Want to Sell More Books? It can be as simple as….

June 7, 2011

….making sure that all the information that accompanies your books is correct. That information is called “metadata” and it simply means the ISBN number, the table of contents, the format (paper, hardback, audio, e, etc.), the number of pages—in short, anything that describes your title. If all the components of your title description are correct, your title can be discovered by readers.


If your title description is incorrect, your title will not be found. It’s as simple as that.


BISG is presenting a 4-part series of webcasts to help you learn more about how to make the most of your title’s metadata. The organizer of the series, Sally Dedecker of Sally Dedecker Enterprises, was kind enough to answer some questions, posed by an IBPA member, as to why publishers need to get educated on this critical topic.


1. Do distributors or publishers input metadata?
The publisher creates the metadata and submits it to the distributor. The distributor takes what the publisher creates and disseminates it. If the publisher is creating incorrect data and then sends it to the distributor, the distributor will forward that incorrect data to customers and other industry databases. The distributor will only send to Ingram, B&N, independent booksellers and others what the publisher sends. With this series of webcasts, we are suggesting that all publishers get a good handle on metadata so that what they send is correct and will help readers discover their books.


2. What is “enhanced metadata”?
Enhanced metadata is the fun part of the book’s information…and really helps made the sale! Enhanced metadata covers book reviews, author summaries, author bio, reviews, and sample chapters, really giving the reader the flavor of the book! Search engines pick up on this and this is what keys a reader.


3. Can you give an example of a metadata component and why it is important?
The BISAC Subject Heading is a perfect example. What many publishers may not know is that those subject codes are used to pull recommended title lists for library markets. If you don’t have the code that describes your title (or your code is incorrect), you could be missing sales opportunities. Those codes are available for all publishers’ use here.


4. In a nutshell, what can I expect from the 4 webcasts?
The goal of the series is to really give people and understanding of why metadata is important– booksellers, librarians and others are using metadata to make buying decisions. Incorrect metadata causes missed sales.
We want to encourage publishers to start using the terms and abbreviations and other key core elements that have been established as metadata standards.
You are the publisher, and you should control the information about your books. Having a good plan to create your metadata puts publishers in the driver’s seat.


As a supporting organization, IBPA invites you to join the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) for a 4-part webcast series, Selling more Books with Best Practice in Metadata, that will provide the all-important foundation and hands-on instruction publishers need to take real responsibility for their product metadata. IBPA members receive a 20% discount!


Note that the webcasts will not be posted to the BISG site and will not be made free to those who do not attend. Those who register for the series will have access to the content for review and to use as a guide.
For more information, go to the IBPA home page and click on “BISG Webcast Series.”

One response to “Want to Sell More Books? It can be as simple as….”

  1. Tom says:

    The importance of metadata can’t be overstated. You should re-run this piece on occassion.

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