So what's the deal with metadata? The answer for indie authors, self-publishers, and those who publish other people's books is that metadata is how readers find your book. It can't be read if it can't be found, right? Book metadata is all the searchable information, including title, genre, author, and more, that readers use to find your book and make their next book purchase. Whether looking for a book in the library, a local bookstore, or online, readers depend on good book metadata to find their next read.
You’ve got your book ready to go, but it’s time to consider the auxiliary writing you must do in order to support the publication of your masterpiece! Now that the writing is “done,” it is time to write your author bio.
Once you have written your book, you naturally want to get it into as many hands as possible. However, learning how to do that is an undertaking in itself. As an author, you must be familiar with what parts of a book are most valuable to readers. Of course, your content is valuable, but there are other, smaller features your book must have to carry weight. Two of these features are your book’s ISBN and book metadata.
Are you using metadata correctly to market your book and boost your sales? Ingram’s Director of Metadata, Margaret Harrison, lays out the role of metadata in book discovery and sales and some best practices and actionable tips for getting your work into readers’ hands.
One of the most important elements of your book marketing plan is your book metadata and how you use it. Whether you are self-publishing your own work or publishing someone else's, you need to understand how critical it is to use the appropriate language in the title metadata fields.
Book metadata is important to your book's categorization, discovery and overall book sales. It should be part of any author's overall book marketing strategy, and successful self-publishers know how to incorporate as much quality metadata as possible into their sales plans. Following are seven facts about book metadata to keep in mind.
Achieving book discoverability with readers means making search engines aware of you and your book. You may have heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as being important to your website; that IS book discoverability. Discoverability is your biggest marketing partner as it provides reliable, continuous passive marketing. Successful book discoverability means that your readers can find you simply by entering words that describe your book into a search engine. It’s a disservice to you and your book if you don’t leverage these words for your benefit.
Metadata and keywords might seem scary, but they’re really only the words and phrases that you use to describe yourself and your book. Your book metadata will consist of basic things such as your title, author name, author bio, book description, publication date, etc. Keywords are one or more words used to indicate the content of your book. Simply put, metadata and keywords are what make your book appear when a reader goes looking for a specific thing, whether that thing is a book or not.