Keywords

You’re limited to 7 key phrases on Amazon and 10 on Smashwords. Use them to help people find your book. This is where you boil down your book into the shortest possible phrases to match categories.

For instance, if your book would appeal to lovers of contemporary romance, you’d include those two words as a phrase, then add “romance” as a stand-alone “phrase”. Amazon can be a great help here.

  1. Start here: http://www.amazon.com/-/b/?node=1000.
  1. Look at the subjects and pick one to follow. Don’t worry, if your book fits more than one of these, you can come back and start again with another.
  2. Make a note of the genre on a piece of paper or some “note” on your computer.
  3. Drill down within this subject, say “Romance”.
  4. Along the left side, you’ll see some “sub” categories with numbers next to them. That’s the number of books within that category. Go ahead and note the ones that fit your book on your scratch pad. Now, here’s where you get creative because not only are you looking for keywords, you’re trying to ferret out 2 places to use on your Amazon listing page. Amazon will put your book in these two places and give them more weight in a search. And if someone is drilling down like you are, your book will show up (somewhere) in that list.
  5. So, make a note of the two with the LEAST number of competing books (as long as they are categories people will actually look in). It’s easier to get noticed in a small pond and Amazon has millions of shoppers, so even a small sampling of those shoppers can amount to thousands of potential customers for your book.
  6. Keep drilling down and making notes until you reach bottom. Then start over further up the line until you’ve exhausted the possibilities.

Now pick the best category and save it as a phrase (unless you intend to “live” in that category, in which case you don’t need to waste a keyphrase on it). Then 2nd best, and so on until you run out. This is your keyword (key phrase) list. If you don’t have 7, don’t worry; you can still use the filing categories. You won’t be penalized for not maxing out the list.

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