Global Discoverability Guidance

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Your book has the potential to reach audiences around the world with IngramSpark’s extensive distribution channels. For optimized global discoverability of your book,  regardless of the content language, use the metadata guidelines and suggestions below.

 

All content, regardless of language, must follow our Catalog Integrity Guidelines.     

 

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Books in English must be optimized for global discoverability in retail, wholesale, and library markets. Below are key metadata elements to consider for reaching the widest audience. 

 

BISAC Subject Codes help categorize books by subject matter in the U.S. market.

    • Provide three subject codes
    • List the most specific BISAC first
    • Avoid general BISAC codes such as “FICTION"

THEMA Subject Codes are an international classification system used to categorize books based on both content and subject matter. They consist of two parts: subject and qualifier codes.
    • Subject Codes: Use up to three Thema subject codes to convey subject matter. Place the primary subject code first to clearly indicate the focus or theme of the book.
    • Qualifier Codes: Qualifier codes are used in conjunction with subject codes and help to refine the subject categories. Examples of qualifier codes:  
      • Place
      • Language
      • Audience
      • Time Period

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Keywords

    • Provide at least seven keywords or phrases that potential customers may search for, separated by semicolons (500-character limit). Do not put spaces in between keywords.
    • Example: door;photos of my home;livestock;sunglasses;birthday candles

 

Book Descriptions

    • Provide both a short description and a full description to help explain and summarize what your book is about.
    • This descriptive copy should be appropriate for public display, and it will be used for marketing, discovery, and sales purposes.
    • Each book description field has a byte limit.
      • 250 bytes for a short description
      • 4,000 bytes for a full description
    • Most English language characters equal one byte. To ensure your text fits within these parameters, an online calculator can be used to determine the byte size of your text.

 

Pricing

    • Provide pricing only for markets where the publisher has the rights to sell the book.

 

Edition Description

  • An edition description of "International Edition" should only be used to identify books that are available in markets outside the U.S.
    • If you intend for your book to be available for purchase in the U.S., do not use an “International Edition” description.  

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In addition to the guidelines above, the suggestions below should also be considered for non-English language content. To help reach the widest audience through Ingram and IngramSpark, some metadata can be provided in both the content language and in English.

 

Incorporating key metadata in English enables retailers and libraries to curate and source books for their customer base more effectively, even if they aren't fluent in the content's language. 

 

Title Name

    • List the title of the book in English first, followed by the title in the content language, separated by a “/”
      • Example: The Three Little Pigs / Los Tres Cerditos
    • Be mindful of the 400-byte limit for this field, especially for non-Roman languages in which each character can sometimes use 2-4 bytes.
    • Right-to-Left Content—We also suggest listing the English title first for languages that are read Right-to-Left (Arabic, Hebrew, and Farsi, for example). While our system has a 400-byte limit in the title field, other online retailers may have different character limits for what they can display. If text is cut off due to exceeding the limit, we recommend listing the English first, because our data systems are based on a left-to-right reading orientation. 

 

Content Language

  • The content language is the language in which the book is written. This should be provided in the metadata in English.
    • Example: Spanish

Keywords

  • Provide at least seven keywords or phrases from your book descriptions that potential customers may search for, separated by semicolons (500-character limit).
  • Keywords should be provided in both the content language and English.
    • Example: door;la puerta;photos of my home;unas fotos de mi casa;livestock;ganado

 

Book Descriptions

  • Provide both a short description (250-byte limit) and a full description (4,000-byte limit) in both the content language and in English, if possible.
  • Both the English text and the content language text can be provided in the same field, but should be separated by a line break. Providing descriptions in English will help reach a wider audience by allowing a bookseller or librarian who may not speak the content language source books for their customers who do speak the content language.
  • Bilingual Content—Consider indicating that the content is written in more than one language in the book description.
  • Again, be mindful of the byte limitations, especially for non-Roman languages where each character can use more than one byte. Use a byte calculator to determine the size of the text.

 

Pricing 

  • Pricing should only be provided for markets in which the publisher has rights to sell the title.

 

Edition Description

  • If there are multiple editions of the book in different languages, an edition description can be provided to identify those editions. Provide the edition description in English.
    • Example: Spanish Edition
  • Please note: An edition description of "International Edition" should only be used to identify books that are available in markets outside the U.S. If you intend for your book to be available for purchase in the U.S., do not use an “International Edition” description.  
  • Bilingual Content—Consider using “Bilingual” as the edition for titles written in more than one language.

 

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IngramSpark Staff

IngramSpark® is an award-winning independent publishing platform, offering indie authors and publishers the ability to create, manage, and globally distribute print and ebooks.

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