Who are you writing for?
Writing a book requires several skills. For the entrepreneur, the most important is Validation, Visibility and Value. There is little point in writing a book no one will read. Currently, there are over 4.6 million titles listed on Amazon. Most self-published books sell less than 50 copies each. If those are numbers you can live with, self-publishing may be for you. If, however, you want a better chance, and in publishing chance is a big factor, you need to understand your audience. There is no better way to understand your writing project that by learning who you are writing for!
You have a subject you’re passionate about and want to share with others. The format of a book suits your subject and the needs of your clients. PERFECT! Now, where to start?
Start by describing your “Seed Idea”. This is the most basic core of the knowledge you want to share. Many writers have more than one idea. Choosing your first project can be a challenge but consider the “Chicken and the Egg” scenario. Create a hierarchy that suits your subject or various subjects. Don’t limit yourself. You may have an idea for a series or several standalone books. Good! Keep thinking about your ideas as you prepare to complete the first exercise.
The Seed Vault is your list of saved up ideas. You will complete this exercise by listing all the book ideas that have been percolating in your mind. Only have one idea? Perfect, move onto exercise two. Got lots of potential subjects and even possible titles floating around? Put them all down here and in as much detail as you like. Then, save your Seed Vault somewhere safe. I I suspect you have a long career ahead of you!
This Table has been created to help you define and catalogue your ideas. Copy and past it to any Word document and save it for future reference. If you are signed in, you will receive an email copy once submitted! In this exercise, add today’s date with each Seed Idea you have. If you have some title ideas to go ahead and add them in the title field. This and the remaining fields will be addressed in later lessons, so go ahead and ignore them for now.
Seed Ideas are just that, the seed or starting point of your writing project. Usually, they begin with a phrase such as “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a book that explained such and such”. Or, “Why isn’t there a simple book explaining this”. Or, “I had to learn this the hard way! I really wish I could save others from making the same mistakes!”
That thing at the essence of each statement above, that thing you want to know, learn, share is your “Seed Idea” and it’s your starting point. Go ahead, make your list. If you are certain you only have one idea for a book, why not ask yourself the following questions. You may be surprised to learn there are various facets and levels of your main idea that may be separate seeds!
- What is it I want to share with others?
- Is my message the same for all readers (Men, women, elders, teens, kids)?
- What mistakes do I want to prevent others from making?
- What outcome do I want to deliver?
- If my readers only get one thing, what would it be?
- What is the greatest benefit of the idea you plan to share?
- Who are the people who need your work?
Drill-Down and ISEO
Once you have a basic subject, it’s time to Validate.
Defining your Topic
- What knowledge or expertise do you want to share?
- What will your book solve?
- Who will you be helping?
INSIGHT & SEO is the term I’m using to define the complete Keyword Strategy.
- Using keywords correctly can assist Search Engines in finding content based on the demands of users. Your ISEO can work to help drive readers to your work or keep your work hidden in obscurity.
First Step: Create
- Create a list of words or phrases to help define your content.
Step Two: Validate
- Open Google and 1 or 2 other search engines and type (slowly) the words on your list. As you type, your search engine will make suggestions based of the search terms other users have entered. The less you have to enter in defining your topic, the more options from relevant search data will be displayed. Note the order of words and phrases—The higher on the list the more that term was search by other users.
- ISEO may be completed using programs like Kindle Spy. Other tools to use for you ISEO planning: Google AdWords: https://adwords.google.com sign in using your Google or Gmail login, go to the Research button and select. Add keywords to the list.
- To Remove keywords, hover over the word or phrase, then select the X. Use the More Like This button to let Google suggest keywords. Note the Search Popularity bar. It displays the number of Monthly searches on average for the keyword. This is where more is not always better. With Amazon, you get to pick seven (7) keywords for each title. This is where your strategy planning begins:
Comparing keyword results
Choosing big categories with lots of global searches will get you into the SEO world but it may not serve your readers. Sometimes keywords that are very specific with lower search results may be an asset. Here’s an example:
- Let’s Use Packing For Mars as our control, the book we will use as our example. First thing to notice is sales ranking. This book ranks number 3 in the category and 12749 on the full Amazon list. That’s a ranking of 12,749 out of 4,600,000 titles but what matters more is the ranking on this page. We found this list by following the Amazon categories. Kindle users often follow this process when searching for books. Getting your book into the top 20 on any Amazon bestseller list is of huge benefit. Ask yourself, when searching categories, how many pages of titles do you read through?
Dive Into the actual book stats and the book page
- Note the price: High for an eBook
- Estimated Sales per month: While 175 may seem low, considering the price and projected revenue, this is exceptional for such a focused title. After monthly revenue, take a look at reviews. This is exceptional! Clearly this author has worked hard to bring reviewers in. You can only raise 511 reviews organically! To get reviews you must work, ask, and ask some more. The best authors form ground grews, fans and supporters who will buy the book on day one and submit a review ASAP. Often they receive advanced copies through programs like Bookbub giveaways. Bookbub is a devision of Amazon.
Next take a look at the listing page
Amazon Bestseller Ranking is what you need to see. Amazon allows two categories only but there is some leverage in listings between physical books and kindle books. This usually happens when the book and ebook categories do not allign and this happens more than you think. Take a look now and compare the category list for books to Kindle Category. This is caused by the book industry’s insistance book retailers follow standardized categories using the NAIC Categoging. You may be able to take advantage of this inconsitancy which allows you to maximize your category listing potential.
Now take your keyword list and test them by entering them separately or by using a keyword analyzer. Look for free SEO tools.Here are a few site I use for free:
Category Strategy or Drilldown
DRILLDOWN Is the term I’m using to define the process of choosing the perfect categories on Amazon.
- Drilldown involves investigating Amazon Categories that might work for your book. Drilldown may be completed manually by searching Amazon for similar books. Create a Drilldown worksheet. Using Programs like Kindle Spy you can find a category with titles similar to your planned work.
This would be an acceptable selection for one Category
- Every possible category must be research and compared. Amazon usually limits category listings to two per book.
- Your Drilldown strategy should list the five best categories based on:
- Obvious category
- Possible Drilldowns
- Rank of popularity
Other Questions to Consider
Will you have other titles to add such as new additions or additional titles in a series?
Have you already established a brand
How Search Engines Work
Many people are surprised to learn Amazon is not a bookstore. It isn’t even a big box store.
Amazon is the worlds largest Search Engine
Your sales are directly connected to your understanding of Search Engine Optimization, and your willingness to include SEO driven content. Examples of excellent books that did not see success (In this case not till discovered by Director/Producer Ridley Scott): The Martian
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