Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tag, You're It!

I read an interesting blog post today by agent Kristin Nelson that you can find here.  The hot topic this week in publishing concerned "discovery."  Meta data key words reflect one way that end users search for books (and other products online). It got me to thinking about my own "meta data," blog labels, and "tags."  In the past, I have just randomly selected some words that I thought people might search and then find my book.

I did not know that tools on the internet existed that track meta data and searches.  If only I had known.  This would effect the words I choose.  Especially considering that on Kindle Direct Publishing they only allow you a total of seven meta data tags.

My debut book, DARK MOUNTAIN, is a thriller/suspense novel that has elements of paranormal/occult and some elements of horror (especially if people actually ingesting blood makes you queasy).  I chose to use meta data tags for "vampires" and "werewolves" but I declined to mention them in the description.  Then, I also have this dark cover with the tag line, "Sometimes evil runs in the family."  My other five tags were, well, embarrassingly bland.  My name.  The title of the book.  "Thrillers," "suspense," and "Oklahoma authors."

I have changed them now, almost 9 months later.  My tags are now, "Stephen King,"  "horror,"  "vampires," "paranormal thriller," "occult," "Lee Child," and "suspense."  We will see if this increases sales.  This will be an interesting experiment.

My newest book, CRY ME A RIVER, is a suspense/thriller with elements of romance, adventure, and espionage.  It takes place in Colombia.  It has an assassin, a rogue DEA agent, a handsome photographer whose family owns a drug cartel and the woman who hires him.  Of course, she doesn't know his past and soon she becomes a pawn in the fight to protect the family business.

The meta data tags I chose for it seemed fitting, but lo, I have only sold two copies since December 6.  I thought with the Christmas rush and the fact that I gave away over 500 copies of DARK MOUNTAIN, that I would get some attention drawn to this book.  I think it has a catchy cover, but I think that maybe the market is flooded right now.  I don't know.  I think it is the better book.  So, I am experimenting with the data tags on this one as well.  I chose "Lee Child," and "Clive Cussler" for this one as well as "romance," and some other tags that have been getting hits.

We shall see.  I will give it thirty days before I evaluate other ways to boost my sales.  How about you guys?  What are the key words you search for when you are seeking your next read?