Following on from my last post, where I looked at categories. Today I thought she would look at Keywords and the importance of getting this right, to help your book get noticed and hopefully make sales.

Like with categories, it is important that your keywords match the content of you book, so for this post I'm going to use my own book. Michael Saxon Waterloo as an example of how to keyword your book for a specific genre and audience.

When you first upload your book onto Amazon you will end having to select keywords in the detail section.

it will look like this.

Here you can see the keywords that I selected for Michael Saxon. Since my book is aimed at young adults specifically, I used that term quite a bit in my keywords as that is the target group and hopefully where my book will make the most sales. Although my book is Historical Fiction I decided not to use this specific term on its own. If I had and someone searches for historical fiction my book would have very little chance of being seen in the first 20 pages when your in competition with the likes of Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow, Ken Follet and so on. However if I keyword for Historical fiction for Teens and Young adults, then this is more specific for my book and probably less competitive so my chances of being seen increase. (Hopefully) Nothing is guaranteed, but things can become clearer when you use keywords in an amazon ad campaign for example. Here you have a better chance of seeing what works and what doesn't.

Keywording for an Amazon ad campaign

So if you have never done this before, the most important thing to mention is that it costs. How much it cost depends on the number of times someone clicks on your book. So lets say someone searches Historical fiction for teens and I have that keyword and I have set a bid at 51p. If my bid is the highest my book will appear as a sponsored ad hopefully on the first page. Bonus my book can be seen. If that person clicks on it then I get charged 51p. If they then buy it for £6.99 then awesome a nice profit. However if they decided it's not for them then I'm 51p down.

Don't fret too soon, you can control your budget on how much you're willing to spend per day. I usual start around £3 a day. but because my keywords are quite specific and not general I rarely even spend that much, but it does vary so you need to keep an eye on what your spending and what you are making on sales. The idea obviously is to be in profit.

So to do a campaign is relatively easy once you know and understand the process. So let's quickly run through it.

Your book is published and showing on Amazon so now you want to do a campaign add say in the UK.

First you go to KDP, log in to your account and go to Marketing.

This is what you will see.

Ignore KDP Select and Author Central for now just concentrate on Amazon Ads

Click on choose, it will give you a choice of where you want to market your book. For this example we will use UK.

Select that then press Campaign it will take you to the following page.

Here you can give. your campaign name so I would use something like. MS(Michael Saxon) UK Nov 2021

Where it says daily budget select what you're willing to pay per day (£3 for example.)

MAKE SURE MANUAL TARGETING IS SELECTED. as you're using your own keywords.

Where it says Dynamic bids - down only or up and down and fixed. I tend to choose Up and down for my campaigns and have never used fixed. I have tried down only but the up and down option has worked best for me and converted into more sales. It may be different for you so experiment with it.

Under that you will see the above. Add an AD group name. Michael Saxon UK 2021

and click add for the book your advertising. one you do that it will appear on the right of the add.

I always select the paperback and not the e-book as obviously the paperback gives a better return and if someone clicks on your book the option to purchase the e-book is still there if they want to buy an e-book instead.

Next comes targeting and this is where your keywording comes into play.

As you can see by the image above Keyword targeting is highlighted. which is what you want.

Below that it gives you options. you need to set up you campaign as follows.

Select Enter List, set suggested bit to default and unselect phrase and exact, making sure that only broad is selected. Change the default bid to 51 instead of 50 as this will help your bid to be selected over the 50p ones that many authors will just use. You can set this higher if you like but I tend to start with 51 and alter later when I can see which keywords are generating sales and which are not.

Since you selected Enter list, you can now add keywords into the box on the left. you can have as many keywords as you like the more you have the better chance of getting clicks on your books. But once your campaign is live you must monitor the costs, as clicks cost and if there are no sales it will soon mount up to a tidy bill. so check it daily if you can or at least a couple of times a week.

Once your happy click add keywords and they will all appear on the right as shown. You can add or remove these keywords throughout the campaign, thus keeping those that are making regular sales and deleting those that are costing you clicks but delivering no sales and so forth.

Next comes Negative Keyword Targeting

Here I usually only add things like:


Free book

Free kindle book

Free e-book.

It's the same process. Type in what you don't want targeted and click . Add Keywords. Again they will appear on the right and you can add and remove as you wish.

Then you ready to go:

Click on Launch Campaign and the process is complete.

KDP will contact you via e-mail once your campaign is live.

Easy right?

So how do you select the right keywords?

Well like you did for Categories we go to the Amazon website. (Unless you have Publisher Rocket that does it all for you)

Make sure your not logged into your account go incognito( Very Important )

Then select BOOKS on the Amazon search bar and type in something that relates to your book or genre.

Below you can see I selected Young Adult, Young adult adventure and Time slip.This gave me drops downs of other words and phrases that can all be used as keywords for you add campaign you just have to pick those that work for your book.

You can repeat this process over and over, using the words and phrases you have chosen to generate more and so on, until you have a good list to add to the keyboarding section of your ad campaign. The more you have the better, to start with, you can then whittle them down once the campaign has been running for a while. Some will generate sales some will not, but give it some time before you remove them altogether as you may get only two clicks on time slip fiction in a three month period but generate 1 sale.(Thats a profit) where as you may get lots of clicks on Young adult fiction books but make no sales whatsoever. That is when you have to decide what to keep and what to remove. You can't really make that call in a couple of weeks, so make sure you budget for a decent campaign period so that you have enough data to streamline your ad moving forward.

Don't let an Ad run continuously if you are not making a regular profit. Monitor your keywords add and remove where you see fit. and if sales don't follow close the add down.

Like everything what is popular now may not be in 6 months time so maybe pause or archive the add and try again in 6 months.

I hope this has helped clarify how keywords work and how important they are in terms of getting your book seen and generating sales.

And remember promoting at the right time of year can help too. Christmas is a prime example so you could run a short add leading up to this period. It's all trial and error but I hope I have at least helped you through the process.

As always I'm happy to answer any questions you have, providing I know the answer. I'm not an expert in this by any means so use this only as a guide.

There are plenty of good blogs and you tube videos that will help you further,

Thanks for spending the time reading this and feel free to share. It all helps other.

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