Good day, blogger friends! Hope this finds each of you well and ready to learn!
Last week I introduced you to one of my newest online friends, Young Adult fiction author C.R. Wills. His original post included the art of tagging books at Amazon.com. Being as quick as I tend to be I wound up confused and wound up with a wonderful offer from Chris to demystify the technique. So… here’s Chris! 😀
Tagging on Amazon – how it can help you sell more books
What is a tag?
On Amazon, a tag is a category label for a book. A tag can be a genre, for example, Crime or Romance. It can be more detailed, like True Crime or Historical Romance. A tag can be any label that could be associated with a book; it could be the author’s name; it could be a word like Amnesia; it could be a phrase like 18th Century Vampire Romance inLondon.
You can find tags for a book below that book’s reviews. On Amazon pick a favourite book you have read, go to the page for that book and find the tags. You will notice the tags are in blue type, underlined and they have a number in brackets beside them. The number refers to the number of people who have tagged that book with that word or phrase. As this is a book you have read, do you agree with the tags? There may be more hidden under the title ‘See all xx tags’ Click this to reveal all the tags people have attached to the book.
Click on the tag with the highest number. You should be taken to an Amazon Community page for that tag. In theory all the books displayed on that page are of the same type because they have been tagged with the same tag. Hover your cursor over the book in the number one spot. In theory, this book is in the number one spot of that tag category because it has been tagged with that word or phrase by the most number of people. Is your book on that page, or the next?
To sum up what we have learnt so far. All books can be tagged. They can be tagged with almost any word or phrase (no profanities and nasty words) Tags can be used to search for similar books – great for readers who want to read books similar to one they have just read.
Search for all books tagged Sweet Romance
Let’s find books in the category of Sweet Romance. There is no use typing Sweet Romance in the search box of Amazon because it will search for books with Sweet Romance in the title. Go to a book page on Amazon of a book you would categorize as Sweet Romance. On the page for that book, scroll down to the tags. If there is a tag called Sweet Romance click on it.
If there is no tag called Sweet Romance, type Sweet Romance into the box next to ‘your tags’ then click ‘add’. You have created a tag called Sweet Romance for that book. It should be in blue type and underlined. Click on the tag.
You will be taken to the Sweet Romance Community page. On the day I looked there were 319 books on Amazon.com tagged with Sweet Romance. Note these are not in bestseller order. In theory, they are in order by the number of times they are tagged with Sweet Romance.
Hover the cursor over the top book (don’t click). You will see a balloon revealing information about the book, on the day I looked it was ‘Listen to Your Heart ‘ byMargaretLake. I saw that it has been tagged 161 times with Sweet Romance. This is why it is number 1 on the list.
Who has tagged this book?
Readers, family, friends and others. Every person with an account at Amazon can tag any book with up to 14 different tags. So 161 people, not necessarily buyers of the book, have tagged ‘Listen to Your Heart’ with the phrase Sweet Romance.
Remember I said ‘in theory’. For some reason, there are books with a higher number of Sweet Romance tags, like number 5, ‘Not What She Seems,’ which has 319 Sweet Romance tags. This anomaly only seems to apply to the top few and one or two on the second page. All the Amazon instructions clearly state, the more tags, the higher up that list.
How can tags help an author?
I did an experiment. Entirely at random, I chose a book tagged Sweet Romance; No Matter Why by Joanna Aislinn. It had one tag of Sweet Romance and was on page 4 at number 111 on the list of 375 Sweet Romance tagged books. I added one tag of Sweet Romance and ‘No Matter Why’ jumped to number 65 on the list and now appears on page 3.
Why is this useful?
A reader looking for books tagged Sweet Romance might look at the first three pages of books and not go to the fourth page. The more Sweet Romance tags No Matter Why has, the higher it will appear on the Sweet Romance tagged list, so the more likely a customer is to see it and maybe buy it.
Every Amazon account holder can add 14 different tags to as many books as they want. Authors can tag their own book. Think about it; every tag adds that book to a tag community; if you are an author, make sure you use all 14 tags and choose your tags carefully.
How should an author use and choose tags?
If a reader wants romance and they use tags to get to the Romance Community they will see 54,203 books. Top left of the page they will also see ‘Narrow by popular tags’. If the reader decides to narrow by Historical Romance tag, they will reduce the list to 7,138 books. Then if they narrow using Medieval Romance they reduce to 519 books.
So when choosing tags think of how a reader might find your book. Make sure you include the bigger genre tags and some that could be used by readers to narrow down.
When encouraging family and friends to tag your books give them the list you want them to use because that way, you will get a higher number of the specific tags you want and your book will jump higher up the lists.
A tag is a category label. Tags can be used by readers to search for books of the same category that they want to read. Tags can also be used by authors to move their books higher up the category lists so they can be found easier.
Tagging is similar to what authors used to do. They would go into a book shop and rearrange their own books to an eye level shelf so customers can find them easier; and they would encourage friends in other towns to do the same. It’s not going to make you a bestseller unless your book is excellent, but it might get you more noticed. Happy tagging.
Excellent information you’ve provided here, Chris. (Love when I get a mini-education out of a post!) Thanks so much for sharing your time and knowledge with us today. Best wishes and best of luck in all your endeavors and hope to see you here again!
As always, I thank all of you who stopped in today. Hope your day is great and looking ahead to a fun Friday post,