Amazon Keywords: The Key to Your Book’s Success

Here are some crucial do’s and don’ts to guide you in selecting your Amazon keywords because the better your keywords, the higher your chance of discovery.

Remember the days when bookstores were abundant, and you could leisurely chat with friendly staff, browse your preferences, and maybe enjoy a cup of coffee before making your book purchases?

Well, today, an estimated 86 percent of all book sales occur online. For independent authors like us, it’s closer to 90 percent.

Without the name recognition and marketing clout of traditional publishers, indie book sales barely happen in retail settings like Barnes & Noble. This is why getting everything right in your book’s metadata and Amazon keywords is paramount.

To ensure your book’s visibility on Amazon, you need keywords that precisely represent your book’s content and align with customers’ search terms.

Without the right keywords, your book might not surface in online searches unless someone specifically types your book’s title or your name. Use those seven words or phrases Amazon allows for input, listing your book in the proper Amazon categories to aid discoverability.

Amazon Keywords:

Amazon permits seven keywords to accompany your title—seven opportunities to vividly describe your book with 50-character descriptors or phrases.

Considerations for Keywords:

Setting: Describe your book’s setting in detail, such as Colonial America, French Provence, Philadelphia, or rural landscapes.

Character type: Include specifics like “single dad,” “veteran,” or even unique traits like “angry old man who raises ducks” to enrich your book’s description.

Character role: Highlight roles like “strong female lead” and other character types that add depth to your book.

Plot themes: Incorporate themes like “coming-of-age,” “forgiveness,” which people commonly search for on Amazon.

Story tone: Use descriptors like “dystopian,” “feel good,” “World War I” to enhance the portrayal of your book.

Keyword Do’s:

Focus your book’s description on its actual content.
Organize keywords logically; prioritize phrases like “French murder mystery” over “murder mystery in France.”
Stay within the character limit.
Avoid symbols or punctuation that might confuse the algorithm.

Maintain consistency in keywords and descriptions across different formats if your book is available in various forms (eBook, print, etc.).

Keyword Don’ts:

Avoid misrepresentations, like associating an unrelated author’s name with your book, which confuses customers and risks rejection by Amazon.

Steer clear of qualifiers like “best novel ever.”
Omit information already covered in your book’s metadata from the keywords.
Avoid time-sensitive statements like “new” or “on sale now” in keywords; reserve these for your description.

Avoid variants in spacing, punctuation, capitalization, and pluralization; specificity is key for better visibility.

Do not include quotation marks in your search terms.
Remember, specific words are better than general ones; aim for specificity to attract readers seeking content similar to your book.

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