Thursday, February 9, 2017

FIND THAT AUTHOR!!!!!

Discoverability.

"Discoverability" is a keyword related to keywords. It's the word that helps agents and editors decide if an author can be found by innocently browsing book-loving readers, because if folks can't FIND you, they can't buy your books.

You're scoffing. I hear you! You're saying "Ruthy, every author under the sun and a chosen few from former planet Pluto are on Amazon, so everyone is discoverable on "The Zon" and the world wide web! What are you smokin', girl???"

And in a way, that's right. If someone puts my whole name in the search bar: "Ruth Logan Herne", they get so many pages of me, it's downright frightening. No one needs that much Ruthy, do they? (Hush, Connealy, of course they do!!!) :)

And if I say "Okay, Google, find Ruth Logan Herne" on my smart phone, it brings up lots of mobile-friendly links, so that's awesome, right? With my full name, I am totally discoverable...

But how many folks only remember part of a name??? 


Maybe they lost the scrap of paper their friend had scribbled it on, or they'd deleted the text, or they remembered someone talking about a Christian author and ALL THEY REMEMBER IS "Ruth".... Here's the question that George Weiner, the president of Whole Whale, a company geared toward making non-profits more discoverable on the internet helped me answer. George began his business after working at dosomething.org for years, where he realized that people and companies with the best intentions can't generate business if they can't be found. He was made aware of the importance of "discoverability" in a world where everyone and their brother is now on the web, and how to play to those keywords in search engines.

Now, before you run screaming, hands over your ears, THIS IS NOT  HARD. Come on, you know me, if I can do this, anyone can, because it's simply realizing what you have on your website, in your bio, on your blog, on facebook, that the search engines will find -- and then favor, over other people -- that make you easily found.

Let's show, not tell so you can see the relationship:

Google search, "Inspirational author Ruth": NOTHING ABOUT ME on page one. WHAT???? (Now I know I need to link the word "inspirational" into my paragraphs, into my bio, into anything I'm posting to gain some traction on the "inspirational" lists)

Google search: "Christian author Ruth": One to my website, third place down. (Christian is tough because there is so much competition to the word, but if I use the phrase "Christian author" in more references, that should help boost me in the ratings.)

Clearly you can see where my work will be focused...  :)

Google search, "Inspirational author Ruthy": Five mentions on this page!!! There's a clue for you, Ruthy is more distinctive than Ruth because there are a lot of "Ruths" in Christian fiction, including a very notable one in the Bible... so my competition for simply "Ruth" is fierce... Now I know to use Ruthy more often, to put it in everything.... because those engines will search my opening paragraphs, so a simple "Ruthy here!" will aid people looking for me...


Google search, "Christian author Ruthy":  Five mentions here, too, to website, Amazon (for Running on Empty, so that's curious, right? But reviews there call me "Ruthy") to my facebook, and a full bar of Ruthy books and bio images, and in the additional links at the bottom, it's all my stuff, so that's a lot better!  My goal in February (besides finishing "Welcome to Wishing Bridge" and "Grace Haven 5") is to tweak words on my sites and facebook to reflect how people SEARCH... because that's going to give me more hits. They don't need to match me... I need to match THEM....

Okay, on to Amazon!!!

Amazon search: "Inspirational author Ruth": I'm the top four!!!! YES!!!! And interestingly enough they're my indie novellas listed as "by inspirational author Ruth Logan Herne", so the keywords MATCHED!!! And several of my traditional books came up, too, but not all which means the keyword "inspirational" might not be in their listing.... Six of the sixteen are my books, and the top four places, so whoever is looking for me just found me. It's a good start, and all because of those sweet historical novellas.


Amazon search: "Christian author Ruth":  Same results!!!!

Amazon search: "Inspirational author Ruthy": Amazon redirects to the spelling "Ruth", but I'm still on the top four places, and two others...

So while a Google search brought up more with Ruthy, Amazon doesn't. Amazon weighs the author's name as listed, and KEYWORDS... It's no accident that I have the words "inspirational, heartfelt, Christian, heartwarming, author" as part of the "title" for these novellas... it was so I could "search" them myself, and see how well they "searched" for readers.

Think of how people will search for you, and do the test. First, check your full name. Do you get a page full of results? I want you to! 

More is better in this case.

And if not, what can you do? Well, there are some basics that help!
  • Keep your production high. The more you write, the greater chance folks have of finding you.
  • Escape the cave and meet people. Not other writers, real people! :) Book clubs, Reader events (Christian Fiction Readers Retreat this summer, August 12 in CINCINNATTI!!!! I'll be there, chatting with over a hundred readers, bloggers and reviewers....) bookstore events, speaking gigs
  • Tweak the words you use to describe yourself and your work, then use those words repeatedly. 
  • Check links on your sites, make sure they're all working correctly. A dead link can become a reader's dead end.
  • Be available online even if you're not a people person. If social media isn't your thing, no worries... because lots of folks shrug it off. But if someone is looking for your kind of book, it's crucial that they can find you.
  • Test your name recognition using just first name or variables... see if you come up. If you don't, figure out why
  • Keep an up-to-date newsletter list and add to it regularly. Sure, some will drop you, but if you're polishing your list every season, it will grow.
George Weiner started his Manhattan-based company by seeing the confusion on the web, and taking steps to help non-profits combat it. By making search engines work for us and not against us, we can make it easier for folks to find us... even if they don't remember our full name, or if their spelling is a little off. It's easier to buy us if they can find us!

