Tagging on Amazon

I’ve been wondering – how often have you found a book on Amazon through their category search?

Apparently, those categories are somewhat fueled by tags applied to items by users. Many items with the same tag, for instance “erotic romance,” can be found through clicking on a tag. Amazon’s tagging FAQ.

I confess, I have not used this functionality very much, but I have been thinking about it more lately. I made sure to tag each of my own books with relevant tags, for instance “world war one” for The Moonlight Mistress. It’s difficult to tell if this makes any major difference in sales, as this is only one retailer, but at the very least I hope tagging makes my books easier for people to find if they’re already looking for them, or looking for books like them. I think it will be particularly useful in the long run.

I went on a bit of a tagging spree and tagged a lot of other people’s books, too. The more people choose the same tag for a book, the more easily it can be found. One thing I noticed is that people can add tags that are not useful for categorization, such as tags that are actually complaints about the price of a book. It’s possible to disagree with a tag as well as agreeing with it – click on the tiny arrow next to the tag for this option.

I’m going to keep an eye out for articles and commentary on tagging and its results.

Amazon’s Tagging Cloud with the most frequently used tags.

If you’ve had any experiences with Amazon tagging, for good or bad, I would love your comments on the experience.

I’ve also received a recommendation for the Notepad for Kindle application. On checking, there are a range of similar apps. Has anyone out there found one they liked in particular?

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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4 Responses to Tagging on Amazon

  1. I would not worry about a Kindle notepad app except to make sure that it is cheap. They keyboard on a Kindle (esp. a Kindle 3) sucks so much you will not want to type very much anyway.

    I love my Kindle, but not its keyboard. And, I would like 5 minutes alone in a room with whoever decided to remove the row of numbers on the K3.

  2. The earlier one had numbers on the keyboard?! I wish that had stayed.

  3. Vera says:

    I wish romance fiction sites tagged like fan fiction does. It seems to me that all the review sites and all the online sales sites I’ve looked at don’t drill down further than romance, historical, paranormal, western etc. For me there’s a huge difference between Georgian, Regency and Victorian historical romances and I’d really like to be able to find all the Regency, for example. This is particularly irksome when it comes to gay romance because, to me, the sites treat all gay romance as the same.

    Still, I guess the current system suits the very large romance readership and not prescriptive me.

  4. I, too, would like more specific tags on occasion – maybe people just don’t think of it. A quick look showed me a number of different Regency novels tagged with the time period, but most didn’t.

    Another issue might be that, on Amazon at least, you’re limited to 15 tags per item. Which seems a lot, except there are similar-but-not-quite tags that seem needed, but take up space.

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