Is Publisher Rocket the best software for a new inspiring author, or are there alternatives to KDP Rocket that are even better?
What? Let’s take a step back!
Writing your first book is a lot of work and can take a long time. Most authors feel like their work is done when they hit save for the final time and the book is complete. As an independent author the game has changed and finishing the book is just the start of your journey.
You have go out and find readers for your books. If you don’t know where to look this is an impossible task. That’s there Publisher Rocket comes in. It’s the gold standard for keyword research and finding categories for Amazon.
As you grow as an author, you will rely on tools to replace the role of the traditional publisher. You now have to do your own research, marketing and PR. Many people hear about Publisher Rocket and before spending their hard-earned cash, want to know if there is a better alternative.
In this article we’ll take a look a the best four KDP Rocket alternatives to see if any are worth of your time and attention.
- Why Do Kindle Keyword Research?
- Why use Kindle Keyword Tools
- How to Choose the Right Kindle KEyword Software
- Publisher Rocket
- Publisher Rocket Alternatives
- KDP Rocket Alternatives Comparison
- Frequently Asked Questions
- KDP Rocket Alternatives Verdict
Why Do Kindle Keyword Research?
When you upload your book to Amazon, there are seven boxes for your keywords. If you leave these blank, you’ll lose out on a lot of book sales. If you just put random keywords in here that you think are relevant yto your book, you will lose out on a lot of sales.
If you put the right profitable keywords in here, you can capture a lot more more sales for your book.
Why use Kindle Keyword Tools
When someone visits Amazon, they often don’t know what they want to purchase. Most customers start by typing some words into the search box at the top of the page. If we can tell Amazon the right keywords to point customers to our books, we’ll sell more copies.
As soon as you start typing into that search bar Amazon offers keyword suggestions. Those are the first time we encounter keywords and that’s the manual process I used when I started publishing books on Amazon a long time ago.
This process was very time consuming. To get more creative and come up with keywords, I would used the Google keyword tool to create a larger list of keyword ideas. Then go back to Amazon to run a keyword search to find more related keywords and see if the results were relevant and an opportunity for me.
When looking for keywords you want to find one with a large search volume, relevant results and books that you can compete with. This means we want searches that people are actually performing.
In the olden days, I had one computer monitor running my Amazon searches and another with Excel open. Every search result had to be copy and pasted into spreadsheets for analysis.
Keyword research took a long time before there were tools to help.
How to Choose the Right Kindle KEyword Software
Keyword research still takes a lot of effort and mental energy. There is no tool that gives perfect results and removes the need for you to check the results. When looking for a tool, the most important factor is speed.
You want a tool that gives you accurate kindle keywords as quickly as possible.
Additionally, you want a tool that can give you quick results and analyze a lot of data at once. Basically, you want a tool to give you an idea if the page is even worth looking deeper.
Publisher Rocket is a very useful tool with all the features you could want, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t check the competition. There are a few alternatives that are completely free, but that doesn’t mean they are worth the cost.
Before we dig into our Publisher Rocket comparison, first we need to look at Publisher Rocket.
Publisher Rocket is the gold standard for book research tools and it’s only getting better. I know they have more updates coming out that will blow the competition out of the water. The price is far too low for what you get. They have never charged for an update and unlike many competitors, there is no subscription. This is an amazing deal.
How Do You Use KDP Rocket?
Publisher Rocket imports massive amounts of data from Amazon every single time anyone runs a search. That means the data is faster and faster as more users come in board.
Publisher Rocket comes with four main tools. The keyword research tool is designed to help you find the best keywords to put in your book description and
The keyword research tool will run your keyword through the google keyword planner and then run that list of keywords through Amazon. You can quickly see if a keyword has any profitability and if it’s too difficult to target with the lovely green, red and yellow coloring.
Publisher Rocket provides a quick competition analysis to see if there is one book that’s making all the sales for that keyword or if all the search results are random books not related to the topic. This helps you avoid false positives.
Publisher Rocket also has extensive tools to find the perfect categories to rank your books, keywords for paid Amazon Advertising campaigns and they have some very cool audiobook tools coming out very soon. I’ve covered these features extensively in my Publisher Rocket review.
