Tag Archives: book categories

How Readers Can Find Your Book




At Barnes&Noble, Waterstones or local indie bookstores, customers can browse in categories where book covers, titles and blurbs help them to discover great books. Finding books at online retailers readers have to type phrases and keywords into the search bar in order to have the right books – the reason for author in selecting relevant keywords.

Keywords for Title or Sub-Title
Marketers state that 80% of the effectiveness of ads depend on your headline. The same is true for book titles. Especially for non-fiction books, your book’s title is most important for search results and must be well-related to search terms. Not easy for fiction books… If your title is “Annabel’s Secret”, a short sub-title, such as “A Victorian Era Mystery” will help with keywords to make it easier being found by readers.

Create a List of Words and Phrases
Imagine what customers type into the search bar to find what they want to read – not your name or book title. More important are subjects in your book, such as “business writing” or “historic romance” or “finding academic jobs” for example. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) explains it: “Along with factors like sales history and Amazon Best Seller Rank, relevant keywords can boost your placement in search results on”

Test Your Keywords at Amazon
Type them into the search bar slowly, one letter at a time and watch as prompts appear with words, you might be looking for in the search field. The most popular searches will be on top of the list.

Use Google’s Keyword Planner
Amazon’s search bar gives no data how often a term is searched, it’s wise to check these and similar ones with Google and see if one word or phrase is more popular than the other.
By testing similar terms at Google, you will find the numbers of each search term.

Categories with Keyword Requirements
The following genres are designed to be linked with keyword suggestions that will help to rank books in certain categories.  Amazon writes: “In order to list your title in certain sub-categories, you’ll need to add Search Keywords in addition to the categories you choose for your title. Click a category in this list to see the keyword requirements.”

Examples from Amazon for each of these categories can be found here:

  • Romance
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Children’s
  • Teen & Young Adult
  • Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense
  • Comics & Graphic Novels

Important: Keywords
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) allows (only) SEVEN keyword choices Use short phrases, two to three words long, mixed with single words, such as “publishing,” “pets” or “airplanes.” Combine them with phrases like “children’s bedtime stories” and “glider flying” for example. Imagine you are a reader searching by subjects for a book. Never use words or phrases, such as “best”, “latest”, “most important”, “new,” “on sale,” “available now” “fiction” “novel” “book” or your author name or the category or title of the book.

Keep the Title Short
The book’s description should be related to the book’s content and keywords to the setting, character, theme and plot of the book. Always use description consistent across all your book formats, for your e-book, print and audio-book.

A Word of Caution
Amazon states: “Selecting a category for your book is a lot like deciding where your book should be shelved in a library. KDP uses BISAC Subject Codes, an industry standard system, to help determine where your book should show up for browsing and searching customers.”
However, the “browsing path” that Amazon generates from your choice is not always the same as the BISAC category you chose – and even more confusing: the browsing categories for books and e-books are NOT identical! Author Louise Locke describes in her blog how she could find the right category for her book on Amazon, only because as an independent author she was able to – which is rarely the case when going with a trade publisher.

As book discovery moves more and more to digital databases and online searches, your book’s success will also rely on the right keywords, phrases and the best category.




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Posted by on January 9, 2014 in Marketing, Publishing


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Book Marketing on a Shoe String

The Internet offers a cornucopia of free and effective promotion tools for writers. They can achieve these marketing goals through online activities in a fun way, as most writers already like to hang out in cyberspace and blog away.

Join Book Communities
As an author it is a MUST to be a member of these communities and a free (other than your time) way to introduce your book(s) and show your book titles. Join GoodreadsWattpadScribdBookMoch or Shelfari. More on my blog about book communities and for direct links. Post snippets (or chapters) of your book to excite potential readers at Wattpad – see my blog about Wattpad: 15 million readers before the book was even published.

Use your signature
Never send out an email without your author’s signature. You have probably heard this advice before, but: do you use the gains of e-mail signatures to market and promote your books?
Every day you send out emails to friends, business colleagues, your lawyer or accountant, potential clients, potential readers … If you have an email signature, you are constantly sending people “passive” marketing, spreading the word about you, your brand and your books. Create your email signature right now!

Involve social networks.
Show up on Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook and Linkedin (at least Google+ and one more of these). Click on “public” when posting on Google+ and your content will be immediately picked up by Google’s search engines. If you share interesting links (and your blog posts), and offer great free information, you will quickly become a favorite in these social networks. Your followers and connections on Social Media will later become your fan base, read and subscribe to your blog posts and newsletters and buy your books.

Comment on other blogs.
Take the time to find bloggers who write about topics similar to those you write about. When they have something good to say or you can add something to what they have written, leave a comment on their blog. Each time you do so, you leave behind a link to yourself, your website, or your blog. If people who read your comment find what you have written interesting, they will click on the link to find out more about you. They may then decide to become regular blog readers or subscribers, newsletter subscribers, or book buyers.

Start and maintain a blog yourself.
Blogs serve as the best tool for increasing online visibility as these are constantly updated and thus attractive for search engines. The more visible you, your book, your website, and your blog become, the more traffic (readers) your blog will attract. This means more buyers for your book now or when it is released. To create a successful blog, write about something you feel passionate about and do so often and consistently. That’s all it takes.

Contribute content to e-zine article directories.
Recycle parts of your blogged book manuscript or blog posts into short articles you can post in content farms or e-zine article directories, such as,, and many more. Often they have a resource box for a short bio and a link back to your website, book, blog, or subscription form. These articles are picked up by other bloggers, newsletter editors, e-zine editors, etc., and each time your resource box is featured. Readers click on your links to find out more about you, subscribe to your blog and newsletter or purchase your book. You can even use an e-zine article distribution services, such as, and get your articles distributed to hundreds of e-zine directories at once, making
it available to hundred thousands of new readers and possible book fans. Or you can really do it on a shoestring and create your own data bank of e- zines and submit your articles to them.

Optimize your Amazon Page
What you can do to climb up to bestseller status:

– “autograph” Kindle books
– choose the best categories for your books and update them regularely
– add tags/keywords/subjects to your book listing for more exposure
– add lots of reviews, “About the Author” and additional information to your Amazon sales page
– get the most out of your Amazon Central account, create a brilliant authors page
– find out which part of your books your customers highlight the most on the Kindle and post it on your website or blog.

No Money? No Problem!

Success in social media book marketing and with the tools described here, doesn’t require any financial investment. Depending on your level of involvement, it may demand a time commitment, at least in the beginning. Yet, as more you use these marketing tools, as faster you can handle them and as more visitors and buyers you will get.


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