I’ve been a full time writer since 2010. In that time I’ve written books in dozens of markets for clients around the world. I started off creating books that were sold in infomercials. You can still find my book Girl Gets Ring on sale right now for a whopping $67, That book has done more than $2 million in sales over the past 12 years and I still get a royalty direct deposit every single Wednesday.
When I started publishing books for bookstores in 2015 I needed an edge over the competition and Publisher Rocket is that edge. Originally called KDP Rocket, this software tool now has so many features that they had to rename it. It’s way more than an Amazon Kindle research tool.
I make a living from my books and they are the lifeblood of my business. For something so critical only the best will do and having spent some time with Dave Chesson in person and submitted loads of feature requests over the years, I’m a huge fan of the modern version of Publisher Rocket.
With that being said, allow me to welcome you to my Publisher Rocket Review.
- Publisher Rocket Helps Me Sell More Books
- What is Publisher Rocket?
- Who is Writing This Publisher Rocket Review
- The Importance of Keywords to a Self-Published Author
- The 4 Publisher Rocket Tools
- What does Publisher Rocket Cost
- Alternatives to Publisher Rocket
- Kindle Spy
- Book Bolt
- New Changes to Publisher Rocket in 2022
- Publisher Rocket for Audiobooks
- How Publisher Rocket Will Help You Sell More Books
- Publisher Rocket Case Study
- Publisher Rocket Speaks German
- Is Publisher Rocket Right for Me?
Publisher Rocket Helps Me Sell More Books
No matter how much some authors pretend to be artists, at the end of the day we want people to read our books. What’s the point of painting a masterpiece if nobody sees it?
Whether you are giving your book away for free, like I do with my permanent bestseller Fire Your Boss, or you want to make serious royalties like I do with my flagship Serve No Master, understanding where to put your book on the shelves is key to moving copies of your book.
If your book is in the wrong category, it can fade away into nothingness.
My first experiment with publishing on Amazon was a book on decluttering that I published under a pen name. That book was an abysmal failure for years. One day Amazon opened a new category on decluttering and moving my book into that category was a revelation. The book flew off the shelve and was #1 in the category for more than a tear. All thanks to Publisher Rocket.
Selling books is nothing like it used to be. There is so much more than simply writing your book, giving it to a publisher, and waiting for the cash to start rolling in.
What is Publisher Rocket?
In simplest terms, Publisher Rocket is a research tool that analyzes Amazon and now Audible as well and helps you find where your book will sell the most copies. I’ve helped hundreds of new authors to self-publisher their books and they all hit the same wall in the publishing process.
When you upload your book to Amazon (or any bookstore) they ask you for 7 keywords phrases and two categories. If you’re a new author you might not realize that this is the most important part of the entire writing and publishing process. If you get these answers wrong, it doesn’t matter how great your book is…because nobody will ever find out.
Before Publisher Rocket was released, the only way to find keywords was manual research. I would use spreadsheets and look at dozens of similar books to find categories and related keywords. I would feed all of the books into a word cloud tool to see which words appeared the most often and those would become my keywords.
What Publisher Rocket can do in minutes used to take me long, painstaking hours.
To put it as succinctly as possible:
Publisher Rocket tells me what keywords and categories to put in my book listing.
Who is Writing This Publisher Rocket Review
If this is your first time reading my blog, I’d like to welcome you to Serve No Master. I’ve been made a full time living from my writing since 201 and self publishing on Amazon since 2016. I’ve written over 300 bestsellers under multiple pen names and for my clients.
I recommend Publisher Rocket because I use it as part of my book creation and book launch process. I was an early adopter when the tool was called KDP Rocket and every time I’ve emailed the Publisher Rocket Support team with a feature request they have replied promptly and then added that feature in the next update.
It’s my favorite keyword tool and over the rest of this article I’ll answer the question: Is Publisher Rocket worth the investment?
The Importance of Keywords to a Self-Published Author
As an independent author you are in charge of every single aspect of your book promotion. You come up with the book idea, you create the book title, you track your monthly sales, and you have to choose when to invest your hard-earned royalties into a book marketing tool like Publisher Rocket.
There are are three ways that a potential reader can find your book within Amazon (or any other bookstore.)
