Author Topic: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords  (Read 93111 times)  

Online Evenstar

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #100 on: January 03, 2015, 01:58:09 PM »
Let me ask you this. I write erotica, menage. I can't ever seem to show up in menage. For keywords I use menage, bisexual, Lesbian, LGBT and M/F/F. I always show up as lesbian romance. What am I doing wrong? I wouldn't even use Lesbian or LGBT, except it's the lesbian chart I always wind up on, so I figure I must have a small lesbian following, but still, I'd like to be more prominent in menage.

Have you tried stuffing with all the other terms people might search for like: threesome three way two men women group orgy gangbang, that kind of thing?

Online Evenstar

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #101 on: January 03, 2015, 02:03:49 PM »
So I did a bit of experimenting, and thought I'd show a quick example of what I found with my keywords, for what it's worth...

I changed one of my keywords to strong female protagonist. When I search within fantasy (because I'm tiny and I don't think my book will show up if I don't at least start in the overall genre), and search for the exact words 'strong female protagonist', my book comes up on the first page (here's hoping customers are actually using that term). But, using just strong female puts me on page 3 of the search results, and using strong female lead doesn't work at all (at least, it doesn't show up in the first 10 pages and I quit looking after that).

So based on my super scientific experiment of one, I get better placement when the search term is exact, a bit of placement when the search term contains some of the words, and I get buried with other versions of the term that mean the same thing, even though two of the words are the same.

I'm just messing around with it to see what happens and figured I'd share what I noticed, FWIW.

This is exactly the excellent type of research that I would encourage. Playing around in this way will lead you to the golden ticket. 
But you need to be cautious about putting in a term you would search for and then searching for it, because that is no guarantee at all that other people will do the same search. You need to think really carefully about what the "popular" searches will be for that genre and for people who are looking for a strong female protag. Because I agree with the others that this is probably not a popular search and will therefore not help you even though it moves you to the top of the listing for that term.
Something like Feisty Females will probably get you a lot more hits than strong female protagonist, for example.

Online Evenstar

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #102 on: January 03, 2015, 02:11:55 PM »
Question, using my potential keywords as an example -

If I want to show up when people search for fantasy adventure quest, which is a suggested search term, am I better off using those specific words, or stuffing the keyword with something like fantasy action adventure quest thriller because I want all those words somewhere in my keywords?

If I do that (fantasy action adventure quest thriller), will I show up if people search for just
fantasy quest
fantasy action adventure
action adventure quest
And so forth
In other words, I'm wondering if keyword stuffing (assuming they're relevant to your genre) dilutes the effectiveness of the search terms because Amazon shows specific hits first, then hits that include some of the words.

Using Evenstar's initial example, she uses the "stuffed" keyword paranormal romance witch werewolf zombies ghost shifter love and says she'll show up with any combo of those terms. I searched for zombie romance (both words in the stuffed keyword) and Halloween Magic and Mayhem doesn't come up until page 8. So it's there, but not high. Granted, that isn't really the search she's going for first, as zombie romance doesn't describe the book exactly. So I searched for witch romance and I don't find it in the first 15 pages (maybe I missed it?). Would the book show up if the keyword was just witch romance, rather than the longer stuffed keyword?

I'm not trying to disagree with Evenstar at all! This is a great thread. I'm just trying to drill down to see if we can determine more about the effectiveness of different keyword strategies.

What you have found is a great example of what I call "getting lost in the noise." I have no way of getting my book to show up first in the listing with a term that hundreds of others are using. If someone simply types in Paranormal Romance then they are going to get thousands of hits and we poor authors have no way of boosting ourselves to the top of those hits except by being popular already.  This only works when the search terms are more specific. But when they are then you want to be on the first page if at all possible! You want your book to be the one that comes up the moment that someone types in something more specific that definitely relates to your book.  That's basically the most we can do. But do it well and you will show up and you will get a lot more sales from those people who are absolutely looking for a book just like yours. When they look you want to be found!

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #103 on: January 03, 2015, 02:13:18 PM »
I think where you fall on any given search term results depends on your rank. But to answer your first question, I don't think putting the specific desired search term helps you in any way. But really who knows? It's one of those things that is a secret, and I guess Amazon's not telling. If you use the expanded string of terms, your bill will show up in the results of all those possible search terms you listed. But how many results show up in a list is determined, I think, by how many books have relevant keywords and then sorted by order of overall rank. Maybe?

