They almost never follow my advice. I'm not sure why. Adding or changing Keywords is easy, takes only minutes to do, and can potentially make a huge difference in the number of readers who come across your book. It seems like a no-brainer to me, but what can I say? I have three kids. I'm used to people not listening to me.
Karen Dionne, and I realized that maybe I hadn't done a very good job explaining about keywords in the past.
I received an email from Ms. Dionne announcing that her internationally published thriller, Freezing Point, was available on Kindle for $0.99. Even though I'd already read it in paperback, I bought it for Kindle because--hey, it's 99 cents! Plus, I always like to support a fellow author.
Then next thing I did, nosy person that I am, was to find out what Keywords she'd chosen.
This part of the process is completely optional and some authors gloss right over this step, thinking it doesn't make much of a difference. Other authors pick Keywords that are specific to their book--things like character names or the fictional town where the novel takes place. To me, these authors are missing the point.
Karen actually had a pretty good list, but I thought I'd offer some suggestions on how she could improve it. I emailed to ask if she wanted some buttinsky advice offered in the spirit of being helpful, and smart woman that she is, she welcomed my thoughts.
***In my email to Karen I said: One of my strategies for getting visibility for books on Kindle involves making full use of the allowable Keywords and Categories that Amazon has you enter when you first upload the book. You can change them after the fact at any time. I haven't uploaded a book recently, but the last I knew, each book was allowed two categories and
The reason Keywords and Categories are so crucial is that this is how people who are looking for your type of book find yours when they enter a search word or phrase. The idea is to use keywords that people are likely to use, but not such common keywords that everyone is using them, because you want your book to show up within the first few pages of results.
Make sure you pick two categories. It ups your chances of getting on more lists as the book sales start to pick up. Take care with your seven chosen keywords. (This is where I gave Karen specific advice) You might want to correct the spelling of Antarctica--unlike Google, the Amazon search engine is non-forgiving of typos. Also, you can take out your own name, since the book will automatically come up when people search for your name. That's a slot that could be used for another search word. Thriller is good. Eco-thriller is even better, because there are likely to be fewer results for that term. I'd also suggest keywords like: cheap kindle, new release, suspense, action adventure, suspense thriller, scientific thriller, disaster movie, etc. and so on.
To backtrack a bit, you should know that Karen has a history of being generous to other writers. She is the cofounder of the online writers community Backspace, and organizes the Backspace Writers Conferences held in New York City every year. Knowing this, I wasn't surprised when she responded that she had no problem with me using Freezing Point as an example on my blog.
She also noted that it took several readings of my email to see exactly what I was talking about, because at first she had looked at the wrong place on the Amazon page and thought I was referring to this:
If you're a Kindle author, I hope you find this information helpful. Go forth and reassess your keywords. You never know, there may be room for improvement.
Edited to add: I've had a few people ask exactly how you would change the keywords on an existing Kindle book. I noticed the question also came up on Karen Dionne's Facebook page and author Steve Lehto answered it so well, I'm going to borrow his response:
Steve Lehto - Go into the Kindle account and then hit EDIT on each book. The keywords are on the first of the two pages that contain the details for the book in the Kindle system.
Thanks, Steve! You said it more succinctly than I could have.
(If you found this post helpful, please consider sampling/buying one of my books. Maybe this one? EDGEWOOD Just a suggestion. Thanks! :-)