Search words are one of the most important tools used to sell a novel, so you want to use them wisely. At Amazon you are allowed 7. That’s it, so you have to pick carefully. Did you know there are rules for what search words are allowed and which ones aren’t? The following is a list of what not to use.
• Reference to other authors
• Reference to books by other authors
• Reference to sales rank (i.e. 'best-selling')
• Reference to advertisements or promotions (i.e. 'free')
• Reference to anything that is unrelated to your book's content
This list is straight out of Amazon’s rules. Wondering why you can’t use another author’s name as a search tool? Try searching for a famous author, it can become a struggle trying to actually find a book by that author. You shuffle through page after page of books by other people. By using that author in your listings, you are in fact damaging that writer’s career. Also it’s a big no-no as far as Amazon is concerned. When caught you will receive a warning, then your books will be taken off Amazon if the search words aren’t removed. I’m paranoid about upsetting Amazon. Let’s face it, most e-book sales come from Amazon, so I don’t want to do anything to get kicked off.
I can understand the why Amazon does not want you to use most of these as search words. What I don’t understand is the last one. Why would anyone use one of their precious search words for something that has nothing to do with their novel? Sure, I might get more hits on one of my westerns if I put a famous TV show like DUCK DYNASTY in the search words, but the people searching for anything related to that show probably wouldn’t have any interest in my book, so chances are I would lose sales by not using one appropriate for my novel. Not to mention Amazon says don’t do it, so I won’t.
So what search words should you use? That depends completely on what you’re selling. Were there more categories your novel would have fit in, but you were only allowed two? This is a good place to add those. The setting of a novel is always a good thing to include. The nice thing about self-publishing is that you can always go back and make changes. If you can’t think of 7 great search words, put your not so great search words. Get the book published, then give it some more thought and go back and make changes.
The nice thing about Blogger is that you can use famous TV shows as a search word. Think I should? (DUCK DYNASTY!)