If you’re an aspiring self-published author, you know the importance of Amazon for selling books. The publishing giant currently lists 32.8 million titles. It’s the number one platform for buying and selling books. And, a quick look at publishing statistics suggests that it’s all downhill toward Amazon in the future as well. Borders is gone. Barnes & Noble’s shelves have shrunk. And your beloved Independent bookstore has been revived but will never compete volume-for-volume with the big corporate players.
The take-away? If you want to sell your book you must understand the Amazon marketplace, especially the role of Amazon keywords on the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) platform.
We’ve discussed Amazon keywords on this blog before. Think of them as the search terms that allows readers to find your book. Or consider it this way: when a reader searches for your title, what groups of words are they likely to search for? What phrases or question(s) are readers using or asking that your book could be the answer to?
When you list your book on KDP, authors are prompted to input a list of keywords. This is the “back end” metadata that describes your book. In the provided space, authors supply short phrases that seek to match to the actual search terms readers will use when looking for a particular book. The approach I just outlined has been the conventional approach for a while now. However, recently, Amazon’s search algorithm has changed. Today (June 2019), the Amazon search tool seems to take a more broad and nuanced approach that simply looks at all of the keywords (rather than phraseology) that describes a book, then returns the most relevant results.
Why is this important?
1.) Authors no longer need to limit keywords to strict key phrases. Now, you can enlarge your target by adding as many relevant words as possible!
2.) Natural sounding nomenclature is still relevant, so it’s a good idea prioritize the most relevant phrases and keep them together when possible.
3.) By increasing your keywords, you’ll have a no-cost method to improve your book’s discoverability.
Let me be as clear as possible. Today, authors should use the entire keywords field, using the whole of each keyword and seeing which kinds of keywords increase or decrease your book’s discoverability.
Here’s a sample of the keywords I’ll be using for my forthcoming book TOUGH Women Who Survived Cancer:
I hope this info is helpful as you think about the keywords that describe your own book! But what questions are out there? What experiences have you had with keywords? Let me know in the comments below!
Do you have a plan in place to hit your 2019 sales goals? Get the Build Your Author Business Plan Course