The Learning Curve

February 15, 2019

I never assumed transitioning to Indie would be easy. And honestly, I feel like everything has been just about as hard as I thought it would be. Some things, like finding a great cover artist, turned out to be easier than I’d expected, but others have taken up the extra effort.

 

One of the harder things? Keywords. Like Amazon keywords.

 

Anyone with a website who’s ever tried to dig into SEO (Search Engine Optimization) knows that having the right words in the right places can make an enormous difference in how much traffic your site gets. Amazon keywords are even harder to manage.

 

For example, when listing Girl of Glass on Amazon, I had to choose from the Juvenile fiction categories. From there, I somehow got listed as a children’s scary story. Children—and by that I mean like under the age of ten—really shouldn’t be reading Girl of Glass. However, the top of that category is The Hunger Games, which is definitely not for kids.

 

In order to get my book listed with other Young Adult, I have to rate the age. Okay, that makes sense.

 

But then there are weird hacks you have to use in order to get into the right categories. Like dystopian romance. You’d think you can just type in dystopian romance as a search term. But no no, there are special catchphrases you have to use in order to make it into a specific category.

 

I’ve been spending my work time on diving into the plethora of lists to figure out which keywords will really get Girl of Glass closest to its real target while still being niche enough to stand out amongst the millions of other books on Amazon.

 

If you hear a distant scream and a computer crashing out a second story window, don’t worry, it’s just me trying to conquer search terms.

 

Note: No actual computers were harmed in the publishing of Girl of Glass… yet.

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Megan O'Russell

Fantastic Worlds. Unlikely Heroes.

Megan O'Russell

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