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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tags can be useful!

When I first began writing, I often wondered what to put into my tags when those open spaces stared me in the face. I would sit staring blankly at the screen after the first few easy ones had been used. Then I’d go to see how others in my genre had filled up their slots.

It made sense to add the type of story written and so I too added Paranormal, Romance and Humorous Romance, etc. I soon ran out of the genre names and following the others, I added words such as place names like New York and social worker for the character’s profession and tomboy for her state of mind. I mean, why not. It seemed to be the thing to do.

Until I found out that the tags could be used to get my book into another category. If I had fifty and over ticks in the little boxes next to the tags this could work in my favour.

And in my first promotion, I saw that it truly did work. Once I went to the free listing, my book actually did slip into some of the categories that I had tagged. Which means that if I obtained a high enough ranking on the paid lists, it would happen there also. And this would mean that my book would be visible to so many more searchers.

When I had uploaded my latest book HisDevious Angel on Amazon, they had given me two choices for my book’s categories. Taking this seriously, I quickly clicked Fiction and contemporary then Romance and Paranormal. Without realizing that I had chosen the hardest fiction categories to place in, I sat back happy that I’d filled it in properly.

I didn’t even scan the other choices as to where my book might have fit in—categories that would fit my stories but weren’t as difficult to obtain—like Contemporary Women  or Action & Adventure.

Did you feel frustrated when you could only pick the two? I know I did because I knew my story would fit into many more. And that is where the tags come into play. Use those other category titles as your tags. If you’ve written a fantasy story about ghosts check and see that there is actually a category called Fantasy, Futuristic & Ghosts so there are three tags you can use. If you’ve written a story having to do with politics then see that one of the categories is Political so use that…and so on. Make a list of all the categories and sub categories that Amazon offers and choose the ones that are pertinent to your story. And if your numbers get high enough in the ranking don’t be surprised when you slide onto the 100 best seller lists from some of the tags you’ve used. It can be a secondary way for your work to be categorized.


  1. Very interesting post Mimi. I know I was frustrated and puzzled as to what tags to choose. I don't think I still understand it well. I'm going to read again your post. BTW twitted it.

  2. I'm always happy to see an author who "gets" tags. I've explained the subject many times, written blog posts about it, and had a keytag expert guest on SlingWords also about the subject.

    Good post, Mimi.

  3. What always frustrates me is that the categories we can choose don't always match up with Amazon's own categories that readers can search on. I don't know why they have to make it so complicated!

  4. They are complicated. One of my books "We"re One" was sabotaged with some really dumb tags and when I complained to Amazon that this would confuse the readers and possibly anger them when they realized my book had no Christian plots whatsoever, Amazon said there was nothing they could do about it!!???