Over the past few years Amazon as well as a few other sites have changed their rules about how many keywords you can use and which ones to categorize your book in their store. In fact, several authors have found their books recategorized after choosing the wrong keywords. If you don’t want this happening to you, it would be in your best interest to learn which keywords are best for the books in your genre.

Why Bother?

Every major retailer has a search engine to help their customers navigate their websites. Today, the biggest search engines in the world are Google and Amazon. Yes, you read that right, Amazon is considered a search engine as is Apple, so it would be wise to learn how shoppers search if you want to position your book for better visibility.

A few years back, when indie authors everywhere were squawking about keywords and claiming to have gotten sales by tweaking the categories and keywords on their books, I was skeptical. That was until I did an experiment with one of my free stories on Wattpad and went from having just a couple of views to a few thousand views.  I just added the genre which was vampire and the word series then, boom!  I got more than 4,000 new views.  

Correct Eternal Bond(2)

To find your genre and subgenre go to Goodreads and at the top of the page you’ll find a tab named Browse in the drop down menu choose All Genres. Now on the right hand part of the page investigate the various genres and if you haven’t found one that doesn’t resonate with you book click on More Genres at the bottom of the list.

Goodreads 1
Goodreads 2
Goodreads 3

You can find everything from Bulgarian Literature to Dragon Lance in the Goodreads genre list. When I clicked on Young Adult, I was taken to a page that listed related genres ranging from; coming of age, young adult fantasy to young adult contemporary. 

Goodreads 4

If you scroll down further, you will also be given a list of the most read books that week in case you want to do comparison research.  It also gives you a list of groups labeled YA, in case you want to find influencers and readers in that genre.  Another helpful feature is the lists that readers create to rank books according things such as book cover, most realistic novel, best series, etc. It would be wise to get your book on those lists because people do look at them and they do rank on the Google search engine.  

Goodreads 5

You can also do this also with Amazon, by going to their books section and choosing to shop by category. By the way, Amazon owns Goodreads which is why I chose to feature it in my examples. 


If you are totally lost and don’t know what genre to list your book, ask yourself several questions:

  1. What age group is my book geared towards; adult, teens or children?
    2. Is the conflict internal or external? If it’s internal, then you might want to consider labeling it literary.
    3. Is the book geared towards women or men? Men’s fiction usually consists of thrillers, crime and graphic novels. Meanwhile women’s fiction usually consists of romance, chick lit, and erotica.

Even if after all this, you’re still confused just ask another author or even a beta reader what genre they think the book is. Don’t stress this too much, if you mess up, you can always go back and tweak things later.

Before I go, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t tell you that SEO is just one part of a successful marketing campaign.  There is no magic bullet when it comes to marketing books however, good SEO does help give your book the visibility it needs to compete in a market saturated in books.

If you missed parts 1& 2 here they are:

SEO Keywords For Authors 1: Websites & Blogs

SEO Keywords For Authors 2: Social Media

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