Monday, November 18, 2013

That's what those are for ...

How many times have you been doing something on a regular basis, thinking you've got it down, only to realize later that you've been doing it all wrong? 

I've recently had one of those moments when it comes to choosing keywords for my books when I list them on ebook stores. 

Earlier this week, my new publisher, Clean Teen Publishing, sent all of us authors a link that gave a breakdown of Amazon's Most Popular Tags. Now, this list isn't just for books, it's for everything searched for on Amazon, but it's easy enough to pick out book related tags. And there are a lot of them. 

What did this link cause me to realize? 

I had been using keywords or tags wrong this whole time! Previously, my keywords were specific to each book. For my first book, Escaping Fate, I had chosen tags like "Aztec," "Arrabella," "Myth," and so on. Seems logical, right? 

After looking at the tag cloud from Amazon, I had an epiphany -- probably one I should have had years ago. What use are book specific tags if no one knows about my book? Why would anyone search for "Arrabella," the MC of Escaping Fate, is they didn't know anything about my book? I saw that I had done the same thing for my other books, choosing tags like Libby and Milo, and similar words that only applied to The Destroyer Series. 

What I realized after studying the cloud was that people are not going onto Amazon and searching for a particular book most of the time. They are searching for whatever genre they like to read and then perusing the search results for something that catches their eye. 

So what did I do after having this epiphany? 

I went and changed the keywords on all my books on the various sites I have my books listed. What did I change them to? Instead of sticking with book specific tags, I chose tags that will help readers find my books within the genres they like to read. 

I write YA fiction ranging from paranormal to science fiction and urban fantasy. So my new tags include words like "Young Adult," "Science Fiction," Paranormal," and "Fantasy." And because I love to add in a good romance to compliment each storyline, I also included tags like "Romance, "Love," and "Paranormal Romance." 

What now? 

Well, now I see how this realization pans out. Will better keywords that are directed at readers who have no clue about me or my books help get my books in their search results better than book specific tags? I'll just have to wait and see. I'm excited to see the impact it will have. I love learning new things about publishing and marketing, and this one is so simple yet important. 

I've been learning more about using Pintrest as and author as well, so check back next week for a new post and some new ideas.