I just heard Heavyweight Champion boxer George Foreman talk about America being the place for first, second, and third chances. This sports icon-turned-entrepreneur said, "When you get up in the morning, plant your feet on the floor, and just go for it. Don't let anybody talk you out of it. Just go for it."

That's my advice to writers and readers. Go for it. Don't let discouragement, or discouraging words hold you back... Kick 'em to the curb, my friends! And if you can help folks find you easily... Well, that's a big step forward, right there.

I've got fresh coffee, hot chocolate, a selection of fine teas and a delicious array of treats for us this morning! Come on in, ask me anything and feel free to give me ideas, too! I love new ideas!

And I've got two copies of my upcoming Love Inspired release "Their Surprise Daddy", the third Grace Haven book and my 19th (SQUEE!!!!) Love Inspired release.... a touching story about two small children and an ailing grandmother, caught in the throes of illegal immigration... and the blessings of God's perfect timing and one great romance to help bind things together. Rory Gallagher's story... a dream come true in the hills of the Finger Lakes, and the sweet town of "Grace Haven", New York... A town full of heart, home and hope.



Multi-published, bestselling author Ruthy Logan Herne is living her dream of writing heartwarming inspirational stories with unforgettable characters. Ruthy loves to engage the heart and nurture the soul with her personal brand of poignant-laced-humor. With nearly 40 novels and novellas published and more to come, you can find Ruthy at her website ruthloganherne.com, friend her on facebook as Ruth Logan Herne or Christian Fiction with Ruthy, shout her out @ruthloganherne on Twitter or come over to the Yankee Belle Cafe today where Ruthy is cooking up heart-shaped cookies with her eye on the upcoming Valentine's Day!



103 comments :

  1. Here's an extra pot of coffee, in case Ruthie doesn't have enough.


    I am an absolute dud at this. I can produce the books, but a social media person I AM NOT. I'm just not comfortable with it.

    Woe is me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helen, I think it goes against our creative grain, absolutely. But this doesn't have to be about social media... Don't even consider that. It's just about when you publish your indie books, use the words that people search for. "Heartwarming story by Inspirational author Helen Gray" Then you've got heartwarming, inspirational and author Helen Gray in one sentence... So it's not about facebook or twitter, it's just about using the words folks might use to find you on the web.... especially if they forget your whole name!

      Delete
  2. Ok now my week really is THE GREATEST (like Muhammad Ali)!! See Ruthy you brought up George Foreman so my mind came up with the other boxing champion...lol! Anyway, we had Mary on Monday, Tina on Tuesday, Wonderful Julie on Wenesday, and now Terrific Ruthy on Thursday :-) I was just thinking this last night...what if we get Ruthy on Thursday, not realizing that we would indeed! The Fearless Four (or Fabulous?) Fiction Female Writers!! Now try to say that fast five times ;-)

    I've had my share of frustration in the past trying to find a new-to-me author on Amazon only to discover I can't or have more than one author with that name. So then I've had to look at their bio and see what kind of books they write to determine if they are the correct ones. And if I couldn't find that answer there, I've had to check other places by typing in their name on my search engine. Which never guarantees you'll find them there either. Thankfully now that I know a lot more authors, I know where to find them and how to look them up. Exposure is a good thing for authors, the easier us readers can find you, the more we can discover your books :-)

    Author websites are wonderful too! It's a place to come to learn more about you, your life, writing, family, the books you have out or what you are working on now, favorite recipes (apple cake anyone?), or anything you want to share about what makes you, well, YOU! Ruthy, I SO enjoy the things you share about your grandbabies on Facebook and all those precious pictures you post! You are living a blessed & full life indeed :-) Yep, another great place to find authors....Facebook! I also like getting newsletters in my email, especially when authors share what's coming up next for them. I love reading about new book contracts they've signed, makes me excited for them...and me too knowing there's more to read in the future :-)

    Please throw my name in the (clean) cat dish for a chance to win "Their Surprise Daddy", thanks so much! Great post and holds great value for authors :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trixi, thank you so much!!!! I'm kind of stuck in New York City right now, with a blizzard going on outside, so I'm answering Seekerville in a hotel, and hopefully will be able to head back home (6 hours west) by this afternoon if they can clear enough roads to get me to the highway over the bridge... but if not, I'll be here until tomorrow!!!

      I love your enthusiasm, that's like the best gift an author can get, dear girl! Thank you!!!!

      And your name is in this cat dish, (although the cat dish is really home in Western New York!!!)

