SPS-206: Keywords and Categories: Why You Need to Know Them – with Dave Chesson

The keywords and categories for your book may not be something you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. But as this week’s guest Dave Chesson points out, Amazon is not just an online store, it’s a search engine. Spending some time figuring out what search terms your readers will be using can help you sell more books.

Show Notes

  • Creating a business out of trying to understand Amazon’s algorithms
  • The four areas where Publisher Rocket helps authors
  • Why BISAC categories matter and how they dovetail with Amazon’s categories
  • Why book categories matter
  • Getting specific with demographics to sell more books
  • Making sure all parts of your book’s presentation line up with its genre and categories

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Show’s Patreon page

COMING SOON! SPF MERCH: Get your SPF t-shirt, which was inspired by Mark’s favourite email troll this year.

KINDLEPRENEUR: Find out more about Dave Chesson and Publisher Rocket at


Speaker 1: On this edition of the Self-Publishing Show.

Dave Chesson: Say there’s 5,000 people on Amazon and they’re searching for one type of book and there’s no book that truly speaks to them. You don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway or you don’t have to be the greatest writer ever. You just have to address their needs, and you just have to do it enough to be clear and concise and to solve their problem.

Speaker 1: Publishing is changing. No more gatekeepers. No more barriers. No one standing between you and your readers. Do you want to make a living from your writing? Join indie bestseller Mark Dawson, and first-time author
James Blatch, as they shine a light on the secrets of self publishing success.

This is the Self-Publishing Show. There’s never been a better time to be a writer.

James Blatch: Hello and welcome to the final Self-Publishing Show episode of 2019. My name is James Blatch.

Mark Dawson: My name is the ghost of Christmas future.

James Blatch: The guest of new year future now?

Mark Dawson: New year future, yes. Or Mark Dawson. It depends which … I answer to both.

James Blatch: This episode is going out in the hinterland between Christmas and New Year. I hope you’ve had a good few days. Hopefully a good few days off, a restful few days. Although, maybe not. You may have been working over that time. And looking forward to 2020. I wonder how many companies came up with their 2020 vision.

Mark Dawson: About a million probably, yes. I don’t know.

I’m looking forward to 2020, but I’m just merging from one year into the next. I don’t think I’ve ever been one for setting specific goals from one year to the next. Projects continue, new things have been planned for ages, they just get done.

James Blatch: Yeah. And it all does speed up a bit as you get old. Especially as soon as you have children, I think, years start ripping by. Although they might start slowing down for us again. Emily is 16 now, so she’s not too far away from going off to university if she gets good grades.

Mark Dawson: Right, yeah.

James Blatch: The next stage.

Mark Dawson: Yes.

James Blatch: Good. Well, where are we now? December 27th I think this is going to go out on. I want to, first of all, welcome some Patreon supporters. I may have done Lynne Davis twice, but I’m going to say welcome Lynne.

Mark Dawson: Lynne Davie, what?

James Blatch: You know what I mean.

Mark Dawson: I do. I do know what you mean.

James Blatch: Also want to say a welcome to our Patreon supporters, to Austin Baileo, which is a great name, Jen Carter, Sarah Jane Weldon, Emmerson Korum, and Ivy Nelson. There’s some good names there. I can see-

Mark Dawson: Sarah Weldon has been very helpful with the live shows, so a special shout-out to Sarah. And to everybody else, but yeah, Sarah’s helped us a lot with finding a venue for the live show. Which, as we roll into 2020, to continue that little-

James Blatch: It’s close.

Mark Dawson: It’s very, very close to a thousand authors descending on the South Bank of the Thames to hear us waffle on about publishing. Which I suppose I should start programing that soon.

James Blatch: Yes.

Mark Dawson: Everyone’s bought tickets and they don’t know … At the moment, it could just be me talking for an hour and then you get John Dyer. We could disinter John from the cellar and he could come up and do something on, I don’t know … I really don’t know.

James Blatch: No one knows. It’ll be interesting. It’ll be a learning experience for all of us.

Mark Dawson: It would be a challenge, yes. I’ll start announcing people soon. I have been speaking to a few people. I’ve got, I think, two, three sessions pretty much planned. And it’s actually going to be quite hard, because we’ve only got 9:00 until 4:00, I think, is basically the hours we have.

So we’ll be rolling from 9:00 until 4:00. So that’s only really giving me five or six slots when lunch is taken into account, and a couple of coffee breaks. We’ll see. It’s going to be good, though. We’ve got some good ideas bubbling away.

James Blatch: We’re deep into the logistics of it all now. Excitingly, I’m not sure if it’ll be ready by the 27th. Maybe, maybe not. People have asked us about having T-shirts and merchandise-

Mark Dawson: Oh, this is good. Yeah.

James Blatch: We have decided, ahead of the conference, we are going to launch our first bit of merchandise for SPF. Well, I suppose we’ve had the mugs, but they’ve been only given to people who appear on the podcast, for instance. But these will be available to buy we think, probably, in an Amazon merchandise store. That’s all happening in the background as I speak. But they are designed based on the hierarchy of author as dictated to us in a rude email to Mark.

Many of you will have followed this story in our groups, and I think we’ve talked about it on the podcast before. But let’s put it this way, if you are earning a lot of money, you can wear a T-shirt that says you are a hippopotami.

Mark Dawson: No one is earning that much money. I can think of one person in the world, possibly, he’s at that level. Obviously that’s my aim, to get up to hippopotami status. But yeah, it’s really funny.

Shout-out to Dusty Sharp who I met at 20Books who actually put that little hierarchy together based on the infamous Christoper S. Peterson email, which is still the best email I’ve had. In my 2019 awards, the award for best email definitely goes to Christoper S. Peterson. So it is well worth looking that up in the SPF group.

Or, indeed, if you want to, I may have ranted about that at the keynote at 20Books. But if you want to be unspoiled before you come to the show in March, probably best not to watch that, because I’m going to be doing something similar to that again. But yeah, the T-shirts are amazing. I think they’re going to be really, really fun.

James Blatch: And we do this lightheartedly, in jest. I mean, it’s the way that you took the email, and the email was fairly forthright in its views. But I also don’t want, if Christopher’s listening to this and is following this, for him to feel bullied about this.

Mark Dawson: He’s not listening to this.

James Blatch: No. He’s probably not.

Mark Dawson: He’s not interested in anything with self-publishing in the title, that’s for sure.

James Blatch: But it was a wonderful set of language, and I think it enriched all our vocabularies when we read it. And so, they’re now going to be on T-shirts.