The Bestseller Lists
This is the dream and getting to the top of the charts all comes down to being in the right category.
For some genres ALL of the searching is done via category. I read dozens of science fiction books every month and I find them all by looking at the new books in the category.
Being in the right category is how you get found and every single bestseller list on Amazon is actually a category ranking list.
Publisher rocket helps me to find the correct Amazon categories for my books and has generated thousands of dollars in additional passive royalties by finding just one new category for me.
This is more commonly used for non-fiction books. I have a problem and I search by the name of my problem. If I have a ringing in my ear, I’m going to type “tinnitus” into the search bar rather than look in the health category.
It’s critical that your book appear in the most relevant search results NOT the most popular search results.
Amazon books based on conversion numbers. If your book appears in a search result but is never clicked, it will stop showing your book. Your sales will plummet.
Publisher rocket helps to find profitable keywords. These are the keywords that lead to actual sales and that’s where you want to place your bood.
There are a lot of places where Amazon will guess what book to recommend. Every time I finish reading a book on my Kindle, Amazon shows me a bunch of books that it thinks I will want to buy.
Under every single book listing there is a section that says “People Also Bought…”
On the homepage of my Kindle there is a recommendations section that is based on books I’ve previously read.
There are strategies to appear in these recommendations and “also bought” sections.
I’ll teach you one right now. If you tell every single person who buys your book to buy a more popular book in your category, you’ll start to appear in each other’s recommendations and your book sales will go up.
The Publisher Rocket Competition Analyzer is how you find those books.
Amazon Marketing Services
I know what you’re thinking. I said there are three ways and then I should you a list of four headings. That’s because AMS is Amazon ads. You pay to appear in the three places I just mentioned. You are still getting found he exact same way. You just have to pay for it.
Self publishing is hard and paid advertising campaigns are even harder. You have to track every penny you spend and compare it to your royalties each month to make sure you stay profitable.
Fortunately, Publisher Rocket has added an AMS keyword search feature that will help you to plan and optimize better advertising campaigns.
The 4 Publisher Rocket Tools
The challenge with writing a review of publisher rocket is that it’s constantly evolving and improving. From changing the name from KDP Rocket to adding a CSV export feature for the Amazon Ads keywords (one of the features I personally requested), it’s very difficult to create a review that is still accurate.
Publisher Rocket has added some new options that you might not notice if you haven’t looked recently. Click on that little American flag on the top right corner and this is what you’ll find.
This is where Publisher Rocket and there is no tool that even comes close to the quality of their results. The manual way to find keywords within Amazon is to use the autocomplete feature. For example, I type in “yoga a” and see up to 10 autocomplete suggestions and add those to my spreadsheet of ideas. Then I type in “yoga b.”
This is how I was doing my keyword research back in 2015 and I think you can see why it took so long. There are several limitations on this method.
- Maximum of 260 keywords – 26 letters in the alphabet with ten keywords each
- Only find keywords that start with your keyword – will find “yoga anatomy” but will not find “ayurveda yoga” this way
- Limited by your keyword ideas – if you do not think of a keyword on your own you’ll miss huge opportunities
- It takes an eternity – I hate spreadsheets and spending hours filling them. out and manually comparing results is really boring
With Publisher Rocket, I enter the keyword I want to use, choose which bookstore I want to search and I’m off to the races.
I can get tailored results a lot faster and the beauty of Publisher Rocket is what’s happening behind the scenes. Unlike other tools, they don’t run the keyword through Amazon first. Publisher Rocket runs the keyword through a Google Tool to see what keywords people are searching for across the Internet.
In earlier editions of Publisher Rocket you could actually see the monthly Google search volumes for keywords, but since that data is really irrelevant its not there anymore.
Wha’ts important is that Publisher Rocket will come up with keywords that you never would have found using any manual method. It’s a much more comprehensive method and none of the competition has caught up to this feature.
You can quickly see if books ranking for this keyword are making any money and just the data on this screenshot would have taken me over an hour to get using the manual method.
The competition analyzer is really important. It’s often overlooked because it doesn’t give you anything to put into the forms when you’re uploading your book.
But that’s a huge mistake.
