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Examples from Amazon pulled on 2/5/12

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  1. 1. Metadata
  2. 2. IntroductionWhat is Metadata? You may see metadata as a grid, a task to be completed, a necessary evil. You may even see it as an end result: a description, an author bio, a title. © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 2
  3. 3. IntroductionBut really, metadata is:Your Bookseller! In this age of online discovery, your metadata is what sells your customer on your book over all the rest. . © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 3
  4. 4. Why is Metadata my bookseller now?According to a recent eMarketer survey, 61% of purchasers researched& browsed online before purchasing. Only 37% of purchasers did so inphysical stores. Data from Bowkers consumer research initiativesbacks up this trend – and Nielsen is looking at ways of expandingBookscan to include that sort of data as well.• Important-Than-Your-Books.htm © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 4
  5. 5. According to Bowker…Top Reasons People Will Buy Books• Popular searches people use to find books:• Covers• TOCs• Book Reviews• Summaries• Author bio• Description of the book• Sample chapters• Subject codes © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 5
  6. 6. Also according to Bowker…Top Reasons For Choosing TitlePopular searches people use to find books:Like The AuthorLike This SeriesLiked Topic/SubjectLike CharacterPriceIntrigued By Book TitleCover/Jacket Description / TestimonialsLooked Thru Book, And Liked ItSpecial Offer / PriceGood Book ReviewCover ArtOn Bestseller ListMovie/TV Show Based On BookRecommended From Media Personality/ TV Show• © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 6
  7. 7. PW Daily says, “We know that good metadata can drive sales. Whatwe sometimes forget is that a lack of good metadata is a sales killer.”• According to Mark Ruffilio, CEO of, “ Look at it this way: if your book is shelved in the wrong location in a bookstore, it has little chance of selling. Online retailers, meanwhile, are becoming increasingly sophisticated, monitoring sales and customer data to create recommendation algorithms to push sales. Without good data, your books will either be dropped from those recommendations (as they arent bought) or they will be incorrectly recommended (and therefore never bought).‖ © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 7
  8. 8. Example #1: Bestselling Metadata• #4 Bestseller right after the Hunger Games trilogy is a little known author with a new mystery series. Manhattanites + Vermont = a pret near perfect cozy debut In bucolic small-town Vermont, Stella Thornton Buckley feels out of her element—and not just because shes fresh from Manhattan. Mere hours after moving to maple syrup country, she and her husband, Nick, find a dead man, Allen Weston, in their well. The police investigation forces the couple out of their lovely farmhouse and—since the motels are packed with leafpeepers—into a less than luxurious deer camp. Instead of mourning the loss of electricity and running water, Stella and Nick drive their Smart Car all over the Vermont hamlet to question the quirky locals about Weston, a shrewd businessman who rubbed a lot of folks the wrong way. 8
  9. 9. Example #1: Bestselling Metadata • Format: Kindle Edition • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews) • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) • #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > Women Sleuths • #1 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Women Sleuths • #1 in Books > Literature & Fiction © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 9
  10. 10. Example #2: Great Metadata• A KILLER STALKS HIS PREY… A calculating and deadly killer is in search for what he terms as his perfect family. Preying upon single mothers and their innocent children, the police have dubbed him "The Family Man.‖ HE WATCHES THEM...HE TAKES THEM... He plays out his role as the perfect father. When things don’t go so perfect in his insane fantasy world, the family man kills. HOLLY JENNINGS IS ON THE CASE… Crime Scene Investigator Holly Jennings of the San Diego Police Department is determined to track him down and see that justice is served. With Holly being a single mother herself, this mans crimes are deeply personal to her, and turn more so when a friend and her daughter become the latest victims of ―The Family Man." Along with tracking an evil killer, Holly is dealing with her own internal demons. She is raising her daughter Chloe alone after the death of her husband--a death she feels guilty for. To complicate her life further, Holly is doing her best to avoid possibly falling in love again with charming veterinarian Brendan ONeil. As Holly delves deeper into solving the murders, she finds herself being sucked into a game of cat and mouse by "The Family Man," that may lead her down a dark path too horrible to bear. One that may cost her gravely-her family, her new found love, and even her life. © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 10