And, I’ll tell you what, let’s come up with the URL. It probably won’t be ready by the time this podcast goes out, but it might be. Who knows? But we’ll have a holding page there anyway. So if you go to, which I believe-

Mark Dawson: Store. Store.

James Blatch: … is what the kids say. Oh, store? Forward slash store?

Mark Dawson: Store. I think it’s better. Yeah.

James Blatch: Not merch? Merch is what everyone says now for this stuff.

Mark Dawson: Merch can be misspelled. Store can’t be. We’ve got to think about this.

James Blatch: Perhaps we’ll do both.

Mark Dawson: Perhaps we’ll do both. Yeah, they could both point to the same place. But yeah, we’ll have a-

James Blatch: Forward slash store, if you want. And how would you spell store?

Mark Dawson: Well, isn’t there only one way to spell store?

James Blatch: S-T-A-W? Staw.

Mark Dawson: If you’re … Yes. Yes. I was about to say, they would have given this podcast. I was about to have a back of the limousine moment there.

James Blatch: Forward slash merch.

Mark Dawson: I won’t do that again.

James Blatch: Don’t know how else you’d spell merch. But anyway. We’ll having a holding page there with a countdown to at least when we’re going to get ready. Or it might even be there, so you’ll be able to buy your T-shirts and you can wear them to the conference. It’ll be great if lots and lots of you wear these T-shirts.

Mark Dawson: Oh, it’ll be hilarious. Yeah.

James Blatch: The crew T-shirts are done. They look fantastic. They’re a bright yellow with the SPS logo on the front. Self-Publishing Show live logo on the front, and “crew” emblazoned on the back. So the crew are going to get those. The crew are also going to be working in the evening as well, going to join us on the boat, and all of that is being worked out. Might need some more hands at some point. I shall ask in the live dedicated Facebook group if we do.

James Blatch: And in February, fairly close to the event itself, probably a couple of weeks before, maybe three weeks before, we will release the last tickets. It won’t be many, but there’ll be some returns and there’ll be some that we’ve held back in case we add more guests, I imagine.

I’m sorry if you’re in America. It’s not going to be a lot of notice. But there’s no point in us doing it a long time before the event because we don’t know until quite close how many we’re going to need for guests.

I don’t know if Dave Chesson is going to join us in … Probably not. It’s quite a long way to come from Nashville. But he is somebody who does go to the … I think he’s going to try and cut down, actually, on his travel in 2020.

I think I had that conversation with him in 2019. He was a bit worn out from it. And he’s a man who puts a lot of effort into his public presentations, and had a particular onerous task, as it turned out, at NINC, due to an incident we won’t talk about at this stage.

But nonetheless, it was hard work for him. And he’s always worth listening to, because he is a man who’s mired in the granular details of categories and keywords and algorithms. Not just Amazon, wider than that as well. But a fascinating man to talk to.

We spoke to him quite early on in the podcast. One of the early guys, I think, Mark, wasn’t he? Maybe in the top 10. First 10?

Mark Dawson: Yes, possibly. He would’ve been fairly early.

James Blatch: So it’s the first time we’ve spoken to him properly since then. His product, which was called KDP Rocket, it’s now called Publisher Rocket, has changed. They’ve made quite a lot of enhancements to that. They’ve also made a few other changes to the way they operate, all of which is worth talking to him about.

So let’s hear from Dave Chesson, our lovely friend over there in Tennessee, and then Mark and I will be back for a quick chat off the back.

Hey Dave Chesson. Welcome to the Self-Publishing Show. It’s been a long time since you’ve been on this show. In fact, it was a podcast the last time … You were an early guest for us, maybe even the first 10 episodes, something like that?

Dave Chesson: Yeah, it’s been a while, and thank you for having me back.

James Blatch: It’s been too long. And we chatted in Florida at NINC, and I knew exactly what I needed to do was to get you back in, because so much has changed, right? Things have changed in granular detail, in the world you work in.

You’re right down in the weeds, in this stuff, and we’re going to talk about that today. But also just in the bigger picture of the momentum behind indie publishing. So we want to catch up with you over those issues.

Why don’t you start, though, Dave, by introducing yourself to people who may not know who you are, may not know who Kindlepreneur is, and just give us the skinny on the Chesson?

Dave Chesson: I grew up with dyslexia, so I never thought of myself as destined to be a writer. And it wasn’t until later, when I was in the military, that I started to understand some of the aspects to book marketing and how you can take your writing and get it in front of markets.

From there, I created, an advanced book marketing website. I’m also the creator behind Publisher Rocket, which is software that helps authors to market their books and understand what’s going on inside of Amazon, and now I’m here today.

James Blatch: Excellent. Now you brushed across your military career there. We speak to some people who had a couple of years here and there in the services.

You were proper frontline stuff, weren’t you? Tell us about that.

Dave Chesson: Sure. Well, I started off in submarines. I was a nuclear engineer for a bit. And I moved into military diplomacy. I became a Chinese specialist, became fluent in Mandarin Chinese, which is a lot of fun when you go to the Chinese restaurant. They don’t expect you to know.

James Blatch: I bet they don’t.

Dave Chesson: And I was deployed all over. I was in places like Korea, Sri Lanka, spent some time in Taiwan, the Maldives.

And then finally, about 11 years after that, I got out of active duty, and I’m now at home with my kids, which was my number one objective when I started writing, was to be able to make enough income to be able to be home and stop missing out on birthdays and Christmases. I’m making up for them as we speak.

James Blatch: Yeah. Superb.

Tell us about your writing, then? There’s some marine action in your writing?

Dave Chesson: Well, a bit. What’s funny is the first book I ever wrote, I was actually on a South Korean warship, patrolling near the northern lines. So, I mean, it’s really a testament to you can write anywhere.

I remember one particular storm, just rocking back and forth and just typing away on my little keyboard inside of my little puka hole of an officer’s quarters. And just thinking, “Is this going to be it? Is someone like me going to be able to really translate all this time and energy and effort and passion and make it into something that allows me to be home?” So it was really cool. It was quite an experience.

James Blatch: Where are you with your own writing now?

Dave Chesson: Well, I do a lot of Kindlepreneur. So I’m always analyzing and studying. I’ve also started to do a whole bunch of consulting. So I’ve been able to work with Ted Dekker, Orson Stock Card, and Kevin J. Anderson, who is just a phenomenal person. I’m going to be meeting up with some other people here later, in a couple of months, and I’m really jazzed about those as well.

