How to Obtain An Amazon Best-Selling Ranking

By Susan Neal

My previous blog post here on Writing Prompts, Make Your Dream Come True and Self Publish Your Book, described how to self-publish a book on Kindle, CreateSpace, and IngramSpark (Barnes & Noble). Today’s post will walk you through the steps to obtain an Amazon best-selling ranking. You may need to read the previous post to understand Kindle categories, KDP Select, and some other terms.

In 2016, I self-published two books, Scripture Yoga which was a #1 Amazon best-selling yoga book and Yoga for Beginners which ranked #3 in the yoga book category.


First, publish your e-book on, otherwise, known as Kindle. Choose KDP Select because it allows you to lower your price during your book launch. Your subscription lasts for three months, and during that time you cannot publish your e-book on any other platform. However, you can publish a print book on another site. I unsubscribed from KDP after three months.

Be sure to include a request for a book review, along with a link to your Amazon book page, at the end of your Kindle e-book. The link becomes available after you have published your book. So remember to go back and add this link into your formatted book and reload it into KDP.

When choosing your Kindle categories, select a broad and a narrow category. The narrow one is key to obtaining the high ranking because you do not have as many books to compete against. For example, the broad category for Scripture Yoga was Christian Living which included a large number of other books. However, the narrow category, Yoga, contained fewer books to compete against for the Amazon ranking.

Next, choose two dates to have a $0.99 sale within KDP Select. This sale will show up in the Kindle store on Amazon. The first period should be at the beginning of the three-month subscription to KDP; this is the date you ask your book review team to purchase your book and submit a review. The second date will be your official book launch with the goal of increasing your Amazon ranking and it should be toward the end of the three-month period after you have several book reviews.

Book reviews are an important component of your marketing plan. Create a book review team by asking several individuals if they would like an advanced review copy of your book in exchange for a book review or they could purchase your reduced price book for $0.99. It is best to have at least 7–10 reviews before your book launch. Also, ask your team to share your book’s promotional materials you have created on their social media sites during its launch.

Your book launch goal is to obtain a ranking within the top 100 Amazon books in your category. If this occurs, you can publicize your book as an Amazon best seller. To accomplish this goal, lower your Kindle book price to $0.99 (usually for 3-7 days) after you have at least five reviews. You want to try to get as many purchases as possible within a short period of time for the Amazon ranking to rise. During your launch, monitor your book’s ranking which is listed at the bottom of your book’s Amazon page and take a screenshot as it increases.

There are many of things you can do to plan for this date. However, the most important thing is to pray and ask that your book glorifies God. Next, notify all of your family, friends, social media contacts, and email subscriber list that your book is on-sale. You could raffle a prize, and each person who verified that they purchased your book would be entered into the contest.

At the same time as your book launch, advertise your KDP Select promotion dates on,, and These websites have access to large numbers of readers who want to purchase books at a discounted price. These promotions will drive up your book sales. At Bargain Booksy, it costs around $25 to run a one-day ad which would be well worth it to attain the best seller status. Whereas FreeBooksy charges a higher price to promote your book, and Readers In the Know allows you to promote your book for free while it is at the discounted price.

There are numerous websites available to market your book including,,,,, and It would be prudent to choose a few of these sites to promote your book during its launch.

Also, advertise your book on by clicking the “Promote and Advertise” button next to your published book in your account. Select “Create an ad campaign” and click “Sponsored Products.” Sponsored ads show up at the top of a similar themed book’s search results and the very bottom of a competitor’s book product detail page. It is the only ad that is displayed twice. Choose automatic targeting which allows Amazon to choose the keywords.

For my Scripture Yoga ad, I set a bid amount of $.25 and an average daily budget of $2.00. You can increase from there. You only pay if someone clicks your ad. If you monitor this a couple of times a week, it is easy to determine if an ad is working or not. If an ad is spending more than it is making, you can simply pause or terminate the ad.

The morning of my book launch I was at my 88-year-old mother’s home. I woke up early, and for about three hours I sent out many emails and posted to my social media sites. Then I saw a peer’s Facebook post for her book launch and how she was praying for its success.

I realized I had not prayed, so I got on my knees and asked God to forgive my oversight and bless this book’s launch. I felt reassured that it was in his hands. So I drove my mother and three daughters to Homosassa Springs for the day. When I got back to my mom’s home, my book was #1. Praise God!

It takes time and some work, but it pays off when your book is an Amazon best-seller.

Click to tweet: Let me walk you through the steps to obtain an Amazon best-selling ranking. #IndiePub #Amazon

Susan Neal-RN, MBA, and MHS has a passion for inspiring others to be healthy and grow in their faith. Her article, Eatin’ in Eden was published in Clubhouse magazine. She published two books, Scripture Yoga and Yoga for BeginnersHer hospice C.D., Bedside Encouragement: When You Don’t Know How to Say Goodbye, two Christian Yoga DVDs, God’s Mighty Angels and What the Bible Says About Prayer, and two Christian Yoga Card Decks, “Fruit of the Spirit” and “How to Receive God’s Peace” are available on and

Susan’s two digital products, Eat to Live with a Low-Carbohydrate, Low-Glycemic, Anti-Inflammatory Diet and How to Prevent, Improve, and Reverse Alzheimer’s and Dementia are available at and Susan is a member of Word Weavers International and has been interviewed on Moody Radio, Blog Talk Radio, and Premier Christian Radio of the UK.


