Day 21: The 30-Day Book Launch Challenge

Writing. Work on the manuscript.

Publishing. Work on the book description and book data for KDP.

In his very comprehensive recent book, Making a Killing on Kindle, Michael Alvear has analysed the steps someone browsing an online book store takes before they click and decide to buy a book.

These steps fall into the sequence:

Attract. People cannot buy a book they cannot find.

Engage. People buy books they emotionally engage with.

Convert. People won’t buy unless you overcome their objections.

This week I am going to focus on the first challenge.

ATTRACT> How can I make sure that readers would love my book know that it even exists?

Strategy: Help readers to find my book on Amazon.


  • Search Optimised Book Description and Titles [Amazon SEO]
  • Optimised Category and Sub-Category for eBook
  • For print books– the optimised BISAC code.
  • Keywords and keyword phrases
  • Paid advertisement to find new audiences during the Hard Launch phase.

Optimising the Book Details for Online Publishing

In a brick and mortar traditional bookstore you can browse the shelves which are usually organised by genre and then by the author name.

Online book distributors work in the same way – except that they are essentially huge computer databases. Book are data files which are sorted according to the information you give them about your book.

The Book Description and any Subtitle on eBook or the Back Cover Blurb

You have spent weeks or months writing this book and now comes the fun part – telling your ideal audience all about it!

Before you write the book details for your book and load them onto Kindle Direct Publishing and all of the other publishing platforms that you plan to use, take the time to put yourself into the position of a casual browser to the online bookstore.

I want to be enticed into reading this book by the anticipation of an exciting and or romantic emotional journey.

The only place I will find that is from the Book Description and the Additional material the author has added about the book.

Does your book description have a compelling and irresistible hook with keywords which link to your cover image? Is the subtitle short, memorable and irresistible?

Is the book description easy to understand? Remember – this will be scanned by browsers to the online bookstore who are intrigued by the cover art.

Think about reading the description on the flap of a dust jacket or on the back cover of a printed book. How would you capture the essence of your book in a few sentences?

This will be the core information that is available for browsers scanning the digital shelves at the online bookstores.

Some online platforms ask for a short description which will be displayed next to the image, and a longer paragraph for the book page.

Use the Book description and any subtitles to make the compelling short pitch. If you are on Kindle eBooks you can then use the Author Central feature to add lots more information and editorial reviews. Make me a promise. Show me that this book will be worth my time.

Then see if you can incorporate genre and niche keywords organically into that book description.


ATTRACT> How can I make sure that readers would love my book know that it even exists?

Strategy: Help readers to find my book

Incorporate Keywords in your Book Details for Search Engine Optimisation

I have just searched for cozy mysteries on the Kindle Store and right now there are 23,475 search results across 12 categories and sub-categories.

The online publishing platforms will search the information you provide for your book and try and match it with the search criteria that readers are typing in.


If you publish on Amazon KDP you should be aware that there are certain categories where there are “keyword requirements.”

The full list is here>>>

If Amazon KDP recommends  keywords in specific categories then this is the first place I should go to.

NOTE  – there are two lists. One for and one for This is because categories may have different names on these two Kindle Stores and there can be different sub-categories.

For example. I am interested in Cozy Mystery Culinary. has Mystery, Thriller and Suspense. has Crime, Mystery and Thriller.

“In order for a title to appear in the Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense sub-categories below, the title’s search keywords must include at least one of the keywords or phrases listed next to the sub-category.”

The full list for Mystery fiction is here>>

Looking down this table I have picked out the following Categories which have keyword requirements.

Category Keywords
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Characters/Amateur Sleuth amateur
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Characters/Female Protagonists female protagonist
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense/Crime Fiction/Murder murder
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense/Mystery/Cozy/Culinary food, cook, bake
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Settings/Small Towns small town
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Moods/Fun fun



For example. I have just gone into the Kindle Store on and typed the word cozy.

Amazon has instantly pre-populated a drop down list with all of the search terms that other readers have already typed in.

Top of this list are:

  • Cozy mysteries
  • Cozy mysteries free kindle books
  • Cozy mysteries kindle
  • Cozy witch mysteries free kindle books
  • Cozy christmas murder
  • Cozy paranormal mysteries
  • Cozy mysteries boxed sets

When you click on any of these options, Amazon will now search the database and match up all of the keywords you have given it when you published the book to find books for this reader.

How can we make our books stand out so that readers can find them?

Our goal is to find some way of bringing our books to the attention of readers and rank our work higher in the search engine than other books.

The more keywords you have that match – the more likely it is that your book will pop up in the results page.

There are four places where you can place keywords to make your book easy to find for your ideal reader.

  1. The Title of the book. [Murder and Merlot]
  2. The Subtitle. This is why so many eBooks have keyword rich subtitles which seem unnecessary but are essential to help readers find your book – but don’t go over the top and have huge long lists of words. [Kingsmede Cozy Mystery Book 2.]
  3. The Book Description. Your aim should be to incorporate as many keywords as possible into the book description but make it feel natural and easy to read.



Murder and Merlot ( A Kingsmede Cozy Mystery)

Book 2 in the NEW Kingsmede Cozy Murder Mystery series!

“This book will delight fans of TV shows like ‘Midsomer Murders’ and ‘Murder She Wrote’ who love reading cozy mysteries such as the Agatha Raisin and Peridale Café series.”

The annual Kingsmede Wine Festival is a major event in the local calendar. No one is looking forward to it more than Lottie Brannigan. This is the perfect opportunity for her to promote the delicous food she serves at the Italian deli she inherited from her late father.

But when the winning wine maker dies after eating her canapes, Lottie gets the blame for the death. Suddenly the future of her deli takes second place to a murder investigation.

Book 2 in the Kingsmede Cozy Mystery series!

A standalone witty cozy mystery in an English country village with a deli owning female amateur sleuth. No cliffhangers, swearing, intimate or graphic scenes.


  1. The Keywords and keyword strings in the keywords section of KDP which you use to set-up your book.

You can use up to 7 search keywords to describe your book.

Keywords for this book could include, for example : cozy culinary mystery, cozy craft and hobbies, british humour and satire, women sleuths, new cozy mystery series, murder mystery and cozy mysteries kindle.

Tom Morkes has an excellent article on how you can optimise keywords and a 60 minute video on this topic which you can find here>>

“Amazon Kindle SEO is all about ranking your book higher than other books for your keywords.” Tom Morkes

Hope that helps! Now back to the writing. Nina