And finally, and still, I get to sit down and write some books here and there, and just play with things and test things. A lot of my focus, as you know from a lot of my content, is I really just want to see, if I do this, what does this do? And can anybody do that? Can it be replicated? Does it change over time? And so, I do a lot of experimenting.

James Blatch: Just before we move off your writing, Dave, just tell us about the dyslexia, how it affects you in terms of writing and what you do to overcome that and then carry on writing?

Dave Chesson: Actually, a lot of it was just an emotional barrier. There’s a lot of different forms of dyslexia, but mine comes down into kind of hand-eye coordination. And if you ever watch me write, it’s agonizing for people because my penmanship’s everywhere and it goes in different ways. I don’t know.

But when you’re a kid, and you know you have that problem and everybody points it out or makes fun of it, whether they’re trying to be funny or not, you just start to have this internal belief that you’re just not meant for this, that this is not your thing.

And so, you decide to start focusing on others. That’s actually a reason why I went into physics. And I jokingly said it, but I really meant it was, “I chose physics as my major in college because it was the furthest I could get from English.” I could’ve said math, but those two are hand-in-hand. And it wasn’t until later that I started to realize that maybe that was just me. Maybe that was my own mental block, that was my own thing that was holding me back.

Now, don’t get me wrong. My writing has been about understanding what it is people want. I’m still not good enough to be able to sit down and write anything I want. I’m not Ernest Hemingway by any means. But one thing that’s really helped me is the understanding of, if there are … Say there’s 5,000 people on Amazon, and they’re searching for one type of book, and there’s no book that truly speaks to them. You don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway or you don’t have to be the greatest writer ever. You just have to address their needs, and you just have to do it enough to be clear and concise and to solve their problem.

And that is exactly what really started to take my writing in a new direction, and that’s when I realized I don’t have to be that person, but I can still sell and I can still help people. And that was the turning point for me.

James Blatch: So that brings us onto the work that you’ve done. One of the many industries that’s springing up around the indie writing world, which is growing phenomenally quickly at the moment, and you, right from the beginning, and I can see the kind of engineering aspect to this. You were into that, as I said at the beginning, granular detail, talking about, “Well, here’s your book. There are some readers out there. And even if it’s 0.001%, that’s still a lot of readers. The trick is finding them.”

I think that’s what drove you in your early days, particularly with the software?

Dave Chesson: Yeah, absolutely. When I knew that there was a certain number of people that were looking for my kind of book and there was nothing they were getting, it was like the true motivation for continuing to move forward on it.

If you think about it, there are a lot of authors who have no idea if this effort, if this time and money they’re putting into it is even going to help them, or if it’s going to succeed, or if it’s going to be a stepping stone to something greater.

For me, on the other hand, it was enough information for me to feel confident that I could at least do that, and that I would see some type of return on my effort, and that I could grow from there. So it gave me the confidence booster I needed to move forward.

And, again, it also allowed me to not stop myself, not let the inner demons come in and tell me, “You’re not good enough.” Or, “You barely passed English in high school. What makes you think that you should be an author, for that matter?”

James Blatch: Let’s talk about what you did do, then, in practical terms, to help yourself and to help others.

What came first for you? Was it Kindlepreneur or was it KDP Rocket, which is now Publisher Rocket?

Dave Chesson: It was actually Kindlepreneur first. I did a lot of Excel sheets to try to help me understand what’s going on in the market. And I started Kindlepreneur because I didn’t see anybody analyzing Amazon like that.

A lot of people were just analyzing on the book front, on how to write and how to, maybe, format your book and then self-publish it.

But I wanted to understand, why does Amazon choose one book over another? Why do they show this book instead of this book? Why is it that this book, which is better than this book, is not being seen? Is not selling as well?

That’s what really got me started into digging, and I started to write articles discussing it, talking about it, testing and things like that. But it wasn’t until about a year and a half later that I started to decide that I wanted to build Publisher Rocket.

And let’s face it, most authors are not happy with using Excel sheets, are not happy going and grabbing numbers, when truly they just want to go back to writing their book.

I realized I needed to find a better or easier way to be able to help authors quickly see what they need to see so that they spend less time searching around on Amazon and grabbing numbers and filling Excel sheets and can spend more time on writing their books. So we started creating Publisher Rocket.

At the time, I was actually in Sri Lanka, which was pretty cool because that’s where I met my programming team and we started putting this together. And since then, there’s been so many changes. Not just because Amazon is very dynamic and always changing, but it’s also been kind of like, as an author myself, saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do this?” Or, “Wouldn’t it be nice if, maybe instead of having to do this, this program could do it for us?”

And so, we’ve seen a lot of new features, a lot of new aspects, improvements, and all those things just coming into play.

James Blatch: Explain to us what Publisher Rocket does.

Dave Chesson: Publisher Rocket was designed to help authors in four main areas.

The first is to help find their keywords, and those are the words that Amazon used in order to put your book on their website and where it shows up.

The second is to help understand your competition. So if you want to know how much money other books are making or who you’d be competing against for a keyword, that sort of thing, it can help you understand what’s going on there.

The third is help find your categories. And, right now, in the US, there’s over 14,000 different Amazon categories. And what’s crazy is is that there are a lot of categories that people’s books truly could be a part of, but Amazon doesn’t make finding those 14,000 categories very easy. So we did.

And it can also help you to understand how many books you need to sell in order to be number one. And pretty soon, very soon, we’re going to have a new update that’s actually going to give all historical data for all the categories, so people can see trend analysis and make better decisions that way.

And the fourth and final way is that we help with Amazon ads. So, to do Amazon ads right, authors have to continuously update their advertisement, their campaigns. They need to search for new and trending words so that they can find competitive advantage. Our program was designed to help pull effective and efficient keywords for them.

James Blatch: And just explain to us about the 14,000 categories? Because, of course, most people, if they upload a book to KDP for the first time, they’ll see … I don’t know how many it is, but not 14,000. They’ll see a selection of categories. And they’ll probably even at that stage be scratching their head a bit about where they place their book.

But you’re talking about these hidden from view categories?

Dave Chesson: Yeah. Actually, that pop-up box that you see when you go in to publish your book is not Amazon categories. Those are actually BISACs.

BISACs are the international standard code for categories. And the reason why they exist is that, imagine two different book stores, right? We’ll say Barnes & Noble and a local store. Barnes & Noble may have 300 different categories, or we’ll say different aisles, right? And the local bookstore only has 25. So how do you, as a publisher, make sure to archive your book in a certain code, or BISAC?

