The other day I decided to take another look at my book on KDP and debate if all the information was exactly as I wanted it, since the release is only three weeks away. I’m glad I did, because I caught a big error! Under the keywords I had one repeated, and one was rather redundant.
Keywords are an important part of the self publishing process because they allow your book to be found by readers, and also allow search engines to find you. Amazon KDP lets you use seven keywords and two categories (or genre) for your book, so you better find the best words to describe your book! While trying to come up with two more keywords, I noticed that one of my keywords affected the browsing category of my novel on Amazon. Because I wrote “galactic empire” as a keyword, it ended up in that category for browsing! Which got me thinking about what other keywords might help me get into more categories, and therefore become more visible. So, here are some pictures and my amazing photoshop skills:
1. This one might seem obvious, but consider what your book is about (or ask someone that read it what they think!). Mine is a sci-fi mystery, so I knew right away that I wanted two of my keywords to be mystery and conspiracy. Boom! Two words down, five to go.
2. Check out your genre/category on Amazon.com (I stress the .com because I find .ca or .co.uk don’t really have the same options): Figure out which ones your book will fit into. For The Argent Star, not many of them fit. It could really only be Adventure, Dystopian and Galactic Empire. That gives me three more keywords so I need two more.
3. Check out the ranks of books you feel are similar to yours or would be in the same category. I decided to check out Insurgent by Veronica Roth, simply because it happened to be on the top of the page for science fiction and I thought though it’s technically YA, it deals with a lot of the same issues as my book government-wise. This turned out to be a good decision! Here are the ranks for Insurgent: The one that interested me most was the Social & Family Issues > Values & Virtues. These are good options for my book as both play huge roles in the plot, but I never realized they were categories. I now had two more keywords! So in the end my keywords are mystery, dystopia, conspiracy, galactic empire, social issues, values and virtues, and adventure. Some of these might change later on as I go through the publishing process and figure out what works for my book. No two books are going to be the same when it comes to categories and I’ve read that switching things up can help boost sales. For now I have to wait, since mine isn’t even out yet! Let me know what you think of the keywords (and if you have suggestions that’s cool!).
BONUS TIP: You don’t have to make the keywords and categories the same–making them different will help your book gain a bit more exposure in a wider market. For The Argent Star I decided to make my two categories Science Fiction > Space Opera, and Juvenile Fiction > Science Fiction (sadly no sub categories for YA). When I release book 2 I plan on having it in different ones though I’m not sure which yet.