Teaching Readers & Writers About Tags

Most writers know how important tags, or keywords, are. However, tags are important elements for readers too because it gives them an opportunity to express their opinions about a book.

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Tag or Keyword Defined

Tags, often called keywords, or the words or phrases used to describe something in a way that someone entering those specific words in a Search Engine can find the information for which they search.

Keywords are important in SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and that means you want the best and most popular keywords (meaning used most often) to send searchers to your information or product. With books, you want to use the perfect keywords in writing your Product Description and in tagging your book. Using the perfect keywords is optimizing the search engine results. That's your goal.


I'll be talking about Amazon today, but all the ebook sellers use keywords or tags.

Amazon allows an author to specify 7 keywords when you upload a book file through KDP.

After the book is live on the webpage, the author may add another 8 keywords. Always do this so you have 15 keywords that you have specifically selected to describe your book so that Search Engines (and that's what Amazon is) can find your book.

Readers can also add tags if they don't see one on there that they think describes the book. That's why you see some books with far more than 15 tags--readers added the others.

The more times someone has clicked to AGREE with your tags, the higher in the rankings your book will appear. This means, for example, that if my book has had my tags agreed with by web visitors 50 times, but another very similar book has only had 1 person agree with their tags, my book will come up in a search result sooner than the other writer's book.

Anyone who visits your book page can click to AGREE with the tags or to DISAGREE. If you want to agree or disagree with a writer's tags, make sure you expand the Tag list so that all tags show so you'll know what you are expressing an opinion about.Don't forget, you can also add other tags.

Authors love it when readers who like their books, agree with tags, add new favorable tags, agree with good reviews, etc.

Only 1 Per Customer

Since all ebook sellers place tracking cookies, you can only undertake these actions above only once. That's right, 1 time per authorized user. That keeps people from voting themselves up or a competitor down. (Yes, it happens. There are jealous authors out there.)

How You Make Your Opinion Known

Readers, if you like a book or an author, show them in these ways:

1. Click LIKE right below the book title.

2. Click AGREE on any good review if you agree.

3. Click DISAGREE on any negative review if you think it is without merit.

4. Write your own favorable review. It doesn't have to be long.

I think everyone has a right to their own opinion about a book. I would never vote against a review that was thoughtful and stated why they didn't care for the book. Everything is subjective. However, if I had a review that said things like a lot I've seen, i.e., "I hate romance but I read it anyway and it was a piece of garbage." or "This was only 99cents and it wasn't worth that." or "This author is stupid and doesn't know what she's talking about." or "This book was about adultery, and that's a sin so I give this book 1 star."

Those are subjective comments, not reviews. A review tells what's good about a book as well as what was lacking. Too many of the reviews you find on Amazon and other ebook seller sites sound like the snark you find at office parties. So think carefully and analyze before you take action.

5. Scroll down and find the TAGS. AGREE, ADD, or DISAGREE.

Make sure there are no typos in the tag you assign or the book may end up with a meaningless tag like OMANTIC rather than ROMANTIC.

6. Don't use your ability to express your opinion about a book as a forum for airing any personal grievances or grudges or for expressing political, religious, or sexual opinions.

Takeaway Truth

The ability to express an opinion online also carries with it the responsibility to be fair. Authors work hard at their craft so please be objective and honest. What you say may impact their ability to earn a living.


  1. This is really valuable information! I'll be publishing my book next week and now I understand a little bit more about the "tag" feature. It will also help me help other authors. Thank you for the information!!!

  2. Glad it helped, Fayth! Understanding keywords and tags is an essential component for success. Lots of layers to the topic too.

  3. Thanks for the interesting post.