from. 

When it comes to what your books genre/niche there are more than enough opportunities perhaps too many. And it is impossible for me to give you a ready to allow pill on what your book should be about. But at least I can give you some tips on what not to do.

Based on Klytics search they monitored and ranked the sales of books in 426 sub-categories on Amazon Kindle. Nine book genres consistently showed up at the bottom of the list. Have a look at the graph.

See, readers buy physical books walking to bookstores but selling e-books is totally different story. In this article, I will show you how to research your keywords correctly in 2020 and more importantly how to use them to rank in the top 5 in your category.

Note: I refer to some tools below, most of them are free but you do not need paid tools to develop your keyword strategy, tools just make life easier and saves time but they are not mandatory.

So without further ado lets dive in my fellow authors. 


What are keywords anyway? Keywords are the words or phrases that people enter into search engines to find what they’re looking for. And as you are selling e-books this is how potential readers will find you. 

Remember Amazon is one of the world’s largest search engines. Amazon keywords are the phrases that shoppers use to find the products they want on Amazon. And correct keyword strategy work for your book sales even while you sleep. So Amazon keyword research is crucial for your books success.

Amazon keyword research

As a result, you want to use relevant keywords strategically in appropriate places on your book listing so that you bring traffic to your book and increase your sales. You need to learn to think like Amazon shoppers and foresee what they are looking for that could bring them to your book.

Before we get into the step-by-step process of finding profitable kindle keywords, let’s talk about what makes a profitable kindle keyword. A target Kindle Keyword should be a phrase or word that: 

  • Readers actually use in Amazon search bar
  • Readers pay for books in the resulting search results
  • The competition is at a level you can beat (choose your fight wisely)


I believe we all agree that knowing what buyers want is the first and most important step to make a sale. When it comes to e-books keywords tell you how people try to find what they are looking for and gives you a good insight into what they want (keyword search volume). Amazon search bar has an autofill function that will give you a very good starting point.

Amazon keyword research

Start typing relevant words, phrases about your book, and Amazon autofill function will give you 10 suggestions, please do not forget to select the Kindle Store as a search category. Plus you need to open an incognito browser so that your previous searches do not affect your current search. 

Once you find a phrase that is relevant, add each letter of the alphabet at the end of your word/phrase, and see what comes up. See some examples below.

Amazon keyword research
Amazon keyword research

You need to repeat this process for every letter of the alphabet. Remember you are trying to find what people type search bar to find books similar to yours. It is a very good idea to use an excel sheet and taking note of all relevant phrases so you can use them to shape your book listing.

You can absolutely do this manually but there are some tools like KDSPY that can do it with one click. KDSPY is Amazon keyword, category and insight research tool for authors.

Amazon keyword research

Please beware that Amazon forbids using certain keywords so make sure you check this link: Keywords to avoid.

You can download KDSPY Research Tool here

Now that you have an initial list of keywords you can work on. Now it is time to check what is the demand behind each one of those keywords, how often those keywords are used per month to decide if they are really worth going after. 

When you click Analyze link on the screen above KDSPY will give you how often this specific keyword is used by readers. This way you will clearly understand if this keyword is valuable for you as there are people using it to find a book they are looking for.

Amazon keyword research

As you see from the above screenshot you can clearly analyze what is going on with keyword (golf workout this example): top 20 books, average monthly revenue, how many reviews you need at minimum, and average sales rank (BSR). You do not want to go after a keyword that has very low BSR as that means it is very competitive.


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 keywords out there that may be in demand but just don’t get sales. That’s why this step is important.

You have found what keywords readers are using, you know that there is a demand for them. At this stage, three good questions to ask are: Are people using a specific keyword finds what she is looking for? And even she finds, does she pay for the books coming up in search listing using this keyword? Plus what kind of competition you face out there for this keyword?

Amazon keyword research

In this case, just look for 3 dots at the bottom right corner of KDSPY: if you have 3 green dots there, you are on to something, dive deeper for this keyword.

But you do not need to use a tool to check if a keyword is making money. Here is a manual way: first, enter that keyword to Amazon search bar, check the top five books that show up for that search. Next, copy their Amazon Best Seller Rank (ABSR) to an excel sheet.  Then use BSR to Sales Calculator to check the estimated daily and monthly sales volume of that specific book.

You can download KDSPY Research Tool here

If those top-five ranking books don’t make any money or less than the other books you find associated with other keywords options that mean readers who search for that keyword can not find what they are looking for and do not buy.

Now, you need to go back to your excel sheet, repeat the same process for each keyword in the list to find the ones not only getting searched but also making sales.

At this stage, you already have a great idea about what is going on in your book category, genre, and niche. You have a list of keywords that are in demand and people are paying for the related books associated with them. Now it is time to get some insights on who we are competing with. You know what they say: know your enemy! Just joking, we are all friends.


As you may already know the whole point of doing keyword research is to find a way to be listed in top search results when people use this keyword on their search. If we are not in let’s say in the top 10 even top 5 result lists then our book has very small chances.

At this point let me give you some stats so you better understand why it is important be at top search results.

