What do authors need to know about metadata? - WRITE | PUBLISH | SELL

Mar 31, 2022 | Publish

What do authors need to know about metadata?

What is Metadata?

Metadata is all the key data about your book. Simply put, it’s “data about data” and is essential to helping you sell your book online and for retailers, librarians, and other looking for your book to find it.

Think: what’s on a card catalog file?

Metadata was originally used by libraries in card catalogs. Remember those? Now it’s used to describe digital information.

Using proper metadata is extremely important for authors to make sure their books are properly cataloged and found.

Key metadata for your book includes:

  • Title
  • Subtitle
  • Publisher or Imprint
  • Author Name
  • Publication Date
  • List Price: Hardcover
  • ISBNs (all formats)
  • Keywords/categories

And so on…

These are all key pieces of information that can actually contribute to your book selling better. For example, if you’ve used good keywords in your Title and Subtitle, it will help your book be more discoverable.

If you’ve done your research to find the right categories and keywords (more on that in a later module), you’ll be better positioned for sales.

Even your pricing is important metadata. If you’ve chosen a price that is unrealistic for the market, your book sales will suffer.

Getting your metadata right is crucial to the discoverability of your book. 

As you’re pulling together information, I recommend you keep a word doc, Google doc, or spreadsheet so that you can easily find this info. (Members of WIP School, look in the Phase 2: Growth module for your template!)

You’ll need this information time and time again as you’re self-publishing or working with a self-publishing assist company or other service provider, or for awards or promo lists, editorial reviews, etc, you’ll want one place you can refer to, saving you time and energy of searching all the places.

Whatever method you choose to organize it is up to you, but start saving all of your key metadata in an organized way.

Want to learn more about the importance of Metadata?

I interviewed Kathy Meis, CEO of Bublish, all about Metadata and how authors could and should be metadata it to grow sales and their business.

Check out our interview here.


For further reading:

The Hows and Whys

The Importance of Keywords for Metadata


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