I’ve been doing some research. Anything to avoid writing really—well, not entirely true, I’ve been making slow progress with the new collection of short stories and have been busy selecting totally unsuitable photos for the front cover, much to Pauline’s annoyance no doubt—daughter Pauline who having kindly but ill-advisedly offered to help once now finds herself as graphic designer. She has finally pointed me in the right direction, so now we have a ‘possible’ of suitably high definition.
The problem as always, is not so much writing the books as getting them noticed. Now I don’t have any control over how the publisher positions the books, but with the Karno series, I have total control and I haven’t been taking advantage of the fact. The key to success, it would appear, lays in which keywords you use when listing/publishing the book. With Karno, they are listed under crime/humour/police/British police….and that has not been getting them noticed.
I have now acquired a little gizmo called ‘Kindle Spy’. Basically what this does is trawl through the available titles in a selected genre and list what words keep cropping up in searches….yes, I have now taken on board that Amazon is not a site which sells books, it is in fact a search engine. To give an example, the new book will be a collection of Sci-fi short stories looking at future technology. Using Kindle Spy I can not only find which words are being searched for the most but—and this is the clever bit—I can see how many people are searching for sci-fi short stories. If not many people are, then I won’t use ‘short stories’ as a keyword. If ‘short stories’ comes up as a popular search, then I can further refine it by looking at how many people search for short stories concerning Artificial Intelligence (AI). By repeating this process—apparently for several hours—I can come up with a list of words that occur the most frequently AND—yes there is more—I can find out which categories do not have a gazillion other titles in them.
Obviously it would be pointless using ‘AI’ as a keyword if there were not that many searches using ‘AI’ and the sales of books in that category were very low anyway. Ideally what I am looking for is a keyword which is highly used, there are only about twenty other books in that category and they all sell well. What a pity we don’t live in an ideal world!
Just as a matter of interest—to me at any rate—I’m going to take a quick look at the categories I’ve listed Karno in and see if I can rejig things around a bit. I’ll let you know what I find next time.
In the meantime, back to the short stories….