How to Use Publisher Rocket as a Children’s Book Author
Besides our own creativity and love for writing, children’s book authors don’t usually need many tools. A few years ago, however, I gave Publisher Rocket a try (because I saw so many successful authors use it, albeit for other genres) and I’m so very thankful I did.
The reason I find the program so valuable, is that I can use it throughout the entire book creation process, no matter what phase I’m in. So today, I wanted to share and show you how and when I use Publisher Rocket.
Publisher Rocket for Children’s Books
Publisher Rocket is not a children’s-book-specific tool, but since this is such a popular tool among writers of other genres, my Children’s Book University® students often ask if it can also be used for children’s books. And I’m happy to report that it is.
Publisher Rocket’s official tagline is “sell more books & ebooks on Amazon.” But I think this tagline doesn’t really do the tool justice because it doesn’t fully bring across how much it will help you shape your book. So let me show you how exactly Publisher Rocket helps me with all of my books.
Today I’d like to share:
- WHAT exactly I use this tool for
- WHEN I use this tool
The reason I believe this to be a great tool for children’s book authors is because I can use it throughout the entire book-creation process. I use it:
- BEFORE I start writing a new children’s book
- BEFORE I publish a new children’s book
- AFTER a book has already been published
So, let me show you how I use Publisher Rocket for each of these stages.
Publisher Rocket Uses Before Writing
To figure out what my new children’s book should be about.
I absolutely love my passion projects, but I wouldn’t want to write something that wouldn’t find or attract any readers.
So if I already have a certain topic or idea for my children’s book in mind, I can use Rocket to validate it, by checking how it is performing on Amazon.
Here, I can validate the topic or idea by either:
- Checking how a keyword is performing with Publisher Rocket’s KEYWORD SEARCH feature
- Looking at how other similar books are performing by using Publisher Rocket’s COMPETITION ANALYZER feature
Alternatively, if I’m not quite sure what topic to write about, I can use Publisher Rocket’s different features to reverse-engineer and see what is performing well within the market and then adjust, tweak and shape my book accordingly.
When it comes to using and analyzing Publisher Rocket’s data, I don’t think there is one single way to do so. Given that each genre is so very different, I believe each user has to find his or her own sweet spot. So below, I wanted to share with you how I like to use Publisher Rocket, and what data points I like to look at in this particular writing phase.
Using the Keyword Search Feature for Validating Book Ideas
When using Rocket in order to decide what to write my next children’s book on or about, I begin by writing down a number of seed-keywords to analyze.
What follows is hypothetical. I’m not planning to write a children’s book about unicorns (at least not anytime soon), but thought it would be a fun topic to use to show the steps I usually go through.
First, I run a keyword search, using ‘unicorn’ as my seed-keyword. Below we have the different columns I usually look at, shared in the order of importance. But I’d like to point out that I never just look at one single column. Instead, I like to look at the different data sets as a whole before making a decision on what keywords to consider.
And even though I share an order with you below, please remember that each author does this differently, so your order of importance does not have to be the same!
First, I look at the Competitive Score, the Estimated Searches per Month, and the Average Monthly Earnings.
The higher the Competitive Score, the harder it will be to rank for this particular keyword, so I generally try to stay away from anything too close to a score of 100.
Next, I look at the Estimated Searches per Month. Are there actually people using this keyword when performing a search on Amazon? Here, the higher the number of searches, the better of course, so I generally try to stay away from anything with a result that is less than 100 searches. But again, it’s important not to rely too heavily on just one single number, but look at the provided data as a whole.
When it comes to the evaluation of the Average Monthly Earnings column, the way you will interpret the data will be entirely up to you. That is, ask yourself: Does this feel like it’s worth my time and effort?
Let’s say I like what I see for the keyword “unicorn fart.”
- I think this could be a fun topic to write about in my next children’s book.
- The Competitive Score of 30 looks great to me.
- And looking at the Average Monthly Earnings, considering this topic may be worth it.
So, do I take this keyword and run with it? Not quite yet. Given the different features within Publisher Rocket, there’s so much more I can do before making a final decision. And that’s where the Competition Analyzer feature comes in.
Using the Competition Analyzer for Validating Book Ideas
I further my ‘investigative work’ by clicking on the Competition button next to the keyword “unicorn fart.” I do this to see:
- What other books are already out there on this topic
- How these books are performing
I see a number of fun and creative books on this topic. Here, I again ask myself:
- Are these projected monthly sales worth it to me?
- Looking at these book covers, is this something I can compete with and maybe even improve upon?
To dig even deeper, I go ahead and click on Publisher Rocket’s “Check it out” button to be taken directly to each of these books’ sales pages on Amazon.
Once there, I pay special attention to:
- The book’s full title
- The book’s subtitle, if it has one
- Whether it is part of a series
- The book description
- The reviews
I’ll also take a minute to read through a number of reviews, just to get a general feel of how the book and its content is being perceived by the readers.
If I feel this would be a great fit for me and my own writing style, I put this keyword on my list.
As you can see, when using Publisher Rocket to figure out what I could write about next, I don’t just look at one single value. Instead, I use all the data provided to make a well-researched decision.
Next, let’s look at how we can use Publisher Rocket once our children’s book is already written, to get it ready for publication.
Publisher Rocket Uses Before Publishing
To find the best keywords and categories for my already written children’s book.
As I mention in my book How To A Self-Publish Children’s Book, I am such a big believer in thinking about marketing even BEFORE your children’s book has been completed and published. Smart and savvy authors keep marketing in mind throughout the entire creation process.
