Amazon Search Terms

Sorry for the delay in getting this updated, summer vacation and all that.

I currently have one novel, two novellas, and three short stories available on Amazon. One short story is free through price matching.

In April of this year I came to a realization, call it an epiphany if you will. I was looking at the search terms for my work on Amazon, My freebie had been running for several months with about 20 to 30 downloads per month. I realized, that nowhere in the search terms had I mentioned the word free.

It takes us old dogs awhile to figure things out.

I added the word free to the search terms and the following month downloads exploded from a mere 30 to over fifteen hundred. 

If the customer can’t find it? How can they download it?

While it’s important to make sure you include the right search terms such as genre, sub-genre, and so on to describe your story. I had never once considered using the price point of the offering in the search terms themselves.

But it makes sense to do so. Don’t we already search based on price? When we look for a car, isn’t price a major consideration in our final decision? After all it al boils down to what we can afford. Right?

Some of us can afford to spend more so price doesn’t play that big of a factor in our purchasing decisions. Others, like myself, are on limited incomes so we have to be careful about what we spend.

To find out how important price was I have conducted a little experiment. I suck at marketing anyway, I hate doing it, I’d rather interact with people on a social level without all the hyping about buying this, or buying that. So it was easy for me to go a couple of months with absolute minimal advertising.

The first step was to lower the prices of all my offerings to 99 cents. Many will say the 99 cent price point is the death of literature, but that’s an issue for another post. I don’t believe it, after all what better way to get a person to spend their hard earned money on an unknown talent?

I then added the term ‘99 cent kindle’ to my search terms for each book. Sales exploded, for me at least. And they continue to this day. I’m not breaking any records here. Some of you probably sell as many in a day as I’m doing in a month, but I’ve seen a dramatic jump from non-existent to double digits.

I'm now working on my offerings available through other retailers to see if I can duplicate these results. I'll keep you posted.

I know I’m not going to make a living like this. I’ve got more work coming out in the next few months. I hope by then to have built a strong enough readership using the 99cent price point that I can price higher and still get sales.

We’ll have to wait and see how it pans out.


  1. Thanks for the tip, Richard. I have one of my three books at that price, so I just took your advice and made that change. *crosses fingers* Hopefully I'll see some of what you've seen.
    Thanks again and have a great week!


    1. Hope it works out for you James. It took me some time to uncover that simple little fact. It's always the easy stuff that goes right over my head. Good luck.