How to use Publisher Rocket to load your romance novel blurb with keywords that will sell more books
One of the first questions clients who use our blurb clean-up service ask me is why and how I chose certain keywords to use in their blurbs. And no matter what y’all might think, the answer has nothing to do with witchcraft or voodoo. (I reserve my witchcraft and voodoo for getting organic Facebook traffic. But I digress..) It’s simple really. I use Publisher Rocket to determine which keywords are the most popular at any given time.
There are lots of ways to determine which keywords readers are searching for each month on the major book selling sites. Sometimes it’s as simple as visiting Amazon in incognito mode (not signed in to an account) and typing letters into the search bar, then noting what the first suggested words are (those will be the most popular searches). But that takes a lot of time, and frankly, I’m just not that patient. So, when I’m working on a blurb for a client, I ask them what tropes their book features, then I put Publisher Rocket to work.
Example: Step brother romance
Let’s say, for example, that you’ve written a step brother romance that’s kind of dark in tone—and you’ve hired me to clean-up the rough draft of your blurb. Once I’ve gotten into the blurb and laid out the main characters and plot points that need to be included, I’ll go back in and search Publisher Rocket for relevant keywords based on the tropes in your book.
So, first, I go to Publisher Rocket and type in “step brother romance”.
As you can see, Publisher Rocket indicates that there are currently over 1400 people searching for step brother romance each month. Including the word “step brother” in your blurb will help get your book in front of those readers. It’s also important to note that if you search Publisher Rocket for “stepbrother romance”, the search results are different. There are actually less people who search for that term each month, and there are more authors using it. (Note: you can tell how many other authors are using your keyword by looking at the “competition” column in Publisher Rocket). So, in this case, using “stepbrother” (without the space) wouldn’t benefit you from a keyword search perspective as much as “step brother” would. And yes, I’m aware how crazy it seems that something as simple as a space would make that much of a difference but trust me, Publisher Rocket doesn't lie.
Because I know that step brother relationships are taboo and forbidden, I search Publisher Rocket for those terms.
As you can see, there are more readers searching for forbidden romance than there are searching for taboo romance—so, if I had to choose which word I’d include in the blurb, I’d pick forbidden. But because the competition for taboo romance is lower (which would give you a better chance of popping up on the first few pages of a search on Amazon for that keyword), I’d work taboo into the blurb, too, if at all possible.
At this point, I’d probably ask the author if their book is also a bully romance, because I happen to know that’s a trend at the moment, and it’s also something that pops up frequently in step brother romance. If the term fits, I’d work that in, too, because as you can see, it’s popular—especially if you wrote a dark, college bully romance.
Note: Something important to keep in mind: the results shown on these screenshots are by no means permanent. If you conducted similar Publisher Rocket searches in a few weeks (or sometimes even just a few days), the results may be significantly different...or not. The point is, having Publisher Rocket means you can check keyword popularity as often as you like and use that information to tweak your blurb and help drive more readers to your book.
Wait, there’s more?
Now, of course, keyword-loading your blurb isn’t all Publisher Rocket is good for. It can also help you pick out the 7 keywords you’ll include on your KDP dashboard, or help you come up with a huge list of keywords to target for AMS ads. No matter how you choose to use it, Publisher Rocket can be an invaluable source in your keyword marketing strategy. (And yes, you need a keyword marketing strategy)
(Side note: Publisher Rocket will be moving to a subscription model soon, but for right now, you can buy a license for a 1-time fee. If you have any questions, contact their customer service, which is all kinds of awesome.)
Anything you’d like to add? Let’s discuss! We’d love to hear from you.
Need help with your blurb (and to make sure it's loaded with all that creamy keyword goodness we've been talking about)? We’re always here for you and happy to help!
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