Keywords to Use for Amazon Book

So I recently published my first novella on Amazon and I’m wondering which keywords to use to make it rank higher. Have any of you guys ever published a romance book or a book in general on Amazon KDP before? If so, what keywords did you find useful in helping your book rank higher?

That’s different for each book. What is YOUR book about? If someone were trying to find your book, but didn’t remember your name or its title, what would they search for?

I’ve been trying different keywords for my two books for SIX years now and I can say with authority that it doesn’t really matter that much. I’ve never had any amount of success with keywords.

They would search for African American Romance Fiction.

However, I’m thinking of adding these keywords since they describe my book:

Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Contemporary Romance Fiction

I am NOT an expert on Amazon, but aren’t those categories, rather than keywords?

Personally, I’d dig into anything David Gaughran had written about this on his blog and check out his books. Truly excellent reference material.

Keywords are the words a normal person would use to find books like yours. “Black romance” for example. Try the keywords out – put them in the Amazon search engine and see if books similar to yours come up. You want to both be realistic AND try to be specific. “Contemporary romance” would come back with SO MANY HITS that your book would never be found.

Ultimately, Shane is right in post #3. Keywords DO work in the search engine, but unless your book is one of the very top results, they won’t work for you. They’re a big help AFTER you have a lot of sales though.


I think those might be categories, but I’ll double check and see.

I’m pretty sure those are categories, not keywords. You can have your book in up to 10 categories.

Keywords are to do with the contents of the story to help find the readers looking for the books you have written. You might want to consider adding the main tropes in your story as keywords. For example, romance readers might search for “secret baby” or “enemies to lovers”.


Thank you for helping me understand it better.

Did you have comps when you started out (comparative books)? I would check what keywords they use and take it from there.
Keywords are important, the less “popular” ones give you a chance of ranking higher. For example, I just had my cozy mystery published, and while it did okay in cozy mystery, it was the category “witches and sorcerers” where it got into decent double digit ranks at one point. For a debut novel on that isn’t so bad.
A fellow author from the same publisher even got a bestseller in one category…


What do you mean by comparative books?

For querying you need comps i.e. books in your genre that are similar to yours. It’s actually a good practice to check that out even if you DON’t want to query and self-pub. Latest when you do advertising you need to know other successful authors in your genre and target their audience. It’s also helpful to know where you stand. I find a couple of comps before I even start writing.

Thank you so much for your input! I’ll be sure to do that. :slight_smile:

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