Understanding Metadata


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Metadata is simply information about your content, formatted in a way that makes it easy to share with your partners and users, and that fully enables the “magic” of search algorithms and search engine optimization strategies to work. In this presentation, Bill Newlin will explain the metadata basics: what it is, why it’s important, and how to make sure the metadata on your ebook effectively enables both discovery and transaction.

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Understanding Metadata

  1. 1. Bill NewlinPublisher, Avalon TravelA Member of the Perseus Books Group
  2. 2. Metadata: What? Core  Title/subtitle, cover image, ISBN, format, price, publication date  Subject/BISAC, page count, illustration details, series, edition Enhanced  Description, author bio, reviews  Publicity, Q&A, reader feedback, supplementary material
  3. 3. Metadata: Why? Critical for online discovery, both print and ebook  Most titles discovered via search query  If title isn’t listed in the top 10-20 results of a query, no chance of discovery Many different systems of classification  Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Bowker, Google, Ingram, etc.  Often not compatible, different catalogs/vendors employ different fields  XML data feed (usually ONIX) must be customized for each vendor  Systems constantly changing
  4. 4. Metadata: Where? Input  Title management system (if working with a publisher or distributor)  Or input directory into vendor system(s) Output  ONIX feed delivers metadata to various catalogs and vendors  1-2 weeks from input to visibility on catalog/vendor sites  Check output regularly, varies from field to field, site to site  Experiment! No limit to the number of times fields may be changed
  5. 5. Metadata: When? Pre-Publication  Review title/subtitle, cover image, description, author bio, BISAC  Carefully manage publication date Post-Publication  Add reviews, user feedback, author publicity and promotion  Experiment with subject codes, price, etc. Brush Up Your Backlist  The stronger the title, the more important to review periodically
  6. 6. Metadata: How? Choose your keywords  https://adwords.google.com/keywordtool  Look for keywords with high monthly searches, low competition  Avoid general terms – aim to be targeted, relevant and specific Use your keywords  Incorporate into title/subtitle, description, keynote, author bio Maximize use of BISAC codes  Use multiple codes – at least three “subcategory” codes
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