Why You Should Research Your Book Idea
“This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time”
Of all of the resources on Earth, time is the most precious.
You can never get back a single wasted second, no matter what.
Health can often be improved and recovered. Fortunes can be made, lost and recovered in the course of a single lifetime.
Time is different.
As authors, there is perhaps nothing more painful than seeing a treasured book idea die before ever even taking off.
The number one mistake authors make, before rolling up their sleeves and starting writing, is failing to establish whether their book stands a realistic chance of success outside of their own mind.
In this article, you will learn all about specific ways you can use keywords to understand whether your book will sink or be successful.
Taking the time to research an idea in advance ensures you don’t put in wasted hours writing something that simply won’t sell.
How To Begin Researching Your Book Idea
Sadly, there are a lot of people out there who will stop at nothing to make a quick buck by any means necessary.
The unethical use of keywords is one way in which this sometimes takes place.
Using misleading keywords to encourage customers to buy something other than what they really want, or need, is one way this takes place.
Don’t succumb to the dark side!
Not only is it a sleazy thing to do, it will almost always backfire.
If Amazon catch you using keywords in a way which violates their terms, you may well find your account blocked, or book deleted, before you know what’s happening.
Even if you temporarily evade the long arm of the Amazon law, do you really think people will want some scammy book? That it won’t hurt your reputation?
It’s always better to do things the right way in the long run. That goes for book research as much as anything else.
Book Ideas – No Magic Bullets
It’s important to have an accurate idea of how keywords can help your book research efforts. They are not a magic bullet that will lead to millions of instant sales.
Keywords essentially help you understand whether there is demand for your book idea – and then help your book to be discovered after publication.
This can make a huge difference in the number of people that come across your work. You still need to have a quality book, however.
You can have the most discoverable book in the world – but if it isn’t good, how many people will really want it?
See the role of keywords in book idea validation for what it is – an essential, powerful part of the process – but not the whole process by any means.
Book Idea Keywords 101
Have you heard of keywords?
If you have, there’s a chance you think of keywords as only being relevant to conventional search engines such as Google.
A lot of people have a disconnect in their mind between the fact that while Amazon is very much an online retailer, it is also a search engine!
Sure, a lot of people might browse Amazon for something to buy. Some people might search for a specific book title.
Far from everyone uses Amazon in this way, however. Plenty of people use keywords to search for the kind of things they are interested in buying.
Think about how many more people would be able to find your book if they came across it while searching for a keyword phrase.
Writing a book is tough. Knowing that your idea has been validated ahead of time through proper keyword research can give you the confidence and motivation needed to power through.
Amazon Keywords & SEO Keywords
When researching your book idea, think about keywords as being one of two types – ‘Amazon’ or ‘SEO’.
When you upload and publish a book on Amazon, you are given the chance to input up to seven optional keywords. Guess what? You definitely should! Here’s why.
Choosing the right seven Amazon keywords can help your book to be placed in the category you desire for it. This is crucial stuff. Some categories vastly outsell others – reaching the right category is an absolutely crucial step in your publishing efforts.
The seven Amazon keywords aren’t as powerful as you might expect. Search engines can’t even see them! Getting the right seven keywords for your book is great for Amazon’s internal system – but not for other purposes.
When choosing your initial seven keywords, you need to adhere to the following rules –
Amazon Keyword Rules
You Must Avoid –
- Any information that is covered somewhere else in your book such as title, category, etc.
- Any claim about its quality like “best” or “top”
- Statements that are temporary like “on sale”, “new”, or “limited offer”
- Common information about all books like “book” “ebook” “kindle”
- Misspellings so as to game the system, unless it is a translation issue like “Mao Zedong” and “Mao Tse-tung”
- Variations of words or spacing
- Anything that is misleading
You now know that Amazon keywords are useful but restrictive. So what exactly are SEO keywords, and why should you care?
Think of SEO keywords as any time you use certain phrases in your book’s title, subtitle, summary etc. to help your book be discovered by the right people.
One of the best things about SEO keywords is they help your book beyond Amazon – they are able to drive outside traffic to your site in the form of Google users, for example.
Stop and think about that, for a second. This is literally thinking outside of the Amazon box.
Amazon’s own internal marketing efforts are powerful – but why limit yourself?
Using SEO keywords effectively is like painting a bright sign aimed right at your book that will show up on the front page of Google. Who wouldn’t want that?
The rest of this article will focus on the absolute importance of using SEO keywords as part of your book idea research process.
The Killer Keyword Formula
The formula underpinning the following book idea research method is as follows –
High Demand + Low Competition = Awesome Keyword
Think about some of the highest demand keyword phrases – for example ‘romance’. A ton of people will search for a phrase like this – but how many people do you think label their books with this keyword?
