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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, my thanks to all on this board for your helpful threads, good nature, and fun moments (some of them, laugh-out-loud … I'm looking at YOU, George Berger and Dalya Moon). Once in a while I post something if I feel it might be useful, but mostly I lurk, listen, and learn.

Anyway, back to feeling clueless …

I uploaded my first book to KDP about 15 months ago. Mid-grade fiction, but d***it, I wanted 'ages 9-12' as a category. I wanted it to show up in the bold book description list the way it did for Random House and HarperCollins. So I asked KDP for it and I got it … as a category (not part of the bold list), which meant I had scant chance of showing up in it, but I didn't know that back then.

Live and learn, etc.

Luckily, the other category I chose was Juvenile Fiction/Animals/Horses, which is where my book belonged. During the next 15 months, I wrote and uploaded 4 more books in the series, and put them in the Juvenile Fiction/Animals/Horses category along with Juvenile Fiction/Sports/Equestrian. Good choices. I didn't ask KDP for 'ages 9-12' any more.

But now I'm wondering if it has come back to bite me for book #1.

After just over a year of being in the top 10 of the "children's ebooks/animals/horses" category, book #1 fell off a cliff. Its current overall ranking (18,000) would place it at #7 or #8 in the animals/horses category, but it's no longer showing up there. My other 4 books are (they rank between 8,000 and 25,000); one is at #3 overall in the category, and is #1 for 'hot new releases' this month. The other 3 are in the top 3-15 most every day … for which I am humbly grateful (yea, for horse-crazy kids who love to read!)

OK … so I figure that book #1 has become separated from its proper categories.

I checked the metadata for this book (all was fine) and reuploaded it, and KDP sent me a nice email a few hours later saying the book was now 'live'. I checked the rankings. Nope … still nothing. I waited a day to see if it would self-correct (it didn't), then I sent KDP another email. They sent me a canned response, so I emailed again and tried to explain the issue. Another canned response. I uploaded again … then again. I checked my metadata. Finally, I took screenshots of the BISAC categories I chose in the metadata and pasted that into my latest email in the hopes they would understand what has gone wrong (no response yet).

I've searched the KDP threads and discovered that others have had the same problem. Their books' categories just disappear one day, for no apparent reason. Getting them back, it appears, is an arduous process. I know that if you push for categories that aren't listed on the BISAC list, KDP will allow you to list your book as 'non-classifiable', then email them with the ones you want, and they will provide them.

But when you do that, they appear to be cast in concrete. No matter how many times you change them in your metadata, the ones that KDP chose for you take precedence. The categories I want (and have used for the past 15 months on my other books) are part of the BISAC list and my first book was in one of them for over a year … until it disappeared.

Has anyone else had this happen? If so, do you have any advice on how to deal with it?

ps: my apologies for such a long rant.
 

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I have no idea about the categories, but you might want to request a phone call from them instead of an email. I've asked some really specific questions recently and gotten form responses. (I think they're onto me.)

And I sold 4 middle-grade books this month. MG will happen! :)
 

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Maggie Dana said:
I've searched the KDP threads and discovered that others have had the same problem. Their books' categories just disappear one day, for no apparent reason. Getting them back, it appears, is an arduous process. I know that if you push for categories that aren't listed on the BISAC list, KDP will allow you to list your book as 'non-classifiable', then email them with the ones you want, and they will provide them.

But when you do that, they appear to be cast in concrete. No matter how many times you change them in your metadata, the ones that KDP chose for you take precedence.
I think this is true, but I also think you can write to KDP again and request another change. For instance, I asked KDP to put my book in fantasy > series, which is not accessible through the bookshelf. If I decided I wanted it in fantasy > urban instead, which normally is accessible through the bookshelf (but isn't for me because KDP has been in there monkeying with it by hand), I could write to KDP and ask them to make that change -- drop "series," insert "urban." This is to say, I don't think just having KDP do the categories for you is a major problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Dalya and Becca. I'll email again and if that fails I'll try the phone call approach.

Well done, Dalya, on the mid-grade sales. I think more and more kids are reading ebooks these days.
 
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