  11. 11. Example #2: Great Metadata • Format: Kindle Edition • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews) • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) • #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Romance > Romantic Suspense • #1 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Psychological Thrillers • #1 in Books > Romance > Romantic Suspense © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 11
  12. 12. Example #1: Suffering Metadata• When Jem and Oliver accidentally fall through a portal to another world just before their first year of high school, they quickly discover that all is not well here. The first person they meet, a creepy old man named Atychis, almost gets them killed by a ferocious, fire-breathing dragon. Theyre only narrowly saved when Sierra, a shy farm girl from a nearby town, uses illegal magic to help them escape. Allowed to stay with her family while they try to figure out a way back home, Jem and Oliver begin to learn of magic and the Regime that is oppressing it. It isnt until the Regime kills a woman that the three kids realize they have to do something to stop the Regime from taking over completely. After being framed for a crime they didnt commit and banished from the town, Jem, Oliver, and Sierra take off on an adventure across this strange world in an attempt to defeat the Regime. New creatures and new kinds of magic are around every corner, but so are dangers that could have them wishing they were back safe at home. Through the Portal is approximately 104,000 words and is the first in a planned trilogy. The most unique characteristic within the book is the use of sylph, a physical manifestation of magic that allows the user to manipulate it however they need while exerting minimal energy. Sylph makes transportation available through sylphcycles and sylphquads, and is just one of the exciting new concepts explored in this magical © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 12 and complex world.
  13. 13. Example #1: Suffering Metadata • Format: Kindle Edition • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews) • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,943 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 13
  14. 14. Example #2: Suffering Metadata• NO PUBLISHER PROVIDED DESCRIPTION: fills in with PW review• In Myerss over-the-top 15th crime caper starring Amish-Mennonite sleuth and innkeeper Magdalena Yoder (after 2006s Grape Expectations), the corpse du jour is the once-handsome scoundrel Cornelius Weaver, who may have been murdered by any one of seven women—his lovers. Familiar cast members provide the usual foils to Magdalenas running (and often very tired) jokes and too-breezy banter as she worries about her looks and upcoming mixed faith marriage to Dr. Gabriel Rosen more than she does about her investigation of Corneliuss killer. The thin plot is so improbable and haphazard, its a relief but no great surprise when Magdalena closes that case and solves another murder as well. Corneliuss death-by- painkiller-laced Indian dish inspires the curry-themed recipes sandwiched between chapters. Maybe its time to close the kitchen and order takeout? (Feb.) Review• "As sweet as a piece of brown-sugar pie... Magdalena is so likable." -Booklist © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 14
  15. 15. Example #2: Suffering Metadata • Format: Kindle Edition • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews) • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,232 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) • © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 15
  16. 16. So what are the differences?• Description is key. • This is not the back of a book jacket, as much as it might seem so. Instead, this is your moment to sell the book. Think about: • Endorsements. Did a relevant person love this book, and write a blurb for the cover? It should be the first thing your customer reads. • The HOOK. What is the hook in your description? If you don’t know, it’s not there. • Similar authors: How do customers know if they’ll like it? If it’s like someone else they enjoy. • Don‟t be too specific: Spending too long on specific details can mean that you lose the reader completely. © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 16
  17. 17. What works in the description?• According to Carolyn McCray, bestselling Amazon author, it‟s almost a formula.• First off, note any awards or accomplishments for either the writer or the book itself. Establish yourself/book as an authority on the subject or prove that it is popular. Keep this BRIEF.• Put your best 3 quotes/blurbs/reviews for your book (punchy, short, exciting). Again, each quote, etc should not be longer than a few sentences.• After these initial 3 quotes, put a brief style description of your book. Do NOT go into specifics about the book. You will lose the excitement you just built. This is a sales pitch• Follow your punchy/pithy/exciting sweeping pitch with 2-3 more glowing reviews (no longer than a sentence or two each) to reconfirm that the book you just described is a popular one. End your book’s ―Product Description‖ with a definitive call to action. ―If you enjoy gardening any time of the year, then ____ is for you! ―• ebook-sales/ © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 17