Publisher Rocket Alternatives
If you’re here, you are wondering if there is a better alternative to Publisher Rocket. I’ve used every tool on this page and can say conclusively that Publisher Rocket has the best features and pricing. However, if you can’t afford publisher rocket, I have found the best free Publisher Rocket alternative on the market.
I’m a huge fan of KD Spy. It’s a browser extension with some unique features that set it apart and make it a worthy addition to your publishing arsenal.
KD Spy is an excellent Publisher Rocket alternative. It was released to the market first and has been through many updates and is currently on version 5. Like Publisher Rocket, you never have to pay for updates. They are automatically pushed to your browser.
This is an excellent tool if you already have ideas you want to work from. It’s a tool designed to check if a keyword is a good idea, rather than to generate keywords from scratch. It was built for a slightly different purpose.
Before all of these amazon keyword research tools, I had to analyze keywords and categories by hand. That meant opening up twenty browser tabs and manually copying in price, review and ranking data for books into a spreadsheet.
KD Spy turned a process that took six hours into a five minutes and was a revelation in the marketing.
KD Spy will give an analysis of any Amazon page of kindle books. The data seen here is what I used to copy into spreadsheets manually.
I can quickly see how many pages are in each book, the prices, how many units they are selling per month, how many reviews each book has and how much money they are making.
The most important data is in the lower right corner where you see the three circles. You know you have a winner when you see three green circles. That little feature makes your research easy.
When looking at the results for a keyword, it will quickly tell you if you’re waiting your time. We can see the average revenue for books targeting the keyword “yoga” is $435 and that many of the books one this page are making no money.
You can skip looking at the data, as two red circles and a yellow instantly tell me this keyword won’t work.
It offers a keyword analysis that’s very different to Publisher Rocket’s approach. The red boxes tell use the areas that are hard to compete with.
Many of these books are over two hundred pages long, so you need a book of that length to rank for this keyword. That’s a lot more work than a category where all the books are just one hundred pages long.
All the red and green on this page combine to create the yellow circle in the bottom right corner under the word potential. This keyword would be hard to rank for but not impossible.
Unfortunately, the competition is very difficult and it’s not a very popular keyword for books.
It also has a unique feature that allows you to track the rank and sales of any book on Amazon, not just your own. This feature doesn’t pull historical data, so it only starts from the moment you activate it for a particular book.
This data can be really useful for tracking the competition and looking for long-term opportunities. You can also track your own books and set up alerts for when your ranking drops. None of the other tools have this ability.
This is a search bar where you can search for keywords and find keyword suggestions. You can see what the traffic rank and how competitive each keyword is.
The word cloud is one of my favorite features and how I created the titles for many of my books. You can base it on the top 20, 40,60,80 or 100 results for either a keyword or category. It will give you the most common words that appear in those book titles. That gives a great foundation for what titles audiences are responding to.
KD Spy is more of an additional tool that works great with Publisher Rocket than an alternative. I use both of these tools pretty frequently in my business and I can say they are both excellent tools all these years later.
Book Bolt is more of a super tool that has some keyword and category research features. If you’re looking for a pure keyword research tool alternative to Publisher Rocket, look elsewhere.
Book bolt is a tool built for low-content book publishers. It’s great for designing interiors for notebooks and puzzle books. The search feature was bolted on late in the game and you can see that it’s not ready for prime time in my Publisher Rocket video review.
Here are the results of my search using the keyword “yoga.” Book Bolt gave me two ideas that are both pretty useless. I wasn’t expecting data this bad when I went to grab a screenshot for this article.
The tool shines in other areas and if you’re looking at the overall features, it does some really great things.
Self Publishing Titans
Self Publishing Titans
Self Publishing Titans have put out a pair of Chrome extensions to help improve your search results. While these free tools are nice, there are better free options available that work just as well.
I like any tool that’s free and especially tools that don’t have paid upgrades. The two tools from SPT are interesting and you can see the keyword expander in action below.
When you run a normal search on Amazon, it will give you a maximum of ten automated suggestions. If you have a seed keyword like yoga, you can enter “yoga a” and get ten keyword ideas. Then you enter “yoga b” and get ten more.
This was the old way of doing keyword research and it was very labor intensive.
Instead of ten results, SPT came up with so many that they scrolled off the screen. This is certainly better than the old manual method, but it’s pretty annoying when you’re a regular Amazon customer. You have to remember to turn off the extension, or your page will look like this every time you go shopping.