So this is where Publisher Rocket’s Keyword Search & Category Search features come into play, because I can use these to find:
- Keyword(s) for my Title
- Keyword(s) for my Subtitle
- Keyword(s) for my Book Description
- Best-fitting Categories
Whenever I share how I go about my children’s book adventures, I emphasize how very important it is to use keywords and keyphrases in a book’s title and subtitle to help potential readers find our precious books.
Just as before, I can choose keywords that perform well across the board, or perhaps come up with new ones that I may not have thought of before. Here, I follow the exact same steps I outlined in the previous section. The only difference is that here, my book is already written, so the topic is already set. The objective now is to find the best keyword for my already written book.
Now, for many children’s book authors, working with keywords is a fairly new concept. And that’s why I find Publisher Rocket so invaluable, because it provides me with information I otherwise wouldn’t have. Without Publisher Rocket, the keywords I’d choose would be pretty much a hit or miss scenario.
But how does Publisher Rocket help me with my category selection?
Amazon has more than 19,000 book and ebook categories and Publisher Rocket’s Category Search feature helps me in three amazing ways:
- It helps me quickly find fitting categories based on my entered search terms
- It tells me ALL the categories other (competing) books are using
- It tells me exactly how many books I will need to sell in order to rank among the first 10 books in any given category
Let’s say I wrote a children’s book about a little pig and now I’m looking for some categories for it. Using Publisher Rocket, I have two options for doing so:
- I can use the Unleash the Categories within the Competition Analyzer feature.
- I can use Publisher Rockets Category Search feature
Let’s look at the first option first within the Competition Analyzer feature.
If you have already found a number of competing books, you can click on See the Categories to have each book’s categories displayed separately. For example, clicking on See the Categories next to the book If You Give a Pig a Pancake, we’d see the following results:
When it comes to categories, I generally look at
- The number of sales I need to be among the top 10 search results.
- The number of sales I need to be ranked number 1 in that category.
These sales numbers are important because if I believe I can’t beat a category’s number of book sales in order to rank among the first 10 books, I often decide to move on to find another category. Because if my book doesn’t show up on the first page of my chosen category, my book may never get a chance to be seen, as many buyers usually don’t click though more than one or two search result pages.
Alternatively, I can use the Unleash the Categories button, which will display the categories of ALL the Competition Analyzer search results. This is the faster option. Again, I look at the columns for SALES to #1 and SALES to #10.
Instead of finding our categories through competing books, we can also find suitable ones via Publisher Rocket’s Category Search feature. Here, we’d simply put in one of our keywords and see what comes up. For our pig example, we’d receive the following options:
Note that not all of these categories will be applicable, as some may not pertain to children’s books. We’ll simply disregard those.
Here, I see that the last category is for children’s books and requires “only” 6 sales per day for my book to show up among the first 10 search results for this keyword. So this may be a great fit.
But again, don’t stop there. Publisher Rocket provides us with the option to check out the actual Amazon page that holds all the best sellers for this category. So go ahead and click the Check it out button to see what else is out there and what books you would be competing against.
If none of these categories seem like a great fit, go back and perform a new search, using a different keyword.
And if everything else fails, go back into the Category Search feature, select the children’s book categories, and then search your way through the subcategories that way.
You may feel like that’s a lot of subcategories to go through, but it beats the finding of these categories over on Amazon on your own ANY day and ANY time, especially since Publisher Rocket again shows you exactly how many sales you need in order to rank.
And just like we did before, you will want to look at the columns for SALES to #1 and SALES to #10, and see if you feel your book sales could be higher than those found in this column so that you can rank among the first 10 books.
Publisher Rocket Uses After Publishing
To continuously adjust, tweak and update my Keywords and Categories.
Once you’ve published your children’s book, will Publisher Rocket still be able to help you? The short answer here is yes. Here, we can use Rocket to:
- Check & adjust our current categories
- Check & adjust our current keywords
- ADVANCED: Creation of Amazon book ads
Publisher Rocket shares real-live data. And because people’s behavior changes over time, so will these search results.
That’s why we’ll want to check our keywords and categories, and then adjust and update accordingly. How often you do this is of course entirely up to you. In the beginning, you may want to check and tweak a bit more frequently.
To do this, we’ll simply use Publisher Rocket’s different features as outlined in the previous sections, and look at the data that shows up for all our used keywords and selected categories.
I won’t go into too much detail about Amazon’s book ads here; just know that this is an additional and advanced option Publisher Rocket is very useful for as well.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to create Amazon ads, be sure to check out Kindlepreneur’s amazing AMS course. It’s absolutely FREE.
So, no matter where you’re currently at in your book creation process, Publisher Rocket will be extremely useful.
When doing your research, be sure to take advantage of ALL the features found within Publisher Rocket. Don’t just look at and rely on one single value, but rather, look at the provided data as a whole.
Always ask yourself:
- Why does Publisher Rocket include each of these features?
- What do these features mean or imply?
- And what can I learn from the collected data?
If you do that, you’ll truly squeeze every single ounce out of what Publisher Rocket gives you access to.
Writing under a number of pen names, Eevi Jones is a USA Today bestselling writer and award-winning children’s book author. As the founder of Children’s Book University®, she teaches loving moms, dads, grandparents, and teachers how to write & publish their own magical story.
She’s been featured in media outlets such as Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, EOFire, The Creative Penn, SCBWI, and many more.