Tag You’re It! – Hitting #1 on Amazon

Do you know what tags are and how to use them to your benefit?

Should you care about tags?

The answer.



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?

Customer communities

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.



Filed under News, Tagging Instruction

37 responses to “Tag You’re It! – Hitting #1 on Amazon

  1. I do not understand how to use tags. I’ve looked into using tags before. How do you put them on your website?

  2. Say, sorry I “spammed” you with my clever sales pitch, but I just couldn’t help doing it.

    Just wanted to say this has been a revelation and a valuable sales tool for all authors who want to get their work in front of people who might be interested.

    I just became a presence on 18 discussion groups on Amazon.com.

    It’s a great source of free exposure!

    Bill Missett

    Author, “Awakening The Soul, Books 1-3”, “Awakening The Soul: The Trilogy,” and “Soul Theft: How Religions Seized Control of Humanity’s Spiritual Nature.”

  3. Thanks I never knew how to use the tags!

  4. Todd, thank you very much.

    A lot of people can be helped by my book on gum disease.

    I mean, basically, people can save a lot of money in costly dental treatments if they pay attention to what is written in my book.

    I’ve followed the rules and posted my book in the right place (not here) and tagged other authors.

    The tags I chose were : gum disease, gingivitis, periodontal disease – if anyone sees this and hasn’t tagged them yet, please go to
    My amazon listing and tag those three (or more if you would like)

    Thanks again Todd, until I saw your post, I didn’t even know that tags were important.

    David Snape

  5. Pingback: Book Marketing Blog Carnival - February 11, 2009 : Selling Books

  6. Great post. I’ve been exhorting my readers to tag my books recently once I learned how useful they were.

  7. Linda Welch

    I have two of my books up on Tag You’re It and I still think it’s a good idea. BUT . . . There are approximately 200 books on here and I have tagged probably 98 percent of them yet total tags on my books are 36 and 31. It appears that many authors are not following through with tagging.

  8. ken miller

    Langata Rules: The Odessa has changed hands. African pirates take control of the Odessa, a British merchant ship with seemingly innocent cargo, starting a desperate race among pirates, warlords, rebel insurgents, government agents, shadowy oil interests, and enigmatic business magnates. Will the ship’s cargo instigate another catastrophe in the Horn of Africa? Have the double-crossers been double-crossed? And just who are the proverbial bad-guys in this page-turning adventure about business, politics, and crime? Mark Lindquist, author of King of Methlehen, calls this “a smart, timely thriller.” We think you’ll agree. With a foreword by Congressman Adam Smith, Chair of House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terror and Unconventional Threats. Tags: Pirates; African; Modern Pirates

  9. Hi everyone, I’ve been tagging books and I was hoping people would return the favour. Thanks in advance.

    Tags: surf, Hawaiian, history, war


    Gunter O. Swoboda’s Mountains Of The Sea is a watershed voyage of epic proportions that takes you through the volatile moods
    of an historic Hawaiian ocean culture.

    Walter Beaumont comes face to face with political intrigue, war, and the most enigmatic experience for an English aristocrat—that of riding the giant swells of Hawai’i.

    “Rarely does a historical novel capture the vernacular, imagery and excitement of an entire era like Gunter Swoboda’s Mountains Of The Sea. As a surfer, historian and working professional, Gunter has successfully synthesized his career, his chosen sport and his passion for adventure and writing into an engaging story of murder, intrigue, high-seas adventure, friendship and, ultimately, love. From its opening pages, Mountains Of The Sea ably transports the reader from the lofty realms of European aristocrats into the colorful, exotic and sometimes dangerous life of an intrepid foreigner in the Pacific Islands at the point of pre-colonial European contact. This is a novel that reads as both entertaining and educational. Extraordinary and masterful writing from a potent new voice in modern literature.”—Tom Kamaki Linker, B.ED., M.A



  10. INVISIBLE Driving by Alistair McHarg, available on Amazon.com – has been a labor of love for me. It is the definitive memoir of manic depression. It was an unbelievably hard book to write, but I did it because I care about the others that suffer from this terrifying, and often lethal, disease. If you want to help me reach those who need it you can tag it with: Manic Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar, Psychology, Memoir, Recovery, Wordplay, Free-association. Thank you.

