Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 in Evergreen, Playwriting | 0 comments

Keywords are those all-important phrases that lead people to your book whether on the web or in individual marketplaces. They’re important and the focus of this installment of our Self-Publishing a Stage Play series. From the mailbag:

It looks like when you publish a play script (or any kind of book) using CreateSpace, you’re only allowed to use five keywords (meta tags) for it. So, which are the best ones to use for a play script?

key photo

Keywords aren’t one size fits all.

The short answer to this is that the keywords field they give you is the least useful place for keywords. Your title, your subtitle (a must) and your description are all going to rank higher in search than that little field which only applies to their site. You want to cram all the most important terms for your book into the title, subtitle and description itself and just use the keywords field for the highlights.

I wrote a bit more about this here. It’s written about eBay but just adapt it to Amazon in your head as you read because the basic info is the same.

Asking what keywords to use for a play is the wrong question. You need to figure out the best ones for YOUR play. Look at my Amazon page for The Green Bird. I’ve crammed all the most important words for this particular play into the subtitle and used the second half of the description to cover everything else that I know my target demographic (educators, students and commedia nerds) would find attractive. The most important keywords for this play would likely not even appear in my description for another play because each one is a completely separate product (and you really need to start thinking of them that way to effectively sell them).

If you don’t know what the best keywords are for your play, you need to take a step backwards. Who is the target demographic for it? What are they most likely to be searching for? What are its main selling points?

You’ll also need to take a look at similar successful plays and take note of what they are doing. How are their publishers marketing them? What phrases do the reviews and testimonials for those plays repeat? (Here’s another post written about eBay but adaptable to this conversation.) What selling points do they play up?

Google’s Keyword Tool is also very helpful. Give it a term or phrase and it will spit back other related searches to help you brainstorm. Start a list of keywords. You should have far too many. Then pare it down to the top ten or so and focus on getting those out there more than anything else.

Post Photo by mmarchin

Featured Photo by nick.amoscato