Hank Quense writes humorous and satiric sci-fi and fantasy stories and has published 19 books and 50 short stories and dozens of articles. He often lectures on fiction writing and publishing and has a fabulous new step-by-step guide called How to Self-publish and Market a Book (available September 15, 2019). In this guest post, he offers expert advice on using keywords to attract readers to your work:
“Readers will search for a book by using a short descriptive phrase such as ‘fantasy quest’ or ‘regency romance’. These are known as keywords …. 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. A reader looking for a fantasy novel 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.
Once you get a set of keywords, you can use them in a variety of ways. 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.
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: 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.’”
Bravo, Hank — write on!