And that’s why they developed it. So when publishers create their books, they’ll select a book for a BISAC, which is the universally accepted category, and the store will usually convert that BISAC into their particular category. So when you go to upload your book, you’re actually choosing a BISAC, and then when you publish it, Amazon will convert it into one of their so-called Amazon categories.

Now, interesting enough is that most of the time, the BISAC is pretty much exactly like the Amazon category, but there are a lot out there that actually aren’t like the BISAC and you just get pigeonholed into something. And if you’re only using the BISAC codes when you go to publish, you’re only accessing … And it’s about 5,000 categories, which means you’re not competing with the other, what, 9,000 categories out there?

So the only people benefiting from those are the ones that get lucky and get put into one of those, or the ones who know how to ask Amazon and get placed in the categories they want.

James Blatch: So that’s my next obvious question here. You have to ask Amazon, and this is a sort of manual process.

And where do you find a list of these?

Dave Chesson: So that’s the thing, the list doesn’t exist. That was one of the hard things and one of our big offerings inside of Rocket is is that you not only can access 14,000, but we have filters to help you quickly find the right categories and have them all listed out for you.

But the big thing is, there’s two ways that you can get put into a category. One is, like we talked about, is you select from your BISACs, and Amazon will put you into whatever they think.

Another one is is where you use keywords. There are certain categories, and Amazon does have a link that shows you which categories require which keywords. And if you choose one of those keywords, in time Amazon will naturally just put you into it.

But the best one is where you actually contact them, and you can do it through Author Central. There’s another link as well. But if you just type into Google like, “How to add 10 categories to your book”, you’ll find either a video from myself or an article that will show you step-by-step.

And what’s really neat about the process is is that when you do this, there’s a designated spot just for this aspect. And, if you’re in the United States, you can actually get Amazon to call you on the phone with a human, and the human will actually talk to you for the specific purpose of saying, “Great. Which categories would you like to be a part of?” And within an hour, your book is updated.

The other way is that there’s a special form you fill out. You tell them which categories you want. You have to give them the full string. And they’ll, within 24 hours, take care of it. So this one’s really cool because not only is it faster, not only are you not having to hope that Amazon gets the clue in your nudging, but also you don’t have to burn keywords for those. We found that if it is a category that requires a keyword, so long as you ask for it, that trumps needing a keyword.

So you use that process, you don’t have to select your keywords based off of category recommendations, but you might want to think about it anyways.

James Blatch: I love the idea that the folks at Amazon are laughing now that you think it’s a human ringing. “We’ve got it past him. He thinks Robot 567.3 version 17 is human.”

Dave Chesson: It’s sort of like my internal joke, because it’s so rare to get a human who their job is actually this one particular thing you’re calling about. Most of the time, you have to get thrown through this giant chain of people. It’s like, “Oh, you’re talking about that? I’m sorry, that’s not this department. We’ll send you over to here.”

James Blatch: Because humans are expensive.

Dave Chesson: That’s right. And especially humans in your native region can also be an oddity. But it’s amazing because they’ll call you, and immediately they know what you’re here to talk about. They’re ready, and they respond. I’m just like, “High five. This is great.”

James Blatch: They should run some other businesses like that.

Dave Chesson: Absolutely.

James Blatch: So, how important are categories?

How important is it to do this stage and get your book into these categories, even if they’re the hidden ones?

Dave Chesson: Categories can help in a couple of ways. But I’m going to be honest with you. I don’t find categories to be this holy grail, amazing book marketing, changes the world because you got it right.

Where categories help is a couple of things. Number one is you can choose certain categories that will give you a much greater chance of being a bestseller. Now, that could be very important for a lot of people, especially for just establishing their legitimacy in their writing.

I remember when I told my muzzy, and that’s my grandmother, I call her my muzzy, but when I told Muzzy that I was leaving the military because I was going to write, she was worried. She thought I was being, shall we say, selfish, that I was thinking about just something and not taking care of my family.

And I would tell her how much I was making from my books, and it just didn’t register. But when I told her I was an Amazon bestseller, she stopped asking me if I needed money.

James Blatch: Yeah.

Dave Chesson: And then she started talking about me to her bridge friends. And I was the author, instead of the boy that’s making a wrong decision type thing. That’s not to say that I pulled one over my muzzy there by telling her that.

But, to a lot of people, it’s a legitimate aspect. It shows that you did something, that you have some success in what you’re doing. So, for some authors, that could be a huge thing, especially if you’re trying to convince your spouse in allowing you to do this, or giving you a bit more time.

James Blatch: It’s motivational as well for the individual.

Who doesn’t want to see that little tick?

Dave Chesson: Oh, it really is. Honestly, the high that I got when I first saw the word bestseller next to my book, right? I mean, it was great. It’s a feeling that I’ll never forget. So there is that part.

But here’s the marketing aspect of it. I love that when I am a bestseller, because I get the bestseller tag. That means that my book sticks out more, especially in the search results on Amazon. So as people are searching and they’re scrolling, your book has this weird little thing that sticks out a bit more than the others, which means your book gets more attention, which means your book will have higher chance of click, which means your book has a higher chance of sales.

The other thing that I love about the bestseller tag, too, is that it’s like social proof on Amazon. When you are a bestseller, people can see it, and they feel like, “Oh, well other people have verified that this a good book since it’s been bought,” which means that what might be a hang-up isn’t, because they feel better or more secure about that purchase. So you’re going to have higher conversion rates.

So the bestseller tag can help you increase your conversion rates and your sales as well. So choosing your categories has a direct effect on that. You choose the wrong category and no matter how many you sell, you might never get to the bestsellers status, but you choose the right one and you might already be there.

Another thing that I like about selecting the right categories is that it also helps you to show up in something like the hot new aspect. So if you’re a new author and you’ve just published, you’re going to get shown a bit more. If people are searching inside categories, they’re going to see that you’re hot and, again, that can increase your sales as well.

Do I think that categories by themselves drive more sales? I don’t think so. Right now, we’re analyzing the numbers. It’s one of the cool parts about that historical data in Rocket is that we’re analyzing the numbers and I’m finding that, really, only five percent of categories are responsible for a direct sale.

What I mean by that is that people were actually looking at the categories and saying, “Oh, man, my favorite category is space marines.” And this is actually true. I do do this, I’m that nerdy. I will go to Amazon’s space marine category and I will look at the top 25, 50 books in that category, because that’s my kind of science fiction. I’m not just a sci-fi fan. I like it when it’s sci-fi military with space marines.

