Ever notice that when you’ve edited your work until your eyeballs hurt, you want to just give up? But, as always, you keep moving forward until you know when the book is done.
When I get to that point, I find ways to distract myself, which usually involves reading and research. What I’ve discovered this time around is the importance of matching my blurbs to keyword searches that people do when they’re looking for books to buy.
I know this is some obvious stuff and I’ve read about this a time or two before, but I’ve been too lazy to do anything about it. This time, I decided to actually try and see if matching keywords works. So, what did I do? I followed some instructions that basically was geared toward Amazon’s search engines finding my books, based on the categories in which they’re listed.
I did it with Christine’s Odyssey, but it was a little harder to match certain keywords to the book blurb. Still, I got results. The following day, the book came up at #81 in the Children’s Fiction category and sank into obscurity, thanks to the lack of any promotional activity. Anyway, I digress.
I looked at the seven keywords I used for Distraction, which are Domestic Abuse, Relationships, Romance, Jamaica, Women’s Fiction, African-American, Multicultural, and Drama. Then, I looked at my blurb (which isn’t bone dry, but could be a bit meatier) below.
Three Jamaican women walk a tightrope of decisions when their lives are derailed by blackmail, deceit and infidelity.JUSTINE CHARLES, sensible and self-contained, battles an addiction which could destroy her marriage, reputation, and relationship with her daughter.DIONNE JONES, an aggressive go-getter, takes risks that cut a trail of devastation through her family and business.KYRA MILLS, struggling single mother, is crippled by debt, bad judgment and destructive choices.Can two of the long-time friends survive startling revelations involving their partners? And will the other push her obsession to the point of danger?
Based on what I read, my aim is supposed to be fitting as many of my seven keywords as possible into my blurb. As naturally as possible, of course and I’m allowed to use other material, such as reviews, etc. So what did I come up with? See below.
Three Jamaican women walk a tightrope of decisions when their lives are derailed by blackmail, deceit and infidelity.
JUSTINE CHARLES—sensible and self-contained—is sidetracked by romance outside of her marriage. Despite living with domestic abuse, she battles an addiction that threatens to destroy her home, reputation and relationship with her daughter.
DIONNE JONES, an aggressive go-getter, is obsessed with financial freedom. Her fixation leads her down a path that few women have the courage to tread and cuts a trail of devastation through her family life and business.
KYRA MILLS—struggling single mother—is crippled by debt, bad judgment and destructive choices. The drama never ends, thanks to a liaison with a man determined not to let her go, even if it means putting her life at risk.Can two of the long-time friends survive startling revelations involving their partners? And will the other push her obsession to the point of danger?
PRAISE FOR DISTRACTION
J. L. Campbell’s Distraction is a read as enticing as the honey and caramel-skinned feisty women whose intertwined dilemmas are spiced with dialect and pinched with a generous helping of tropical Jamaica.
~ Caroline Kellems, The Coffee Diary
Distraction is an exciting, unforgettable story of love, betrayal and secrets.
~ Diana Hockley, The Naked Room and Celibate Mouse
Distraction is a fascinating glimpse into the lives of three women, each with their own distinct set of problems. I fell in love with the exotic Jamaican setting which seemed to me, another character. Campbell’s writing is compelling and she doesn’t fail to deliver with Distraction.
~ Jeanne Bannon, Invisible
Distraction is an insightful look into the hearts of three women who break society's rules in search of happiness and completion.
~ Nancy DeMarco, Finding Sara
~ Nancy DeMarco, Finding Sara
Okay, so I forgot I’d used reviews on the back cover of the paperback. I dug through my email until I found those and added them in.
I’ve put the keyword in both samples in bold and you’ll notice that I’ve used more of them in sample two – the ones I could fit in that didn’t sound clunky.
I did this on Sunday afternoon and it didn’t take me more than 15 minutes to tweak the blurb. Long story short? I checked less than an hour ago and Distraction is showing up at #76 in the African-American Women’s Fiction category.
See screenshots below. Note that the blurb on Amazon has not changed from the original version as at 11:20 am today, however, the Amazon search engine is obviously at work. BTW, I did this while logged in from the Amazon Author Central dashboard.
So d’you think based on the results—more visibility and possibly more book sales—that I should go ahead and take the time to do this with my other books? If you said yes, then we’re on the same page. Pun intended.
Have fun with yours!