Make Your Dream Come True and Self-Publish Your Book

By Susan Neal

As an attendee of Christian writer conferences since 2014, I understand the disappointment of not having a publisher choose your manuscript. There are many other writers who feel the same way I felt—disappointed.

However, as a follower of Christ, I believe God inspired me to publish Scripture Yoga to assist other Christian yoga teachers to speak Bible verses over their class participants. I wanted to provide a godly environment for Christians who choose to participate in yoga classes. In this article, I will explain how I self-published an e-book and print book for around $700. In the next blog post, I will share how I obtained a #1 Amazon ranking.

After my manuscript was written, I edited it on This site keeps track of your most frequent grammar errors and provides feedback for improving your writing. Through the search feature, I eliminated passive and unnecessary words.

I’m also a member of Word Weaver’s International and our group meets monthly to edit each other’s work, so much of my manuscript had been reviewed by this group. I used to edit Scripture Yoga. This service has Ph.D. level editors who provide a quick turn-around time. This website features an instant quote based upon a manuscript’s word count.

Next, I needed to format my book as an e-book for Kindle, and a print book for CreateSpace and IngramSpark. I was very pleased with They include unlimited revisions. However, a technically inclined person could format their manuscript and save on this expense.

I determined the keywords I would use to describe my book on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), CreateSpace, and IngramSpark. A keyword planner is available on Click the item “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.” Enter your product, website, and category then click “get ideas.” A spreadsheet with keywords and the average monthly Google searches is provided. From this information I chose seven keywords.

Next, I needed to choose the Kindle and Amazon book categories. Categories are listed on To find the categories I clicked on the left side of the search bar and selected “Kindle Store.” Then I searched for “yoga books.” On the left side of this search page, a listing of Kindle Store categories appeared. I chose two categories for Kindle.

To find the categories for CreateSpace I entered “books” on the left side of the search bar instead of Kindle Store, and searched for “yoga books.” The print book categories appeared on the left side of the page. Again, I chose two categories for my print book.

It is best to choose one broad and one narrow category. The broad category provides exposure to a large population of readers. The narrow category allows the book to increase in ranking which helps it to become an Amazon bestseller in this category.

For the book title and subtitle—I looked on Amazon to see if there were other books with this title, and I checked out competitive book covers. I needed a separate cover for my e-book and print book. I had my covers created on If you choose to use Fiverr, look at the vendor’s customer reviews and other book covers they have published to determine if you like their style.

For the Kindle book, I did not need to purchase an ISBN because Kindle provided an ASIN for free. However, a print book needs an ISBN, so I bought my number on I planned on publishing another print book and a card deck, so I purchased a package of ISBNs because it was more cost-effective.

When I was ready to publish my book, I made sure I had the book cover, formatted manuscript, ISBN, key words, and categories. I set up a KDP account on, and I chose KDP Select for the first three months because it allowed me to put my e-book on sale during my book launch which is key for obtaining a high Amazon ranking.

Three months later, I unsubscribed from KDP Select. Once my book was downloaded to KDP, within 24 hours, I received an email stating the book was ready to be reviewed. I logged into my Kindle account and reviewed every single page ensuring it was formatted properly before I pushed the publish button.

I wanted to publish my print book on both (Amazon distribution) and (Apple, Barnes & Noble, and many more distributors). I set up my accounts on both platforms and loaded my formatted print manuscript, and book cover. Then I entered keywords and selected categories. On CreateSpace, I didn’t check the box for expanded distribution because this designation would preclude the book from being published on IngramSpark.

Before I pushed the publish button, I previewed every single page in the online previewer, but I did not publish it yet. Instead, I ordered a print book which was mailed to my home. When it arrived, I previewed every single page making sure everything was formatted properly. When I was satisfied, I went into my accounts and pushed the publish button. I was finally an author of a print book—my God-given dream finally came true!

Now that I was a self-published author I needed to set up my Amazon Author page on I entered my author bio and headshot. This information appears at the bottom of my Amazon book page. I also claimed my Kindle and print books so they would appear on the same Amazon page.

Below is the cost of publishing my book.

Breakdown of Cost

$375    Editing

$49     Kindle Formatting

$129    Print Formatting

$40      E-book and Print Covers

$125    ISBN

$718    Total Cost

Now I’m no longer disappointed. Instead I’ve been reappointed: as the author of a print book. My God-given dream.

Click to tweet:  I self-published an e-book and print book for around $700. #IndiePub #writing

Writing Prompt: What has God inspired you to write and publish? What is holding you back?

Susan Neal-RN, MBA, and MHS has a passion for inspiring others to be healthy and grow in their faith. Her article, Eatin’ in Eden was published in Clubhouse magazine. She published two books, Scripture Yoga and Yoga for Beginners. Her hospice C.D., Bedside Encouragement: When You Don’t Know How to Say Goodbye, two Christian Yoga DVDs, God’s Mighty Angels and What the Bible Says About Prayer, and two Christian Yoga Card Decks, “Fruit of the Spirit” and “How to Receive God’s Peace” are available on and

Susan’s two digital products, Eat to Live with a Low-Carbohydrate, Low-Glycemic, Anti-Inflammatory Diet and How to Prevent, Improve, and Reverse Alzheimer’s and Dementia are available at and Susan is a member of Word Weavers International and has been interviewed on Moody Radio, Blog Talk Radio, and Premier Christian Radio of the UK.