Amazon Ads – My Keywords

Searching for Keywords
Searching for Keywords

Today, I’m documenting my keywords for my first Amazon Ad, for my book “Dragon Prey” (Hannah Steenbock is my pen name.) Gathering them was quite a chore, because I was a bit picky.

You see, keywords are supposed to drive those people to your ads who have a large chance of liking your book. Basically, you’re trying to guess which keywords they put into the search bar on Amazon, so your book can be displayed to them.

I listed keywords in three different categories in my spreadsheet, to make it easier on myself once I get to tweaking ads – by changing out keywords. These categories are:

1) Author and Series Names that are similar to what my book is about.

2) Positive Keywords, identifiying general features of my book.

3) Negative Keywords, telling Amazon NOT to show the ad to people typing those specific keywords.

Now, I don’t really want to share those author names, but I will share where and how I dug them up – and this was the really hard work. Continue reading

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What are Also-Boughts, and why do you need them for Amazon Ads?

Also Bot
Also Bot

Also-boughts are the recommendations Amazon gives you when browsing (almost) any product. They are generated from their sales database and try to match your preferences. The full text is basically:

Customers who bought this (whatever you’re looking at) also bought that (and images apper on the product page). Among authors, we also refer to this jokingly as “also-bots”, since they are generated by an algorithm.

You can easily check them by looking at your books on Amazon and see what else gets recommended.

There’s also a nifty tool that actually visualizes your also-bots for you: Yasiv.com Be warned. They have a highly annoying no-robot captcha. But they give you nice visualizations.

However, even as you can choose other stores in the menu, it only works well for Amazon COM, unfortunately. I have no idea how often they crawl Amazon in order to get their data. And if you’re looking for your books, chose “Kindle Store”, for better results.

Now I’m going to show you my also-bots for the book I want to create my ad about. It is a little cringe-worthy…

Continue reading
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Tackling Amazon Ads

Buy my book!

Buy. My. Book.

Amazon Ads…

My writing self has walked around those for a year or more. Now it is time to actually get into the game, to become visible, and that’s difficult on two levels.

One level is craft, and I will take you through the steps to set up an ad during this month. And I’ll show you how it works with my books and my genre, so you can make decisions about ads with a bit more material at hand. I’ll also tell you about two great books to make this easier.

The other level is, obviously, emotional.

Buying ads means spending money, in the hopes of making it back through sales.

Sounds simple.

But of course, it’s a risk.

I’m planning to keep the risk low while experimenting and playing with the ads.

Playing with ads.

That’s the mindset I want to achieve while doing this. I want to stay in a playful mode and have fun choosing the keywords and writing the copy and then following advice to choose the other settings. And then you send your ads out into the wild and watch them perform.

How exciting is that?

The steps to take are:

Select the keywords.
Create the ad copy.
Set up the parameters.
Check performance.
Tweak.
Keep checking.
Set up more ads.

It’s all doable.

Even though it sounds like a huge challenge.

But each step is just that, one step. Continue reading

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The Power of Styles

First Line Indent

First Line Indent

Today, I’m going to wind up the series on creating a Clean Manuscript with some words about Styles.

You may have heard about them. If you’re like me, you have ignored them for way too long.

Styles tie in your manuscript with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), which in turn are an essential part of ebooks.

Remember I said ebooks are basically websites?

Well, websites use html for content, and CSS for looks.

In other words, you use Styles to determine how your ebook looks. And using them also makes formatting for print easier.

And that’s why I’m suggesting to use Styles in your manuscript even as you write. It’s shockingly simple for a novel manuscript – you need exactly two Styles: Text Body (if you want to get fancy, you can also use First Line Indent, as I do), and Heading 1. That covers the normal text of your manuscript and the chapter headers. Oh, and using Title for your title is kind of obvious, which makes it three.

Every decent word processor uses Styles. And once you define how exactly your First Line Indent and your Headers look, all you need to do is mark the header when you start a new chapter because the First Line Indent becomes the default you get by adding another paragraph. Continue reading

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The Pitfalls of Quotation Marks in Creating a Clean Manuscript

Curly Quote

Curly Quote

If you’re even a bit like me, you like straight quotation marks. I actually loathed the curly ones, and set my word processor to use straight ones. And it felt really good to have those clean characters in my manuscript.

Until I had to format one for print.