It's like a particular field of science. We know some things that are true, but we don't really know how everything works.

Yes, I agree with all that

Offline RuthNestvold

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #104 on: January 03, 2015, 02:14:10 PM »
Despite all this talk about maximizing keywords, I still wonder how useful it is. Meaning, do people really shop for books this way? I know I don't (but I'm just one person). I think being in the top 100 of a category is useful, but I have to wonder about search terms. Changing my keywords really had little effect on my sales, but I am small potatoes.

I don't agree. I know I search for books via the Amazon search function rather than through categories, and since I've started changing my keywords to optimize them for potential reader search terms, my sales have picked up dramatically.

YMMV. For me it works. And today I changed keywords for another half dozen books. I have made notes and I will report back.
 
 
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Online Evenstar

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #105 on: January 03, 2015, 02:17:31 PM »
Despite all this talk about maximizing keywords, I still wonder how useful it is. Meaning, do people really shop for books this way? I know I don't (but I'm just one person). I think being in the top 100 of a category is useful, but I have to wonder about search terms. Changing my keywords really had little effect on my sales, but I am small potatoes.

I see pretty instant effectiveness. People clearly are searching for books they like using keywords or terms. Just the other day I searched for myself for "teen romantic comedy" not because it had anything to do with my own books but because I fancied reading one.  Usually when you get your keywords right you see an increase in sales.

Then Amazon changes all it's algorithms and it stops working for you. Time to go and change them again!

Offline Claire Frank

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #106 on: January 03, 2015, 02:24:52 PM »
What you have found is a great example of what I call "getting lost in the noise." I have no way of getting my book to show up first in the listing with a term that hundreds of others are using. If someone simply types in Paranormal Romance then they are going to get thousands of hits and we poor authors have no way of boosting ourselves to the top of those hits except by being popular already.  This only works when the search terms are more specific. But when they are then you want to be on the first page if at all possible! You want your book to be the one that comes up the moment that someone types in something more specific that definitely relates to your book.  That's basically the most we can do. But do it well and you will show up and you will get a lot more sales from those people who are absolutely looking for a book just like yours. When they look you want to be found!

Makes sense. Thanks!

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Offline Kylo Ren

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #107 on: January 03, 2015, 02:37:38 PM »
I see pretty instant effectiveness. People clearly are searching for books they like using keywords or terms. Just the other day I searched for myself for "teen romantic comedy" not because it had anything to do with my own books but because I fancied reading one.  Usually when you get your keywords right you see an increase in sales.

Then Amazon changes all it's algorithms and it stops working for you. Time to go and change them again!

But what was your ranking before the change? My theory is that, if you're ranked 200k plus, keyword optimization isn't going to get you any more noticed. Because say you come up in a particular search, you're still the thousandth book on that list. People aren't scrolling that far back. You have to be at the front. You have to have a good rank to begin with.

Offline CN_Crawford

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #108 on: January 03, 2015, 02:48:58 PM »
Despite all this talk about maximizing keywords, I still wonder how useful it is. Meaning, do people really shop for books this way? I know I don't (but I'm just one person). I think being in the top 100 of a category is useful, but I have to wonder about search terms. Changing my keywords really had little effect on my sales, but I am small potatoes.

I think I usually go for "also boughts" That's where the real magic happens. Now I just need to buy up 10,000 copies of my own book along with A Discovery of Witches.

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Offline busywoman

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #109 on: January 03, 2015, 02:50:11 PM »
Despite all this talk about maximizing keywords, I still wonder how useful it is. Meaning, do people really shop for books this way? I know I don't (but I'm just one person). I think being in the top 100 of a category is useful, but I have to wonder about search terms. Changing my keywords really had little effect on my sales, but I am small potatoes.

I search several ways, but searching for specific terms has become my top way of searching.  Here's why.

I used to search by scrolling through the top 100 paid and free lists, but more and more I find the results completely irrelevant, overrun with very short books (especially the "free" lists), or the same books every week.  Amazon has basically destroyed the usefulness of their top 100 lists, unless you're new to Amazon or to the category. IMHO.

And I scroll through "also boughts" or by finding one author whose books I like and buying other books.

But if you read a lot (as I do) you very quickly outgrow those methods because you've read all the books you find.  That's where searching for specific terms on Amazon  becomes invaluable.

I also search Google for top lists and book reviews of certain types of books.  That can lead to great recommendations, I've found. Once I find something that looks interesting, I click through to Amazon and buy it.