And if your book is in that category, you have a much higher chance of being my kind of book. So there are categories out there that really do have fans that really do go to them. And I would say a majority of those are fiction. So, in that respect, a properly chosen category can direct sales more so in fiction. But we’re talking a very small percentage here.

James Blatch: And there is a little bit of sneakiness that goes on by some people, and I don’t know whether this is really wrong or just something they do to place themselves in a category that not really suitable for their book, but will give them a chance of getting that bestseller tag.

I think I saw, we had an example on the show recently of a … I think it was a saucy romance book with a guy with a wood plane in his hands and his naked torso and they put it into the woodwork category, and it got the bestseller tag, just to achieve that.

I don’t know what your views on that are, but I know some people do it just for a little bit of a joke.

Dave Chesson: No. I think that if you want your book to be respectable, then you’re going to be respectful of the category you put yourself in. Nothing worse than shoppers going … Like, I would be appalled or pretty ticked off if I go to the space marine category and I see a scantily clad man at the helm of a starship.

James Blatch: I bet you’d love to see that.

Dave Chesson: And just be like, “Come on.”

James Blatch: Well, what if it’s a-

Dave Chesson: Well, maybe. No.

James Blatch: A marine outboard engine. That’s not the same … The wrong marine.

Dave Chesson: Wrong marine, exactly. But those kind of things can really affect the shopper’s experience and nothing I do here is something that I want to make it where we ruin the shopper’s experience.

I think it’s very important for authors to really think about that, because if you truly want your book to be legitimate and seen as legitimate, especially inside the author community as well, make sure that you choose categories that truly fit. And there’s 14,000 of them.

James Blatch: Yes, there’ll be some there.

Dave Chesson: I promise you, you don’t have to pull wool over people’s eyes in order to get there. Just know that they’re there, and they really are.

One thing I will say that’s really crazy about categories is that there’s what I like to call main categories, and then subcategories. And main categories are like your big dogs. Like science fiction and fantasy is a main category. Romance is a main category.

And then subcategories are what comes after that. And sometimes they can be called like sub, sub categories, or sub, sub, sub, sub, sub … because there’s a whole slew of words that come after it.

Well, what’s crazy is that you will find a lot of legitimate science fiction categories, subcategories, inside of things like science fiction and fantasy, young adult, literature and fiction, and a whole bunch of other main categories. And it’s crazy because no authors would ever think to look there. They’ll go into science fiction and fantasy and just look at the select ones that are there.

But you’ll find them in things. You’ll even find science fiction in nonfiction categories, which is a bit weird, considering that it … but it’s like, whatever. The point is is that they’re all over the place inside of Amazon. They’re just not localized in one main category.

James Blatch: Okay. So good advice. Now, that’s the categories, which is a part of Publisher Rocket. But, as you say, that’s not the whole thing.

What else are people getting, bearing in mind you said that the categories are not the be-all and end-all?

Dave Chesson: The other thing is the keyword feature. We talked a bit about this, but when you select your keywords, and that’s the seven keywords you place in your KDP when you’re publishing your book, that’s your way of directly telling Amazon, “Hey, Amazon. When people type this is into Amazon, show my book, please. I would like my book to show up for it.” One of the words for this is called indexed.

And when you get Amazon to index your book, it means it will show up somewhere in that search. It could be on the first page of Amazon, which is awesome, or it could be on the 99th page of the search results. And what you get indexed for, and where you get ranked, is a direct way of … or a direct effect on your sales.

We found statistically that if you rank number one for a keyword, that 37% of the people that type in that keyword will click on your book.

James Blatch: Wow.

Dave Chesson: If you rank number two, though, it quickly drops down to 13%. And you start to see this line. It just goes down. And being on the second page, you’re looking at maybe a one percent chance. So it’s a really big thing to not only select keywords that shoppers type in, but also ones where you can actually benefit from them and show up on the first page. And so, we designed this feature alone to give you that information.

It tells you what shoppers type into Amazon, how many shoppers type it into Amazon. So you can see numbers instead of just guess and hope.

You can even look at how much money the books are making that rank for that keyword. And finally, we have a competition score from zero to 100 which gives you an indication of how hard would it be for me to beat out those books and show up at the top? How much work would I need to put in to making it rank at the top?

Authors can now start to make better decisions about keywords. And a lot of times, authors will find that the phrases they were going after just nobody’s typing that in. Nobody cares. And so, they would’ve been wasting and burning a huge opportunity right from the get-go and just not even know it.

James Blatch: And unlike the categories, this is important, because Amazon is a search engine.

Dave Chesson: Absolutely. Yeah. There’s a couple of ways that people shop. The first thing is, they know what book they’re looking for and they type in that title in the search bar and then Amazon will usually present that one.

But the other thing that happens, too, is that while you’re looking, you’re also looking at the other books that come up. Maybe you got it as a referral from a friend that they were saying, “You should check out this book.” But it turns out the book under it is the one you actually totally jive with.

Another way is that, especially for the hardcore people, speaking of fiction specifically, but I have a certain type of book that I look for. Sure, I can dig in the categories, or I can also start to use terms like, for me, it’s space marine bug hunt, because I love the space marines and aliens. I like the movie Aliens. And so, I have the phrases that I help to describe.

What we find with newer shoppers, when they’re deciding that they want a book, they’ll usually go to Amazon and type in something like fantasy, and then they’ll look up what Amazon presents and they’re like, “Okay, yeah. This isn’t my kind of fantasy. I was thinking more like elves and goblins fantasy.” So that’ll be their next one.

And they’re like, “Okay, well, all right. There’s some romance showing up in here. I don’t want that. I want some war in there. So how about wizards and war?” And so they start putting those words in there.

And what’s interesting is that the buying path of the shopper starts to go from something super broad, and it will dwindle down to something very niche, until finally they start to see results that mimic what they have in their mind.

This process and this path is huge, because if you truly are a book that represents exactly what this person’s looking for and you know this and you have positioned yourself there, you will not only have the higher chance of getting the click, but you’ll actually have a higher chance of getting the purchase, because you represent exactly that.

The same thing can be said about nonfiction. As a matter of fact, nonfiction is a lot easier. People go to Amazon and most of the time they’re not looking for a particular book. They’re looking for a solution. They’re looking to answer a pain point.

So they go to Amazon and they just type in like, “How to use Scrivener,” or, “How to market a book,” or, “How to stop smoking,” or, “How to get a beach body”. And Amazon, of course, knows these aren’t products. They know that, and so they start showing books and which book they choose to show and how well you speak to that customer is going to be the deciding factor of whether or not you make it sales or not.