This tool is going to help you sell a LOT more books for two reasons.
Avoid False Positives
There are keywords that Amazon will spit out that nobody actually searches. This is really important. You can type ANYTHING into amazon and it will give you a search result.
There job is to sell you books, so there never going to generate a blank page.
This means you can end up with a keyword that says it makes a lot of money but is actually a false positive. A red herring. A waste of your time.
The competition analysis will tell you if the keyword is not worth pursuing if the books are all not related to the keyword and each other.
Don’t Get Tricked by Outliers
Sometimes one book is making all the money.
As a software tool, Publisher Rocket only generates data. It doesn’t have sentience or the ability to analyze that data.
If will give you estimated earnings by adding up the royalties of the top ten books for a keyword and dividing that number by 10. Most of the time this gives you a sense of the value of a keyword. But if one book is making all the sales, being ranked #2 for that keyword won’t make you any money.
That’s why Publisher Rocket includes this critical feature.
When you go to upload a book on Amazon they give you an extremely ugly and unwieldy category selection tool.
There’s a few things you should know before you even try.
- Many of the categories are in the wrong place and do not match the Amazon front end organization
- The actual list of categories NEVER matches the real categories available.
Usually about 20% of the categories are improperly organized and another 20% are simply missing.
If you rely on the Amazon KDP tool to choose your categories, you will miss out on a lot of book sales. When I moved my book into the hoarding category, Publisher Rocket found it but the KDP Dashboard didn’t list it as an option.
I would have lost out on thousands of dollars without Publisher Rocket finding that one secret category.
Amazon changes their category listings every 90 days and while new categories appear, old categories get the ax. There use to be a category called “business fashion” that. one day disappeared form Amazon. If you’re book was in that category and you didn’t notice your book sales could have plummeted without you knowing why.
In addition to providing an accurate list of categories, Publisher Rocket tells you how many books you have to sell to get onto the top 20 list and how many copies you need to sell to be #1. This is a really valuable when jumping categories using my book launch strategy.
AMS Keyword Search
This is the Amazon Paid Ads platform for authors. I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on Amazon Ads and the one thing I’ve learned is that you need a massive volume of keywords to start your campaigns.
Each Amazon Ad can target a maximum of 1,000 keywords and you really need a large list in order to optimize a campaign. This is what makes Amazon’s ads different to other platforms. You start with a wide list of keywords and narrow down through optimization.
I was running massive book ad campaigns before Publisher Rocket added this feature and I can say it was a game changer. It’s so much easier now that I can’t even imagine running ads the old way.
What does Publisher Rocket Cost
I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but it’s only $97. I use other keyword tools that charge that much per month. It’s an unbelievable price for a product you get lifetime access to.
I originally bought KDP Rocket in 2016 to rank Serve No Master and six years later I still get every updates and Dave hasn’t asked for a single additional penny.
Is publisher Rocket worth $97? By now you should see that just one Publisher Rocket feature alone is worth the investment, let alone four tools.
Alternatives to Publisher Rocket
It would be remiss of me to pretend that Publisher Rocket is the only game in town. There are two alternatives right now that are worth considering.
I’ve written a longer article about Publisher Rocket Alternatives, but let me give you the highlights.
I’m a huge fan of this little browser extension. I’ve been using it for years. It works while your navigating Amazon’s website and can offer great insight while you are doing your own research. It also includes some tools for tracking the status of specific books over time, a feature which Publisher Rocket lacks.
I consider Kindle Spy to be a complement to Publisher Rocket rather than competition. It’s not about using one tool or the other. They do different things and they are both excellent.
Book Bolt is a recurring fee rather than the single payment for a lifetime of updates with Publisher Rocket. Additionally, their search is atrocious. I covered this in my video review of Publisher Rocket and there’s not much more to say. It’s a more expensive and lesser tool.
Book Bolt has a lot of other tools and the keyword research is a late addition that’s nowhere near competition with Publisher Rocket right now.
New Changes to Publisher Rocket in 2022
As Publisher Rocket releases updates and new features I’ll add them to this section.
