Genres, sub-Genres, and Keywords

You are back at the Point of the Pencil to learn about keyword decisions that affect the life and success of your self-published book.  How I wish I had known about this stuff before I sent the final draft to the formatter.

Point of the Pencil

When you upload the book, either for print or for Ebook, you have to select the genre, subgenre, and the keywords that Amazon and other search engines use to find your book and match it to appropriate customers.  A mistake here could be damaging, if not lethal.

There are not as many broad categories as you might think, though once you get down to the subgenres, there are more choices.  Let me show you some of the Ebook categories I chose for Azriel Dancer.

United States Kindle Editions

Fantasy characters/Devils and Demons     Keyword: demons

Science Fiction & Fantasy/Science Fiction/Metaphysical & Visionary     Keywords: metaphysical, visionary, theology, spiritual

United Kingdom Kindle Editions

Science fiction & fantasy/science fiction/metaphysical & visionary

Science fiction & fantasy/fantasy/metaphysical &visionary

KDP (Kindle Direct Press) uses BISAC codes (similar to the Dewey Decimal system if you are old enough to remember that).  The author may chose TWO.  Here are my top three choices:

FIC040000 Fiction/Alternative History

FIC039000 Fiction/Visionary & Metaphysical

FIC0280070 Fiction/Science Fiction/Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic

From years in marketing, I have learned how critical  keywords are in making your work “discoverable” to the search engines.  And let me insert here one important reality: is not a superstore. is a super-search engine that puts consumers together with products that match their wants and needs.  Right?

Having selected categories that have specified keywords (metaphysical, visionary, etc.), it is urgent that your book well-represent those keywords.  This is the part I wish I knew ‘back then.’  Before I “go to press,” I am going to search Azriel Dancer for the word “supernatural” which I probably use four or five times.  One last time I will beg my formatter, Glendon Haddix, at Streetlight Graphics (Hi Glendon, this is a plug for your excellent and responsive company), for a few easy changes:  substituting metaphysical (the keyword) for supernatural and so forth.

See how this works?