One of the things I love most about keywords in nonfiction is demographics. Oh my gosh. This is like the best source ever. Because, with demographics, people never think about that. They just think about the pain point, but they don’t think about who it is that’s asking the pain point.

Years ago, one of the books that I was going to write and I just never got around to was, Evernote was hot. There were a lot of people searching for Evernote on Amazon because it was a great tool, it still kind of is, but they’ve changed a lot of things. They’re not as hot anymore. The market doesn’t love it as much. But back then, it was. There were a lot of books that were popping up all over the place on just how to use Evernote.

Me, on the other hand, knowing full well that I don’t have this huge background, I’m not famous for Evernote, I’ve just enjoyed it, using it in writing, used it when I was getting my master’s degree, I thought, “All right. I could either compete against these 700 other books that are on the same exact subject and fight against these powerhouses like Idiot’s Guide to Evernote and all these others, or maybe if I just understand who’s typing this in, or maybe for what purpose, I might have a better angle.”

I found that on Amazon, there was actually over a hundred people a month typing in Evernote for lawyers. Or, there was even more typing in Evernote for students, Evernote for authors, Evernote for project managers.

So, I could take my idea and augment it and speak to a specific person and pretty much be the only game in town, and therefore the book that really gets the purchase. Or I could just write another Evernote and just have to be a marketing genius and totally beat out all the 700 other books that are trying to compete for the same thing.

That’s really the beauty of it. I think that it helps you to write a better book because you understand who it is that you’re going to be writing for, as well as basically being the only one that truly speaks to that market.

Imagine yourself that you’re a student and you’re looking to figure out how to use Evernote to help you with your class or your grades or your master’s degree. Which book are you going to choose? The one that just says how to use Evernote, or how about, “How to use Evernote for students”?

Well, obviously, this is the one that not only is going to teach me, but it’s for me. So, again, understanding that market can not only help you to write a better book, it can not only give you the understanding of what’s to come and what’s to expect, but it can also help you that once you do launch it, you can position it to new people.

After your email list is spent, after all your marketing tactics, senior launch tactics happen, let’s have Amazon continue to help make those sales days later, months later, years later, after I’m all done and working on my next book.

James Blatch: That’s a great reminder for people in the nonfiction space that niche … “Show me the niches,” as they say, “I’ll show you the riches.” The answering questions, being the answer to that search term is how you should start your business, how you should start thinking about how you present yourself.

Just going back a little bit on choosing the keywords, and a very important point I just want you to emphasize again is that it’s all very well finding sexy keywords.

There’s got to be an alignment between your product and those keywords.

Dave Chesson: Oh, absolutely. I mean, you could find this amazing keyword, and it could be perfect. There might be a giant market for it. You might think the competition isn’t there. But if your book isn’t about that, it’s never going to help you.

James Blatch: It’s going to hurt actually, isn’t it?

Dave Chesson: Exactly. All that’s going to happen is that that Amazon shopper’s going to type it in, and they’re going to look at the books, and they’re going to be like, “Well, obviously this isn’t the book,” and they’ll just retype another thing.

If no book actually addresses their need, they’re just going to try to change their search again until they maybe find what they’re looking for. Or they’ll give up on Amazon and go somewhere else, or go back to the giant Google search or something.

James Blatch: Or if you’re really unlucky, they’ll buy your book and leave a bad review because of that mismatch between expectation and delivery.

Dave Chesson: Yes. Now, there’s this thing I call the symbiotic relationship. This is one of my favorite things about it. So you’ve got to put yourself in the path of the shopper. I know we all buy books, but as authors, we sometimes forget to do this very simple process, and we think like authors and we make author’s … Hold on, let’s go back to the shopper.

I’m the shopper and I go up to the top of Amazon and I type in a phrase that describes what I’m looking for. What do I first do? Well, I’m going to quickly scroll, and let’s face it, the cover’s going to get most of the tension.

I’m trying to look for the cover that feels like it fits what I’m looking for. Now, when I see something that sticks out, I’m also going to briefly look over at the title and the subtitle. Now, here’s what happens. If I can’t make that quick, half-second decision of, “This is the right book that fits for my search,” I’m going to keep scrolling. I’m not going to click on you. And if I don’t click on you, that means you don’t get the sale.

Now, here’s the thing. I tell people that when I design my book cover, I’ll actually send in my keywords to my designer and just say, “Hey, just a heads up, but this is what I think my shoppers are thinking when they’re looking for the next book.”

This works in both fiction and nonfiction. One of the key things is that it can give the element of the story I’m looking for.

An example of this was working with a writer on second chance romance. We found that with second chance romance, a more focus on the family aspect. It wasn’t just hot, steamy romance, but for hers it was about a woman with a child who’s looking for romance again. That’s the element of the story they want, so let’s make sure that that cover truly personifies that type of thing. That I know it’s not hot and steamy, that I know that it’s going to be family-oriented. I’m looking for the guy who cares about a woman who has child.

These are things that the cover designer is able to take and say, “Okay, got it.” And that changed some of the things they were going to do and some of the elements they were going to put in because they’re used to the hot, steamy romance.

Working with an author who was working on PTSD for soldiers and just understanding just that it wasn’t just PTSD but it was specifically for returned soldiers dealing with it, that was a game changer for how that cover was designed, and the second version of the cover helped to really improve the book because it finally represented what that target market wanted.

So one thing I like to do is that when you’re trying to analyze your symbiotic relationship, look at your target keywords and ask yourself does your cover fit? Or, if it doesn’t, that’s okay, because sometimes ambiguity’s cool. But then, does your title or subtitle reaffirm it?

I’m not saying keyword stuffing or anything like that. That’s not what I’m going here. What I say is, when you design your title or subtitle, a lot of that, you can create a title that is a one word title which is pretty cool in the fiction world these days. But if I can’t look at the cover and the subtitle and know what type of genre this is and really what am I getting, you won’t get the click.

Same thing with nonfiction. If I can’t look at the cover and the title and the subtitle and not figure out who this is for and what this will do for me, you’re not going to get the click. But when you get that in order and you’re doing it better than your competitors, you’ll not only get the clicks, you’ll get those sales because you will really stick out.

The one final component to this symbiotic relationship is also the book description. So I typed in this keyword phrase. I’m scanning the book covers. “Ooh, your book cover looks cool.” I look at your title and your subtitle and I’m like, “Oh yeah, this reaffirms my thought,” and then I click on your book and I show up. If your book description doesn’t reaffirm everything I thought I’m getting into, you’re toast. Like it’s just not going to happen.

