A while ago, I was about to change a cover for a book, and wanted to re-examine the Amazon keywords and the blurb to see if I could strengthen them.
I realized that, off the top of my head, I couldn’t remember exactly where I’d put that info for this particular book.
Then I realized: this stuff should go in Scrivener. You know, right along with the manuscript itself.
Add a Marketing Folder to Your Scrivener Project
Next to the Research folder, I created a Marketing folder.
What goes inside?
- Amazon keywords (relevant only if you’re self publishing)
- Any other marketing copy used
- Relevant URLs (for where to buy the book)
- Excerpts (for longer work)
Note that, apart from Amazon keywords, these work for traditionally published authors too. If you are publishing in multiple languages, it may make more sense to break out these files by language.
Speaking of which, other languages may also have substantially different covers. I wouldn’t keep these in the main language’s Scrivener document; instead, I have a directory on my hard drive for all the original image files (i.e., the Photoshop PSDs). I only put the current, final JPEG in Scrivener. Otherwise, the Scrivener documents become unmanageably large. Since I work on a MacBook Air with an SSD drive, it also allows me to store rarely-used resources on an external hard drive.
Also, it may make more sense to create a separate Scrivener project for each language if you’re self publishing.
This file’s not just for current versions of blurbs, but also for previous versions.
If you have A/B testing data for whether one blurb is more successful than another, you can also keep notes about that in the blurb file. (Personally, I use a spreadsheet for this, and I don’t keep the spreadsheet in the Scrivener project.)
Amazon keywords are a dark art: without them, your book isn’t discoverable through organic search. I talk about KDSPY, an Amazon keyword research tool, here.
Once you’ve done your research, you’ll need a place to save your notes about that research as well as what your current keyword string is. And why.
Also, over time, market conditions change, and it’ll be easier to revisit how you might want to tweak your Amazon keywords if you can easily re-review why you made the choices you did before.
Other Marketing Copy
Long description, descriptions you’ve used on blog tours, etc. Anything that mixes it up and offers fresh takes.
Perhaps you’ve got a blog tour.
Perhaps your book’s available on 27 (or more!) different sites.
Sometimes it’s useful to have all that information handy. If I asked you what your Powell’s link was, how long would it take you to find that?
Especially if you’re doing a blog tour, you’ll want to have different excerpts for different sites. That way, people won’t be seeing the same old same old every time they go to read a different post about your new book.
Don’t Have Scrivener?
Scrivener’s regular price is $45, and it’s available for Mac and Windows. If you use both platforms, it’s worth noting that the Mac version is usually significantly ahead of the Windows version feature-wise.
Got Other Ideas?
What else would you put in your marketing folder for your writing projects?