5 Benefits Of Publishing A Physical Book In A World Of Tech By WBR Senior Editor Kat Lewis
Do physical books have a place in an increasingly digital world? Are they just as important as ebooks? As a book editor and blatant bookworm I’m a little biased, but I’d say they are even more important!
Here are my top five reasons.
- It’s a sensory rich experience. There is nothing quite like the weight of a new book in your hands, the scent of the paper or being able to flick through the pages, all of which appeals to the senses. A book can also help you feel “connected” to the author as though they’re speaking directly to you because you’re the one holding the book.
- Easy to find key takeaways. With a physical book you can easily pick it up and flick through to key points or diagrams. It’s not so easy to do this with digital content because you first have to be reminded that you own the book (because it’s not sitting right there under your nose), and unless you are exceptionally organised and highlight or save sections as you read, you’ll have to scroll through the book or use a search function to jump to specific text. Physical books allow people to revisit your content a lot more than you might imagine.
- Reminded of your presence. When your book is taken home, savoured (or devoured) and rests on someone’s coffee table or bookshelf it’s as though you have a physical presence in their life. You become part of their home. They might not consciously be thinking about you or your business message but they’re more likely to think of you when they face a problem they know you help solve (and if they go onto Google looking for a solution without referring back to you who knows where they might end up!)
- Fewer distractions. Books are always books when they’re physical; they’re not messenger apps or trying to encourage the reader to look at emails, book a holiday or give a thumbs up to a photo of their friend’s lunch. As a digital reader you have to be incredibly disciplined to not look at those notifications or answer calls, but a physical book encourages the reader to focus and dive deep into your expertise and wisdom without diversion.
It’s a conscious choice to read a physical book (you don’t tend to just stumble on it because an app is open). Physical books encourage people to carve out dedicated time whether that’s on a commute, curled up in a favourite armchair (or on that holiday they booked earlier when reading a digital book!).
Plus, if someone is reading your physical book in a public place it’s a valuable marketing opportunity. Who knows what sorts of conversations the sight of your book might inspire! People share photos of real books they’re reading on social media, but when was the last time you saw a photo of a digital download?
- Book sales grew in 2020. Statistics from the Publishers Association tell us that sales of fiction and nonfiction books increased during the 2020 pandemic (figures have yet to be released for 2021). One reason for this could be the need for connectivity, something a bit more tangible in an uncertain world (plus people had more time to read and wanted downtime from their screens).
Sharing your key messages through books, blogs and podcasts is an amazing way to help people transform their lives and businesses. It plays a massive part in your personal brand.
Digital books are popular and occupy a vital space, but in my opinion there’s nothing quite like a physical book to deeply connect and engage with your audience, secure their undivided attention, and serve as a reminder that you are the go-to person when they need help with x, y or z. Whether you plan on having both a digital book and a physical book or are digital all the way, you’ll benefit from the blog below on how to use keywords to help your readers find you.
10 second takeaway
Today’s challenge is to go into the Facebook group and share the title of a physical book that you’ve read more than once (fiction or nonfiction), and tell us if you would honestly have looked at that book more than once if it was a digital version.
How To Help Readers Find Your Book Using Keywords And Phrases By WBR Senior Editor Kat Lewis
“What was the name of that book I wanted to read? You know, the one about the thingamajig? I can’t remember the title but it talked about x y z.”
It’s likely that some of us have been that reader before, but if you’re the author of that book the great news is that you can use keywords and phrases to help drive people directly to your content (whether it’s a physical or digital book) even when they can’t remember the title.
There is a lot to understand when it comes to successfully sharing and marketing your well-crafted books; getting to grips with the fundamentals of keywords and phrases will help you ensure that your book ranks highly in searches, and is easily discovered by your target audience.
What are keywords and phrases, and why do I need them?
Keywords and phrases (sometimes known as multi-word search terms) refer to the specific vocabulary you use to describe your book, blog or podcast. By using carefully chosen words and phrases that people are actively searching for (in relation to your content) you will maximise the number of people who find and are likely to want your book.
When you self publish on Amazon you can add up to seven keywords or phrases per book. Each phrase can be up to 50 characters in length.
I’m not tech savvy, can I do this?
Yes! Think about when you go to the search bar on Amazon or Google. The first thing you do is start to type in the title of the book if you know it (or the author’s name or the subject matter). When you do this, Amazon and Google both predict what you will type next; this is based on what other people have searched for. This will help you get some basic ideas for keywords.
How do I know which keywords and phrases are best?
What else do I need to know?
Amazon will check that the book description and other sections of content you input about the book (metadata) is accurate. If your keywords are not relevant to the content of the book it will not rank you for them even if you input them as keywords.
For example, if you input the word “millionaire” as your keyword but your work has nothing to do with money and never mentions the word “millionaire” or other keywords associated with it, it will not drive traffic to your work.
Use niche words where possible
The more specific you can be in your keywords and phrases, the greater the chances are of your book ranking highly. It’s rare that people continue to scroll beyond the first few pages of a search engine so if your book (blog or podcast) doesn’t appear early on you’ve missed out on that opportunity. It’s better to appeal to a smaller audience who have a definite interest in what you offer than to appeal to a mass market who may or may not be looking for your subject matter.
There will likely be some repetition of words between your description and title, but avoid too much duplication between the title, subtitle and keyword fields. Once you’ve used a word in one of those places it won’t rank any higher by reiterating it elsewhere. For example, if your book title included the phrase “entrepreneurial success” you wouldn’t then include that phrase in your subtitle and keyword data.
Amazon will automatically rearrange keywords
In addition to the specific keywords and phrases you use, Amazon will rank you for other similar phrases that use similar or the same words. So, your book on “entrepreneurial success” will also show up if a potential reader types in “success, entrepreneurs”
It is worth researching your keywords and phrases and being as specific as possible. Always remember they are designed to help people find what they’re looking for. It really is that simple. There can be a lot of confusion over keywords but when you remind yourself of their fundamental purpose, it becomes easier to see which keywords and phrases are most relevant to your audience. You want people to buy your book and by using the right keywords they’ll find you more easily.
10 second takeaway
If you’re in the mood for a challenge, go to one of the search engines or Amazon and find three phrases that are relevant to your subject matter; pay attention to the results to ensure you create content that people want, and boost your ranking and online visibility.
When you work with our team at Write Business Results we can offer you additional support with your keyword data to increase the chances of the people who want what you offer finding you. Why not schedule a brand and content strategy session?