So, Are you good at selling your books online? Take the test and find out, says Nick Atkinson. [from the FutureBook Blog]
1. Choose your book.
Pick something that's been released for at least a couple of weeks but it doesn't matter whether it's frontlist or backlist. Arguably a backlist title should perform better in this test as it would have been available for a longer period of time, but there are parts that are essential for frontlist titles and pre-order campaigns.
2. Type the name of your book into a Google search. Don't hit enter.
Let Google's predictive search load up. This will tell you what people are searching for alongside your book title. In the example of ‘Fifty shades' (I hope nobody looks at my search history), what comes up is ‘Fifty shades of Grey', ‘Fifty Shades Darker', ‘Fifty Shades PDF' and ‘Fifty Shades Movie'. This tells us a lot already. Firstly that the book title is the most searched term. Secondly that people want to read the next book in the series.
Read More: How good are you at selling books online? Take the test and find out. | FutureBook.
Image Credit CNet
Earth Day — my first novella — has it’s work cut out, competing with an internationally recognised day of hope of unity. A big ask any day of the week.
Lucidity — another novella — faces a similar mountainous challenge, going up against a slew of definitions and expositions on dream interpretation, therapy et cetera. Dream on?
On a lighter note, A Darkening of Fortune — my first major novel — fares better, which is to be expected, given it’s uniqueness (I’m not aware of anything else occupying that particular wording or phrase), and I rightfully dominate page 1 of Google, through Smashwords, Goodreads, Twitter, my own website, and Amazon.
By day, I’m a web developer with a background in SEO, so I know what I’m up against. However, even though I know what makes for a good ranking, I’m not going to “sculpt” the name of my novels to game the rankings, because that’s kind of placing the cart before the horse — no-one is going to become a best seller because they rank high on Google, but they’ll sell more via a good Google search results ranking once they’re a best seller.
I took the test with my novel Talion and made two discoveries:
My novel was fifth in the Google search. The previous four listings were sites defining the term “talion.” I’m happy with that.
There is a video game called Talion AD. The first time I searched, Google automatically attached “AD” to my title. There are 25+ pages of sites where the game is mentioned.
When I chose the title of my novel, I did not know any better. Now, before choosing any title or name, I google it to find out where else it can be found.