Oh, the pain.

Because, you see, curly quotes are the standard in print. And what’s worse, German print uses different quote signs than English print. *rolls eyes*

In other words, you need to be able to find and replace the quotation marks in your manuscript. Because that beats going through a 100k word novel and changing them all by hand. And you need to prevent them from happening again.

Right?

But straight quotes are just ONE character, front and back. A simple Search and Replace doesn’t work!

So go and watch the video – where I demonstrate the problem, as well as the solution, and where I explain the settings for LibreOffice, since that’s what I use. Continue reading

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How to Indent and Add a Page Break for a Clean Manuscript

indent the first line

Indent the first line

Last week, I talked about the importance of a clean manuscript, and why it’s a business asset. Today, I’m sharing the first hands-on video of three.

I’ll show you how to use the paragraph settings of your word processing program, as well as how to add page breaks.

Both are incredibly important for a clean manuscript, and not doing it this way will cause all kinds of trouble in ebook creation. And if you pay someone to format your books, it will drive that person batty – and cost you more.

In the video, I use LibreOffice Writer, so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t look quite like what you might be used to. The concept is still similar in MS Word, and I believe you can find the settings there. (Actually, mastering those is part of learning your craft. Just sayin’) Continue reading

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Why You Should Create a Clean Manuscript

formatting mark

Formatting Mark

As you know, Writers’ Dream Coach is about supporting writers and authors. It’s mostly about mindset, but this year, I am expanding into hands-on craft. And I will write about all those pesky emotions coming up when talking craft.

Craft and emotions…

Now, as authors, we should do our work with the final end product in mind. And our final product are books. We want them to look good and read well.

Most of that is the actual writing, the creation of content, of your story. You’re working on that, I know. And that’s awesome and important.

The other part, however, is craft, and that’s often more difficult. Because it involves tech, and trust me, I know a lot of authors who hate tech with a passion. We’re creatives, after all!

And we can have a lot of resistance to hearing and learning about tech, and we have to drag ourselves to it, and yet… learning that tech and making it a habit will make your life so much easier. I promise that few tweaks on how you use all that awesome tech we now have available for writing and publishing will make a huge difference. And I will teach you.

Let’s start with the most fundamental part of the writing craft: the clean manuscript. Continue reading

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Early Blog Break – Back in January

Love your body

Love your body

On this blog, I often talk about self-care.

Because self-care is really important, especially if we dream of living our dream life – spending all our time writing and pushing with the next deadline or the next release.

And now the time has come for me to model that self-care…

I’ve been ill most of November. First, a nasty cold – worse than anything I had in a long time. Then problems with my elbow. And now… shingles.

It’s a very clear sign to get some rest. To take it easy and to reduce the load. Reduce stress.

Which means that I have decided – with a heavy heart, believe me – to start my blog break early.  Those of you who are familiar with my blogging know that I take a break in December. This year, I’ll start it today.

I know I’m supposed to apologize, but I won’t.

Because this is self-care.

If I don’t take care of myself, I can’t be here for you guys.

So I wish you a wonderful NaNoWriMo (lots of posts to be read with that tag, btw.) and a wonderful time during the holidays.

I love you all.

And I’ll be back in January.

Tapping Phrases:

Even though I hate being sick and out of commission, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to take good care of myself and let my body heal.

Even though I feel like I’m letting my readers down, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now give myself permission to take the time off that I need and let my body heal.

Even though I’m feeling horrible about this, I’m totally okay the way I am, and now I choose to allow myself this break and realign with well-being and healing.

Your Turn:
Have you taken time for a break? How did that feel?
Help to inspire others and share in a comment!

*Image source: F. Moebius

PS: My newsletter contains a full tapping round to go with my blog posts. Sign up through the form on the upper right hand corner, and receive that tapping round plus occasional special offers.

PPS: I can help you overcome self-blame and resistance to self-care. EFT is the fastest way I know to shift limiting beliefs, old thought habits and other kinds of blocks. Click HERE and send me an email. Together, we’ll figure out how I can support you best.

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Three Steps to Silence the Inner Critic

appreciation

Appreciate!

That Inner Critic can be a truly destructive voice in the heads of creative people.

I know. I write, too.

The Inner Critic kills creativity. It extinguishes that inner spark which makes us write or create art. It makes us doubt our abilities and our hopes.

