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Friday, July 20, 2012

The Key To Keywords



Which words should you sprinkle in your online communications, such as Facebook profile, LinkedIn postings, blog entries, tweets, and Web site copy? Choose the ones that will match with the people you want to find, impress, and sell to. It is not rocket science, yet many people don’t pay enough attention to selecting the right keywords and using them often.

To determine the key words that are right for you:

·         Examine what a competitor or leader in your field uses.
·         Highlight words that are commonly used in your industry, field or genre.
·         Use all forms of these words – singular and plural, different tenses, etc.
·         Use words that will get the attention of the people you want to impress.

What are good keywords for writers? If the writer wants to target the attention of consumers, he or she may use one set of words. If he wants to impress peers or win over literary agents, he may use a different set of words – with some overlapping.

Let’s say you self-published a novel about two time travelers from the 1950s who come to the year 2012 to live out a paranormal sex fantasy. Okay, doesn’t sound like a page-turner, but which keywords might you need to:

·         Find a literary agent?
·         Get attention from a publisher?
·         Get media attention/?
·         Sell books?

Try any of these:
Literary
Literature
Story
Fantasy
Literary agent (s)
Bestseller (s)
Bestselling
Novel (s)
Fiction
Author (s)
Writer (s)
Future
Historical fiction
Paranormal
Sex
Love
Romance
Erotica
Debut author (s)
New book (s)
New author (s)
Publisher (s)
Publishing
Published
Publishing industry
Book (s)
Ebook (s)
Indie book(s)
Indie author
Indie publishing
Publishing news
Author news
Book news
Self-published
Self-publishing
Book world
Time travel
1950s
2022
First-time author (s)

You may also want to consider key keywords that pertain to books like yours, referencing their title or author. You might want to tie something into the news or to a popular person, place or thing.  Consider highlighting any reviews that you got, by mentioning the media outlet by name.

The main thing to remember about key words is this:

·         They are important to writers and publishers
·         The best ones change over time
·         They need to be used daily in all social media communications
·         They can expand into all kinds of categories and areas
·         Don’t overly repeat keywords to the point it is considered to be “keyword stuffing”  (frowned upon by search engines); a specific keywords can make up 4-7% of the text. This is known as having a low keyword density (that’s a good thing)
·         Keywords should appear in the title of blog posts, the first paragraph of a posting, tweets, the head of Web pages, and basically the beginning or top of anything that you circulate online.

So go out there and tweet, blog, and Facebook your way to more clicks and online traffic by using the best keywords every time you go online.

To gain insight on which words to use as your keywords, consult: http://adwords.google.com/select/keywordtoolexternal.


Interview With Karen Grencik, Co-Founder,  Red Fox Literary Agency

1.      You have been a successful literary agent for many years. What is your secret? I treat people really well. I try to treat the unpublished author with the same respect and dignity as I would a well-published author. I tell authors the truth and I keep my word. I answer ALL correspondence timely, no matter who it's from. And with my court reporting background, I have an excellent eye as a copy editor, and I spend a great deal of time on manuscripts before they go to the editors.  I've worked very hard to move my submissions from the bottom of an editor's pile to the top, and it's paid off.

2.      What types of authors do you represent and what do you look for in deciding on who you work with? I represent authors of picture books up through young adult novels. There are many factors that go into my committing to an author, but the first step is that I have to get the shivers when I read their  work. I'm not kidding. I get a body rush when something absolutely thrills me, and then I know I have to have it. But before I commit, I Google the author to see what their online behavior is, talk to them on the phone, and make sure they're the kind of person I want to work with.

3.      How have you managed to weather all of the changes hitting the book industry?  I don't worry about the changes, other than to keep abreast of them. I love what I do, so whatever challenge comes my way, I just adapt to it.

4.      What advice do you have for struggling writers? The words "struggling" and "writer" certainly do go together, don't they? Even well-published, wealthy authors struggle with their craft. It is such a labor of love. The biggest thing, of course, is not to give up. Everyone starts at the same starting line. You can read story after story about authors who've found success, and they all started right where you are now. Attitude is everything.

5.      What do you find to be rewarding about your involvement in book publishing? I don't have children, so for me, my legacy is the books I leave behind. I love people and I admire talent and I enjoy advocating for authors. I love the excitement an editor, an author and I all share as a book comes together, especially the moment the illustrator is chosen. It's the most exciting thing I've ever been a part of.

6.      Where do you see the book publishing industry heading? Everyone has their own crystal ball, but no one really knows for sure. There will always be a need for content, and an ever-growing need for gatekeepers to sift through the content. I'm not worried at all. I'm here for the long run.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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