Top 5 listed books (that show up in search results when readers type it in search bar) get whopping 63% of all the clicks. And the rest of the thousands of books share the remaining 37%.

What that means; your book needs to be in the top 5-10 and you need to beat your competition to be there. Otherwise, that keyword is useless for you. So here are some tips.

When you find your keywords make sure or do your best to include them in your book title and subtitle. It would also help to include them in your description, but that does not mean stuffing all those placements with keywords.

If you do so you will lose your relevancy with what readers are looking for and they won’t click so you need to do it wisely.

how to sell more books

Online readers are also more tend to be visual people, that means you need to have an attention-grabbing, beautifully designed book cover. 

You need reviews, check how many verified reviews your competitors have. There are many ways you can get reviews, you can use this checklist for some great ideas. If you have many good reviews with respect to your competition, that is a sure way to boost your rankings.

So the number of positive reviews your competitors have, how popular their author is, how competitive your category/genre/niche all makes you decide if you need to go for that particular keyword or book idea. Amazon keyword research is not optional, you have to do it properly.

So as of now, you not only know your keywords that are in demand, making money you also know how competitive they are. That my friend is a lot of insight and should already give a very good idea in your book idea.

I just wanted to mention again that tools like KDSPY will give you all this information much faster, save you a lot of time and avoid mistakes.

You can download KDSPY Research Tool here


As you have now all the keywords that meet the 3 criteria above (in demand, money-making, has competition that you can beat) it is time to go to Amazon and apply your keyword strategy. There are three actions you can take with them.

You already have an Amazon KDP account and in its dashboard Amazon allows you to assign 7 kindle keywords. So that’s where you will enter keywords you have found.

It is suggested that instead of stuffing this field with keyword use only the most relevant ones that meet the critical criteria we have mentioned, the main purpose of Amazon keyword research is to give your readers best user experience.

Use chosen keywords in your title and subtitle, wisely, as we discussed above.

Use the chosen keywords in your book description, as we discussed above. Please remember that your description is NOT a place where you should stuff with keywords.

The description is your sales copy whose main goal is to convince the reader that your book is what she is looking for and if you move away from that your keyword strategy won’t work.

So there you have it, you now have solid, data-backed Amazon Kindle Keyword strategy that will surely boost your ranking and sell more books, if done right.

Let me know if you have any questions on Amazon keyword research, I will be happy to help.

PS: I also prepared a Book Promotion Guide that you can combine with your keyword strategy to make your book a success.

PPS: You may find our Indie Author Checklist useful in your self-publishing journey.

I wish you all the best.

Melissa Mayer


Your book title can make or break the success of your book. And it is not only important from literary perspective, let me explain. If people are not typing the words in your book title and/or description on Amazon search bar that means your title still needs some additional work. Book title generators can give you some inspiration.

At this point I want to give you some suggestions not only to make creative juice flowing but also make sure you have chosen your book title right using some proven techniques.

First, there are some incredible tools called book title generators that can be very helpful. In this article I will do my best to explain what a book title generator is, best free book title generators and some other tools to help validate your book title ideas.


The first thing you need to know about book title generators is that they are niche specific. If you think about it, that’s quite logical, the approach for romance and children book titles are quite different. So choose the one from the list below that suits your book genre or you may end up with misleading results.

Non-Fiction Title Generators

Sci-Fi Title Generators

Fantasy Name Generators

book title generators

Romance Title Generators

Mystery Novel Title Generators

Horror Name Generators

Crime Book Title Generators

Children’s Book Title Generators

Comic Book Name Generators

Other Types Of Book Title Generators

At this point a word of caution (again): as I mentioned before you may find a great title from literary perspective but if people are not typing the keywords in your title, you will not be listed on Amazon search titles, unless you are well known author that people directly search for your name or book title. 

In order to figure out what people are typing into the Amazon search field, read this step by step article to learn about what keywords you must use in your book title and description that will bring you sales

After you find out the perfect title, make sure your book cover design and the internal book design are amazing as well to catch those Amazon shoppers.


The two tools below are for headlines, but they will give you additional ideas for titles too, quite relevant ones.

Take your best headlines and run them through this tool. For each headline you input you’ll receive an EMV percentage. The higher the percentage, the better the emotional resonance of your headline.

Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer

If you want to run your headlines through another tool, give this one a go. These results will give you an overall grade, score, and analysis of word types and structure. Once again, the grade matters. The better your grade, the better your headline, the better the conversion.

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer


If you have an existing audience on social media or a relevant, niche specific email list, you can also refer to them and ask their opinions on your book title ideas. That method may have a certain degree of bias.

I have another suggestion: you can use a survey tool PickFu. This survey service will take your potential book titles, find the target market for you, and have them vote on which title they like. Not only will you get to see which one is the best, you’ll get some key insight into why your target market loves one over the other. Basically, PickFu takes the guesswork out of it and gives you data (use code AUTHORS-WRITERS-POETS for 50% discount).


See, there are many tools to help you jump-start creative juices. Although they are not perfect, they are free and better than nothing.I can guarantee that you will feel more confident about your options after applying the methods above.

All the best.

Melissa Mayer