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Mercia McMahon said:
Thanks for this post. Due to it I redid all my books and now a search for "Pacific North West Japanese" has Seattle in Shorts sitting proudly at the top. Of course that is because I meant to type what most people do "Pacific Northwest," but the alternative spelling helped. Prior to reading this post Pacific North West was not one of my keywords.
Yep i was going to mention this. spell like readers spell. they don't spell like we do. for instance i'd never write BDSMerotica in a search term but somebody does
 

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Discussion Starter · #402 ·
Eva Lefoy said:
but you only get 400 characters total, right? so that's too many words i think
Depends how long the words are! ;) A lot of my keywords are stuff like: love kiss bad boy girl first time, so they don't take up a lot of characters but get me into a lot of search terms.

I would recommend you put in everything you listed and then just keep going with anything else you can think of until you run out of space.

Also this is only 266 characters and you could lose half those commas and all the filler words (like "and" and "some") so that's a good starting point :
sci-fi erotic romance, gay historical erotic romance, MFF erotic menage, loads of paranormal erotic romance, some UF/vampire erotic romance, asian multicultural interracial bdsm/kink, rock star romance, geek romance, werewolf/shifer romance and contemporary erotica.
 

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Thanks I'll work on that. I was shocked to see I'd only used half of them. I have more room! yay!
 

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This thread is SO helpful. I had no idea keywords were so complicated! I'm working on creating new ones right now.

I'm just a tad bit confused about getting a book to show up in a specific category. My book is paranormal romance, so to get it to show up in that category, I need to type in "paranormal romance" followed by a comma, correct? So if I type in a long string of words without a comma (for example: paranormal romance ghost spirit love adventure mystery), it might not be categorized properly? If I'm right on this (and I think there's a pretty high chance that I'm not), that means I need to make my keywords like this:

paranormal romance, paranormal romance ghost spirit love adventure mystery

Or am I understanding this incorrectly?
 

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I am so psyched out by keywords. I have been reading this amazing post for hours and a little bit of hope is seeping back into me. I have my first advertising promotion coming up 3/2/15 thru 3/6/15 and I know my keywords could use a vast improvement. I am in a couple of the categories I would like to be in via the 'non-classifiable' requesting from KDP route, but all in all I am in so few categories. Two questions: 1) Having my promo so close (and I am very nervous about it coming off without any huge hitches) would I be better off waiting until after the promo to start tweaking the keywords? (Several people have said it has taken weeks to see the results of their tweaking.) 2) People have said if you have few sales (which is me) that it's hard to show up in the first few pages in searches (even after the keyword stuffing). Well, I'm in as I said very few categories but they are pretty small. Maybe I'd be better staying in them until after the promo? (And I don't know if I'm dreaming or not, but what I'm afraid of is that the promo will work great and I could have been in all these great categories and I won't be.)
 

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I've monitored this thread since it began, and while I think there is merit to tweaking and fine-tuning keywords, I think that, like so many other pieces of advice we read, what works for one might not work for all.

However, I'm all about keeping an open mind in looking for ways to increase visibility, and it sounds like others have been able to do just that by working with keywords, so hurray for them!  :D  For myself, I'm on the verge of publishing a new project--non-fiction--and can't find the right category.  I've found similar books that seem to be doing pretty well in the niche categories. 
  Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Humor & Entertainment > Television > Guides & Reviews
  Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Humor & Entertainment > Television > History & Criticism

I don't know how to get into the "humor & entertainment" category.  The Humor category has no relevant options and seems to deal mainly with things like jokes and stand-up routines.  The closest I've been able to come so far is
  PERFORMING ARTS > Television > Guides & Reviews

Obviously I've put "TV television humor entertainment" in my keywords, along with other pointers to the subject in question.  I wonder if that will be sufficient to get mine into the "Humor & Entertainment > Television > " categories with the other book.

