So you’ve published a book. You just launched it or you’re about to do so. What’s next? How do you get it in front of people?
It all comes down to the search engine.
If you aren’t familiar with the term SEO (it’s something drilled into your head in business school), it stands for Search Engine Optimization. To say that in English, it’s the process of understanding how to utilize search engines (Google or otherwise), so that your book comes up relatively high in the results. For example: I write historical fiction set in Ancient Rome. SEO is understanding the tools I can use to get my book to come up at the very top of a search for “book about Ancient Rome” or “Ancient Rome novel”.
Every search on every search engine results in primary results. These are the ones that show up at the very top, and are otherwise set apart from the rankings below them. All of this is ranked by what the search engine deems as the most relevant.
If all of this business talk confuses you, don’t worry. Just remember that every search engine ranks the results of a search by relevance. The most relevant to the search, the higher it will appear. And we all want our books to show up at the top, right? SEO is how we train the search engine to put our book first!
While it’s important to understand the fundamentals of SEO for any sales (including books), it doesn’t really matter on book selling platforms like Amazon. Or does it?
This is where many authors make a mistake. They misunderstand what Amazon is at its foundation. It is a search engine. Just like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, Amazon is a search engine. It ranks results based on relevance and which book (based on trends and insane amounts of data collection) Amazon believes the reader is most likely to purchase. Amazon is a search engine where viewers are shopping instead of scrolling. That alone should place it at the center of your marketing efforts. Your conversion of views-to-sales will be much higher than on any other search engine platform.
And Amazon is a cold and impartial judge of their results. They don’t care if your book is published by Harper Collins or by your mom and pop. It doesn’t consider whether the price of your book is .99c or $99. It will prioritize the books that readers are most likely to purchase.
SEO is how we get our book at the top. It is how we get our book in front of new readers. SEO on Amazon is the new and improved version of a front display at a bookstore- because it’s a bookstore for the readers who want your book and are most likely to buy it.
SEO plays a role in every marketing aspect of the author’s career. The marketing author must consider it in book descriptions, the 5-7 keywords you can select, in your pay-per-click campaigns (ppc), and even recently inside your book. But don’t worry about that. One step at a time.
Next month we’ll jump right in with book descriptions, and keep moving from there.
Vincent B. Davis II is an author, entrepreneur, speaker, and soldier. His first novel The Man with Two Names was published in July 2017 and has since become an Amazon International Best Seller. He is passionate about helping authors improve their brand and platform. He works with publishing companies and individual clients to help them sell more books in the modern publishing environment. Vincent is also the Senior Editor for blueridgeconference.com. If you are interested in contributing a blog for the site, or have any other queries, you can reach him at Vincent@thirteenthpress.com