How to Use Amazon’s Categories to Find Hidden Latino Gems

Carmen Amato

Since the beginning of the month, L4LL has focused tremendously on the Latino Children’s Summer Reading Program. But we have not forgotten the adults! So starting today, we’ll be running articles every Friday on topics just for our adult readers by the talented author, Carmen Amato.

It’s the world’s largest bookseller. If you love books the way I love books, chances are you have surfed

But with millions of books on offer and thousands more uploaded every day, readers have almost too much to choose from. So how to navigate this huge online bookstore and find the Latino lit you want?

The answer is Categories.

Amazon’s Dual System

It is not readily apparent but amazon has two sets of categories; one for print books and another for Kindle eBooks. At first this might not make sense, but this system grew out of the Kindle publishing platform and actually helps the book search process. Here’s why.

A single book published in both print and eBook formats that is for sale on amazon can be listed in multiple categories. Generally print books are listed in 3 categories and eBooks are listed in 2. The categories overlap to some extent. For example, both print and Kindle categories have a Mystery, Thriller and Suspense category with a Police Procedural sub-category. Clicking on a category will take you to a listing of all books in that category in order of sales ranking.

When you click on the format options below the book title (Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle) the page for that format will list the format-specific categories.

If you search for books on a computer you’ll see both print and eBook categories but if you are surfing amazon with your Kindle or Kindle-enabled device you’ll only see the eBook categories.

To see categories on your computer, scroll to the bottom of any book page. Click on a category and amazon will not only show you the books in that category but give you a list of all book categories on the left side of your screen.

On a Kindle, you can find categories from the Kindle Storefront screen simply by clicking on “Books.” While viewing a book page on a Kindle device the categories are hidden under “Book Extras.”

Notable Categories

Amazon doesn’t have a single specific category for Latino lit. Instead, readers need to narrow searches to sub-categories. Here are a few worth checking out.

For Print:

Books > Literature and Fiction > World Literature > Latin American
This category has both Spanish and English language books in it including top-ranked (at the time of this writing) CIEN AÑOS DE SOLEDAD (Spanish Edition) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez .

Books > Literature & Fiction > United States > Hispanic
This category has fiction in English written by Latino authors. THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET by Sandra Cisneros currently tops this category.

Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National > Hispanic & Latino
This is an absorbing category and one that I’ll be visiting more often. MY BELOVED WORLD by Justice Sonia Sotomayor tops it with 819 reviews, too! But it is worth noting that in the same book is listed in a very different category for Kindle: Kindle eBooks > Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Lawyers & Judges.

Books > History > Americas > Central America
Books > History > Americas > Mexico
Books > History > Americas > South America

Books > History > Americas > Caribbean & West Indies
This is a great grouping of sub-categories and ensures that nothing will fall through the cracks in the history department, at least. My Twitter friend Alfredo Corchado’s book was #2 for the Mexico history sub-category: MIDNIGHT IN MEXICO: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent into Darkness.

For Kindle:

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > History > Americas
Once again, history is one of the easiest set of categories to navigate. What you see is what you get.

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > International Mystery & Crime
Mysteries from around the globe can be found here including CLIFF DIVER: An Emilia Cruz Novel by Carmen Amato ranked #11 in this sub-category.

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary Fiction
This category contains many notable examples of Latino lit like DROWN by Junot Díaz and THE LADY MATADOR’S HOTEL by Cristina Garcia. But this is a huge sub-category and is a lot to sift through.

Note—amazon updates rankings hourly so the above sub-category rankings may have changed since this was written.

Time Well Spent

Click on a category to pull up the list of books. Click on a book and see in which categories it is listed. In addition, amazon will automatically give you a horizontal scroll on every book page of additional and similar books you might like. If viewing on a Kindle the “Customers Who Viewed” section is a link at the bottom of the book page.

You’ll keep finding interesting books but keep an eye on your watch. Category surfing can be more addictive than Pinterest!

Do you know of other categories L4LL readers might be interested in? Was this article helpful? Leave us a comment and make sure to sign up to get this blog in your inbox, too.


Carmen AmatoCarmen Amato is the author of political thriller THE HIDDEN LIGHT OF MEXICO CITY and the Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Acapulco. Both draw on her experiences living in Mexico and Central America where she discovered the best coffee on earth. Her next book, HAT DANCE: An Emilia Cruz Novel is due out later this summer. For more check out:
Find her books at