      :)

      Delete
    2. I love your books, Ruth. Congratulations on your newest book. I can wait to get my hands on this one. This is my first time posting on here. This post was informative. I'm in the research phase for a historical romance that I am planning out at the moment. I have been trying to soak up as much information as possible on Seekerville and this post one that is going in my ticket file to use later.

      Delete
  3. Great advice. ANNNNNNDDDD a great cover. Congratulations on your upcoming release.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ruthy, it's a great idea to try to google ourselves in several ways (including without our full names). I probably need to go tweak my website and build in more keywords. Thanks for the advice!

    Trixie, you should try googling The Fearless or Fabulous Four and see who comes up! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoops! I spelled Trixi wrong. I'm sorry!

      Delete
    2. You aren't the first one Missy & certainly won't be the last I'm sure...lol! I've had it spelled Trixy, which just looks plain weird! Or just Trix...sigh....lol!

      I typed in Fabulous Four Fiction Female Fiction writers and it came up with #1. Fantastic Four (the movie), 2. Octavia E. Butler an American science fiction writer and #3 The 10 best female science fiction writers, and the list goes on. :-)

      Delete
    3. Ooops, that's suppose to read Fabulous Four Female Fiction Writers

      Delete
    4. This is a fun back and forth, ladies!!! :)

      The Fabulous Four kind of sounds like we should be making a Marvel Comics movie, doesn't it????

      Delete
  5. This is it exactly. If I can't find an author, I can't buy their books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, that's what George taught me. Make yourself findable!!!

      Delete
  6. Great inspiration, Ruthy! Looking forward to seeing you again at CFRR this summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elaine, WHOOOOOWEEEEEE!!!!! We will have a wonderful time and I can't wait to see folks again. What a wonderful idea those ladies had (Bonnie, Carrie and Annie) and now they've added two more to the group, and that's wonderful! How fun to see this group growing!

      Delete
  7. Terrific advice, Ruthy! I adore your new cover...congratulations. Hey, are you still snowbound? Be safe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, the storm is here and I'm trapped. But I'm trapped with coffee, so there's no national emergency involved, right? And my husband is being a prince at home, taking care of the before and after school kids while I'm caught here.

      And after the storm roars through, it looks clear for a day or two, so definitely a window of opportunity!

      Delete
    2. And Mary Curry gets a day off today, all NYC schools are closed!!!!!

      Delete
  8. So much good information packed in this post! Thanks, Ruthy! I just did a Google search of my first name, and it pulled up: #1 a Wikipedia listing that identifies me as an actress and #2 my website.

    Then I did "author Preslaysa" and it pulled up my website, my social media links, and some blog posts.

    Then I did "inspirational Preslaysa" and I got my social media links.

    Then I did "Christian Preslaysa" and I got links that had those words in them. So I guess the key is my first name. It's discoverable like Ruthy!

    Hugs and I'm going to get some coffee now. Ruthy's post started me on some high powered marketing work in the early morning :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That distinctive name is a wonderful thing. It's totally identifiable.... Now check with incorrect spellings, though, just to see if Google and/or Amazon can correct.... So if folks just remember Pres.... Does the internet find Christian author Pres? Or does it turn up a president????? (laughing!)

      George taught me to work with people's most likely mistakes... and spelling and remembering multiple names is a biggie!

      I'm so proud of you, checking things out, and enjoy the coffee!!!!

      Delete
    2. That's a great idea! I'll check out nicknames and misspellings too. Thank you!

      Delete
    3. It sure is a benefit to have an unusual name, Preslaysa! Apparently, Missy isn't very common either. I come up on the first page of "Author Missy."

      Delete
    4. LOVE your name! I think it's just beautiful.

      Delete
  9. I love the cover. I'd love to win a copy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, I'm tucking you into the cat dish via snow-mail!!!!!

      Delete
  10. Great post Ruthy, And we so need this informtion. Those keywords are critical. Like Missy, I need to go do more tweeking. smile Thanks for the coffee and goodies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra, you're welcome! Waving to you from the Big Apple.... a frosty, snowy apple today!

      Delete
  11. I love this post. I hate to think about how many times I've only remembered part of an author's name or the title of a book.

    Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We all do that, don't we? And being able to find the author (or the site) is huge, especially if you're not the kind of a person who remembers to bookmark everything... or has so many bookmarks that it's a total disaster to go through the drop-down menu!!!

      Delete
  12. Great post, Ruthy! And I am so jealous you are stuck in a snowstorm!! One of these days I will see snow. Or it will be summer again and I'll have to wait for next winter but that better not be the case lol. I crocheted a scarf for my snowman and I want to give it to him!

    I searched for my name on google and had several hits on the first page: my workplace, my book reviews, facebook, tweets by me, and even my editing website (that was a surprise for some reason lol).

    author Sally Shupe (even more surprising since I'm not published yet)- that brought up my author facebook page, found me on amazon but I think for my reviews of two books, but since I've reviewed a whole bunch more I'm not sure why it found me on those two, my book reviews blog, my bookclub network profile page, my twitter feed, google+ profile, and even my profile on upworks.

