There are over 10,489 bestseller lists for Amazon Kindle books. Some of them have less than 100 books on the list, meaning any book you add to that category would technically become an “Amazon bestseller” as long as you sell at least one copy.

Other categories are so competitive that only a small fraction of the books in those categories make the Top #100 spots on the list.

Amazon Kindle Bestseller Categories

Choosing the right categories on Kindle for your book is really, really important. You might find hundreds or even thousands of new readers just by having your book listed in the right category on Amazon. But how do you know which categories are right for your book?

First of all, your category should obviously match your book. If your book is a romance novel, I wouldn’t recommend listing it in the Nonfiction -> Religion & Spirituality -> Christianity -> Christian Living -> Spiritual Growth list. But you probably already knew that.

What you may not know is that only the Top 100 books in each category get featured in that category. That means if your book is ranked #101, you get absolutely no exposure from being in that category. So you need to pick categories that you can actually rank your book on.

The less you’re currently selling, the lower your sales rank will be on Amazon and the less competitive categories you should choose. As you gain more sales momentum and better sales ranking, you can switch your categories to more competitive ones which will send you more traffic and sales.

But which categories can give you the most sales possible on Amazon Kindle? We did a little digging and found out.

Here’s a list of the Top #100 most competitive and high traffic categories on Amazon Kindle. If you’re lucky enough to get your book ranking in one of these categories, you can get a lot of extra exposure and sales.

But first, a little breakdown of how the table works.

Kindle Store Category (Bestseller List)

The #1 most competitive category on Amazon Kindle is Romance -> Contemporary. On the Kindle store, this list actually displays like this:

Kindle eBooks -> Romance -> Contemporary

To make the list easier for you to read and understand, we removed the “Kindle eBooks -> ” text string from the data in the table.

Just know that all these bestseller lists are for the Kindle store, NOT the “Books” category on Amazon (which includes paperbacks, hardcovers, ebooks and audiobook sales). This list here is purely for Kindle ebooks and Kindle sales.

Kindle Category Rankings

We tracked rankings for 3 different books in each category: The #1 book which is selling the most, the #50 book in the middle, and the #100 book which just barely made the list. We ranked the lists based on 1) how hard they are to rank for and 2) on how well the average book is selling on the list.

For example, at the time we collected this data, the #100 book in Kindle eBooks -> Romance -> Contemporary was ranked at #459 in the Kindle store. That means that if you wanted your ebook to appear on that list, you had to have a rank of #458 or better just to make the #100 spot!

