using search engines to the maximum by independent publishers publishing fiction books

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Small Publishers Association of North America

Issue 9/2006

Search Engines and Fiction Books

Recently, I returned to my old faithful Ed2go through my local community college and took a course I was sure, once applied to my website, would drive potential buyers to my website. Now, I figure that those of you reading this probably arrived by typing in either my name, the name of my publishing house, or the name of my book. I think the odds are against your having arrived at my site after sitting down to find a small independent publishing house whose owner publishes only her own stuff; a guide on “how to” self publish; or a search for a fiction book of gothic suspense set in Mississippi. I figure you got here because you were looking for me in particular. I base my conclusion on having established the Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) for pertinent keywords/phrases in the meta titles of my web pages. Even the best, most obvious keywords for my type of site (ex. Novel, romance novel, historical fiction, love story, etc. etc. have very low KEIs. It’s not that novels or romance or historical fiction are not popular on the internet, it’s simply that people don’t, as a rule, search for books of popular fiction that way. They may search for a ‘how-to’ or a non-fiction book by subject, but for fiction, they usually search by author’s name, title of book, ISBN, etc. In other words, they’re looking for a particular thing they’ve heard about.

I am glad I took the course—there are other things to learn or be aware of, such as what you might do wrong to make search engines reject you (bad thing). I also learned about “gateway” pages, and I intend to create one such for my book page, one for my self-publishing (this newsletter) page, and one for my history page. My history articles have already drawn some interest from people who are not interested in buying a fiction book. Rather, they’re interest is on history—and that’s how they arrived at my sight. But, who knows, after someone gets to my site and takes a look around, he/she might change his or her mind about purchasing a book—and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the beauty of “gateway” pages. I’ll let y’all know how that goes.

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