    Inspirational author shupe brings up nothing; however, christian sally finds my google+ profile.

    Sally Schreiner Shupe- if someone were to know my full name, brings up a lot of my genealogical stuff.

    Ruthy, this was so much fun! Thank you! Would love to be entered to win a copy of your new book! You could be the next contestant on my book review blog! :)

    I've tried to be more creative with key words, labels, whatnot, when I do reviews or post things. So many different ways between hashtags, facebook followings, and blog post labels for search engines to find stuff. So interesting!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sally, I'm entering you right now and envisioning that cat dish in Western New York!!!!

      I'm so glad you stopped by today, and I'm glad you tried it! Isn't it amazing what cross-checks and what doesn't?

      I've noticed that facebook carries weight on Google searches... another interesting thing, right? Lots of times our facebook pages come up quicker than our books... so that means the search grabs them quicker, and for that reason alone, I think it's good to have those facebook pages even if we're not bustling on social media.

      So yeah, it's interesting, right?

      Delete
    2. Yes, it is very interesting! I love this kind of stuff.

      Delete
  13. Hi Ruthy, this was a great post. I googled myself and while there are a lot of Cindy Woolards mine comes up probably a lot more because of my blog and book reviews.

    I love the cover of Their Surprise Daddy and would love to win a copy.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cindy, good morning!!! I'm glad you come up, you always come up first in my Cindy book! :)

      Delete
  14. I would like to give my heartfelt thank yous to all of you who have prayed, e-mailed me, and sent sympathy cards in the loss of my Mom. It truly means a lot to me and to my family.

    We had a celebration of life for her yesterday. And I made it through with only a minimal of tears and I know that was because of the prayer coverage we had. I miss my Mom already. We were extremely close and she was my best friend. The tears are coming so I'll end by saying, thank you again and may God truly bless you all.

    Ruthy, I thank you for your kind emails. They touched my heart so deeply.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, this is so nice to hear... I love those life celebrations, but I hate goodbyes, it's a conundrum of the highest sort. And I still miss my mom at times, when I least expect it... But I'm so glad you had her so long, and graced her life with your love and care. Pretty darned special right there, Cindy.

      Delete
    2. Cindy, how wonderful that you celebrated her life. You're still in my prayers.

      Delete
  15. Ruthy - this was great! Thanks so much. Absolutely can't wait to read Their Surprise Daddy. And no matter what anyone else says - I could never get too much Ruthy.

    Praying blessings on Cindy W and family

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, Cindy, I love this!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

      And I love "Their Surprise Daddy", it's such a lovely story of little kids, lost in a system of protective instincts and necessary laws.

      "And then a hero comes along... with the strength to carry on..." (Mariah Carey)...

      :)

      I am absolutely delighted with how the story came out!

      Delete
  16. I love this Ruthy!

    I purposely named my Great Danes website Texas Danes for this reason. Do you know how many people who are looking for a puppy google Texas Danes? At least half of my views came from that search. And then the opening sentences on my site mentioned puppies for sale. AKC. Euro. All the keywords.

    Our BBQ business is a different story. Every street corner in Texas has a bbq joint and every name had already been used 5 times. Yes, even Daddy Bruce's BBQ. We finally choose Texas Smokeshack. (Note, Smokeshack one word.) There are still a lot of similar names making it difficult for people to find our facebook page. They must enter it exactly.

    With my writing, there is an inspirational, life-coach author named Connie Queen. She took the website ConnieQueen.com. Since I'm not published, I need to think through the names I choose to use to promote myself. I may stick w/my Connie Queen and just add the word author.
    Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boy, Connie, that's WAY CLOSE!!!! How can we differentiate it???? Karen White uses KarenWhiteAuthor for things because she has a common first name and surname.... and you're right you need to differentiate.... Is your full name Constance or simply Connie? Is there a way to use a different surname?

      What would you be comfortable with? I think that's a huge part of all this, to be comfortable with the name we use, it's variations... So something to think about!

      Delete
    2. I love the Texas Danes idea. That's so cool. And a part of me misses having puppies around. #mustlovepuppies!!!!

      Delete
    3. Connie, could you maybe add a middle name? I got the advice early on to try to copyright in my legal name (which is Melissa). So technically, Missy is a pen name even though it's what everyone has called me my whole life.

      Delete
    4. My full name is Connie Sue Queen. My maiden name is Monk. And I sign my name as Mrs. Connie Queen. (That one would stand out.) I don't have a problem w/any of them, I just need to pick one and stick w/it. I wonder if the other Connie Queen realizes the inconvenience she's caused me.

      Delete
    5. Connie Sue Queen sounds very southern. :)

      Delete
  17. Very interesting. It helps to have those keywords for searches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always knew keywords were clutch, but George's advice showed me that simple paying attention to what matches up with me currently... can be tweaked by me just adding certain buzzwords.