Offline Michelle Lowery

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #110 on: January 03, 2015, 02:52:03 PM »
Let me start by admitting I haven't read through all five pages of posts here, so please forgive me if anyone has already posted something similar. :)

Let's assume for a moment that Amazon's search algorithms are similar to those of Google. In principle, they are, although they're created to function differently and search in a different context.

What some of these posts have referred to as "keyword stuffing" are actually long tail keywords. Here's how it works for Google and other search engines:

Say you have a website that sells baking pans. Obviously, you want the single keyphrase "baking pans" to appear in your content and your meta data. However, people don't always search for single keywords, and they don't search just for things--they search for things with a purpose in mind. They also search for more natural terms, and even type out actual questions. (This is what Google's Hummingbird algorithm update addressed).

So someone might search for "What kind of baking pan do I use to make a fruit tart?" It's unlikely you'll have that exact question anywhere on your site unless you have amazing foresight, or someone used your site search for that question, allowing you to see it in Google Analytics, and you made it an FAQ, but I digress.

However, you may have something like "This tart pan is ideal for making fruit tarts." It's not an exact match for the search term(s), but it has enough of the same words placed close enough to each other, and--this is important--the right context that, theoretically, when someone searches with that question, your tart pan page will show up (provided you've done some other optimization as well).

When people search on Amazon, it's less likely that they will search with actual questions like, "What story has a witch and a werewolf falling in love with each other?" They are more likely to search for something like "werewolf witch love story." That can be one of your long tail keywords. Another could be "paranormal love story between witch and werewolf." Again, it has enough of the same words close enough together to--theoretically--appear in results when that person searches for "werewolf witch love story," and to appear if and when someone also throws "paranormal" into the mix.

Theoretically, your book would also show up if someone were to search for "werewolf love story" without "witch" as one of their search terms.

By treating each long tail keyword as its own entity, you can repeat words among them. The key is to maintain relevance between the keywords you choose and your story. In search, relevance is everything. As one poster mentioned, trying to cannibalize other keywords simply to get your book to show up in searches that are not relevant to your story may work for a little while, but Amazon will adjust its algorithm to counter that tactic, and you may find your book dropped from the results it initially did well in. Better to choose a long-term strategy than a temporary tactic.

More complex long tail keywords are going to be more effective than short "stuffed" keyphrases like "werewolf love," "witch love," werewolf witch love," and so on.

Here are a couple of resources that discuss long tail keywords: http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/keyword-research
and search relevance: http://www.bloggerheads.com/search-engine-optimisation/

While they're geared more toward Internet search engines rather than Amazon, I think they can still be helpful based on the principle of how search algorithms work regardless of where they're searching. :)

Offline Cherise

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #111 on: January 03, 2015, 03:34:00 PM »
Question, using my potential keywords as an example -

If I want to show up when people search for fantasy adventure quest, which is a suggested search term, am I better off using those specific words, or stuffing the keyword with something like fantasy action adventure quest thriller because I want all those words somewhere in my keywords?

If I do that (fantasy action adventure quest thriller), will I show up if people search for just
fantasy quest
fantasy action adventure
action adventure quest
And so forth
In other words, I'm wondering if keyword stuffing (assuming they're relevant to your genre) dilutes the effectiveness of the search terms because Amazon shows specific hits first, then hits that include some of the words.

Using Evenstar's initial example, she uses the "stuffed" keyword paranormal romance witch werewolf zombies ghost shifter love and says she'll show up with any combo of those terms. I searched for zombie romance (both words in the stuffed keyword) and Halloween Magic and Mayhem doesn't come up until page 8. So it's there, but not high. Granted, that isn't really the search she's going for first, as zombie romance doesn't describe the book exactly. So I searched for witch romance and I don't find it in the first 15 pages (maybe I missed it?). Would the book show up if the keyword was just witch romance, rather than the longer stuffed keyword?

I'm not trying to disagree with Evenstar at all! This is a great thread. I'm just trying to drill down to see if we can determine more about the effectiveness of different keyword strategies.


Do them all:

fantasy adventure quest fantasy quest fantasy action adventure action adventure quest ...





Offline jakedfw

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #112 on: January 03, 2015, 04:02:27 PM »
Part of the trouble is that we have one tool (keywords) that is used for two very different functions (category placement and search results). Keyword stuffing seems very effective at pinpointing category placement. This is incredibly important at getting your book in top 100 categories where it fits.

