Desperately Seeking Good Data, Part 2: Don’t Let Bad Data Cripple Your Sales

May 2010
by Linda Carlson

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INDUSTRY STANDARDS

Desperately Seeking Good Data, Part 2: Don’t Let Bad Data Cripple Your Sales

by Linda Carlson

If you’re like most publishers, you check on how retailers are marketing your books online, and on how many libraries have purchased copies. Suppose you type a title’s ISBN into the Google Images search box, and up comes the cover of someone else’s book. Or Amazon.com shows the wrong author for your newest title. Or someone phones to say the local bookseller can’t find that new title in the Ingram database.

Chances are, these problems were caused by erroneous or incomplete information—or “metadata”—about the book, maybe a typo in the ISBN you used as a JPG’s name, for example, or a glitch in submitting the author’s name to Bowkerlink.com that kept the book title out of a database.

“Desperately Seeking Good Data: Why, How, and What Booksellers Need You to Tell Them” (April) provided definitions of the metadata elements you need to provide. This month, the focus is on why it’s so important to submit correct information on time to the companies that maintain bibliographic files, and on how you can make changes or correct inaccurate data (see “Metadata Nitty-Gritty,” below).

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