      Delete
  18. RUTHY, fabulous tips AND gorgeous cover! Congratulations on your recent release! :-)

    I think I'm fairly easy to find, though there are MANY Cynthia Herrons out there. Lol My name often pops up with another CH who's an artist-writer. I'd really like to meet her. Anyway, I digress. *sips coffee* Ahhh... :-)

    Years ago, my original website designer suggested using "author" in conjunction with my professional site, and I'm so thankful. Although this feels awkward at times, it's helpful in distinguishing which CH people may be searching for.

    You're right on the money about tips regarding our discoverability.

    Here's what I do:

    * I blog regularly (W/F- with time off). Yes, it's a commitment. Yes, it takes time. It ALSO bumps up our visibility and Google likes that.

    * I comment on a few favorite blogs/sites. (Though this isn't my sole purpose, it does create name recognition AND we make friends! And I LOVE friends :-) )

    * I'm active on social media (though, I do step away from time to time when I feel overwhelmed by negative banter). I DON'T try to do it all--just those mediums I enjoy and those that come naturally to me--Twitter, FB, Blogging, & Pinterest. And I use LinkedIn to regularly post my blogs, as it only takes a minute and since it's more of a professional site, I've made some exciting industry connections there.

    * I send out a monthly newsletter. Yes--it's work. Yes, again, it takes time. But, too, it's something I enjoy and I use it more as an encouragement tool to connect with subscribers. Yes, pre-pubbers, you can do this, too! YOU have a message to share in a way no one else can.

    * When I blog, I make sure I always include pertinent tags with my posts and images. I do a little tweaking with SEO because, again, this matters with Google, spiders, crawlers, etc. No worries, it's not as creepy as it sounds. Lol

    I DO want to stress, that my writing always comes first. Time management is HUGE as everyone here knows, and it's like anything else. We learn as we go along how to do that better and in ways that will be most beneficial.

    Side note: Shout-out to MATT JONES of JONES HOUSE CREATIVE. His team gave my site a refresh last year and they continue to keep things (like link checks) running smoothly.

    Bottom line: What RUTHY says works! :-)

    Apologies for this "book." Cheers, all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matt Jones and his team are fabulous! I use them, too!

      Delete
    2. I love that you use a web designer!!! I haven't gotten to that point yet, so I'm always juggling the time and falling behind... So one of these days I'll turn over the helm....

      But it's cool that you learned early to use that word author, it wasn't something I ever considered and you're right, it creates a quick link to you, your name, your body of work. SMART COOKIE!!!!

      And now I'm going to learn from YOU because you are doing wonderful things, Cynthia!!! Go you!!!!!

      And you cited some strong tips, thank you! The blogging, commenting on blogs, just being yourself and being present here and there. We don't have to win the vote, or sway folks to our side of anything to be findable... and that's the key, we want folks to find us easily!!!

      Delete
    3. RUTHY, I initially created a WP site myself yearrrs ago, but I reserved extra funds to do a professional website with, and I'm so glad I did. Since I was already familiar with WP, it made incorporating that platform into my website so much easier. And even at the pre-pubbed level, I'm glad I went this route.

      You made me giggle though. YOU have instant name recognition because you AND your stories are AWESOME. I imagined long before I "met" you, that I was a little fly on your kitchen wall. You were someone I wanted to sit down with and have a cup of coffee and pie with. OHHH, how I digress. Sorry! haha

      Delete
  19. Hey, can never have too much Ruthy... (or Ruth, as the case might be) I'd love to win THEIR SURPRISE DADDY.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, Marianne, thank you so much! :) I'm tucking your name right in, and hoping your loving AZ right now because my blizzard in NYC is alive and well!!!! :)

      Delete
  20. Great tips, Ruthy! Just checked my Google and Amazon search results according to your test. Google did great. Amazon? Not as much. Need to see what I can do about that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Myra, that's awesome! It's interesting that more of our traditionally published stories don't bump us up in the Amazon results and I wonder why that is.... And it's not just one publisher, it's multiple, so then the question is why doesn't that carry through to the Amazon results... and is it intentional on Amazon's side? Hmmmm......... :)

      Delete
  21. Ruthy,you are AMAZING! Aren't you traveling today? Stuck in a blizzard?

    Thank you for this applicable post. These are great excercises and I'm adding them to my To Do over the weekend list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amber, I'm praying for Grandma and your whole beautiful family!!! And yes, I sneaked out as the blizzard was winding down.... When nothing was moving in the ginormous city but me, snow plows and a handful of cars.... It was almost eerie!!! Isn't this a great exercise???

      Delete
  22. This is such a libaryish thing and I love it. That's why libraries go to such lengths to assign approved subject headings to their material. It makes it so much easier for patrons to find what they are looking for.

    Authors working on applying keywords to boost search results is brilliant. And not something everyone would think of.

    Hope you are tucked away safely out of the storm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Home from the storm and leaving NYC to dig itself out. Man, they were socked in!

      Kav, you're right, libraries created the idea of subject headings > keywords because the search is a big part of the battle!

