Kindle Spy Review (KDSpy Review): How Spying On Your Competition Boosts Sales!
Kindle Spy Review Summary
Kindle Spy, aka KDSpy, is a browser extension that Kindle publishers use to reverse engineer profitable bestseller categories in the Amazon Kindle & paperback marketplace. It helps discover opportunities in niche markets. KDSpy v5 has helped thousands of Kindle publishers optimize their book title, do proper keyword analysis, and increase their average monthly revenue for their Kindle business.
This is a One time payment software for just $47 and comes with a money back guarantee!
Love it or hate it, niche research, competition analysis, keyword analysis, and getting a winning edge are part of the self-publishing game.
In this article, we'll cover Kindle Spy, it's bells & whistles (the word cloud, estimated sales data, the competitor tracking feature, etc.) and the software's main "money" feature: book category analysis.
How Most People Use Kindle Spy
Let's go over the typical ways KDSpy v5 is used, and in the next section we'll cover how to choose bestseller categories.
1) Checking Keyword Profitability
Let's say I want to publish under the seed keyword paleo diet.
I went ahead and (1) typed this see keyword phrase in the Amazon Kindle store and got my page 1 results. Next, (2) I clicked on the KDSpy browser extension to run Kindle Spy:
Doing this will give me valuable data for the top ranking books, including their:
Also, notice the bottom-right section of the KDSpy browser extension. There's a traffic light section:
I don't recommend paying much attention to the traffic light system. The traffic light bubbles are more of a suggestion that KDSpy pulls from it's Amazon integration.
The Total Monthly Revenue is a rough guesstimate and more of a revenue potential metric in my experience.
So, how does this data benefit you?
The Word Cloud: A Somewhat Useful Feature...
An extra keyword results feature the Kindle Spy browser extension has is the Word Cloud.
This feature can potentially reveal keyword variations, a new book idea, and niche opportunities that you might've missed.
It reveals the most-used keywords that authors use in their titles & subtitles.
2) Author Page Analysis
Another way Kindle publishers use KDSpy v5 is by spying on a competitor's author page.
For this example, let's examines a well-known self publisher's author page: Steve Scott.
Notice that KDSpy v5 filters Steve's (or any author's) Kindle books by lowest (best selling) Amazon BestSeller Ranking (ABSR) to highest ABSR (worst selling).
Steve's book portfolio is great. He's been at this for years and is an expert at his craft. He uses his blog, email list, and optimizes for Amazon's search engine to make passive income sales from his books.
His average monthly revenue has surpassed six figures in monthly revenue. If you decide to follow in Steve's footsteps I recommend taking his self publishing course.
Other things you can draw from this KDSpy author analysis are the keywords the author is using in his/her book titles & subtitles.
3) Track Your Competitor's Performance for 30 Days Plus
Another cool feature KDSpy v5 has that no other Kindle software does, is keep track of other author's book sales ranking.
You do this by simply clicking the "T" while you're spying on a potential keyword (or author profile):
After you click on the "T" your KDSpy dashboard will switch to the book tracking feature:
Click on the Green "Track SalesRank" button and KDSpy will switch to it's tracking page where you can track your competitor's book bestseller rank every day.
I find this book tracking feature to be one of Kindle Spy's most valuable tools.
You know a book is making good monthly revenue when its bestseller rank is below 100,000. It's even better if it's consistently 50,000 or below!
The image below is the book tracking feature mapping out the daily sales and sales rank for a competitor's book over a 30 day period (the new version of KDSpy works just the same). I wanted to see how this book would do after a month and KDSpy's sales tracking feature delivered.
The 30 days sales rank performance of a book in your niche is only part of an equation, but this feature validates there's money to be made in said niche.
When you don't have a Kindle publishing tool like KDSpy v5, you'd have to keep track of how well your competition is doing on a spreadsheet or paper daily...
Now that we've covered the 3 main ways authors & publishers use Kindle Spy, let's get to the good stuff... categories!
