Make Your Book More Discoverable with Keywords

To increase your book's discoverability on Amazon, you need descriptions and keywords that accurately portray your book's content and use the words customers will use when they search. Along with factors like sales history and Amazon Best Sellers Rank, relevant keywords can boost your placement in search results on Amazon.com. 

Best practices with keywords: 
Combine keywords in the most logical order: Customers will search for military science fiction but not for fiction science military. 
Use up to seven keywords or short phrases. Separate them with commas, and keep an eye on the character limit in the text field. 
Experiment. Before you publish, search for your book's title and keywords on Amazon. If you get irrelevant results, or results you dislike, consider making some changes—your book will ultimately appear among similar results. When you search, look at the suggestions that appear in the Search field drop down. 
Think like your customer. Think about how you would search for your book if you were a customer, and ask others to suggest keywords they'd search on. 

Useful keyword types
● Setting (Colonial America) 
● Character types (single dad, veteran)
● Character roles (strong female lead) 
● Plot themes (coming of age, forgiveness) 
● Story tone (dystopian, feel-good) 

For suggestions on search keywords based on browse category, read more here. 

Do not include these things in keywords: 
● Information covered elsewhere in your book's metadata—title, contributor(s),  category, etc. 
● Subjective claims about quality (e.g. "best") 
● Statements that are only temporarily true ("new," "on sale," "available now") 
● Information common to most  items in the category ("book") 
● Common misspellings
● Variants of spacing, punctuation, capitalization, and pluralization (both "80GB" and "80 GB", "computer" and "computers", etc.). The only exception is for words translated in more than one way, like "Mao Zedong" and "Mao Tse-tung," or "Hanukkah" and "Chanukah." 
● Anything misrepresentative, such as the name of an author that is not associated with your book. This type of information can create a confusing customer experience and Kindle Direct Publishing has a zero tolerance policy for metadata that is meant to advertise, promote, or mislead. 

Don't use quotation marks in search terms: Single words work better than phrases—and specific words work better than general words. If you enter "complex suspenseful whodunit," only people who type all of those words will find your book. You'll get better results if you enter this: complex suspenseful whodunit. Customers can search on any of those words and find your book. 

Other metadata tips
● Customers are more likely to skim past long titles (over 60 characters). 
● Focus your book's description on the book's content
● Your keywords can capture useful, relevant information that won't fit in your title and description (setting, character, plot, theme, etc.) 
● You can change keywords and descriptions as often as you like
● If your book is available in different formats (physical, audio) keep your keywords and description consistent across formats
● Make sure your book's metadata adheres to KDP's Metadata Guidelines.

[From Booktown]

Writing Dialog by MWSA Author, John Schembra

A few words about writing dialogue, folks.  First, I am by no means a professional editor, but what I am is an avid reader and author of five books.

I know writing dialogue is difficult but, if we are to be good writers it takes a lot of effort to keep the story moving smoothly, logically, and continuously.

So here's the rub;  if the dialogue is stinted, overly verbose, or not natural sounding it slows the pace of the story while the reader (me) fights his way through it. Sometimes I have to read it a couple of times to make sense out of it. 

That is definitely a main reason why I lose interest and tend to stop reading the book.
When I write dialogue I picture the scene in my head and put myself in the place of the character speaking.  I think "How would I say this?" then have an out loud conversation with myself and hear how it sounds.  Does it run on?  Is it realistic, common speech?  Are there contractions needed? Does it help the flow of the plot?

If the answer to any of those questions is no,  I will rewrite it until it meets that criteria.
Don't forget-It is OK to use common slang and curse words, as long as they fit the scene and are not just gratuitous. Instead of saying "I am going to go to the crime scene" why not say "I'm gonna go to the scene," thereby eliminating the excess verbiage and keeping the story moving at a good pace.  The reader will easily be able to figure out where the character is going. Besides, not many people talk without using common contractions.

When using curse words, keep in mind the who are the readers of your work and make those words age appropriate to the reader AND the speaker. The words should provide emotion to the dialogue and scene and not be gratuitous.

Last point:  You do not have to identify the speaker by name EVERY time he or she talks! If it is a somewhat long or complicated conversation, remind the reader who is speaking by using an identifying phase, such as "Detective Jones took a deep breath and said..."

In conclusion, remember, you may have a great plot and great characters, but without writing good dialogue you just might lose your reader, who might write a poor review of your work, and none of us want that.

[Copied from Booktown.com]

Self-Publishing Presentation by Pat Walkow and Jim Tritten

During our 2017 San Antonio Conference, Pat and Jim gave an excellent presentation covering publishing anthologies.  They have graciously offered to share their presentation.

.  A PowerPoint copy of the Presentation we gave on Self-Publishing and Anthologies
.  Anthology Formatting Guidelines prepared and used by the Corrales Writing Group
.  Editing guidelines used during the production of any Corrales Writing Group Anthology

Many thanks to Pat, Jim and the entire Corrales Writing Group!

 

How to share/lend your Kindle eBook

This trick should be helpful to authors who want to share their book with someone else (without the recipient having to pay for it).  

If you have copies of your book in Kindle format (which has .mobi extension), you can simply email copies of your book.  This costs nothing, and recipients click on the attachment and the email you send it should open in their Kindle reader.  Some authors don't have that option, because someone else handled the conversion of their book—or perhaps the technology was just too baffling!  :-)  

If you don't have that digital copy of your book sitting on your computer's hard drive, you'll have to purchase a copy yourself and then lend it out to others.  

In certain cases, MWSA authors submitting books for review and/or award consideration may be able to use this method to get books to our reviewers.

Please do not send MWSA unsolicited books... use the Awards/Review submission form!

How to loan your Kindle e-book—step-by-step

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Considerations

  • Must be allowed by publisher
  • Loan lasts not longer than 14 days
  • If not accepted in 7 days, book is returned to sender
  • Cannot be read by you during 14-day loan period

How to do it

  • Log in to your Amazon account
  • Go to "Accounts & Lists"
  • Select "Manage Your Content and Devices"

 

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  • Find and click on your book
    • There's a search box on the top right of the page if you can't find your book
  • Click on the "Actions" button to the left of your book
  • If you're able to lend it, "Loan this title" will show up in the resulting pop-up box
  • Click on "Loan this title"
  • Fill in the blanks in the form
  • Send!

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