A great example of this, and I don’t have permission to use the author’s name yet, but we’ll have a case study coming out. This author had this really awesome cover. It looked really cool. And it was about a vampire, and the vampire, he kind of was … It’s not so much that he was scantily clothed or anything like that. It’s just his shirt was torn a bit, and there’s a little bit of skin showing. And it was a bit of a drawing instead of a real image, per se.

I loved the name. The name was great. And that was it. Well, before he even told me anything about this book, I looked at the cover and I looked at the title and I was like, “Let me guess. This is young adult, maybe a bit of romance in there, vampire book?”

And he goes, “Well, no. No.” And I’m like, “But that’s what your cover says to me. And your title … Nothing else. I would have to click on your book and then go and read your book description to figure out that this is not a young adult romance with sparkly vampires or anything like that.”

And it was like, “Oh, crikey.” And that’s what would happen. So what if he got these great keywords? Which, by the way, his was actually about a vampire, werewolf world, first vampire in the colonies stuff. And I was like, “Well, none of that’s in the cover or the title. I had to get to your book description in order to figure that out. And by the way, you didn’t even talk about that that much. I’m still of the note, and again, thinking this is young adult romance, so as I’m reading your book description, I have in my mind that this is vampire romance. Now tell me, how does this book description read?”

He was like, “Oh, that would’ve been bad. Oh boy. Yeah. That might’ve gotten some negative reviews.” Because people would’ve read that, gone into it and realized, “Oh, there’s just a little romance, but okay. This was not what I was thinking.”

So understanding that path and asking yourself and knowing where your customers are coming from when they start this path I think is huge, especially for fiction.

Nonfiction, you can just get away with it by putting a really good, specific subtitle. But in fiction, you really need to understand that this is what the market is thinking. This is what they see. Now this is what they’re thinking. Did you truly bring them along the path and prepare them for what they’re about to read, or did you mess it up?

James Blatch: That’s really great, Dave. A really good value for people listening, I think, to think about that path and for their books. And we see this in our Facebook groups quite a lot.

For instance, they’ll post a Facebook ad. And they’ll say, “This is a great ad, why is it not working?” And the clever ones in the group will say, “Where does it lead to? What does the cover look like? What does the tagline say? What’s the title and what’s the blurb?”

And all of that has to match. And you need to do that journey exactly as you’ve just described, from a reader point of view who’s searched for something that is your book in the end, does the path lead them there?

Or are there points of resistance where they’re going to bump up against the description or a cover or a tagline in an ad that just doesn’t match that and will bump them off?

Because you’ve got that fleeting second to get somebody?

Dave Chesson: That’s right. It’s so easy for shoppers to click the back button, than to actually dig a bit deeper and look.

And another rule to it all is when you confuse, you lose. The moment that I have doubt, maybe your ad made me think that this was going to be a sci-fi marine shoot ’em up thing, and then I go to your book and I’m questioning whether or not that’s the case because the cover doesn’t appear anything like that, the title says nothing like … then I’m backing out. You just paid for my click, but you didn’t get the sale.

I think it’s really important for people to understand that. One test that I really, really love to do is I’ll tell people, “Hey, just take a picture of your cover. Print it off. And hand it to a stranger. Ask them what kind of book maybe they think this is.” If they can’t answer that, then what do you think that your market’s going to be?

And that can be a huge thing. Unless you’re famous. Famous authors can get away with it. We all know that Stephen King’s going to write a horror. Well, unless he’s doing Shawshank Redemption, which was amazing. But you get what I’m saying.

James Blatch: Yeah, Stand by Me.

Dave Chesson: That may be a really bad example. Yeah. He doesn’t jump into that. But I know that I’m going to get quality, because he has a record and a history. I know that it’s going to be really well-written. I know that it’s probably a horror and I’m sure there’s enough on the cover to make sure it’s not a Shawshank Redemption.

But that’s it. But as a new author? You need to convince me that this is my kind of story and that I should give you a chance. And if you confuse, you lose.

James Blatch: This is great, Dave. We’ve got a little bit more to talk to you about, but I just want to pause at this moment and remember that this stuff is important, and it’s not necessarily intuitive. Why would it be?

Some of the detail in any industry, you need to learn it and practice it. And by listening to this podcast, by being a part of Kindlepreneur or SPF whatever, you are in the top little percent of people who are doing this stuff.

Dave Chesson: Absolutely.

James Blatch: Mark and I were chatting today and he did a talk at a school, and there were two people in that school, big school, two of the staff writing books. Neither of them knew a thing about self-publishing. Literally, they were about to start writing their letters to agents and they thought that was it. That was the only way.

We remind ourselves that most people who upload a book to KDP and see those keyword categories, that’s the first time they’ll think about what to put in those categories.

Whereas, you and I need to be prepared, ready, researched, have all that plotted out at the time we’re doing the upload. That puts us up here.

Dave Chesson: I would say 99.9% of self-published authors out there, when they go to publish, they just randomly choose some keywords, they just select those BISACs that we talked about, and they hit publish and that’s it. I mean, just those two things alone.

Nothing about the cover or anything like that, just that one aspect. You guys out there listening to this, I’m telling you, you really are. So don’t look at the seven million Kindle eBooks that are out there and think, “Oh, the market is crowded. I don’t stand a chance. The publishing companies are so strong and have all this brute force.” No. As a matter of fact, the publishing companies are just learning-

James Blatch: Some of the worst.

Dave Chesson: … a lot of this. Yeah. You remember when we were talking about that consulting that I do, a lot of times it really is going into these big publishing companies and talking about this and I’m like, “No disrespect,” but I’m like, “How do you guys not know about this?” Because they haven’t had to.

A lot of it, really legit big publishing companies is good old boy traditional tactics. And a lot of them have even fought against it.

James Blatch: And it takes time to learn this and do this for a single title, for a series of titles for you. And you as the author, you’re never going to put less time than … You’re going to put the most time into your books than anybody in the world.

In the best will in the world, you could be the best publisher in the world, you don’t have the manpower and the time to dedicate to the books this level of detail, which is why they’re always going to be, I think, behind indie. That’s the power of indie, the time and attention we can devote to our books.

Before we finish, I want to just talk a little bit wider about Kindlepreneur, give you an opportunity to talk about the benefits of that outside of Publish Rocket. It’s a website primarily, but it’s a service as well, isn’t it? Although I think they’re convinced, by the way, from this so far.

