Do you know what tags are and how to use them to your benefit?
Should you care about tags?
Visibility – plain and simple.
Our shared story
Like any author, you’ve spent months, perhaps years writing your novel. Hours of writing and re-writing, conversations with your editor, discussions over format and typesetting, more editing, self doubt, cover design, back blur, reviews, placement, on and on. Now it’s published but how do you get that visibility that will translate into book sales? You may have written the next Harry Potter but without marketing how will anyone know? Even if your book is in brick and mortar stores, it’s likely you’re not getting prime placement on an end cap – so you have to hope someone spots the spine of the book, pulls it off the shelf, reads the blurb and decides to buy. Lots left to chance in this scenario with over 80,000 books published a year.
Online, Amazon is king.
The Holy Grail – bestseller lists or maybe the “movers and shakers” list. Tough for any author to hit especially with over 5,000,000 books on Amazon. And if you hit the bestseller list, well, you really don’t have to worry about visibility. What about the other 4 million plus books out there?
The key – book “tags”.
For each book, an Amazon customer can place “tags” which they think describes the book (e.g., “great read”, “summer fun”, etc.). As you enter these tags, a drop down box will appear that actually shows you the different tags and how often they have been used. For example the tag “memoir” has been used for over 4300 products. Perhaps you’ve written a memoir and tagged it as such. You are now in the pile with all of the other 4300 products. Tough to get visibility this way – or is it?
Something interesting happens as tags are created – customer communities are created related to these tags. If you click on the tag “memoir”, you’ll be taken to the Amazon “memoir” customer community home page. There you’ll find products, discussion boards, lists and guides, images – all items related to the tag “memoir”. At the top of the page, are the top five most popular products in the “memoir” category. As I’m writing this, “Eat, Pray, Love” is #1. This makes sense, it’s a very good and popular book. Wouldn’t it be great to have your book on this page?
Wouldn’t it be great to have your book be on page 5?
Where’s Bob Dole? Not on page 5…
Did you know Bob Dole has a memoir – “One’s Soldier’s Story?” When I first looked, I found this book on page 247 (or ranked 1235). I was surprised, Bob Dole’s a pretty popular figure and here his book is basically nowhere to be found on this list.
The cool part – no sales required!
Here’s where the cool part comes in. I went ahead and tagged his book with the tag “memoir”. Suddenly, his book has two tags, he jumped from page 247 to page 123 (rank – 615, a huge jump)!
Amazing – no additional book sales at all – just a simple tag. It was then I learned that the top books on these pages are not based on sales (at least for now), but rather by how many times customers tag them with the same term. The limitation – the same customer can use the same tag only one time for a particular book. So I couldn’t keep tagging Bob Dole “memoir” and move his book up – I only get one vote.
The bottom line!
So what does all this mean?
If you could find 270 people to tag your book “memoir”, you would take over the top spot on the memoir page and be the first book everyone sees when they visit this community (which by the way has over 6000 customers associated with it).
That’s pretty good visibility.
However, you can’t do this alone, and finding 270 friends to help out is tough.
How this website can help!
Why this website? To help you achieve this goal!
Harnessing the power of the internet, we can all help each other. Here’s how:
- If you would like everyone who visits this page to help “tag” your book and help move you up in a customer community you have targeted, click on the “Submit Your Book” page to learn more and submit your book for “tagging”.
- To help others, click on the “Tag You’re It!” page and follow the directions there.
This only works if we help each other out! So visit this page often to learn of new books and tag them appropriately.
I’ll feature a few books each week depending on volume of requests.
There are some rules, however, which I are described on the “Submit Your Book” page.
NOTE: For your “tags” to work (be counted and “public”) you must have an Amazon account and you must have purchased at least one item from Amazon from that account. Otherwise, you will be the only person to see your tags and will not increment the total tag count.