Why Should You Care About Your Book Categories?
2 words: more exposure.
Exposure is the name of the game when it comes to Kindle Categories, and KDSpy v5 improves your chances of selling more books by increasing your click-through-rate.
An Attractive Orange Badge Next To Your Book
Imagine you’re doing some niche research in a cookbook niche, and you come across some books on the first page of results, and they're doing are doing well.
2/3 books above clearly stand out more in the image above (put aside the red arrows).
Enter… The attractive orange “Best Seller” badge that yells "Click me!" to prospective buyers.
The author who has the Best Seller icon by their book usually has the upper hand in the rankings.
The simple orange badge leads to higher click through rates for your books and signals to Amazon's algorithm that your book should be ranked higher.
You can get a Best Seller sticker by being the #1 best seller in your respective ideal category.
How to Do Category Research With Kindle Spy
Step 1 – Figure Out Your Competitors' Categories
As you can see, the example book above is an Amazon best seller in the category Native American Cooking, Food & Wine, and is also ranking #1 for the keyword Instant Pot Recipes Cookbook (at the time of writing this article).
Going to the book's page, I can see that the book is a best seller in 3 categories.
At this point, let’s open these categories up – let’s choose the third one on the list. We can access this category page by clicking the blue hyperlink above.
This example book is sitting firmly at the #1 spot, out of many books, for this category's best seller list.
Step 2 – Analyzing Category Pages with KDSpy
KDSpy v5 can analyze the top 20 books and more on any best seller category page - including both Kindle books and physical books (when applicable).
When I click on the KDSpy browser extension, this is what I get for this example:
If you hover over the red "i," the extension will tell you how many sales are required in 24 hours to be #1 in the category!
Notice that KDSpy compiled the top 17 books in the category and provides important key performance indicators about these books.
The Sales Rank column is a good indicator of how profitable a book is. The more books under 100K - the better.
But, things are not as black and white. The higher-performing books there are in a category/niche, the more competitors there are fighting for that #1 spot (typically).
This is why I recommend adding the maximum number of categories in your KDP dashboard settings.
KDSpy also shows you the average sales rank, average monthly revenue, and more:
Notice that the profit potential (Avg. Monthly Rev. and Sales Rank) are much better than the prior category, but the competition is strong. You can tell by the Price column.
The Next Steps are to choose the best categories and add them to your KDP account!
The Review Verdict
Related: KDROI is promotion extension and a KDSpy upsell that submits your book to promo sites. Read our KDROI review for more details.
Kindle Spy v5 is just one of the many research tools in my Kindle Publishing tool belt. It's not going to break or make your self publishing business - no software tool will.
However, KDSpy can give you an upper hand when choosing categories & keywords wisely.
Wesley Atkins is the creator of Kindle Spy, and I’ve seen some KDSpy version updates over the years. These free updates give users confidence that this software will be around for a long time even when Amazon has algorithm changes.
You can’t beat the price for the lifetime access KDSpy browser extension – coming in at a low $47.
It’s easy to install, Mac and PC compatible, and available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers.
If you’re looking for a competitive edge and a much better chance of your book(s) getting the best seller badge, I recommend KDSpy v5.
Alternative Software to Kindle Spy
Kindle Spy v5, by Wesley Atkins, has made its mark as one of the best Kindle publishing software applications on the market. However, you might've heard about Publisher Rocket (formerly known as KDP Rocket) created by Kindlepreneur.
Both self publishing software share common features, but also have features the others can't do.
For instance, Rocket can't track a competitor's book monthly ABSR performance.
On the flip side, Kindle Spy doesn't provide estimated Amazon Searches Per Month for keywords. Kindle Spy is also not a keyword research tool for AMS ads - these are the few page spying limitations with KDSpy.
Both publishing tools are good for your self publishing tool belt. Learn more about Rocket in our Publisher Rocket review (example tutorial included).