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This is where we'll be posting articles on the subjects of independent publishing, book marketing and book promotion, as well as providing news updates relating to Readers in the Know.

6 Tips for Book Discoverability with Readers in the Know

24 Oct 2014

by Simon Denman


Image of man choosing book from a library

1. Are you using all the genre tags that could apply to your book

Unlike most book classification systems, Readers in the Know doesn't force you to choose between hierarchical buckets. Instead, there are currently 66 different genre tags, any selection of which can be applied in parallel whether your book is fiction or non-fiction.

These are the same tags readers select when setting their reading preferences and the degree to which your book will match a given reader's preferences depends on how many tags are shared between your book and that reader's selection. So the more tags you choose (within reason) the more readers' preferences your book will match, and the closer the match, the higher up in each reader's listing it will appear.

Yes, that's right, the order of the books you see on the home page when logged in, and the order in which they appear in your daily promo notification email, is calculated uniquely, in real-time, for each member.

At the moment, there is no limit to how many tags can be applied to a single book, and provided authors don't abuse the system by applying too many which clearly don't fit, it will stay that way.

2. Update your book's review count regularly

No, we don't do this automatically (well, not very often) since it could tie up our servers for too long and degrade performance for those visiting the site.
However, if you go to your book's edit form (click the pencil icon under the Title column in your book management table) you will see a handy orange button labelled "Check for new reviews". If you click this, our servers will revisit the review pages for all english-speaking markets (UK, US, CA and AU) and if the combined total has increased, update the count for you. So come back and do this fairly regularly and especially just before a promo or Book of the Day advertisement.
The reason this will help discoverability is that some of our readers set their reading preferences to filter based on the number of reviews, so if your book's count is below their minimum threshold, such readers will never even know it exists.

3. Schedule Promotions.

Listing your book on Readers in the Know is a great first step, and as the number of readers increases, more of them will likely find your book as a result. However, the site is primarily designed and marketed as a book promotion site. This means that most of our visitors are probably looking for great deals - i.e. books that are free or heavily discounted, and the first place such visitors are likely to look is under "Promotions" in the main menu.

So if you want your book to appear in these listings, you need to schedule a promotion on it.

Once you've done so, not only will it become instantly more discoverable on the website itself, but on the first day of that promo, its details will be emailed to all readers whose preferences it matches, and it'll be posted onto our Facebook page.

4. Make your promotions as attractive as possible

Add a pitch to your book.
Unless the first 200 characters of your book description happen to be a perfect 200 character pitch for the book, take the time to create a good one (which you enter using your book's main edit form), since this is the text that will be used in the promo notification email to our members (as well as in any Book of the Day ads you run).

What discount will readers actually see on your book page?
Although we don't mandate any minimum discount rate for promotions on Readers in the Know, don't forget that on your book's main page, people will see the regular price crossed out and the discount price next to it in red. So if your regular price (which you can change via the edit form for each edition) isn't significantly higher than your discount price (which you set when scheduling the promo), our readers may feel cheated that they took the time to click on the link only to find that the actual discount is minimal or non-existent.
Please also note that for Kindle editions, the pricing we retrieve for your book when you first add it, is the current price showing on each country's Amazon website (as viewed from our servers in Europe) so if you added the Kindle edition of one of your books while it was free or discounted on Amazon, then this free or discount pricing will be automatically set as that book's regular price, and so you'll need to change it manually using the edit form for that edition.

Incidentally, although unlike most other sites, we try to help you by retrieving a lot of your book's information for you automatically, you are still free to change any of it yourself, and pricing is of course one of the most important things to get right.

Kindle Giveaway promotions - use sparingly or creatively.
Although there are some situations where running a Giveaway promotion can make sense on a Kindle edition - such as offering multiple books, perhaps by different authors for the price of one etc. - giveaways work much better for physical products, like a signed copy of your paperback for example.

Generally though, if you want to give your Kindle edition away, it's more effective to run a Free Promo and let Amazon do the work for you. With so many free Kindle books available on any given day, just being offered a small chance to win one is unlikely to raise much interest.

5. Schedule your promos well in advance

Another unique benefit of Readers in the Know is that by selecting "Upcoming" under "Promotions" in the main menu, our members can see not only those books currently on promotion, but also which ones have a promo scheduled within the next 90 days. The idea behind this is that many people don't want to come back and check for new promos every single day. So instead, they can just visit periodically, browse the upcoming promotions and add any that look interesting to their watch lists. Then, even if they've set "Automatic Notifications" to "No" in their preferences, they will still be notified when those on their watch lists come on promotion.

6. Don't forget to schedule your free Book of the Day advertisement

Although this is unlikely to continue indefinitely, every new author, publisher or agent currently receives 50 complimentary ad credits which you can use at any time. The one caveat is that you must still be a listed member for the ad to show. So if you schedule it for any date after the end of your free trial, you will need to pay the small annual membership fee to ensure that your book is still listed on the day of the ad.


Simon Denman commented at 02:10 25 Oct 2014:

""Hi Jill, I meant the genre classification selection at the end of your book's main edit form - the one you complete when first adding your book and which you can now reach by clicking on the pencil icon in the title column of the book management table.
Sorry this wasn't clear.""

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