Digimonkey loves helping authors showcase their books on the site, and a great book listing generates interest, which can lead to increased sales, happy customers, and a successful author. Everybody wins!
An effective listing provides readers with the information they need to easily locate your book and then decide if it’s the right book for them. If key elements are left out of the listing, the book is less likely to be found during a search, less likely to be viewed by a potential customer, and less likely to be purchased. Not good!
To avoid this sad downward spiral, Digimonkey has prepared a checklist that will help your book listings get the attention they deserve.
Note: The description and excerpt can only be edited by the publisher, but it’s a good idea to check these elements in your listings to make sure they are complete and free from errors. If you do find an error, Digi and her staff can help correct it.
- Categories: Many customers search for books using the Category links in the left side menu of the website. If you do not have categories listed for your book (you can have up to 3), or if the book is in the wrong categories, then readers will have trouble finding it. Identify the critical elements of your story (for instance, it’s a contemporary romance with a cowboy hero) and make sure those categories are listed (Romance > Contemporary, Romance > Western/Cowboy). Certain categories tend to draw more traffic than others, so if you’re not certain which categories are the best choices for your book(s), ask Digi for help!
- Description: The description is provided by the publisher and is the equivalent of the back cover blurb for a print version of the book. As such, it should be no more than 500 words long, and closer to 150-250 is better. It should provide a clear idea of the book premise, but not give a complete synopsis. Think “movie trailer”, not “documentary”.
- Excerpt: The excerpt is provided by the publisher and is a selection taken from the book itself. Some publishers like to include the first chapter, while others pick a “juicy” tidbit from the body of the book. Whichever is chosen, it’s important for the reader to get to the end and say, “I want more!”
- Heat Index: The heat index is a critical component for all romance and erotica book listings, as most customers have a very strong opinion regarding the amount of “heat” they want in the books they read. To target your audience well, make sure the heat index accurately portrays the content of your book. For more information, check out the Heat Index ratings post.
- Tags: Tags allow you to expand on the information provided by the categories, description and heat index chosen. For instance, your book might feature a cowboy, but in the tags you can specify “Jackson Hole”, “Montana”, “team penning”, and any other specific features of the plot or characters that might interest customers who are searching for books with those elements. Digi has a post on Tags, too.
- Series: If you have books that are part of a series, be certain that the Series listing appears just below the book title. The series listing creates a hyperlink that, when clicked, will list all books in the series on a search page. This is the best way to insure customers who purchased one book in your series can quickly and easily find all the others.
If you discover that your listing is missing one or more of these elements, go to the Help link at the top right of the website header and open a support ticket. Digimonkey’s staff will wave their magic wands and abracadabra…instant sparkle for all your books!