When publishing your first Kindle eBook, many people don’t know a dirty little secret. When you get your book written, edited and finally published on Amazon, no one will know it’s there. It can be the best written book in the world, but unless people can find it, it will languish in perpetuity, it’s bright little icon hidden from view.
I know. I’ve published three eBooks so far, and they all just sat there in their polished digital state, just waiting for someone to click on them and buy them. It wasn’t until I took action and marketed them that they began to sell. Over the next two weeks we’ll explore different ways to get the word out, but today I want to cover an important topic you need to consider before you pull out your pen, paper or word processor and start writing.
You need to clarify your niche.
There are many ways to do this, but I have a simple technique that can help you define your area of expertise the smart way, by figuring out what words people will use to find your book.
Looking back at our post from yesterday, we looked at the sample niche of “woodworking.” We came up with a list of 5 sample titles, each built around a woodworking project. From there we can define some search words that people will use to find your individual books.
Here are the preliminary titles we used…
- How to Build Birdhouses
- How to Build Whirlygigs
- How to Build Doghouses
- How to Build Storage Cabinets
- How to Build Basic Furniture
Lets look at three ways to define them.1. Google Adwords Keyword Tool. This easy to use tool lets you type in your basic search term, and it will show you keywords that users on Google Search are using that relate to your topic.
To check this out, go to the Keyword Tool Page. To get the most from this tool, you’ll need a free account. If you already have a Gmail or other Google account, signing up is easy.
Let’s try a sample. We’ll key in the words “building birdhouses,” and see what keywords come up. We’ll be looking for words that have a large search audience, and low to medium competition.
Looking at the chart above, we can see that “How to build a bird feeder,” would be a very targeted and popular search term in a broad search. Over 22,000 people a month search for a similar phrase, with low competition. This looks like a great keyword, until we fine tune our search by selecting “exact match,” from the search options.
With this option turned on, people searching with this exact phrase drops to 590. Not quite so relevant.
With exact match selected, the following keywords look better.
- bird house kit = 1,900 high competition
- bluebird house = 2,400 high competition
- bluebird house plans = 1,900 high competition
- bluebird houses = 1,600 high competition
- bird feeders = 27,100 high competition
- bird feeder plans = 1,900 medium competition
Since you will be inserting the exact keywords into your Amazon book settings and want to come up with the most appropriate title, using exact match in the keywords tool will give you much better results. As you can see, almost all of these have high competition, so your chance of appearing in the top 10 in Google search will be lower than ones with medium or low ratings. Ideally, you want to find words with good traffic and low competition.
Since Google searches Amazon book pages, you’ll also want to use some of these keywords in your description and author bio. Your book should start to show up in Google results for your keywords after a few weeks. If you are lucky enough to be found on page one of the results your book sales may skyrocket. Fine tuning your book title and keywords can make all the difference. For a detailed look at keyword research check out this Copyblogger Article.
2. SEM-Rush Keyword Search. This free tool is available free for a limited number of searches. This tool is really nice for determining page rank and competition for your keywords. It will also show you the top 20 webpages that are ranked for your particular keyword. This will allow you to view websites that would be good to promote your book to, and view articles on your subject to glean ideas for your writing.
Let’s type in “Building Birdhouses,” again and see what comes up.
The top three candidates all look like good sites to bookmark and visit. The actual page link that is pulling the traffic is linked to the right. In just minutes, this site will give you a wealth of information about your subject.
Clicking on the Natureskills link brings up this article and picture. Just what we need to gather some ideas for our new book. This might also be a place to comment and possibly promote your book once it is published.
3. Amazon Search. Now that you have gathered some keyword choices, you can see what current books are available on the subject on Amazon.
By typing your keywords into the Kindle book search box, you’ll quickly see the current competition in your particular niche.
Your book would be very competitive with this edition and the time element might be something to consider when titling your book. Being able to complete a project in a day has a lot of appeal to many do-it-yourselfers.
This book has an interesting price point and it also includes easy and hard projects to appeal to a wider audience. Easy and Advanced might be some additional keywords to consider.
Here is another book that is priced high, but appears to have a good variety of detailed pictures. The words, “natural approach,” may indicate a specific sub-niche you might want to consider.
Overall: Using these three steps will help you see what keywords people are searching for, the websites and blogs that write about them, and the actual books you’ll be competing with. Writing down your ideas and keywords will definitely help you with the next step in your book writing adventure. When you upload your book, Amazon allows you to include seven keywords to help their audience find your book. Choose wisely.
Tomorrow in our Kindle Publishing series, we’ll look at some tools you can use to collect your ideas and outline your book.
Question: What keywords describe your niche?