What else do you do for Kindlepreneur, and why should people go and learn from Dave Chesson?

Dave Chesson: Well, the big thing is is that I like to write articles on Kindlepreneur where people can turn around and take action and see results. That’s my mantra every time I sit down.

We just wrote an article on the seven Kindle keywords. It had this big experiment where we were testing things to get real information and data. And we could’ve just stopped at the data, but then at the end, we list, “Okay, here’s all this information. Now here’s what you do to get the most out of it.”

So that’s a big thing. We also have a whole bunch of free tools on Kindlepreneur. As a matter of fact, we have a book description generator. A lot of authors don’t know that they can actually use HTML inside their book description. A lot of authors definitely don’t know how to do HTML, so we made it super easy for them.

And we also have a book calculator, where you can take the Amazon bestseller rank of a book, put it in there, and actually find out how many books that day that book sold thanks to the calculator.

But another thing that’s really cool and very soon, we’re going to have an updated version of that book description generator. And, instead of it just being Amazon, we’re going to be including Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. So you can flip to see exactly what it would look like and what you’re allowed to do in each one.

I’m really jazzed about that, because I’ve had many book descriptions where either it got rejected because it doesn’t allow certain code, or the other thing, which is neat, is that I didn’t think I could.

Cool thing is that if you submit your book to Kobo, you’re probably left with the belief that you can only do like bold, italics and things like that, but you can actually change the font if you know how to code it. So our program will be able to take care of that for you.

James Blatch: Superb. You’d better tell us where you are on this worldwide web?

Dave Chesson: Oh, I’m at That’s like Kindle entrepreneur.

James Blatch: Excellent. Well, Dave, it’s always a pleasure talking to you, and I anorak-ed and probably bored you to death by asking you questions about nuclear submarines in Florida, but I shall probably do again in Vegas. So do stop me. Just say, “Stop, James,” if you want to at some point.

Dave Chesson: No, the best part is when I’ve got a glass of whisky in my hand.

James Blatch: There you go.

Dave Chesson: You bet.

James Blatch: Well, I’ll provide the whisky. But it’s been really, really valuable listening to you. Absolutely spot on advice and really useful, which is what we hope for as well with our podcast interviews. So, fantastic. Dave, thank you so much indeed for being on the show.

Dave Chesson: Well, and thank you. And like I said, a real honor to be here and thanks for having me back.

James Blatch: There is Dave Chesson. I know you didn’t see his session at NINC. Have you heard Dave talk this year?

Mark Dawson: I have, yes. I was on the beach when he did the infamous epic heckle at NINC, so I did miss that. But he was at 20Books, so I sat at the back for a little bit whilst Dave was talking there. So we have loads of great people in publishing and Dave is definitely one of the nice ones.

James Blatch: Yeah. And he’s a former marine. He’ll snap your neck.

Mark Dawson: Is he a marine?

James Blatch: No, not a marine, but he was in-

Mark Dawson: He’s a sub-

James Blatch: … the US Navy.

Mark Dawson: He’s a submariner.

James Blatch: Submariner, yeah. He was a submariner. He was on the boomers as they called them. The Trident missile subs, and did other stuff as well in the US Navy. He has a sideline on guns. Did you know this?

Mark Dawson: Oh, I didn’t know that.

James Blatch: Yeah. He basically is a gun dealer as well.

Mark Dawson: Oh, I didn’t know. That’s interesting.

James Blatch: He’s in the South and it seems to go down well. And the website looks a little bit … He did say to me, “I don’t change it because it works so well.” But it looks a little bit old-fashioned, but it’s any gun you can think of, he will source and find it for you.

Mark Dawson: Oh, right, wow.

James Blatch: And he has promised us, if we get to Nashville, he’ll take us out and shoot us.

Mark Dawson: And do what?

James Blatch: I mean, no.

Mark Dawson: Can he source a narwhal tusk?

James Blatch: Yes, exactly.

Mark Dawson: I’ll have a fire extinguisher, you bring a tusk and let’s see who wins.

James Blatch: Yeah.

Mark Dawson: It won’t be us.

James Blatch: I think probably the person with the assault rifle.

Mark Dawson: Possibly, yeah.

James Blatch: Okay. Look, lovely, lovely guy, as you say, and really interesting to talk to and works very hard on our behalves in producing a product. And if you are a 101 student, or you were thinking about 101 course, which will be open in spring, he does a fantastic section in there, including coupons and discounts to get his services as well.

I think that might be it for 2019, Mark. It’s time to turn over the calendar.

Mark Dawson: Do you like my shirt?

James Blatch: I do. You’re sponsored today.

Mark Dawson: Sponsored by BookBub today, yes. They sent me a little nice present at Christmas time, which was very nice. Shout-out to BookBub. They’re lovely.

James Blatch: They are. I quite like the branding as well. The design is cool.

Mark Dawson: Yeah, that’s a great company with, yes, Karlin, Julianne, Audrey and the others that I’ve met.

James Blatch: Katie.

Mark Dawson: Yes, that’s right. Katie, I’ve had a drink with now and again. And we’ll see them in London for the show as well. So looking forward to that.

James Blatch: Yeah, we will. I think three at the moment are down to come to the show, and yeah, we’re talking to them in the background about maybe being a part of it at some point. Okay. Right. That is it. Nothing else left for this year to talk about?

Mark Dawson: No, I don’t think so. I think it’s just we should probably wish everyone … I hope you’ve had a great 2019 and I hope you have an even better 2020. And aim for yawning hippopotami. It’s the year of the hippopotamus this year. So let’s see if we can get a few hippopotami statuses-

James Blatch: Yeah. Let’s see if we can do that.

Mark Dawson: … nailed down.

James Blatch: I don’t think we should over-order the yawning hippopotami T-shirts.

Mark Dawson: No, no, no.

James Blatch: But you never know.

Mark Dawson: Well, you never know.

James Blatch: Maybe if J. K. Rowling wanted to wear a T-shirt.

Mark Dawson: Yeah. She’s a herd of yawning hippotami.

James Blatch: Yeah. Indeed. Okay. That’s it. Yes. We do say happy new year to you and thank you so much for supporting the show by listening to it or going to or whatever, just being a part of our community, our lovely community.

2020 has a lovely poetic ring to it, doesn’t it? So let’s hope that it’s a good, lovely, poetic year for us. And that’s it for this year. I’m going to say it’s a goodbye from him.

Mark Dawson: And a goodbye from me. Goodbye.

James Blatch: Goodbye.

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