  11. MOONLIT TOURS by Alistair McHarg, available on Amazon.com, is a dark comedy cum social satire cum crime drama with more quirky characters and back story than the average Dickens novel. Imagine if Swift, Vonnegut, and Hogarth had a baby and you have Moonlit Tours. Please tag it with: dark comedy, social satire, crime drama, humor, satire, Philadelphia, urban atmosphere, fleur du mal. Thank you.

  12. April Hochstrasser

    The Patient’s Guide to Weight Loss Surgery
    by April Hochstrasser Ph.D.

    After frustrating attempts at weight loss, more and more people are turning to weight loss surgery. But is it the answer for you? The quiz at the front of the book will help you answer that question. The next question should be: what type of surgery is best for me? There are several options, not all of them are as successful as others. Certain personality types do better with restriction as opposed to malabsorption surgeries. Some people need a combination. The 10-15 year outcomes of surgery is finally available, and the results are not as good as they promise on TV. Know your options before you decide to submit to weight loss surgery.
    tags: weight loss, weight loss surgery, bariatric surgery, patient’s guide
    ISBN: 978-1-57826-315-8

  13. April Hochstrasser

    I noticed that two tags have been applied to my book, The Patient’s Guide to Weight Loss Surgery: cooking and cookbook.
    I don’t believe there is one recipe in the book, so how do I delete these tags?
    Also, the reading age is put at ages 4-8, but it is 10th grade or higher. Can that be eliminated?

  14. April, regarding your post on your books tags of “cookbook”; the way to remove or have them count down is to have people go and click on “Agree with these tags” then for those cooking tags – vote “no” and the tag count will go down.
    This is a good reminder to everyone to please be careful when tagging. Please only use the tags folks have requested as listed on the “Tag You’re It” page.

  15. Todd, can you please edit this page, or email a reminder to everyone, that tags on Amazon only work from people who have made purchases on Amazon. If you have an Amazon account but never bought anything, you can still tag, but those tags won’t actually be visible to anyone else but yourself. This is very important, because some people use Amazon without ever buying stuff through it, thereby rendering their tags pointless.
    Thanks Todd!

  16. Thank you for the opportunity to pitch my third action/adventure novel of the Madness Trilogy, Mexican Madness, which recently received the Readers Favorite Award.

    In my new page-turner, the O.R.C.A. team returns to their toughest task yet as they try to thwart an international plot “The New Dawn” to hijack the world’s oil and thereby bring America to its knees.

    O.R.C.A., the independent worldwide agency that combats terrorism, drug trafficking and eco-sabotage, is called in by the President of the U.S. after a group of local physicians on their annual fishing trip in Mexican waters reel up a horrifying catch; a man’s mummy-wrapped body, with his organs harvested, one of many to finance the takeover of global economy and democracy’s destruction.

    As the story unfolds O.R.C.A. discovers an alliance between the Russian and Mexican Mafia, as well as the Chinese Triad and Latin drug cartels, along with their governments, and it seems they’re one step behind and evil so coordinated it threatens world Armageddon.

    The adventure is on, and the O.R.C.A. team uses everything from cutting edge ballistics to good old fashioned espionage tricks to put the terrorists out of commission. With a story line taken from the front pages of the news and near instantaneous electronic media bulletins, Mexican Madness is a startling and suspenseful reminder of the dangers faced in this brave new world we live in.

    Look forward to your comments and reviews

    Andrew J. Rafkin

  17. Todd,
    I have tagged the May list and am looking to tag in the archived lists. Not sure how my book shows up in a list for the tagging exercise. I have submitted it but haven’t been able to find it. The title is, “Finding Your Own Truth”. Please advise.

