More authors are turning to eBooks as a publishing medium rather than ‘tree’ books. It certainly has merits as a publishing channel. It’s cheap, fast, ecologically efficient, and relatively easy to use – from both the authors’ and readers’ perspectives. Kindle, of course, is the largest eReader in use today, and its sister company, Createspace, is probably the world’s largest self-publishing platform. Both subsidiaries of Amazon, the world’s largest book seller, WordPlay is happy to use them as the publishing conduit for authors using WordPlay Publishing’s assisted self-publishing program.
Traditionally-published or self-published: marketing is your responsibility
But once you’ve had your book published, how does it find readers? This is down to you, the author. And don’t think that being traditionally published removes this obligation from you. Increasingly the publisher is leaving marketing and publicity to the individual author.
There are, of course, many ways today to get the word about your book out there. The bad news is that they all take time and effort – well, no one ever said anything worth doing was going to be easy. The good news is that marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. Over the coming weeks we’ll be looking more closely at marketing, and how you can build an author platform for no cost. Yes, that’s right, no cost!
Your first port-of-call, though, and something you should bear in mind with all of your online efforts, is to use great keywords that will help attract potential buyers of your book.
What are the best keywords for book sellers?
A key word is simply a word (or phrase) that helps an online audience find you and your work. Think about when you search Google, looking for a map that shows you where Anywhere Street in Anywhere town is. You might key in ‘Anywhere Street’, ‘Anywhere Town’, and ‘Map’ in your effort to find what you are looking for. These are your search terms, and form the basis of keywords.
The keywords to use to sell your book
Let’s say you have authored and published a romantic comedy novel. Think about the words and phrases you might key in to search for that type of book. It’s not likely that you would enter words such as ‘murders in New York’ for example. You might, however, key in ‘romantic funny story’. Here are some tips on how to choose keywords and how to use them:
Think about keyword types to promote your book
How would you look for your book online? Think about the things that you want to read about, and how they relate to your book. Choose keywords that fit into these five categories:
- Your book’s setting (London streets)
- Your characters (divorced mum, ex-military)
- Character types (timid male, retiring female, decisive male cop)
- Plot (romantic comedy, detective thriller)
- Story (exciting, misery, feel good)
Forget these as keyword choices to sell your book
There are some words that you really shouldn’t use. They waste space, and that is at a premium. Or they repeat what is already available. Here are a few examples:
- Don’t use a common knowledge word. For example ‘book’: customers known it’s a book.
- Don’t make claims that others might not agree with. Just because you think it’s the ‘best’ you can’t say that.
- Temporary claims, such as ‘new’ and ‘recently published’ should also be avoided.
- Don’t misrepresent your book. Don’t say ‘like Jane Austen’, for example.
Learn to use Google Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner is its new keyword tool. Learn to use it, run your ideas through it, and garner other keyword ideas. Then use these accordingly.
The key to using keywords to promote your book
- Make your keywords relevant
- Don’t use speech marks
- Focus on the description of your book
- Keep keywords consistent across all
- Use keywords in a logical order
- Experiment and think like a reader