      Delete
  23. Wow, RUTHY, this is so interesting! Going to work on my discoverability and see if I can improve the results. Thank you so much for these tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura, you're welcome.... All George, of course, but I'll take credit for sharing his smartness! Because it's not about what we put out there... it's about HOW WILL THEY SEARCH??? And then matching it!

      Delete
  24. I've googled my name before when thinking about author pages and the like. There's already a published Deborah Harkness who writes Paranormal stuff (ghosts, witches, etc) so.... um, yeah. Not gonna work for me should I ever become published. My maiden name of Weimer has oodles of Deb, Debbie, Deborah Weimers out there too. Whoooda thunkit? Guess there are too many Debs in general to stand out much.

    I'm thinking of using the name my birth mom gave me, only spelled a little different: Lara Lynne. No authors, at least. So I might have a chance. Not as much visibility competition. Of course, if I ever get pubbed, there will be a whole slew of people who will know me, but not my pen name and will go HUH???? So, I'm not sure what I'd do.

    Cool post though. I can see how adjusting to how people look for things can help visibility. May I have my name in the draw for a Ruthy book? I ADORE Ruthy books. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb, you can keep it simple... Deb Harkness, Author....Or shorten it, Deb Hark. Lots of authors do that to amend their real name and not have to compete with others having the same name... There are so many choices out there, and of course you're in the drawing!!! :)

      I love the name Lara Lynne, and that could be the whole name.... No surname, use Lynne as the surname.

      Delete
  25. HI RUTHY, this is very helpful. I use keywords for my nonfiction work. These tips will be great when I'm published in fiction.
    I agree with the need to get yourself out there. Social media is great for introverts because you don't actually have to face people. My daughter who has Social Anxiety Disorder talks to people all over the world. The downside of Social is that people can also be their WORST selves if they don't have to face you.
    I am snowed in too and frustrated because I have a million things I should be doing off-site. On the other hand, I can probably fit in some extra writing time, so that's good. New Hampshire has a foot of snow already.
    Please enter me in the drawing. I enjoy your books, and my TBR pile is down to one story.
    Thanks,
    Kathy Bailey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy, I'm happily tossing your name into the hat, darling! The snow came down with meaning, didn't it? And I was way up at the west end of Manhattan, but close to escape when it stopped!!!

      Delete
  26. RUTHY!!! With nearly 40 novels and novellas published and God knows HOW many books in the hopper, you definitely are like E.F. Hutton on this issue -- when you speak, I listen!! ;)

    Which is why I have already done a lot of what you have said, primarily because YOU have said it before here and there on the Seeker loop, so I jump to it. ;)

    BUT ... the real test is to search your name on Wikipedia -- now THAT'S when you know you've arrived!! Mary Connealy comes up, but alas, you and I don't. However, it does say the following: You can ask for (your page) to be created, but consider checking the search result below to see whether the topic is already covered.

    When I searched you, it did bring up a Ruth from New York who won Miss Teen USA in 1983, so are you holding out on us??? ;)

    And at least your search didn't turn up the following that I found when I searched my name:

    Did you mean: julia lesbian?

    Sigh. Between spell check and Wikipedia, I'm getting a complex.

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahahahahaha! I've never worried about Wikipedia, but maybe I should.... I'm more interested in (CONFESSION!!!!) sales. :) I want folks to be one click away from trying a Ruthy book... or buying another Ruthy book!

      And I tend to keep my beauty queen past quiet, mostly because it doesn't exist! But I did get named Miss Congeniality in the Harvest Queen pageant a long, long, long time ago. :) My claim to beauty fame, Julie!!!!

      And how weird is that spell check? What an annoying (and weirdly subliminal) invention! Because sometimes it follows the common sense of the situation, but other times it brings up things like that... and lesbian isn't a surname, so it makes no sense to jump in with that.

      Bad spell check!!!!

      Delete
  27. What a great post, Ruthy! I love how you shared your process for learning how to make yourself more discoverable. I Google-searched my first and last name and came up with lots of results. My blog site came up first. then posts I'd commented on on other blogs made up the majority of the list.

    Even when I googled, "Inspirational Author Jeanne" my blog came up first. I guess I did something right when I set up my blog. :) You've got me thinking about the importance of words in my bios and opening page for my blog. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeanne, awesome! How cool that your blog came right up!!!!

      Delete
  28. Fabulous post, Ruthy! And so interesting. I did several searches and couldn't find myself on any of them. I tried romance author leanne, contemporary romance author leanne, sweet contemporary romance author leanne. Nada. Zilch. Zip. So me thinks me needs to go add some tags to my website. I had no idea. Thanks, Ruthy! I love learning stuff on Seekerville.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LeAnne, I'm so proud of you! Go get 'em, girl! And yes, it's a matter of matching your keywords or "buzz" words around you and your work to be what folks might think of when they think of you... and what you write.

      I never realized that it was really fairly easy for non-techie peeps like most of us to streamline this... and we can!

      Delete
  29. New York City in a Snow Storm!
    Bargain Last Minute Tickets to Top Shows!
    Hamilton for a Hamilton?
    How About the Planetarium to Escape Global Warming?


