You get 7 keywords/phrases for your books on Amazon. Want more? Would you like to double that number, quadruple it, or more? Then read on!
I interacted with an author in my circle who wondered about the necessity/effectiveness of the Keyword blanks on their title’s listing wondering if they were even all that effective. “Who even searches unknown authors by keywords” they asked. Pretty much everyone, according to the data. I pointed out something that not a lot of authors know: the book description is not searchable. You could try and load your book description with as many keywords as possible, and it wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans… you only get your book Title and seven keywords, so you’d better use them and use them wisely.
Prior to that interaction I had asked if others in my group had tried doubling their keywords by using different sets on linked ebook and paperback. Consensus was that it was a wise idea.
In theory, you have one listing on Amazon (in reality, you have 2, 3, or more depending on your setup with multiple tabs that are linked together—the paperback and ebook being the primary ones.)
You get 7 keywords on the KDP ebook listing.
With the takeover of Createspace by KDP, you now have 7 keywords for the paperback (Createspace only had 5). Since any hits on results from the combined 14 keywords brings you to the same place, you can get creative and spread out your keywords. The main drawback (which is negligible in my opinion) is that customers might search only in the Kindle section of the store which would eliminate those keywords found in the paperback version—so I’d try and split your top performing keywords between the two formats to maximize your odds of discovery.
Another author said that she had a multi-book series and actually used different ones across her books which were linked by her series page. It might dilute the potency of those keywords, but it maximizes her discoverability. The net is broader, but the mesh might not be quite so fine—still, there is a certain amount of logic and I might try it, but still leave my best keyword or two on all formats and on all books in the series.
Wise usage of your keywords would include doing some research into what keywords are performing best. There are a few ways to do that. I have invested in purchasing KDP Rocket, software that helps search the keywords to find high performing ones and target competitive search terms. Another option is to have someone else do the research for you. You could hire someone to do the leg work for you on Fiverr for just a few bucks, or you can pay about a hundred bucks for KDP Rocket. Either are options, but you’ve got to keep those keywords in mind. People can’t buy your books if they never see them.