If I had to pick one key buzzword from the past several book industry events, it would be discoverability. As more and more people turn to the internet for book purchasing, whether electronic or print, the need to provide good title information is huge.
Just a few years ago, your biggest challenge and goal was to get your book in front of the world by getting it on a bookshelf.
Now your challenge and goal is to get your book to come up on a screen.
For most search engines, the more your book sells, the higher up it appears in search engines and the more likely to be sold again. It is a great cycle once it starts. But what if you are just starting out?
There is another key to discoverability: excellent metadata.
Metadata is data about data. In this case, it is information about your book. Very basic metadata includes binding type, number of pages, subject, title, author, and description. You would be surprised at how often people neglect to take care in providing this information.
Our company uses a new title form to collect this information. As forms tend to be, it can take a little time and be a bit tedious. But if this is now the key way the public discovers your book, don’t you think it is worth it?
Along with the need to provide good information, the industry is now pushing to have that information earlier in the process. We’ve recently had to rethink our new title submission deadlines in order to keep up with the requirements of the larger customers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Please take great care in providing as much detail as you can about your book. If you don’t know what one of the terms means, ask. Take the time to write a concise and compelling book description. Use your author bio as a chance to connect with readers about your book, not to talk about your dog (unless, of course, a dog is central to your book).
Do a little research to figure out which subject codes best represent your book and give it the best chance of selling (the more specific you can get, the better). List comparable titles that are actually comparable (“No book is like it!” doesn’t work. Neither does listing a selection from the best-seller list when your marketing plan and budget doesn’t look anything like theirs).
By being meticulous with your metadata, you give your title its best chance in the online world.