Finding and Using Competing Book Titles in Your Book Marketing

From Anne R. Allen’s Blog:

As an author you’ve probably been told to look at competing titles through multiple stages of your journey from writing, to publishing, to book promotion.

Competing book titles can be lucrative references for cover design, book length, and choosing your categories and keywords. They’re also helpful in deciding how to price your book and determining the best strategies for marketing to potential buyers in your genre or topic, and more!

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Keyword research will show you who else is showing up on Amazon for the keywords you’d like to be ranking for. This is beneficial not only because you’ll start developing a list of titles, but it will also clue you in if you’re not on the right path with your keywords, or sometimes your branding. But we can fix that!

For example, what if a keyword search brings up a bunch of books that make you say, “My reader wouldn’t be interested in these!” That’s a sign you might be using the wrong keywords.

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Maybe your keywords are on track but the books coming up just don’t look like the kinds of books you had in mind. Then perhaps you need to do some cover comparisons once you have a solid list of competing titles to work with. It may mean you should consider tweaking the branding of your covers to align with your readers’ expectations for your genre or topic.

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Similar to keyword research, category research is just another layer of ensuring you’re aligned with your reader market’s expectations.

Get on Amazon and I recommend the Kindle search because there are so many more categories to choose from. That way you can get really niche with your comparisons. Start digging into categories you’d like to rank in. Take notes of which books come up along the way, and go as far as you can down the rabbit hole of refine by terms that fit your book because this is how you find the competing book titles that are most like yours.

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The “also bought items” section on your book page on Amazon is a great place to look for competing book titles.  It will give you insight into buyer behavior. Be prepared for some surprises here. Not every book will be a direct competitor of yours. But it’s a good reminder than a lot of readers, especially in fiction, will bounce between different subgenres.

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Once you have a solid list of competing book titles, be sure you’re not only reading as many of the books as you have time for. Definitely read the reviews for the books as well.

Reviews tell you what readers like, what they don’t like, what stood out as special, what they found distracting or too complex. They’re another great tool for gathering insight into how to compete in your genre or topic.

Link to the rest at Anne R. Allen’s Blog