Make Your Book Page a Cousin Magnet

Sample Lulu book page

Unfortunately, book pages like this one are much too common on self-published platforms like or Smashwords. Someone has put in a lot of time and effort creating a 237-page book – and this is the 4th volume – but couldn’t find the time to provide a description of this book or add a few tags. This could be a fascinating history but how many people will fork out $20 to find that out without some kind of incentive?

Spend the time to describe the contents of your family history including the surnames, locations and time periods covered in the narrative. Use the tags or keywords fields to add even more information about the families discussed in your book. Regardless of the platform you use, your book page was designed with search engines in mind. Everything from the title to the description and on to the tags has been designed so that when a cousin searches for information on the Bennion surname, your book will get included in that search. Whether it will show up on the first page of search results or the 82nd will depend in part on the effort you put into the descriptive sections of your book page.

Every self-publishing platform includes all kinds of fields in the book’s catalog form to help describe its contents. Take advantage of them to include as much information as you can about your book.

Sample Smashwords book page

In this example from the Smashwords catalog, you’ll find a lot more information about the specific families included in the book. In addition to surnames, the author provides the time period covered in the book and used the tags field to add locations. Consider what keywords you used during your research to find information about the people discussed in your book and include those keywords in your book’s record.

Another useful tip – if your publishing platform includes the ability to present a preview of some of the book’s pages, make sure you include the table of contents as part of that preview. It will help us determine if your book discusses our branch of the family.

All of this will improve the chances that research cousins discover your book – and you. You spent a lot of time and effort creating this book. Take a few minutes to present it properly in the bookstore. It will be a very good investment.