As I mentioned previously, the key to moving your book up in the Amazon search list is to increase your book's tag counts, and by that, I don't mean the number of different tags, but rather, the number of customers who have clicked your tags. A minimum of 50 is probably required to see a big change in position, and if your book is in a competitive category, like romance or fantasy, it will probably take 100-200 taggers to push your work to the front of the line.
So if your list of friends and family members is a bit shy of that, where are you going to find that many people to tag your book? The answer is a tagging thread. A tagging thread is just a chain of messages on a website or forum where Amazon authors gather for virtual chats and community. For example, MobileRead.com, which is a forum for fans of ebook reading devices, has a tagging thread, as does KindleBoards.com, a Kindle-specific forum. The Kindle Direct Publishing site also has a tagging thread in its forums. Any Amazon author is welcome to join these threads, as long as he is willing to participate and reciprocate. The idea is that everyone posts the links to their books on Amazon as a message, and the other members of the thread will visit their book pages and click on their tags.
It can seem daunting at first to join a tagging thread, as all of the members seem to know each other already, and the existing thread can be really, really long. As of this writing, the KindleBoards thread has over 10,000 posts, but don't let that scare you off. You should realize that the success of a tagging thread depends on a constant influx of new members, so you will not be looked upon as an interloper when you join, and furthermore, no one expects you to go back and read all 10,000 posts from the beginning. Keep the following guidelines in mind when you join, and you will be welcomed into the thread and quickly find yourself getting tagged up:
- Join the forum and participate in other threads for a few weeks before jumping into the tagging thread. This way, the long-time members will know you are serious about contributing and not just there to be tagged.
- While you don't need to read and tag from the beginning of the thread, do read the first couple pages of the thread to make sure you understand the thread's decorum.
- Jump to somewhere near the end of the thread, maybe a week or two back from the most recent post, and tag a bunch of books, before posting your links in the thread.
- When you make your initial post, introduce yourself and mention which pages or books you have already done, so the forum members know that you will be reciprocating if they tag you.
- Whenever you finish a tagging session, place another post in the thread mentioning who you have recently tagged or just that you are "caught up". Your posts will remind others to tag you, if they haven't already.
- Continue to participate regularly in the thread, at least once every week or two, both as a tagger and as a general contributor, answering questions and socializing with other members.