(Edited to fix typo.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #408 ·
Lottie said:
This thread is SO helpful. I had no idea keywords were so complicated! I'm working on creating new ones right now.

I'm just a tad bit confused about getting a book to show up in a specific category. My book is paranormal romance, so to get it to show up in that category, I need to type in "paranormal romance" followed by a comma, correct? So if I type in a long string of words without a comma (for example: paranormal romance ghost spirit love adventure mystery), it might not be categorized properly? If I'm right on this (and I think there's a pretty high chance that I'm not), that means I need to make my keywords like this:

paranormal romance, paranormal romance ghost spirit love adventure mystery

Or am I understanding this incorrectly?
The comma debate rages on. I like to use them, others think they are a waste of characters. But you most definitely do NOT need to repeat keywords as above. My advice would be yes, put paranormal romance and then a comma, but don't put it again that really is a waste
 

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Evenstar said:
The comma debate rages on. I like to use them, others think they are a waste of characters. But you most definitely do NOT need to repeat keywords as above. My advice would be yes, put paranormal romance and then a comma, but don't put it again that really is a waste
Awesome -- thanks! Now I'll have more keywords to input! Even with having multiple instances of "paranormal romance" in my keywords, I've managed to make my book number 4 out of 857 when you search "paranormal romance ghost adventure" or number 3 for "paranormal romance spirit adventure." I'm still testing some of my keywords, but I'm really happy with those results. This method definitely works!
 

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Thankyou Evenstar for your most illuminating post. I am odd and not yet a star! Are you saying that as long as there is no comma, you can keyword string forever eg after seventh keyword?
 

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I think this is precisely why I saw my sales double last month over January, and why they're already looking to overtake February.  I'd been treating keywords like words, but Amazon doesn't seem to know what a keyword is.  When I started just loading up as many key terms as possible into the field without using any commas, and just going until I ran out of space, I started seeing my own books in searches when I was looking for things to read.

It's probably breaking some sort of rule somewhere, but hey, it's working for me.
 

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Lottie said:
This thread is SO helpful. I had no idea keywords were so complicated! I'm working on creating new ones right now.

I'm just a tad bit confused about getting a book to show up in a specific category. My book is paranormal romance, so to get it to show up in that category, I need to type in "paranormal romance" followed by a comma, correct? So if I type in a long string of words without a comma (for example: paranormal romance ghost spirit love adventure mystery), it might not be categorized properly? If I'm right on this (and I think there's a pretty high chance that I'm not), that means I need to make my keywords like this:

paranormal romance, paranormal romance ghost spirit love adventure mystery

Or am I understanding this incorrectly?
In my experience, you don't need to put a comma anywhere. I just rambled on in my keywords, putting them in as I thought of them, and my books are all where they should be, category-wise. The one I uploaded last night is in

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Fairy Tales
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Historical
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Myths & Legends > Norse & Viking
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery

commas are only an extra six characters, though. If you absolutely need that extra six-letter word, then leave them out. Otherwise, they're optional.
 

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ML-Larson said:
I think this is precisely why I saw my sales double last month over January, and why they're already looking to overtake February. I'd been treating keywords like words, but Amazon doesn't seem to know what a keyword is. When I started just loading up as many key terms as possible into the field without using any commas, and just going until I ran out of space, I started seeing my own books in searches when I was looking for things to read.

It's probably breaking some sort of rule somewhere, but hey, it's working for me.
They seriously doubled? Just from changing keywords? January is normally my best month with Feb in a steady decline.
 

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skyle said:
They seriously doubled? Just from changing keywords? January is normally my best month with Feb in a steady decline.
More than, overall. Changing the keywords was the only change I'd made, and it definitely made a difference. I just wish Amazon gave us analytics so I knew which keywords were the ones that got the most traffic.
 

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Evenstar, I need help with both COVERT DREAMS and DEADLY EYES. I've made a bit of progress using the info. you have so kindly offered here, but I still don't feel that I am reaching my full potential.
 

