by Sherrie Wilkolaski

Over the weekend I was looking for a book on Amazon and I could not find what I was looking for.  I was searching for a newly released title, so I expected that the Amazon Search may not pull it right up at the top of my inquiry however, I was more concerned for the long-term search results for this book as the author had not associated any keyword “tags” for his title.  I don’t want to name names, but I will tell you this.  The title I was looking for is one of the only books on the subject matter that covers an historic event that no one else has written about.  Huge marketing opportunity for this book and the author did not include the name of the historic event in his marketing copy or in his Amazon keyword tags.  It got me fired up.

Amazon Keyword Tagging.

Every book that is sold on Amazon can be “tagged” with specific key words that will improve the search-ability of that product.  This does tie into setting up a Listmainia! list on Amazon.  Both tools are keyword driven. Listmania! focuses on grouping books together by title…a list of favorites and yes, it is tied to key words.  What I want to focus on today is getting your books properly tagged so that potential readers can find your title during their search for content.

  1. Identify your keywords.  What is your top 10 list of keywords that you want people to associate with your book.  When they go to Google or Amazon and type in specific words, will they find your work.  Keep it simple.  You want to always have in your keywords list, the author name and book title.  You can knock two of the keywords off your list of top 10.  Now think logically about what you would search for, to find your book.  Think somewhere between general and specifics.  I know I use cookbooks as an example time and again, but since everyone has different tastes in food, makes sense.  Think about what type of cookbook you would search for, if you had to buy one book to make your perfect meal.  That is how you should be thinking about coming up with your keywords.
  2. Use your keywords in all of your marketing.  Not only will you add your keyword tags to your book on Amazon.  You will do this on your website, in your Goodreads account, in your online and offline media kit.  Your book synopsis and your press release should all include your target keywords. You don’t need to use your entire list all of the time, just make sure you’re using them consistently in all marketing and promotion that you’re doing.
  3. Check out your competitors keywords.  Do the research to find out what words your competing authors are using and jump on the bandwagon.  You may want to use a word that they use and also use a similar word, to carve out your own niche.  If a competing title in your genre is using the words “rock climbing” you may want to use those words but also add in “hiking” and “mountaineering” as your additional keywords.

To learn more about how to quickly add your keyword tags to your book listed on Amazon, they provide a very nice overview of the how tags work and how to add them here.

Have you updated your Amazon keyword tags?  Tell us about it below…


Sherrie Wilkolaski

About Sherrie Wilkolaski

As the founder and president of Author’s Boutique and PubSmart Sherrie Wilkolaski is a Renaissance woman of the publishing industry. She brings to the writer’s table an effective fusion of marketing proficiency, best-selling accolades and a background in journalism. Her international public speaking credentials and social media savvy provide independent authors and traditional publishers a multifaceted strategy to achieving success. Sherrie’s specialized insight into the mechanics of the publishing process resulted in the formation of her distinctive boutique publishing house style, which bridges a client’s status from aspiring writer to published author. As a best-selling author, Sherrie has first-hand knowledge of the creative writing experience and the challenges involved in printing, packaging, marketing, and selling books. She has effectively harnessed the benefits of social media and site promotion to maximize an independent author’s circulation and public readership. In 2011, Sherrie co-founded traditional publishing house Pressque Publishing and is a consultant and publishing services broker for a number of small to mid-sized publishers and printers, including HP, and Infinity Publishing. She is columnist for Press Pass, Publisher and Editor of Luxe Beat Magazine and a featured blogger on a variety of industry publications. She is the former Director of Publishing Services at Lulu. Sherrie’s new radio program, PubSmart, is launching later this year. Sherrie sits on the board of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association and was a featured speaker at the 2013 Annual Conference in Hawaii presenting, “The Power of a Book”: How to Use a Book to Enhance Your Career/Credibility as a Journalist”. A global conference speaker, she addressed members of the HP Dscoop Graphic Arts Asia Conference in Beijing, China in 2013. Sherrie is the author of best-selling book, “How to Start a Wedding Planning Business” and the popular coffee table book series, “Cookies and Cocktails”. Her much-anticipated book “How to Bulletproof Your Book” is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2013. Sherrie is a broadcast journalism alumnus of SUNY College at Buffalo and is a 2012 graduate of the Yale Publishing Course.