by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig
One of the things I want to spend more time on this year is promotion. Last year I was so busy writing (5 books, when I usually only put out 3), that aside from sending out my newsletters upon release, holding Goodreads giveaways, and making sure my SEO was good, I really didn’t do any promo.
Most of my promo practices in the past have revolved around good and consistent metadata (keywords, categories, ensuring the series name is consistent on retail sites) so that readers could find my books easily online. I still am a big believer in this…it takes little time and no money and visibility is so important these days in a crowded marketplace.
I’d read about Dave Chesson’s Publisher Rocket (also known as KDP Rocket) for years and was always tempted to get the software…and then somehow always ended up handling it myself, instead. I’d look for popular keywords the old-fashioned way: by slowly typing my genre into the Amazon search window letter by letter to see the most popular searches.
Needless to say, this was time-consuming. Plus, popular keywords change. I was already familiar with Dave through his Kindlepreneur site, his free book description generator (which I use with every book), and Dave’s guest post here on my site. I’m not an affiliate…I was just desperate to save time, ha. I paid $97 for the Publisher Rocket software.
There were no issues with installation because the ‘thank you’ email from Dave included a short video with instructions (and an offer to immediately help if I ran into problems).
The dashboard is simple and easy to use. If you run into any trouble, just click the ‘tutorial’ link on the bottom of the screen.
When you do, a whole list of video resources comes up.
I concentrated mainly on the keyword search button, although I’m also going to be changing/adding some categories, as well.
Under keyword search, I started typing in different keywords that I thought readers might use to look for my book or for books similar to mine. I used some of the keywords that seemed to have been good choices the last time I checked.
I put in “Southern Cozy Mystery” and this came up:
So, to recap the info ahead (which may be in little print, sorry), I have 1,641 competitors for that keyword…other authors who’ve included that keyword in their metadata. The average monthly earnings of those writers is $1403. There are no Google searches for that term. On Amazon, there were $1,468 searches for the keyword. The competitive score is 56, which means it’s of middling difficulty to rank on Amazon for that keyword (the closer you get to 100, the worse it gets).
I tweaked the search a little by going to the orange button on the top-right and clicked “new search.” I typed in “southern mystery” and this came up:
So, to recap the data above, I can see slightly more readers searched for “southern mystery”…but there are a lot more writers who are using the keyword…6,578. The competitive score is much higher, at 82. The competitive score for “southern mystery books,” a keyword which never would have occurred to me, is much better at 75 and with quite a few Google as well as Amazon searches. That looks like a keyword I might use.
I also played around with the category search, although I was sure I could do no better than the categories I was in (cozy animal mystery). But after a few minutes taking a look at the site, I realized my translations could rank a lot higher if I changed their category. Dave also has an incredibly helpful video on adding more categories than the three it seems we’re allowed.
None of this took long and it was actually really interesting to see the results. Another important thing to note…keywords become more and less popular, so this is a great tool to keep using. And now I feel good that I’ve done something useful to help my books gain visibility.
Have you tried Publisher Rocket? What types of promo activities are you looking at doing this year?