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I have read the first several pages of this thread and the last several so apologies if I'm repeating something that was already said in the middle. Here are some things I've discovered about keywords:

1.Amazon recommends against this (but doesn't forbid it) but if your title is/has a meaningful search term, I recommend repeating that in the key words. As an example, my book New World Orders only sells single digits per month these days and when I searched the kindle store for "new world order" or "new world orders", the book would come up on the third page. However, after I added new world order to my search terms, it started coming up on the first page. If new world order were not a search term anyone would use, it wouldn't be worth doing, but in this case it is.

2.Here's the Amazon KDP link indicating what keywords you need in order to get in certain categories. It's down the page under Categories with keywords requirements:
https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A200PDGPEIQX41

3.Note that keywords help you with more than just categories. They also help you with the "Refine By" areas on the left menu. Try this - go to Amazon and browse the kindle store and select mystery thriller and suspense (don't put anything in the search box). You'll see underneath where you selected that on the left it says Refine By and you can select certain Characters and Moods. Some genres have no Refine By options and others have them but they're different than those for thrillers. The KDP link I posted tells you what those are. Also, a few of the Refine By options are NOT tied to keywords: "Action-packed" under thrillers is not, for instance. To get that Refine By Mood you have to have Fiction>Action Adventure selected as one of your categories and a Thriller category selected for your other category.

4.To use a keyword to get your book to appear in a sub-category based on keywords, you have to do more than just enter the correct keyword. You also have to have an actual category selected with the correct top level category. If I want my book to appear in Thrillers>Conspiracies, I have to both put conspiracy in my keywords AND make sure at least one of the categories I select is a thrillers category.

5.You can't use keywords to get yourself to appear in a category that can be selected in the categories list on KDP, at least I have not been able to. Only those categories mentioned in that link I posted can be obtained using keywords. So while keywords are a backdoor into getting more than two categories, they only work for categories than cannot be explicitly selected.

6.Aside from keywords targeted at getting you into categories or Refine By options, it's important to try to choose keywords that actually have evidence of being used in searches. You can easily find this out by starting to type it in the search box on Amazon (not sure if this works on touch screen devices but it does on PCs). If Amazon doesn't finish your search term for you before you're done, there's a very good chance that it's not a common search term and there's probably not much benefit in using it. As others have noted, even if it is in the search box you also want to make sure that it or some combination of it and your other search terms brings you to a page that has some decent traffic (a few books that sell "decently" which could be a debate all in itself) but where your book could reasonably make the first page either immediately or with a small sales increase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #417 ·
edwardgtalbot said:
I have read the first several pages of this thread and the last several so apologies if I'm repeating something that was already said in the middle. Here are some things I've discovered about keywords:

1.Amazon recommends against this (but doesn't forbid it) but if your title is/has a meaningful search term, I recommend repeating that in the key words. As an example, my book New World Orders only sells single digits per month these days and when I searched the kindle store for "new world order" or "new world orders", the book would come up on the third page. However, after I added new world order to my search terms, it started coming up on the first page. If new world order were not a search term anyone would use, it wouldn't be worth doing, but in this case it is.
That's really interesting! I never thought of that, I just assumed that my title would be my primary search result with keywords coming second. Now I'm off to try adding my title to my keywords and seeing if that makes a difference. Thanks :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #418 ·
MTM said:
Evenstar, I need help with both COVERT DREAMS and DEADLY EYES. I've made a bit of progress using the info. you have so kindly offered here, but I still don't feel that I am reaching my full potential.
Hiya, PM me the keywords you are using at present for one of the titles and I'll have a look over them for you
 

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I can't remember if I mentioned it on this thread, but I was told on the phone by someone from Amazon that the blurb and look inside all count towards keywords.
 

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Evenstar, I just PMed you my keywords for COVERT DREAMS as you requested. I thank you in advance for your help.
 
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