In case you've been hiding under a rock, I released Garaaga's Children: Lovers on Valentine's Day. This release was done a little differently than all my other ebook-only releases. I pimped it like Ice-T.
I scheduled it. I called down the thunder on the social media networks. I got people excited. And those folks who'd heard it via podcast were smitten with the idea of reading the story.
But there are a few more things I did differently this time. I'm not just grabbing my already saturated audience. I've been grabbing some new readers who have no idea who the hell I am. How did this happen?
Amazon has a wonderful little feature called "tagging." You see, when you publish an e-book through Amazon's KDP, you only get 2, yes TWO categories to add the book to. Just two. For those of us who write mashups, we're SCREWED with only 2 categories. I mean what do I choose for Lovers? It's got horror. It's got suspense. It's got erotica. It's historical fantasy with gods and monsters in ancient freakin' Babylon. Two categories?
Tagging allowed me to get around this. I added a crapload of tags to Lovers. After that, I went back and tagged the first e-book in the series, Legends. I made sure each shared the same overall tags and then customized some others. For instance, there's no erotica in Legends, so that tag didn't make any sense for the title.
But guess what happens after you tag your books: Amazon's search engine uses those tags to add them to search criteria. So suddenly my books started showing up in searches about Babylon, Sumer, Mesopotamia and the like. Interesting, huh?
If you're a newbie to the KDP universe, you really need to spend some time with those tags. The category crap? Your own book blurb? Not enough. Readers click on those tags to find other books that have been tagged the same way. It simplifies the reader's searching and makes your books show up more frequently.
One more thing: I tagged everything with "paul elard cooley." Why? Because f'ing Amazon doesn't allow you to use your middle name! Yet my podcast listeners know me as those three words. Now if you type that into Amazon? You get ME. ME! The Fiendmaster. Oh, guess I better add that tag too...
Most of you authors who read this are probably smiling and saying "you're such a n00b." And yeah, I can't believe I didn't think of this before either. But the important thing is that this time, I TOOK the time to work it out. If you want to sell books, you have to do more than simply hit the "publish" button and pray. You have to work. You have to shake. And you have to dance for your proverbial dinner.
So shake it like a gigolo, my fellow indie authors. Shake it, don't fake it.