As our staff is finishing the production of a new book, our authors learn about the mysteries of “metadata.”
Even our authors who have worked with other publishing houses tell us this is the first time they have learned about metadata—and have actually collaborated with the publishing house staff on completing the many texts and filling out the many technical codes that are a part of this digital file that accompanies every new book. The metadata listing we provide tells the world’s booksellers—including the major online retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble—how to display a book, how to describe its contents and how to connect it with readers’ special interests.
Our commitment to transparency and collaboration means that we explain the metadata process to authors so they can help us prepare this material. Most publishing houses never mention this digital file to authors and, instead, fill out the digital forms in house.
One reason we are committed to collaborating on metadata is that, working together, we try to craft pitch-perfect marketing materials for new books. That includes drawing on the wisdom of our authors about the ways their work may appeal to readers.
Well, in February 2022, we are celebrating two new books that—for a short time at their launch—earned valuable top-ranking banners that were flashed across Amazon.
Click on these two screenshots of the Amazon pages to learn more about these books. No, the newsy banners about their launch-rankings are not there currently—but those metadata-driven No. 1 rankings were very valuable as these books debuted.
Care to learn more?
That link to “metadata” in the first paragraph of this column will take you to a nine-part “Metadata 101” series of columns we posted a few years ago. Since that series was published, a few technical details in metdata coding have changed, but the overall advice in that 101 series still is valuable in learning about this essential process in publishing.