On 28 February 2013 I read an article on Joanna Penn’s blog about choosing Categories and Keywords for eBooks. I followed the process and my sales began to take off. I blogged about that here.
Yesterday, I read a new article by Jordan Smith about the use of keywords. Following Jordan’s process I went into Amazon.com, keyed in the 7 keywords that I had chosen for my WW2 book, The Black Orchestra, and jotted down the number of hits. Here’s what I found:
WW2 13,818 hits: mostly history books and historical memoirs
WW2 historical 4,518 hits: History
WW2 Germany 1,752 hits: Poor rankings
Spy story 3,771 hits: History, some erotica. Poor rankings
Thriller 17,878 hits
Series 341,000 hits!
All of these figures are too high. My book is buried under enormous piles of (mostly irrelevant, non-fiction books or books about erotica). Spy story is the only one of my keywords doing any real work!
Searching for better keywords (or key phrases) I found these:
WW2 Historical fiction 2,051 hits
Spy thriller 6,918
WW2 spy story 373
WW2 spy thriller 139
WW2 action 859
WW2 action adventure 717
WW2 German resistance 63
WW2 Coming of age 105
WW2 fiction series 543
WWII historical fiction 1,319
WWII fiction 2,084
WW ii historical fiction 2,238
WW ii fiction 3,618
I held onto WW2, but replaced all of my other keywords with 6 selected from the above list.
For my Irish detective novel, Houdini’s Handcuffs, the keywords I had in place were these:
Crime thriller 123,220
Organized crime 6,540
Irish crime 1,433
Ben Jordan 29
These figures are hopeless. After some research I reset my keywords as follows:
Organized crime fiction 4,052
Irish crime fiction 1,144
Irish detective 1,090
Irish detective mystery 1,032
Irish crime thriller 968
Irish detective series 385
Irish crime novel 162
It will be a while before I know if these new keywords are more effective than the old ones, but my hopes are high.
Read Jordan Smith’s article and try it for yourself.