  18. 18. Playing the BISAC game• Extra features = extra sales• By appearing in Top 100 lists, your book will have extra exposure. So have you picked 4 BISAC codes, allowing you extra exposure in all categories?• Carolyn McCray added “Women Sleuths” and “Hard Boiled,” as well as generic mystery. That gave her additional lists in which customers could find her books. • According to Carolyn, ―getting onto the Top 40 Bestselling page does give you an additional 5% increase. The Top 20 Bestselling page, another 7% pop. If you are lucky enough to climb into the Top 10 Bestselling, add another 14% increase in sales if you are ―above the fold‖ (in a slot that can be viewed WITHOUT having to scroll down any further) which is usually about rank #5.‖ • Carolyn also states that this is LASTING progress. The more traction you gain on the bestseller lists, the longer your title lasts there, giving you week after week of sales. • © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 18
  19. 19. Good Author Bio• The author description is a highly searchable piece of information. Think about what the customer will be searching for, and use those keywords within your description and author bio.• Is the author accomplished? List awards, relevant training, all the pieces that will steer the reader toward your book and overcome objections.• Ex/ Paula McLain was born in Fresno, California in 1965. After being abandoned by both parents, she and her two sisters became wards of the California Court System, moving in and out of various foster homes for the next fourteen years. When she aged out of the system, she supported herself by working as a nurses aid in a convalescent hospital, a pizza delivery girl, an auto-plant worker, a cocktail waitress--before discovering she could (and very much wanted to) write. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996. Since then, she has received fellowships from the corporation of Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her first book of poetry, Less of Her, was published in 1999 from New Issues Press and won a publication grant from the Greenwall Fund of the Academy of American Poets. Shes also the author of a second collection of poetry, Stumble, Gorgeous, a memoir, Like Family: Growing Up In Other Peoples Houses, and the novel, A Ticket to Ride. Her most recent book is The Paris Wife, a fictional account of Ernest Hemingways first marriage and upstart years in 1920s Paris, as told from the point of view of his wife, Hadley. She teaches in the MFA Program in Poetry at New England College, and lives with her family in Cleveland.• © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 19
  20. 20. Series Tags• Don‟t forget to use the optional areas of metadata to help drive your book. Is it the first in a series? Put that in the series tag.• Is it the fifth book in the series? Is there another related book? Don‟t hesitate to put that in the description. If the reader can tell it‟s part of a series they haven‟t read, they will want to find the first. Don’t make it hard for them. • Here’s an example: In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the worlds most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling—a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the watchful eye of Browns most terrifying villain to date.• By all means, use the subtitle to denote a series as well. © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 20
  21. 21. Not Metadata, but while we‟re here…• Reviews: You need „em!• Make sure you have a minimum of five reviews for your title, with 10 preferred. Customers do look at reviews, and the more you have, the better.• They don‟t have to be five star reviews, but a one star review needs that many more five star reviews to lift the average.• When your book comes out, check the pages. If you aren‟t seeing reviews, in Carolyn‟s words…• “It is the job of the writer or publisher to drive reviewers (friends, family, fans, Tweeps, bloggers, etc) to your Amazon page and fill these reviews/likes (a bare minimum to have legitimacy is 5 but 10 is a better number to shoot for) as quickly as possible after your title goes live (and especially before any kind of ad campaign).• After the original launch, then you can allow the reviews to come in organically through paying readers, however monitor your page daily. A single 1 star review can kill sales.• © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 21
  22. 22. Still not metadata, but important…• Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought• Customers often look at this bar as validation. If you think your book is similar to another author, buying your book and theirs together is one of the best investments you can make in your book.• The longer this bar is empty, the longer customers think the book is irrelevant in the marketplace. Help the search engines make the right choices; it will build your customer base.• amazon-ebook-sales/ © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 22
  23. 23. SummaryYou can control most of the areas your customers are searching:CoverTitleDescriptionAuthor BioReviewsIf You Like, You‟ll LoveWhy don‟t you give it a try?Make your next book a bestseller! © INscribe Digital. All rights reserved | CONFIDENTIAL | 23