Tidbits and Tricks for an Old Dog; or, The Best Lessons I Learned at Publishing University

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August 2011
by MaryAnn F. Kohl

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Tidbits and Tricks for an Old Dog; or, The Best Lessons I Learned at Publishing University

by MaryAnn F. Kohl

If prizes besides the Benjamin Franklin Awards had been given at IBPA’s 2011 Publishing University, I would have won for Having the Most Questions. After 26 years as a profitable, confident publisher, I feel like an old dog learning more than a few new tricks. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this wide-eyed “Huh?” feeling; I witnessed the glazed looks in the eyes of more than a few publishers like me.

One theme that resounded throughout the sessions was: Pay attention to metadata, which is “all the data about each book you publish.” As Jon Fine, Amazon’s director of Author and Publisher Services, declared: Metadata matters. Metadata. Write that one down; read—or reread—“Desperately Seeking Good Data,” Parts 1, 2, and 3 at ibpa-online.org for detailed basic information, and see “Learn to Master Metadata” below. (Jon, by the way, shared his email address with us; if you need him, you can write to jfine@amazon.com.)

With the explosion of e-books and everything digital, I learned a lot of other tricks, too, which I’m now going to share with you.

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