Genre tags are a little hiccup in the lengthy process of publishing your work, but they are oh-so-important. In fact, they just might be the unsung hero of Indie book publishing.
First of all, what is a tag? When you publish a book, the online publisher (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, etc.) will ask you to identify what genre your book is. Usually, you will be limited to about three to five choices and will be provided with a list to choose from.
You need to pick as specific a genre as possible.
Do not pick Romance. That is the world’s largest category with tens of thousands of titles. The more specific your pick, the better. Try Time-Traveler/Paranormal/Suspense/Romance.
Why so specific?
The more specific the category, the easier it will be for your potential readers to find your book. With an online retailer, there is no wandering around the aisles of a bookstore. Consumers have an idea of what they want to read. So if a reader is searching for a Sci-Fi, Young Adult, Dystopian Western, you want your matching categories to come up in the search.
Also, specific categories help you get on Best Seller lists. Getting on the Best Seller list for Mystery might be hard to do, but getting on the Bestseller list for Cozy, Military Themed, Woman Detective, Mystery is a whole lot easier. Once on a Best Seller list, there are a few perks. You can call yourself a “Best-Selling Author." How cool is that? Also, your book will come up more often in searches if it is a Best Seller.
This will translate into higher sales.
So before you publish that book, do some homework. Look at categories that could fit your book, but pick tags based on the categories with the fewer number of books in that category. You will have a greater chance of making that Best Seller list if there are 240 books in that category versus 24,000!
For more reading on the wonders that are book tags and categories, check out Let’s Get Visible by David Gaughram.
So go on then, tag your books!