~~ I use Grammarly’s free plagiarism checker because “Stealing, of course, is a crime, and a very impolite thing to do.” — Lemony Snicket, The Wide Window ~~
“Discoverability” is one of the newer buzzwords in the book publishing industry. Maybe you’ve heard it a few times by now. Hearing it and understanding it are two different things, however.
As Thad McIlroy (quoted above) explains in his brief article, “Findability, Discoverability, and Marketing,” the difference between “finding” and “discovering” a book is that with finding, you’re looking for something specific — you know what you’re looking for. Discoverability is what happens when you’re looking, but not for something specific. Because of that, discoverability might bring with it more of a sense of delight than “finding” offers.
For example, I’m always looking for books that help authors solve a problem. Always. It’s one reason I’m on author and consultant Kristen Eckstein’s mailing list — who knows what resource I might learn about from her? Last Friday, I received an e-mail from her that offered one of her short e-books free on Kindle that day only. I immediately downloaded her Author’s Quick Guide to Creating a Killer Non-Fiction Book Title because I had discovered something useful for me — something I hadn’t been specifically looking for but knew I wanted when I saw it. That’s discoverability.
I shared the link and offer with my social networks, too, hoping that others would experience that “Yes!” that can accompany discoverability.
You want your books to be discoverable, too. Ideas for doing that include:
- Go where your readers are. Maybe they’re on Goodreads.com, maybe they aren’t. Maybe they use Twitter, maybe they don’t. You have to know your target audience to get in front of it.
- Talk to your readers about how they discover the books they end up buying and reading, then act on what you learn.
- Figure out who influences your target audience and get copies of your books into their hands so they can become your evangelists.
- Offer promotions with discounts, as Eckstein did, or special bonus material with a purchase. Host contests to get people interested and engaged.
- Build a strong, solid author platform that helps you and your books get found when people are looking for what you write. Eckstein’s mailing list is part of her platform.
What are you doing to make sure your book gets discovered?