Think about the keyword ‘Historical Christian Romance’ in comparison. Probably has less competition, right? But probably also less demand than good old vanilla ‘romance’ as well. These longer, more specific keywords are known as ‘longtail’ keywords.
The following method shows exactly how to find the right balance of demand and competition to make sure your book idea is a winning prospect ahead of time. A step by step guide to avoid hours of stress, frustration and difficulty.
You’ll also get a look at a cutting edge tool which can save you even more of your precious time.
The Book Idea Master Method
Step 1 – Amazon Search
Surprisingly, you have a secret ally hiding behind Amazon’s enemy lines, ready and waiting to assist with your research process – Amazon’s autofill function!
When you start typing a search phrase into Amazon, it shows you a list of similar searches that have been made by other customers. Try typing ‘Harry’ into the search bar and see how quickly Amazon shows you varieties of ‘Potter’.
So how exactly do you use this to your own advantage?
Basically, by offering Amazon the start of a keyword phrase, it will put a list of potential longtail options in front of you.
Say, for example, you wanted to write a book about marriage.
Type ‘marriage’ into Amazon, slowly. Then, type just the letter ‘a’. Your search phrase should look like ‘marriage a’ in the search bar. Give Amazon a second to think. A list of longtail keywords will pop up showing popular endings to ‘marriage a’.
Do this with every letter of the alphabet. As you go, write down any keywords suggested by Amazon that you think could be useful for your book idea.
Remember our formula? Only keywords with high demand and low competition achieve the coveted badge of awesomeness.
After this step of the process, you will have a list of potential keywords. It’s then time to delve deeper and explore just how useful they are for you and your book idea.
Step 2 – Competitive Analysis
Don’t worry – this isn’t as complex as it sounds!
To analyze a keyword, you need to find three pieces of information.
- Rank – How many other books currently rank for any given keyword on your list?
- Strength – Are the books on the frontpage for a given keyword considered strong?
- Interest – Are people interested in books ranking for this keyword, on and off Amazon?
So, always seek RSI – rank, strength, interest – not repetitive strain injury following the autofill process!
When considering the ‘rank’ aspect of any given keyword, the crucial question is simply – ‘are the first page books for this keyword beatable?’.
Searchers rarely venture outside of the front page of search results. Therefore, this is the focus of our attention.
By simply searching for a complete keyword phrase on the Kindle store, you will be able to quickly see the total number of books ranking for that keyword on the left of the page.
There is no concrete number to look for – just keep in mind that it will be a lot easier to make the first page of search results if there is lower competition for any given keyword phrase.
This is where we drill down and get specific about the quantified strength of a given keyword.
Consider this stage a three step workout for each keyword – only the strongest will make the cut.
- This keyword’s front page has under 4 books with a bestseller rank of <10,000
- This keyword’s front page has under 7 books containing the keyword
- This keyword’s front page has 2 or less books with a ‘Best Seller’ tag
If any of your identified keywords make it through this stage, it’s time externally gauge the levels of external interest in them.
So far, you’ve established whether your potential keywords work well on Amazon.
This is good – but not good enough.
To get a better idea about the demand for any given keyword, it’s important to look beyond Amazon.
Put all of your keywords that made it through Step 3 into a site called KWFinder.com.
You will learn two important things by doing this –
- a) how many people are searching for a given keyword and
- b) how difficult it will be to rank for any given keyword.
You will see a metric labelled ‘rank’ on KW Finder. This will display a number between 1-100.
The higher the ‘rank’ number, the harder it will be to rank for a given keyword.
25 or under is a good benchmark for your keywords to pass in terms of ‘rank’.
Step 4 – Repeat As Needed
By following these steps, you have narrowed down a long list of potential keywords.
Any keywords that have survived the process have been validated both on and off Amazon.
If you didn’t find any suitable keywords, or not enough, repeat the process until you have.
Yes, it’s tedious. But way, way better than writing a dud of a book.
Skyrocket Your Research
Never forget how precious your time is.
The above process will save you time in comparison to writing a book that never takes off.
But wouldn’t it be better to save even more time?
Enter Kindle Rocket.
Kindle Rocket is the first ever paid tool from the mind behind Kindlepreneur.
Kindle Rocket takes the tedium out of the book idea research process.
Instead of spending hours typing slowly into Amazon autofill, Kindle Rocket does the hard work for you.
Why not free up more of your precious time to do the things you love, like writing awesome books and enjoying life?
Finding A Book Idea Final Thoughts
You now know the immense power of a proper research process to save your valuable time and effort.
You owe it to yourself and your future success to prepare for book creation in the best way possible.
Whether you put yourself through the process, or let your dreams soar on the good ship Kindle Rocket, you stand a much better chance of success.
So why delay your dreams another day?
After all, the clock’s ticking.