Amazon is always changing. This means that your Amazon keywords may not be as effective as you would like.
Your Current Amazon Keywords May Be Obsolete
They may even be out of date. Where keywords on Amazon used to be a “set and forget” marketing effort, now with more than 4,500 books being published daily, things change more quickly than ever. While we suggest updating them quarterly, at a minimum, you may find that keyword recommendations are changing more frequently, sometimes monthly or even weekly.
So how can a committed indie author keep up?
Follow the tips on this blog for one, and two, spend some time on Amazon at least once a week, checking your current batch of keywords to see if they’re still worth using. Not sure how to do this? I recently wrote an article on Amazon keywords that you may find helpful.
Besides keywords, there are other Amazon trends you'll want to stay abreast of. While previously we recommended adding keywords to your subtitle to help with your algorithm, now we're finding that subtitles are a must. Without them, your book might not gain the visibility it deserves.
Subtitles on Fiction Book Covers
The purpose of subtitles is to help give the book a descriptive boost. Readers don’t spend a lot of time with book descriptions like they used to in the days when vague “guess what this book is about” book titles worked well. Now, potential readers spend the majority of time with the book cover, title, and subtitle. Each subtitle example I’ve shared helps to further enhance the page while also serving the reader’s goal of finding the right book.
Stay on Top of Reader Trends
Adding a subtitle on the actual cover is fine, but keep in mind that if you’re in a genre where reader preferences and keywords change frequently, you may want to avoid doing that. For example, trends in the romance genre often change frequently. Sweet romance is a big thing right now, with readers wanting more sugar than spice, and including that in your subtitle could make a big difference. But back when Fifty Shades of Grey was hitting every bestseller list, clean/sweet romances weren’t popular the way they are now. So, it’s important to remain aware of what’s hot in your market.
Using Keywords from Your Metadata
You’ve probably read my articles on finding good keyword strings for your Amazon KDP dashboard, or to give them to your publisher to add to your book page. And you can also use them in your subtitle if you do it right! The trick with a good subtitle is that you don’t want something that is just stuffed with keywords; it needs to make sense as well. In other cases, you want to make sure you’re appealing to the reader and what will attract them. For example, using the term “clean romance” or “fast-paced thriller” can help to focus the book towards key readers. So, something like this works:
But this book could probably use a subtitle that was more geared to pulling in new readers. Because if you aren’t familiar with who Poppy McVie is, you may not be inclined to grab this book.
What If Your Subtitle Change Is Not on Your Cover
One thing to keep in mind if you’re using a subtitle on Amazon that isn’t included on, or that is slightly different from, your cover is to reach out to Amazon before pulling the trigger. They tend to be ok with it if the subtitle makes sense and isn’t just a mishmash of keywords.
Another idea, especially if you have complete control over your cover, is to work with your designer to make a slight tweak to the cover that includes your new subtitle.
Ultimately, a strong subtitle makes for stronger sales. Especially when coupled with other strong Amazon keyword use and marketing efforts! We’d love to hear how it works for you!
Staying on top of Amazon keywords, trends, and new ways to get more exposure isn’t always easy. I try to report on it as much possible and I’m happy to do your keywords and categories for you! Head on over here to get started!
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