In their most recent update, Publisher Rocket added Audible to the tool and this is really amazing. Many people think that the same keywords apply to each version of a book but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
You can use seven keywords and two categories for each version of your book that you release, ebook, paperback, hardback, audiobook, etc. You should use different keywords and categories for each version of the book to maximize your exposure.
Amazon has different categories for ebooks, books and audiobooks.
This alone tells you that Amazon treats each edition of your book as a unique product and this new audible feature is going to really boost your sales.
If you’ve already published some audiobooks, you already know that they are the fastest growing and most profitable section of the market.
Publisher Rocket for Audiobooks
A lot of authors ignore audiobooks because it seems hard. Every author I know seems to think they need to read their own audiobook. 99% of the best audiobooks are read by professional voiceover artists.
With audiobooks you have no control over the price. Amazon charges all audiobooks the same based on length and this is a good thing. That means there is no race to the bottom or pricing your book at 99 cents to maximize exposure like you do with Kindle books.
You can never discount your audiobook royalties, which means you make a lot more from audiobooks than from other formats.
As I test this new feature more I will update my publisher rocket review with a new section on audiobooks. In the past, I simply used my ebook and paperback keywords, so I’m excited to have something even more targeted.
How Publisher Rocket Will Help You Sell More Books
Publisher rocket is an easy decision as long as you earn back your money. That removes the doubt from the equation, so let’s make sure you get the best benefits and make more than you spend.
As long you sell just ONE more book per week, Publisher Rocket will pay for itself on autopilot.
- Appear in the Best Search Results – Using the keyword research tool you can put the ideal 7 keywords in your book listing and come up in the search results for people most likely to buy your book. With the wrong keywords many books die without selling a copy.
- Create a High Converting Title – Many of my book titles and especially subtitles come from research with Publisher Rocket. People are very likely to click on and buy a book with the keyword they searched for in the title.
- Write Better Books – The best way to write a bestseller is to look at books in your niche that are doing well. That’s where all my content research begins and Publisher Rocket is the best way to find those books.
- Become a Bestseller – Amazon resets the bestseller list every three hours. Targeting the right categories can let you have the bestseller seal from one category while you are generating more sales in another category. This strategy is one of the best ways to sell more books for a long time.
Publisher Rocket Case Study
I write the book Fire Your Boss from start to finish with Publisher Rocket part of every step of the process. I planned, outlined, wrote, titled, listed and optimized based on my research in Publisher Rocket.
I used Publisher Rocket’s competition analyzer to find what people were looking for and it guided me in creating that book. I write the book with the intention that it would be free and that means I want as many people as possible to download it.
My category research ensured that my book is always a bestseller and continues to gather more reviews. Notice that I’m always number one in two categories while I’m fifth in a more competitive category. My book has that little bestseller orange box next to it, even in that tougher category. That helps me to make more sales.
I used every single Publisher Rocket feature to launch Fire Your Boss on Amazon in 2018. Since then it’s been ordered over forty-five thousand times. That’s a lot of people who discovered me because my book shows up in their amazon searches. When you’re intentional, Publisher Rocket really shines and can become a massive asset for self published authors.
Publisher Rocket Speaks German
When going through the software for my review today I found Publisher Rocket has a new feature. You can choose America, England or Germany as your market and you can now even switch to the German Language.
I’m still amazing at all the updates since they first released KDP rocket and its been a major part of my self publishing process for over six years. I love the Publisher Rocket software and can’t wait to see what features they add next.
Is Publisher Rocket Right for Me?
This is the easiest question to answer. Yes, it’s right for you. If you’ve read all the way to the end of this article then you’re the target audience for this product.
I’ve rewritten and updated my entire Publisher Rocket Review in addition to recording a new video because this tool is so near and dear to my heart.
There is no better research tool for self publishers right now. Nothing else comes close and the fact that it’s a single price rather than a recurring fee is astounding. When I last talked to Dave in person I told him how much this surprised me. I’m really glad he’s kept it this way because most keyword research tools charge a monthly fee.
He may change the pricing one day and that alone is a reason to take action now.
I hope you enjoyed my Publisher Rocket review. It takes a lot of time to put one of these together so your comments below really do mean a lot to me.
Tell me about your experience with this software in the comments. Leave your own mini-rocket review.