EXAMPLE: My novelette "The Old Equations" is consistently in the top 100 of the Kindle Short Reads 90 minute chart. Good, right? But it never appeared anywhere else. I went in and added space exploration and colonization (both of which are relevant to the story), and it now charts on those charts. Keywords=awesome.

Okay, but what about searches? That's the question I think we are all trying to figure out. Will this:

werewolf shifter teen romance love

score well with a search like this:

werewolf romance

Or will it do better on something like this:

teen romance

The answer is how the words in a stuffed keyword are assessed by the Amazon search engine. How is their placement and order used. If they are all just added to a pot then keyword stuffing is great as is. But if word order matters, then this keyword stuffing:

werewolf romance shifter teen love

would be great for this search:

werewolf romance

but not so good for this search:

teen romance

So that is what I think needs to be tested. Because we need to answer these questions:

Do the order of the words matter?
Does the primacy (words near front vs. words near back) of stuff keywords matter?


IF order matters (and my instincts tell me it does), then stuffed keywords will require a lot of repetition to maximize search. For example, if you want to score well in "teen romance" and "werewolf romance" then you would need:

teen romance werewolf romance love shifter romance

etc. etc. as your keyword.

Does anyone have any answers to the above two bolded questions?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 04:07:08 PM by jakedfw »

Offline Moist_Tissue

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #113 on: January 03, 2015, 05:33:43 PM »
While we are on the subject of keywords, check your categories at Amazon. It looks like they re-ordered and added categories. Under the US Fiction, they have added Native American Fiction which I do not recall ever seeing before. They also removed the Gothic category and merged it the Romantic Period.
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Offline Someone

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #114 on: January 03, 2015, 06:04:23 PM »
Quote
fantasy adventure quest fantasy quest fantasy action adventure action adventure quest
Don't repeat quest; you don't have to so it wastes characters

Offline Sever Bronny

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #115 on: January 03, 2015, 06:06:38 PM »
Hmm, from my understanding, if you place your book in the fantasy genre, you do NOT need to use the word fantasy in your keywords. In fact, any keyword already in your blurb (which gains priority over keywords if I recall correctly) does not need to be repeated.

Just checked: I do NOT have the word "fantasy" in any of my keywords, however it IS in my blurb.

Offline Someone

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #116 on: January 03, 2015, 06:28:16 PM »
I'll out myself
I did the Rock The Keywords "book" after doing tons of research, sharing it, and it helping a lot of authors.
I'll use a Select free day and make it free for you non-Ku'ers. I'll run it free for a day to be helpful but then I'll probably put it back to paid because I only get 5 in 90 days ( see talk about original purpose below )
It talks all about punctuation, repeating words, hyphens, etc.

I KNOW there are errors - typos - in it but I/we don't care. Maybe I/we should but I don't now. The errors don't interfere with the purpose or the original intent of putting it on Amazon. They also don't change what we have discovered and if people want to think they do, their loss not ours. It wasn't really ever put up to sell. The purpose when it was published was to use Amazon and KU as a server - to have it all together and only a link away for whoever whenever. When the purpose is no longer needed - the discussion dies off - the price to 2.99 and let it sit in case another time came up. Like now, :) Because I yap on other forums, I gotta be careful about using the 5 free days.
Shhh but using Amazon as basically a server saves the time to type a long post about what a group of people, who studied and studied this by experimenting and looking at results, and/or send an email.  I thought, "heck, I'll just make into what looks like a book. By not hosting it on one of my sites, I can keep my pen names anonymous and still enjoy sharing the info via a link".
We ran experiment after experiment using a lot of software like Kindle Samurai and stuff. ( I don't know why but I love the word stuff, LOL )

I see someone bought it- return it and grab it free.
I'm going in right now to make it free; hopefully it won't take too long ( going to be free on the 4th )
Here's the link. I'm going into my bookshelf now.
www.amazon.com/Rock-KDP-Keywords-Marketing-Publishing-ebook/dp/B00R6AYHYC


EDIT - For those without KU I was able to schedule a freebie for the 4th so it will go free at midnight
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 06:36:18 PM by Someone »

Offline Monique

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #117 on: January 03, 2015, 06:35:24 PM »
I'll out myself
I did the Rock The Keywords "book" after doing tons of research, sharing it, and it helping a lot of authors.

...snip.