  18. Hi Reed, your book is featured on the “Tag You’re It” page – it is about 16th or 17th on the list.

  19. Thanks, Todd. I did see it while I was tagging. My apologies and my thanks for a great mutual support system.

  20. I’m not clear how this works. I’ve submitted my info, then went to the “tag you’re it”page and tagged other books. But I don’t see my name added there. What determines when and how it gets added?

  21. I have changed my email address. Can you update it please.

    My new address is eileen.thornton2@btinternet.com

    I have altered it where it says Leave a Reply, but I’m not sure that will change it permanently.

    My address at eileen.thornton@lineone.net is now closed.


  22. Hi everyone, my novel Johnny Oops got a five star rating and an interview from Soooz of the Promotional Assistance Group of Goodreads.com at http://sooozsaysstuff.blogspot.com/

    Are you ready for something unique, something with an edge to it, something that questions your version of reality? Johnny Oops doesn’t know if he’s a charlatan, a prophet, a sex maniac, or even if he’s real, but he believes he’s delivering the word of God. As he crosses the country from coast to coast, it’s hard to decide if he’s more intent on spreading a message of caring and kindness, or in the personal dalliances he has with various women. Decide for yourself if the Dialectic Spiritualism Religion he proposes, which promotes touching others in their private essentials, is a philosophical concept, or an excuse for his unending escapades.

    Walk with Johnny as he lives with the raging aggressive genes of a genius, spawns a seven-foot tall giant of a son, two precocious telepathic twin daughters named Precious and Pretty and a one-foot tall inner self named Inny. Join him as he races from one reality to another. Discover whether Johnny really is a prophet who can offer salvation and redemption, or a charlatan who pretends he has experienced various rebirths and second comings.

  23. In case I should decide to change my book from being tagged to my ebook, could someone tell me how to make that change.
    Also, how do you change the tags wyou want tagged?
    Thanks very much.

  24. Hey Tom,
    Just submit your ebook book link along with the “new tags” you would like.

  25. I am new to tagging but my little ebook of humor is on it’s way…somewhere. It is fantasy humor and basically answers all of life’s little questions. It runs the gamut from my aluminum foil inventions to the thoughts of a grilled cheese sandwich. Many of the characters live in and around the Mystee Forest. If you’d like a good laugh, or a groan at a bad pun, be sure to check it out. Warning: this is a book of humor and not meant to be mistaken for great literature.

  26. My goodness. I never realized how difficult it is to get one’s book out in front of people without help from a well-known publisher. Nonetheless, I’m trying, and am grateful for sites like these. Secret of the Scarab is a young adult adventure novel. Does anyone have recommendations for sites (other than Goodreads) that target this population?

  27. I’m looking to join your tagging team. I hope you will consider posting my book for your tag special. My website is temporary down, but I’ve routed my domain to my facebook page which tells about how my book was picked up for a movie project and how it helps homeless families across America.

  28. Great stuff! Keep us informed!

  29. Michele

    There is a tag my book thread on Goodreads and people are actually doing it….

  30. Thanks for the info. When I try to click the link to submit my book (ASIN 0985026413), it says the page is not found on your site.

  31. Hi Todd,
    This is a great idea. Thanks. I will try it out. I have just put my Antarctic mystery, Death on a Long Winter’s Night up on Amazon. I am especially keen to promote it because for the first three months of its publishing life (and probably longer because it will take some time to build an audience) all of my profits are going to help my friend Mariah pay her healthcare bills (\ovarian cancer). So getting the word out is pretty important.
    Lisa – Lisalisa.org

  32. How goes it, awesome web site you have got in here.

  33. I delight in, result in I found exactly what I used to be looking for.
    You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  34. I actually was initially seeking for points for my own site and observed ur blog, “Tag
    Youre It! – Hitting #1 on Amazon | Tag My Book on Amazon!”, will you mind
    in cases where I actually make use of several of ur concepts?
    Appreciate it ,Randolph

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