Keywords & Subtitles: They’re More Important Than You Think

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Over the past few years, I’ve encountered article after article, lauding the importance of keywords and categories. However, these articles were only centered around Amazon and its search engine but recently, I discovered the importance of keywords on Wattpad as well. It makes sense, because some readers are very genre specific. You rarely see a Sci-Fi fan reading a children’s book or an erotica fan reading religious fiction. When readers get on a site like Wattpad or Amazon, they go straight to what they’re interested in. Sometimes, they’ll type in the search engine what their looking for, while others go straight to the categories list.

My Own Experience

A few months ago, I did an experiment where I added subtitles with keywords to all my material on Wattpad.

Now before you think I did something shady or complicated, let me explain, I only added the genre in the subtitle. For example, with Eternal Bond I put in the subtitle: The Vampire Novel Series.  For Fedelta, I simply put in the subtitle: A Romantic Suspense.  And for Hag I put: A YA Romance and that’s it!

Here are my results:

Keywords Table

Stats as of 10/11/2014

Now before you ask, I wasn’t picked by the Wattpad editors to be featured and didn’t have to go exclusive for 6 months with them.

Looking at these stats it’s hard to argue with the logic of adding subtitles to your books. Keywords give your readers a surefire way of knowing what they’re getting and will get your work read. However, there’s more to this story…

Keywords On Social Media

The technique doesn’t end there, I also use hastags with keywords when sharing my work on social media. Yes, I often add hastags like; #Wattpad, #Paranormal, #Romance, #YANovel, and #Vampires to my social media posts whenever I share my work.  This way my posts can attract more attention beyond my immediate circle of followers and end up in the search engine, rather than just becoming an invisible post. Today, this seems to be a necessity since Facebook, Google+ and even Pinterest, all use hashtags.  And if you were wondering, yes, there are people who are paying attention.  Since getting serious about this a few months ago, I’ve been retweeted, several times and even had my work shared on platforms I’ve never heard of by nonfollowers.  Not bad, eh?
More tips:

  • To make sure you get some sort of response, try using Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule those posts during the most active times of the day.
  • Share quotes from your book using a free quote generator like Quozio or ProWritingAid.
    You can also make a shareable pic with a quote from your book using the Flickr Commons or MorgueFile.
  • Don’t forget to add the links to your work.  (You won’t believe how many authors forget this!)

It’s Not A Miracle But It’s A Start

Will this make you a bestseller? Probably not. Will it give you a slight advantage over the indie or traditionally published author who doesn’t use them?  Yes.  Many self-published authors are frustrated by lack of visibility online and this is just one way to get noticed and it won’t cost you a thing.  So why not give it a try?  Use keywords in your subtitles, then promote that work on social media using keywords in your hashtags.  And don’t forget, make it gorgeous and shareable!

Yes, this is a lot of work, but nobody said self-publishing would be easy.  Like any self-published author, you are the PR team, social media manager, cover designer and  even the accountant.  So it’s your job to get your work out to readers.  There is a market waiting for your book, it’s just a matter of finding it.


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