Is one of the keyword techniques you suggest the one you employ on that book page by using keywords as contributors?

Monique Martin | author website | facebook | twitter

Offline Sever Bronny

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #118 on: January 03, 2015, 06:36:27 PM »
I'll out myself
I did the Rock The Keywords "book" after doing tons of research, sharing it, and it helping a lot of authors.
I'll use a Select free day and make it free for ya - I'll run it free for a day to be helpful but then I'll probably put it back to paid because I only get 5 in 90 days ( see talk about original purpose below )
It talks all about punctuation, repeating words, hyphens, etc.

I KNOW there are errors - typos - in it but I/we don't care. Maybe I/we should but I don't now. The errors don't interfere with the purpose or the original intent of putting it on Amazon. They also don't change what we have discovered and if people want to think they do, their loss not ours. It wasn't really ever put up to sell. The purpose when it was published was to use Amazon and KU as a server - to have it all together and only a link away for whoever whenever. When the purpose is no longer needed - the discussion dies off - the price to 2.99 and let it sit in case another time came up. Like now, :) Because I yap on other forums, I gotta be careful about using the 5 free days.
Shhh but using Amazon as basically a server saves the time to type a long post about what a group of people, who studied and studied this by experimenting and looking at results, and/or send an email.  I thought, "heck, I'll just make into what looks like a book. By not hosting it on one of my sites, I can keep my pen names anonymous and still enjoy sharing the info via a link"

I see someone bought it- return it and grab it free.
I'm going in right now to make it free; hopefully it won't take too long ( going to be free on the 4th )
Here's the link. I'm going into my bookshelf now.
www.amazon.com/Rock-KDP-Keywords-Marketing-Publishing-ebook/dp/B00R6AYHYC


EDIT - For those without KU I was able to schedule a freebie for the 4th so it will go free at midnight

You're amazing, thank you :D :D

You wouldn't happen to be the one who made an awesome thread a while back on the subject, the thread I've been trying to track down for over a month now? The thread heavily influenced my choices of keywords and how to structure them, including blurb use.

P.S. Will it be available free in Canada? :) :)

Offline Someone

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #119 on: January 03, 2015, 06:38:41 PM »
No Monique. I should have said something about that but I didn't. My bad.
The material only discusses how to input stuff into the keyword box. Just a bunch of pages about that one little box in the KDP bookshelf. All legit stuff - there's no "hey put best selling author" or any of that crap. I push and test the limits but I apply common courtesy and respect for other authors when I do.

TBH the contributor stuff in the listing is actually due to another current experiment we are doing ( and basically now useless because "don't link the book anywhere" and test this kinda thing.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 06:40:59 PM by Someone »

Offline Monique

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #120 on: January 03, 2015, 06:40:26 PM »
No Monique
It only discusses how to input stuff into the keyword box

TBH the contributor stuff in the listing is actually due to another current experiment we are doing ( and basically now useless because "don't link the book anywhere" and test this kinda thing.

Ah. Good.

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Offline Someone

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #121 on: January 03, 2015, 06:43:26 PM »
Sever
Ohhh. I don't know how Canada works. Just to be sure you can get it, PM and I'll send you the raw file.
Others reading this, please don't ask for me to send you the raw file if you can easily get it free. The whole reason it is up on AMZ is to save myself from all those kind of emails. So please, if you want it and you can get it free from AMZ, grab it free. Please.

Offline derekneville

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #122 on: January 03, 2015, 06:50:15 PM »
I just wanted to throw a quick thank you to Evenstar for this post. It's definitely helped me out a lot!

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Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #123 on: January 04, 2015, 02:02:33 AM »
Uh, Jan, you do realise that people searching for the term PI are probably looking for something VERY different?


Er, no I didn't realise this  :-[. I've no idea what PI stands for other than Private Investigator  :o. Now I'm going to have to be more careful when I give talks to the school children and ask them if they know what PI stands for  ::)

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #124 on: January 04, 2015, 02:53:12 AM »
Evenstar,

Thank you! As an experiment, I put my free first in series through the keyword test and the downloads increased threefold. Plus the paid downloads of other books increased by half. Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the sales graph on KDP.

Will now go through and change the keywords for my other books.

Thanks again. You're a treasure.  ;)


'Evans' series has stand out central characters and clever plots.' AUNT AGATHA'S BOO
Geraldine Evans | website/blog | newsletter sign up | facebook | linkedin | twitter | [url=https://www.goodrea