Monday, September 9, 2019

How to Self-Publish and Market a Book: KEYWORDS



Hank Quense on Keywords




Keywords are frequently referred to as tags.You may not be aware of this, but search engines don’t care about your book title.  It’s true if you enter your book title or your name into a search engine, the results will include your book and your name. 


Readers will often search for a book using the name of a best-selling author but readers can’t enter the title or the name of a new self-published author since she and her book have achieved little recognition so far. 

Another way readers will search for a book is by using a short descriptive phrase such as ‘fantasy quest’ or ‘regency romance’.  These are known as keywords and this is the situation where you want your book to appear in the search results.  To accomplish this, it is vital that you develop a set of keywords that will ensure your book title will show up in the reader’s search results.

The keywords you want to use are ones that readers in your genre will use when browsing for a book.  These keywords are not necessarily what your book is about: they are the terms a reader will type into a search engine.  

Let’s say your book is a fantasy novel filled with elves and dwarfs.  You may think ‘dwarfs’ and ‘elves’ would be great keywords.  They are not.  A reader looking for a fantasy novel won’t use them.  Instead, he will search for terms like ‘fantasy adventure’ or ‘fantasy quest.’  Consequently, it is important for your marketing efforts that you develop a relevant set of keywords. 

Google has a free keyword planner you can use to help generate your keywords.  You can access it using this link: https://ads.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner/

Another free keyword tool can be found here:  https://keywordtool.io/

Here is a trick you can use on Amazon.  In the search box, start to type a keyword.  Amazon will auto-complete and show you its most popular keywords.  As an example, type fantasy into the box.  By the time you finish typing ‘fantasy’ you’ll see some keywords that may be relevant.  

Keep typing and add the word ’adventure’.  Now you’ll see better keyword suggestions.  You’ll have to develop your keywords before you upload your book to a packager.  If you have a publisher, they will develop the keywords for you.

Your keywords can also be used with blog posts about your book.  On your blog post, there is space to enter all the keywords you developed.  This will assist search engines in finding your blog post.  

To repeat: keywords are important.  Spend time to develop the correct set.

Once you get a set of keywords, you can use them in a variety of ways.  Besides the packagers and blog posts, you can embed them into your book blurb and your short and long synopsis.  Search engines love this usage. 

As an example, here is the blurb for my new novel The King Who Disappeared before I generated the keywords:  ‘A long time ago, Bohan was a king.  But that was before the sleep spell.  Now that he’s awake again, it’s time for revenge.’

The keywords I used are: fantasy adventure, fantasy quest, fantasy humor, fantasy comedy.

Using these keywords, I modified the book blurb to: ‘A long time ago, at the beginning of this fantasy adventure, Bohan was a king.  But that was before the sleep spell.  Now that he’s awake again, it’s time for a quest to get revenge. Fantasy humor doesn’t get better than this.’

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This article was taken from my new book, How to Self-Publish and Market a Book
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Hank Quense writes humorous and satiric sci-fi and fantasy stories. He also writes and lectures about fiction writing and self-publishing. He has published 19 books and 50 short stories along with dozens of articles. He often lectures on fiction writing and publishing and has a series of guides covering the basics on each subject.  He and his wife Pat usually vacation in another galaxy or parallel universe. They also time travel occasionally when Hank is searching for new story ideas.
How to Self-Publish and Market a Book will be available on September 15, 2019, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashword, Kobo (H
ank’s website: http://hankquense.org/wp) ( Hank's Facebook fiction page: https://www.facebook.com/StrangeWorldsOnline?ref=hl





8 comments:

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I've heard a lot about key words, so I knew they were important, but I never knew how to decide. Using their suggestions is a great idea. And I'll keep in mind trying to write keywords into the blurb- never knew that either.

nashvillecats2 said...

I thought this most interesting to read, must try your tips when my book is finished......WHEN is the operative word.
Have a good week.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's cool there are keyword planners so you can get a bunch of good keywords to use.

Juneta key said...

Congrats on the new book. Great tips about keywords. I did not know any of that.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Keywords are so important and the word itself is misleading - key phrases are what really matter. The keywords have to be combinations that will lead people to your book.

Jemi Fraser said...

I've just started researching keywords so this is very timely for me. Thanks for the tips! :)

Patsy said...

Thanks for this. I can see the keywords I've picked may not be the best options!

Unknown said...

Hi, Hank, I totally agree with you on this. Keywords are definitely a big factor when it comes to generating sales. Many people struggle with this specific action, so they don’t put forth the effort. I think all self-published authors need to know how important it is to use keywords.

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