Friday, June 3, 2016

How to find a book you'll love.

Finding books in a digital store.

Positioning books for sale on any of the digital sights is a different way to market. As authors and readers, many of us still think in terms of brick and mortar shelving. We think about browsing for books with attractive covers, filed under categories and authors' names.

Not so in the digital sales world. 

Topic or key word lists are the first consideration. Books might show up in best seller lists, lists by genre and category and lists by also-read. Readers go to the lists and use the search bar (see the top cell with 'mystery books' entered) to plug in key words for the type of book they want. The might also go to the lists on the left to refine their search: mystery, thriller, Canadian and so on.

It is therefore important how a book is posted--title, blurb, key words and more to determine where they will show up. Sales will affect place in best sales lists, but that's not something the author can influence directly. They can influence key words for list sorted by relevance.

Readers, through experimentation, can learn which key words find them books they might like. The can search best selling mysteries or mystery with other components like cozy, traditional or suspense.

What tags are good for my books?

I write clean mystery with suspense, and sometimes, a thriller component. Mystery involves the clues scattered through the book. Suspense is keeping the reader guessing, preferably about serious harm to the characters. The thriller component is when the bad-guy shows up with a point of view section and the reader knows, before the character, what terrible things are planned. The reader's questions become-when will the bad things happen and will the character survive and how? And, of course, how and when will the villain be caught.

Keys words for my type of book would included mystery, suspense and thriller. I found this out by looking at dozens of similar books that showed high in the lists for the general category of mystery. When you use the search bar, you gets books sorted by relevance to your search words. Also Came Home Mysteries or Caleb Cove Mystery Series work to find my books. If you want to find books in a series you are reading, put the name of the series in the search bar without "the".

Two other lists may show up under a book you bought. These are "suggested for you" because of your earlier purchases and "Customers who bought this item also bought." These help you find books similar to ones you've read and liked.
Additionally, my descriptions contain words that tell the reader they are a "clean" read. That is, no gratuitous sex and no horrible, bloody murders and no f* bombs. However, stalking, kidnapping and the occasional "damn" might be included.

Another category I'd like to highlight is "Canadian Mysteries" since mine are set in Canada. The first series is set on Nova Scotia's picturesque South Shore. My planned series will move to other provinces.

My question: 

If you read mysteries and look for them on digital sales sights (like Amazon, Kobo etc).

What search words do you put in the search bar? 

Thanks for participating.

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