Kindle Store Category#1#50#100
1. Romance -> Contemporary4230459
2. Literature & Fiction -> Contemporary Fiction -> Women11435992
3. Romance -> New Adult & College235451053
4. Literature & Fiction -> Contemporary Fiction -> Romance47081424
5. Literature & Fiction -> Women -> Romance317111703
6. Literature & Fiction -> Genre Fiction -> Coming of Age249492046
7. Romance -> Mystery & Suspense -> Suspense411122540
8. Science Fiction & Fantasy -> Fantasy -> Paranormal & Urban214822686
9. Literature & Fiction -> Genre Fiction -> Erotica5011823275
10. Literature & Fiction -> Women -> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Women Sleuths1616683297
11. Romance -> Romantic Comedy1717783724
12. Literature & Fiction -> Literary Fiction -> Literary812943755
13. Literature & Fiction -> Contemporary Fiction -> Literary814463841
14. Literature & Fiction -> Genre Fiction -> 1916104465
15. Science Fiction & Fantasy -> Fantasy -> Epic8325874649
16. Romance -> Fantasy4025764679
17. Romance -> Paranormal -> Werewolves & Shifters5523615000
18. Romance -> Holidays9024605126
19. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Mystery -> Police Procedurals21829115374
20. Literature & Fiction -> Humor & Satire -> General Humor1623665672
21. Romance -> Westerns5133785821
22. Biographies & Memoirs -> Memoirs3131636285
23. Science Fiction & Fantasy -> Science Fiction -> Science Fiction2029316377
24. Romance -> Paranormal -> Vampires5533556575
25. Literature & Fiction -> Genre Fiction -> Sagas4024416723
26. Nonfiction -> Biographies & Memoirs -> Memoirs3430456848
27. Romance -> Inspirational -> Romance4450886921
28. Romance -> Collections & Anthologies5724076976
29. Health, Fitness & Dieting -> Diets & Weight Loss -> 20932947031
30. Literature & Fiction -> Action & Adventure -> Science Fiction2031007039
31. Romance -> Mystery & Suspense -> Mystery1736577148
32. Literature & Fiction -> Religious & Inspirational Fiction -> Christian -> Romance3346447255
33. Literature & Fiction -> Action & Adventure -> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Thriller2127747445
34. Romance -> Historical Romance -> Regency19739767585
35. Religion & Spirituality -> Christianity -> Christian -> Romance4349487632
36. Teen & Young Adult -> Literature & Fiction -> Action & Adventure328457767
37. Teen & Young Adult -> Romance -> Paranormal & Fantasy11940777793
38. Literature & Fiction -> Religious & Inspirational Fiction -> Romance3350417829
39. Literature & Fiction -> Literary Fiction -> Historical2336077847
40. Nonfiction -> Religion & Spirituality -> Christianity -> Christian -> Romance3449658051
41. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Thrillers -> Psychological7539158129
42. Literature & Fiction -> United States -> American2135488708
43. Romance -> Military5433358969
44. Literature & Fiction -> Contemporary Fiction -> American1936349038
45. Literature & Fiction -> Historical Fiction -> United States2339739050
46. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Mystery -> Private Investigators13345639067
47. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Thrillers -> Espionage943339084
48. Teen & Young Adult -> Romance -> Contemporary1442319133
49. Literature & Fiction -> Women -> Sagas7031649133
50. Literature & Fiction -> Genre Fiction -> Urban68049359302
51. Teen & Young Adult -> Science Fiction & Fantasy -> Fantasy -> Paranormal & Urban9144299322
52. Romance -> Sports8841219544
53. Science Fiction & Fantasy -> Science Fiction -> Post-Apocalyptic37454110210
54. Science Fiction & Fantasy -> Fantasy -> Sword & Sorcery426486510219
55. Literature & Fiction -> Action & Adventure -> Fantasy88589810693
56. Literature & Fiction -> Action & Adventure -> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Suspense21429011169
57. Literature & Fiction -> Action & Adventure -> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Mystery21477211363
58. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Mystery -> Hard-Boiled114500111392
59. Science Fiction & Fantasy -> Science Fiction -> Dystopian37500611453
60. Science Fiction & Fantasy -> Science Fiction -> Space Opera71577511691
61. Literature & Fiction -> African American -> Romance689593011705
62. Romance -> Romance583533611764
63. Literature & Fiction -> United States -> African American -> Romance680584911775
64. Literature & Fiction -> Short Stories -> Single Authors56719512051
65. Literature & Fiction -> African American -> Urban689604112147
66. Literature & Fiction -> Literary Fiction -> Women31546712182
67. Nonfiction -> Religion & Spirituality -> Christianity -> Christian -> Historical34666012206
68. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Thrillers -> Legal7447512230
69. Literature & Fiction -> Genre Fiction -> War20587412393
70. Romance -> Paranormal -> Witches & Wizards135552412500
71. Literature & Fiction -> United States -> African American -> Urban680622912573
72. Gay & Lesbian -> Fiction -> Romance -> Gay457801112850
73. Literature & Fiction -> Religious & Inspirational Fiction -> Christian -> Historical33685612998
74. Religion & Spirituality -> Christianity -> Christian -> Historical43675213061
75. Literature & Fiction -> Genre Fiction -> Fiction -> Gay444823813208
76. Romance -> Gay455821713693
77. Teen & Young Adult -> Science Fiction & Fantasy -> Science Fiction -> Dystopian3363013913
78. Gay & Lesbian -> Fiction -> Gay457805713922
79. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Thrillers -> Crime292569314320
80. Literature & Fiction -> Historical Fiction -> Religious33742114560
81. Literature & Fiction -> Religious & Inspirational Fiction -> Religious33742114560
82. Literature & Fiction -> Genre Fiction -> Fiction -> Romance -> Gay444755814604
83. Religion & Spirituality -> Christianity -> Christian Living -> Spiritual Growth385650214759
84. Self-Help -> Personal Transformation320720514985
85. Nonfiction -> Health, Fitness & Dieting -> Diets & Weight Loss -> Diets -> Weight Loss259736015155
86. Nonfiction -> Health, Fitness & Dieting -> Diets & Weight Loss -> Diets -> Weight Maintenance259735615316
87. Nonfiction -> Self-Help -> Personal Transformation300750515378
88. Nonfiction -> Self-Help -> Motivational300781115629
89. Literature & Fiction -> Historical Fiction -> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense110866815687
90. Literature & Fiction -> Horror -> Occult3787715805
91. Self-Help -> Motivational331764215869
92. Romance -> Multicultural & Interracial116736216209
93. Science Fiction & Fantasy -> Fantasy -> Fairy Tales187876516514
94. Science Fiction & Fantasy -> Fantasy -> Historical45831216819
95. Literature & Fiction -> Action & Adventure -> War & Military211032917364
96. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Mystery -> Historical1101168917840
97. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Mystery -> British Detectives410936818014
98. Romance -> Historical Romance -> Scottish880797118100
99. Literature & Fiction -> Literary Fiction -> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense41629518718
100. Nonfiction -> Religion & Spirituality -> Christianity -> Christian Living -> Spiritual Growth471669018765

If you like this post, you might like our post on the 100 least competitive Amazon Kindle categories as well.

Note: Amazon’s sales rankings are updated hourly, so if you check the store right now, the numbers may have changed. This list is just to give you a general idea of what the most competitive Amazon Kindle bestseller lists are.

What You Can Learn About the Kindle Ebook Market From This List

You might have noticed that the list is dominated by fiction categories. There are only 12 non-fiction categories out of the Top 100 most competitive categories on Amazon Kindle, and the Top 21 are all fiction!

That just makes sense because the fiction market is so big.

The #1 most competitive nonfiction list is Biographies & Memoirs -> Memoirs, which is dominated by celebrity memoirs like Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In.

What you might also notice if you start browsing these categories on Amazon is that many of the top books in these competitive categories are by self published and independently published authors. The big publishers aren’t dominating like they used to.

New self published authors like Hugh Howey, J. S. Cooper, H. M. Ward and countless others are outselling traditionally published authors in many cases on Amazon Kindle. So you don’t have to have a big publisher behind you to become a bestselling author.

It’s a whole new world out there for authors…

Want to learn more about how to get your Kindle and Physical books to rank well in the Amazon store?

Learn more about The Simple System for Getting Your Kindle Ebooks to Rank on Amazon’s Bestseller Lists with Bestseller Ranking Pro.

Bestseller Ranking Pro Amazon Bestseller List Market Research Tool

 

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