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So, you want to publish on Amazon? Great! It turns out it is not so easy…
My dear friends,
With three filled notebooks, two brand-new coffee pots, and one updated prescription for anti-anxiety pills, I am ready to submit my book to Amazon. Let me tell you what I have spent the last six hours doing.
Looking up keywords for indexing using publisherrocket.com.
Are you asking what keywords are and why I need to use a web program to figure them out?
Yup, so did I.
When uploading to ANY Epub or book distribution center, there are seven words or phrases that you need to map out for your novel. Using those phrases will help the computer widgets market your books to the right audience. I, myself, would rather not be looking up fantasy romance and be given a list of gluten-free cooking cookbooks- so it makes sense to get the phrases correct.
And it would seem easy, just remember what you wrote and choose the most appropriate phrases.
But it is not easy. It is actually less easy than the social media requirements that I wrote about in my last blog. This is because you have to compete with thousands of other writers in your overarching genre. Do you know how many fantasy / YA fantasy writers are out there? THOUSANDS.
A debut writer enters the stage with a successful blog but no published books to her name. Tell me how that is going to stack up against the Sarah J. Maas’s and the Elizabeth Kostova’s?!?
Therefore, I need all the help that I can get with these key phrases because I have nothing else to set my book apart. But then again, I am a fantasy writer who includes a historical element in my writing, coupled with some romance and a very healthy dose of dark fantasy. That is a lot of different aspects of fantasy. So how do I reduce it to seven words?
I cheat. I use a computer program… Publisher Rocket. If not, I would be walking blind and underprepared.
Thanks to my guardian angel, I have the ability to spend a lot of my time researching, comparing, watching YouTube, and asking questions of already published authors. If I got paid for the time and effort I put into this book already, I would have quit my day job months ago.
Furthermore, my guardian angel owes me after working part-time for the last forty years. And before you say anything, I know that my guardian angel is a ‘he’ because he consistently disappears when there is work to be done. For example, this morning when I woke up at 2:30 and stumbled downstairs to make my morning cup of coffee…he was nowhere to be found to warn me that I was putting flour in my cup instead of sugar.
As I said, seven hours later, I narrowed my list of potential keywords from 1,000 to 765. Because I need to vent, and you are a dear friend, I am about to tell you why I still have 765 key phrases using only the word paranormal as an example.
Here are my top paranormal phrases:
Paranormal romance, paranormal adult romance, paranormal YA romance, paranormal book fiction, paranormal cozy mystery, paranormal fantasy, paranormal romance fantasy…
You get the idea….
However, I also have elements of mythology, deities, shapeshifters, vampires, writing, authors, books, romance, Valkeryie, and hell in my book. Each one of those is another list of 5-7 keyphrases that I could use as one of my potential seven.
But that is not all. You must use statistics to see what key phrases have been typed into the search bar on Amazon. I have to compare how many people actually bought a book with those phrases (or read the kindle), how much the average cost of the book was, and how many fellow writers you are competing with.
Let’s not end there, because I am not even done. I have narrowed my list to 765, but I want to check out the competition since readers are attracted to more than just key phrases. Now I must read the descriptions of the books being sold that match my writing style and take notes. My book may be the hottest book in the world, but if my description is awful, nobody will read it.
I have written my description at least 15 times by now. I thought I had it this morning at work. I just knew that I was on the right path. So I called my mother and read it to her. And after a deliberate pause, she says- ‘well that is one way.’
What the ________ (fill in the blank).
So back to the drawing board I must return. It is currently 11:10. It has been 3:30 since I started working on this (since I had to make coffee), and my key phrases are not dwindling down and I do not have a description. The editor just called me because she found that somehow I misspelled thighs in the final proofreading. I am not sure where I was heading with that unless my MC wraps her things around his waist during the hot-and-heavy scene.
I think my venting is over. I really should get back to work. The publication date is right around the corner and according to my mother, I can’t write a 200-word description of a 97,500-word novel.
I think I am going to take a break and watch TikTok.