Are you using book 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 book sales and some best practices and actionable tips for getting your work into readers’ hands.
BookExpo was this past weekend which means the second day of Indie Author Fringe also took place. Indie Author Fringe is a 3-day, 24 hours per day indie author conference packed with advice on self-publishing. Every session is available online and 100% free; perfect for aspiring authors and experienced, small to mid-level publishers alike; basically anyone looking for professional advice on how to publish a book. And we're offering a special promotion code to go with it.
On your way to work today, you probably received lots of brand messages without realising. Maybe you picked up a coffee from a café with an Italian name and branding, maybe you grabbed a healthy snack in green packaging to go with it, or maybe you bought a bottle of water with a crisp, clean Alpine mountain on the side. Even if we take billboards and magazine adverts out of the equation, companies have a subtle way of telling you what they want to be known for in their marketing. Big brands spend millions on these clever ways of making you associate their name or product with certain values. Indie authors should be branding themselves in their marketing also.
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.
Being a modern author comes with the expectation (and sometimes pressure) to do price promotions, which involves lowering the price of your e-book and creating some kind of visibility campaign in association with that “sale.” It’s not so much a matter of whether you’ll do one, but rather why, how soon, how much, how long, how often, and how to do one well. So let’s review those points, shall we?
Historically, publishers grant booksellers the right to return overstocked copies of books. These books are considered “returnable”. Although, online retailers are less selective than brick and mortar stores in regards to whether a book is returnable, typically, brick and mortar stores will not order a book unless it is returnable, so IngramSpark supports standard industry conventions by allowing publishers to designate whether or not their titles can be returned.
Most authors will have heard the gurus proclaiming that building an email list is essential for modern-day writing success, but very few start with the basics to explain why that is. Faced with the prospect of building a mailing list, most authors would run a mile. Screams of "I’m not very good with computers" and "I just want to write my books" will be heard, as they disappear into the distance. However, the simple truth is, if you’re not attempting to build a list of reader emails, you’re making life far more difficult than it needs to be, and you’re really missing a key book marketing tool.
Want to instantly capture readers? You’re going to have to hit a home run with your book description. No matter who you are or what genre your book falls into – nothing beats getting engrossed in a book description that leaves a reader wanting more. Short and long book descriptions both serve a purpose – to make you and your book look good. Before you start writing, here are a few things you need to know.
Most book publicists agree: compared to working with non-fiction, securing traditional media coverage for novels can be challenging. Unless it’s a household name author, how can a novelist who wrote a made-up story, get meaningful broadcast and print media coverage? That is the nature of fiction, after all – it’s not real and therefore inherently not newsworthy. But fiction can indeed be turned into “real” media coverage, you just need to get a little creative.
As a self-publisher, the success of your book falls solely on your shoulders. Self-publishing allows you to have complete control, but as Spiderman learned, “With great power comes great responsibility.” You must decide on everything from the book’s interior and exterior design, the forms of marketing to use, and how to distribute. How can one person possibly know everything there is to know about publishing? The answer is simple, they can’t. No one is an expert on all things. So, how can you do everything by yourself knowing you won’t have all the answers? You look for publishing resources to learn as much as you can about the ever-changing world of the publishing industry and you turn to your peers, fellow self-publishers, who face the same roadblocks.