Today, I’m giving you three tools to tame that voice so it becomes less destructive and possibly an ally.

Step 1: Appreciate everything today.

Because appreciation is the very opposite of what that Inner Critic does.  Appreciation builds you up, rather than tears you down.

So I’d like you to do a little experiment: go through your life today and appreciate … everything!

You’re creative, so you can look at every situation, everything in your home or at work and find something to appreciate about it. I guarantee it’ll change your mood. It may even make you laugh.

Step 2: Appreciate your successes as writer.

So maybe you’re not selling as many books as you want to. Or maybe there are a few reviews with some criticism. That’s fodder for your Inner Critic.

Take away that fodder. (Yes, the Inner Critic is a Troll.)

Celebrate every little success that you have, every single sale, every happy reader, every review.

See how far you’ve come already!

Step 3: Use EFT-tapping

As EFT coach, I know this is a great way to work on that inner critic.

You’ll find a demo video at my main website – click here. I really want you to learn the points and the technique, because that empowers you to do quite a bit on your own. I’m here if you need deeper work.

Now watch that video and substitute the following words for the ones I use there:

Even though I’m so used to listening to that inner critic and believe him most of the time, I’m okay the way I am and I now choose to shift into appreciation and enjoy my life.

Even though I’ve listened to my inner critic for so long that I’m almost believing what he says about me, I’m okay the way I am and I now choose to see that I am much, much more than what that critic says – and appreciate that.

Even though I may have almost given up on my creative dreams because that inner critic is so relentless at times, I’m okay the way I am and I now choose to appreciate nourish that creative spark in me.

Your Turn:
So what are you appreciating today? Help to inspire others and share it in a comment!

*Image source: F. Moebius

PS: My newsletter contains a full tapping round to go with my blog posts and the video. Sign up through the form on the upper right hand corner, and receive that tapping round plus occasional special offers.

PPS: I can help you silence that Inner Critic by looking at the origins of that voice and tapping on it. EFT is the fastest way I know to shift limiting beliefs, old thought habits and other kinds of blocks. Click HERE and send me an email. Together, we’ll figure out how I can support you best.

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Release Stress and Sleep Well

Deep Sleep

Deep Sleep

We writers often stress about things.

Deadlines. New releases. Reviews. Dropping sales, and Kindle Unlimited…

And sometimes, that means we can’t sleep at night. Or that sleep isn’t restful.

Or – and this just happened to me – your dentist tells you that you’re clenching your teeth at night, and that this is not good at all.

In fact, I’ll probably get a mouth guard soon (or is there a better term?).  But the truth is, that mouth guard only takes care of a symptom.

The real issue here is stress.

And then I remembered that I actually know this fabulous technique for stress release!

I’ve been tapping every night since then, focusing on releasing stress and allowing peace. My mouth is much less shredded… I think it’s working. And that’s why I want to share this with you.

In the video, I’m talking about some simple techniques, a visualization that might help, and about being aware of the signs and signals your body is sending you.

I would really encourage you to try a quick, simple tapping round before turning off the light – or even after! Test this for a couple of days and see whether your sleep is getting better and you feel more rested.

And here are some tapping phrases for you to play with.

Tapping Suggestions

Even though I am so stressed about everything I have to do, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now give myself permission to let go of all that stress and get a good night’s sleep.

Even though I am so stressed about my writing and everything connected to it, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to let all this stress flow out and away, so I can sleep well.

Even though I feel all that stress in my body and it keeps me awake, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to let that stress flow out and away, so my body can heal while I sleep.

What is stressing you most about your writing?
Can you let go of it?

Please share in a comment. Thank you.

PS: My newsletter contains a full tapping round to go with my blog posts, so it’ll be easier for you to get results. Sign up through the form on the upper right hand corner, and receive my Introduction to EFT as a gift. If you’re on a mobile and can’t see the sidebar, you can sign up through this link: Newsletter Sign-up.

And no. I will never use that email to send you anything other than my newsletter.

PPS: There is a roundabout way to my newsletter that’ll give you something really neat: an email series called “30 Days Daily Writing Habit” which is free. If you sign up for that, you’re automatically added to my newsletter, as well. (And you can always unsubscribe.)

PPPS: For those of you who are curious, you can find my books here: Hannah Steenbock

Image Source: F. Moebius

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