“Hey, Leslie… Are you okay? We’re worried you’ve lost your marbles on this one.”
No really, hear me out. There’s something you can steal from your book’s competition that can ultimately increase your book sales.
Bonus #1: No one will even notice.
Bonus #2: It’s perfectly legal.
Bonus #3: You get to experience the thrill of being sneaky without any guilt.
Steal Keywords From Your Book’s Comp Titles
At some stage, you may have already learned about comp titles. They’re the books you select that are similar to your book, are aimed at the same target audience, and are successful. Your publisher’s sales department, and hopefully also your editor, use them to guide their decision-making.
If you’re stumped on coming up with the best keywords to include in your book description, turn to your comp titles for inspiration. Books with strong sales are likely to have someone in the background who paid close attention to that book’s metadata, which includes the book description you see on the screen. (Metadata? What? I’ve got you covered.)
If you’re stumped on coming up with the best keywords to include in your book description, turn to your comp titles for inspiration.Tweet to your peeps!
Comb through those book descriptions and see if you can identify key words and phrases that you can imagine someone typing into Amazon’s search bar when they’re looking for this type of book. It’s likely that those keywords were specifically chosen and included for this exact purpose… Not to sound cool in the description, but to serve as an SEO tool. That’s tech-speak for: these keywords serve as a tool to help your book appear in more searches on Amazon, and specifically in more searches that are most relevant to your book.
If it helps, actually print out the Amazon pages for your book’s comp titles. Literally go through and physically underline key words and phrases that you can imagine someone typing into Amazon’s search bar when they’re looking for a book of that kind. (Here’s a good example.) Then go Robin Hood and swipe those keywords away to work into your own book description.
Note that the description you put on Amazon and the one you wrote for your book jacket need not–and in fact should not–be the same.
Do you have more questions about keywords? Leave me a comment below!