    Hi Ruth:


    Am I thinking too much like 'an out of towner?'

    I loved your post on finding the authors you seek. I'd love to add my thoughts as well.

    "Because if folks can't FIND you, they can't buy your books."

    Well, maybe, unless they can find your books without your name! And I sure hope they can!

    Do you pick highly memorable titles? (You can as an Indie.)

    I have no idea who wrote "Scarlett" the sequel to GWTW...but I don't need to know who the author is to buy that book. Usually when I read reviews in print, I only remember the title of the books that interest me. (Do you test your Indie titles? That is write lots of titles on a sheet of paper and have people look them over and then an hour later ask them which titles they remember?)

    Do you try to associate your books with a more famous author? (Your influencers can help here.)

    I find lots of books that I don't know who the authors are by looking at the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought..." This is how I find other authors for my love of Roman Historical novels.

    Do you promote your taglines? For example do you promote and explain your tagline on YouTube?

    YouTube titles get picked up on Google searches! I searched "Passion with a Purpose" on Google and got a link to "Passion with a Purpose" for Clark University which really sold me on the school in just a few minutes! I could see sending a child there! Check out:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svXw7lLBotg

    Your tagline could be more memorable than your name. Get it out there. Make a YouTube video showing how the tag line is so perfect for your books.

    That's just a few ideas. There may be only one Rome but all roads lead there.

    Wow! I searched Ruth Logan Herne on Amazon and saw many books I never heard of before! You either need to slow down your writing or speed up you new issue promotions!

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vince, those are such great ideas!!!! Thanks for chiming in with them. And you're right, a tagline can be a big help.... Another way to identify.

      The Amazon bar is an amazing thing... and it makes their website so user friendly.

      I don't know why any big company doesn't make their websites that perfectly analytical and friendly.

      It's amazing.

      Delete
  30. RUTHY, excellent stuff! Thank you! First name searches didn't find me. Though I did find Janet Tronstad, Janet Daily, Janet Evanovich, etc. Lots of Janets. Now if only I could update my Web site myself.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, that's so funny! And I'm so bad at website stuff, but with the templates already installed, it works... and I like doing my own updates, which reminds me... that's on this weekend's agenda!!!! EEEEK!!!!

      Delete
  31. Ruthy Update:
    She has left NYC and the blizzard behind and is on her way back home to Upstate NY, where we are NOT having a blizzard. :)

    She will be offline for a few hours, but will check-in when she gets home later!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Beth! I called her from the car and I can probably post from my new phone (the old phone is now gone, gone, gone!!!) but not while I'm driving at ???????? mph west on I-80! :) I figured having Beth let youse all know was just smarter!

      Delete
  32. Oh Ruthy! I only had time to quick-scan this now, and it's great. Can't wait to settle in and read it more slowly later ... that'll make it even greater :-)
    Thanks!
    Nancy C

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nancy, it's so easy when you look at it this way, for us to simply use those search words every way we can!

      Delete
  33. YES YES Keep safe, Ruthy! Hope you enjoyed NYC even with the blizzard. When you get home, please put my name in that cat dish for your fantastic new book! Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jackie, will do!!!! Home safe and thinking of coffee! YES! COFFEE!!!!

      Delete
  34. Hi Ruthy,

    It as been YEARS since I stopped by Seekerville. I'm SO GLAD I rediscovered this lovely place. I'm in the process of learning how to market a book by being thrown into the fray! This helps tremendously when I start having to really think about keywords and hashtags. Thank you for this!

    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jen, it's so nice to see you again! Hello, old friend!

      And that marketing scares so many, but I think the most important thing is gaining momentum, and then keeping that momentum... So if something as easy as keywords, search words, buzz words would set us apart from the crowd, total bonus!!!!!

      Hey, I was late with cookies, but they're here!

      Delete
  35. Ruthy, You know every time I think to myself I'm finally catching up with my writing goals, everything gets turned on its head (and I think I hear many of the Seekers and Villagers saying - that's right, that's right). I typed in unpublished authors Tanya and I was on the bottom of the first Google page! Yet thanks for waking me up and reminding me that I have to get the ball rolling with the other parts of writing even before I get the call (because I really want to type in published author Tanya someday and be on that list!)

    I hope everyone in the Northeast is staying safe in the weather.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tanya!!! BUT YOU MADE THE LIST!!!!!! So that's a beginning, and we just keep building from there. And I didn't realize how many Tanyas were out there until I met you and several others.... I would have called it an unusual name, but it's not and I think that's because authors like the sound of it.... so it's used by people who maybe aren't true "Tanya"s or "Tonya" but who adopted it.... So that's a little tricky... And keep up the writing as you do little things to raise the recognition. I can never stress enough that productivity is our best friend for visibility... and that you get paid for "advertising"!!! You become "monetized", LOL!