I prefer KD Spy as an extension because it only takes action when you click the icon and it’s not intrusive.
The second plugin is a category helper designed to give you some overall stats about a category. These results are better than nothing, but not nearly as useful as KD Spy, which does the same thing but better.
While the two tools from SPT are interesting, I think they have too much wasted real estate with giant logos and buttons to join their Facebook group. Overall I think the plugins just aren’t ready for prime time.
AMZ Suggestion Expander
The Amazon Suggestion Expander is my favorite free tool for Kindle Keyword research. It’s not specifically targeted at authors, so you may have never heard of it before.
It’s fast, without a bunch of adds cluttering up your screen. If your’e looking for the best free Publisher Rocket alternative, this is it.
Amazon Search Expander was not made just for authors, but for anyone doing business on Amazon and it shows. The interface is clean, the results are well organized and structured and you can instantly export your data.
This all makes ASE my favorite chrome extension for coming up with new keywords. It’s the best free tool on this list and the one extension that I leave active all the time for my different Amazon projects.
ASE does exactly one thing and it does that thing very well. You can click on any keyword suggestion and generate a new batch of data. This is a very good way to deep dive and find some keyword that you’d never even considered. Overall this is a solid tool and the price can’t be beat.
KDP Rocket Alternatives Comparison
We’ve covered the top 4 KDP Rocket alternatives in great detail. Publisher Rocket is still my first favorite Amazon Keyword tool for authors. Each of the other tools has some similar features but none are as powerful.
My recommendations are Publisher Rocket, KD Spy and Amazon Suggestion Expander.
The biggest difference between Publisher Rocket and KD Spy is how they deal with keywords. Publisher Rocket is very much here to guide your research for scratch, meaning that their software will, first of all, help you find the right keywords for your book.
KD Spy can give you all the data about the keyword, but it can not find it for you.
If you want to see what your competition is up to with KD Spy, you need to enter your keyword in order to generate results. This would be acceptable if you know what keywords you need to use in the first place and KD Spy unlike the KDP Publisher does not offer this feature.
The data that KD Spy provides you it’s spot on, no doubt about that but still, if you don’t have the right keyword it’s going to be harder for you to find your focus and use your time productively.
KD Spy still gives you all the information about your competition, like the price of every book, how many reviews it has and what’s the general score, etc. The outlook looks a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it you are good to go.
Amazon Suggestion Extension just helps you find more starting keywords to feed into other tools. If you use it alone, you still have to manually research all the keywords it generates and that’s a lot of work. It’s better than nothing but it’s not as useful as KD Spy and Publisher Rocket.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best FRee Alternative to Publisher Rocket?
Amazon Suggestion Expander is the best alternative. It’s a free chrome extensions that expands the Amazon search bar to give you dozens of keyword ideas from each search.
Can i Use the Google Keyword Tool?
People search on Google for information and on Amazon for products. You will get a lot of bad keywords that you still have to run through an Amazon search. Publisher Rocket does both steps in a single search saving you massive amounts of time.
Can I use The Google Keyword Planner?
Any google keyword tool is going to be filled with useless data and you have to search through that noise to find the most useful keywords. If you want to use a free tool, we recommend Amazon Suggestion Expander.
How Do I Update Rocket Publisher?
All you have to do to update for free your version of Publisher Rocket is click the version number at the bottom of Rocket.
If, for some reason, you do not have the latest version, no problem. Just delete your copy from your computer, and download the latest version from their website, and you are all set.
KDP Rocket Alternatives Verdict
There are a lot of great keyword tools for Google and for the rest of Amazon, but for authors we really only have two products, Publisher Rocket and KD Spy. While Amazon Suggestion Expander is useful, it’s only generating keywords not analyzing them.
I Publisher Rocket and KD Spy work hand in hand to give you every angle of research possible on Amazon. Publisher Rocket and KD Spy have some different features, but right now Publisher Rocket is the superior tool.
Publisher Rocket has an entire module dedicated to finding keywords for Amazon Advertising campaigns and KD Spy has nothing to compete with this. Additionally, come up with initial keywords is really hard and that’s where Publisher Rocket shines. These two features mean it’s still the best Amazon keyword research tool for authors. Right now it’s my favorite piece of Kindle software.