How to find out how roughly how many books there are in a category on Amazon

Just a bit of procedural knowledge from my post on deep literacy earlier that might be helpful to someone.

  1. Go to your relevant Amazon website (usually .co.uk for me)
  2. Search a with a dash followed by a random strong of characters, like this: -nfjdkslanfdjskalnfjdsklanfjsdkal (mine always seem to have lots of Ns and Ds
  3. You’ll get a result saying something like “1-16 of over 80,000,000 results.” Yes – 80 million results.
  4. You can refine your search by clicking the drop-down menu by the search bar and searching in say, books (“1-16 of more than 90,000”)
  5. When you’re in a category an option appears for ‘advanced search’ – click there to get to this:
amazon.co.uk advanced search books

6. Then you can search to your heart’s content by age category, subject etc and the nonsense string from earlier (-fbdjskabfjhajkfdsa) and see what the “more than 40,000 books…” bit says.

This doesn’t seem entirely accurate – I’m sure that there are far more than 90,000 books, for example. But it seemed to work pretty well once you get into subcategories:

  • 40,000 books in baby/pre-school
  • 80,000 books for kids 4-8
  • 70,000 books for kids 9-12
  • 60,000 Young Adult books

It’s the best I’ve been able to do for now, at any rate – if you know how to get better data on this please drop me a comment because I’d love to know.

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