      Delete
  36. Wow, I was just searching myself the other day. I'm not very available, unfortunately, and when I am, it's with a bunch of other Drews and even Jessica Drew, AKA, Spider Woman, who I did not know I was copying when I chose Jes Drew as my pen name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The good thing is you're young... so Boo, your productivity will be your best friend and best advertiser.... and then to be out there AS THAT NAME... One thing I've talked with many authors about is not spreading yourself out over multiple names... when I decided not to do that years ago, some folks scolded me... because historicals or indies would weaken my "brand"...

      I ignored them to the point of making my own decisions because I knew I'd produce enough work to keep my contemporary brand polished... That wasn't being cheeky, it was common sense because I'm always checking how much I can produce without making me or my family crazy... But based on that number (words/day X days in year) I knew I could do it....

      So keep up what you're doing and make sure you're using the pen name (or change the pen name) so that your names match....

      Delete
  37. Safe travels back home, Ruthy!
    Sorry I'm later stopping by today, but LOVED this post! Such great tips and as always, I feel "energized" reading a Ruthy-post! (Yes, even late at night, LOL) :)
    And 19 Love Inspired books?? WOW!! That is WONDERFUL!! I still remember reading the Seeker blog when you sold your first one - - I didn't really know you then, but was thrilled for you and loved your excitement!
    Hugs, Patti Jo

    P.S. Please toss my name in the cat dish for your book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Winter's End" 2009.... and released nine months later!!!! That was AMAZING, Patti Jo, and I still have Melissa's phone call on my voice mail!!! :)

      And #20 comes out in November: "The Lawman's Yuletide Baby" a story that just wrapped itself around my heart... so I hope it does the same for readers!

      You are firmly tucked into the cat dish, now that I'm home!!!! :)

      Delete
  38. Once again I must clarify that I am a reader, not a writer, and I love visiting you Seekers and Seekerville so that I can be aware of all of your great books. Ruthy, this post about finding authors on the web reminds me of the many times that a patron would come into the library with no title, no author and ask to read the book that "Jane read and she says that I would like it!" Now, if I was lucky, I would remember the genre that "Jane" liked and I could narrow it down. And, once we were automated and IF the patron had given permission for her checkout history to be seen, I could go there. So, it does benefit authors to have their name and books out there so that they can be found! By the way, in the last few years before I retired, Christian fiction or Inspiration fiction had simply exploded in our library. We had more requests for that genre than any other!
    Connie
    cps1950 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Connie, I love hearing this! And gaining library shelf space is huge, a lot of my readers are library patrons (me, too!!!!) and their word of mouth is priceless....

      And yes, I remember when I was working at school, folks would grope for a name of an author, and often, we'd have no clue.... and I can see that happening online today, just like the game of "gossip", how you start with a name, and by the time it gets 5 people removed, the book has turned into a movie, the name doesn't exist and while "Kathy" started the conversation six weeks ago, by now it's "Donna read something by an author and they turned it into a really good movie that should be coming out soon and I wish I could remember the name, but we'll probably see previews!!!"

      :)

      Delete
  39. Hi Ruth:

    When you are in NYC, do you ever go by the location where your heroine was watching the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade? (Red Kettle Christmas) I'd like to get a photo of that spot.

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
  40. Vince, I've been in that area lots of times... On Wednesday, in fact! I was in Midtown and Brooklyn and Washington Heights and the financial district. I put good mileage on my Metro card!

    She couldn't see the parade from where she was, though... that's why Mike took Laurie down to the parade route... They were bell ringing up 34th Street...

    So I was a dozen blocks or so from that this week, but it's so different now! Victoria's Secret, upscale stores, and all kinds of fancy... not like when Arnie Mencher donated a box of fresh, chewy Jewish bagels to a Salvationist, ringing her bell... :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Great article with so many helpful tips for getting your name up in a search. I have a business blog and I am always surprised how many people find me through a Google search. I am taking notes from your post. I also just saw you were going to be in Cincinnati for CFRR! I was pretty excited as I hope to be there as well. Your new book looks great.
    Have a good day!
    Becky B.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BECKY!!!!! I can't wait to meet you, I love that it's close enough for me and Beth to drive down... SWEEEEEEET!!!!! It's so much fun to get together with readers... I have lots of opportunities to gather with writers through retreats and conferences, etc..... and that's wonderful, but gosh, the chance to hang out with readers is The Best Ever!!!!

      Delete
  42. Wow! Thank you for this great article, Ruthy! I found myself in the top 10 search for 'Playwright Jeanette'! A few years ago I couldn't be found until page 7!I found several more ideas to use here. A marketing person wanted me to pay him in access of $1500 to do what you just posted about. Seekerville is awesome!! It should be named Seekerville University! Thank you again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes!!! "Christian Author Found Dead, Marketing Expert is Prime Suspect"!!!! :)

      Jeanette, it's all George and his simple advice about what to look for, how to learn to match. Now he gets much more sophisticated in his approaches with companies, but I think the more aware we are of the effect of language, we can adjust things to our advantage... And that's a sweet thing, right???? I'm so glad you stopped over!

      Delete
  43. Well done Ruthy! Informative and funny :)

    May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

    ReplyDelete