Metadata is data about data. Metadata describes how and when and by whom a particular set of data was collected, and how the data is formatted. Metadata is essential for understanding information stored in data warehouses and has become increasingly important in XML-based Web applications
When metadata in e-publishing became the buzz word, I described it as SEO for book marketing.
Of course, the challenge of metadata if far more complex than that. There are best practices and “ONIX metadata” as well as certification programs. There is the matter of the “BISG Revised Best Practices”. Yeah, me neither. But if you truly want to learn more about this, there is a course offered by Digital Book World
An article, which strives to bring metadata in a better light, was published on Digital Book World’s site in an interview with Renee Register. She brings a better understanding of the practices to all of us.
Digital Book World has all manner of Best Practices for MetaData on a continuing basis taught by Renee Register, who has more than 20 years of experience. They also have a phone number for questions. Travel to their homesite and hit Customer Service to find out what upcoming class best fits with your schedule.
The tome of all tomes is the Metadata handbook. This finely detailed handbook is what you want if you would like to certify in the field. And an extensive collection of references and best practices.
Whether you know it or not, you create metadata each time you use your smartphone or log into your computer or tablet.. And this is how Google pulls up information so quickly. There will be a metadata trail created when I publish this article and when you share it. (Thank you; p)
Back to my original position
However, it is the experienced use of metadata that will bring it to the eyes of your potential readers and impact your sales.In this way, it is similar to SEO. Imagine writing a book and no one seeing it. That is how important metadata is for you and your sales.
Metadata is all over my current book; not only as I create and research it but is part of the inciting incident. This was handily mirrored by certain organizations in the news recently and the cause of our President either answering or confusing the matter.
Either way you look at it, it’s all around us. Yes, “like the matrix”…;).
If you don’t have the money or time for a class,NISO.org offers a pdf on Metadata. It arises about the same time as ISBN’s in finding books through retailers and the library system. I think DublinCore is the best place to find out all initiatives in the matter.
If you wish to learn the basics of metadata, a terrific article came out on Freelance Switch, a site all freelancers will be familiar with, “Choosing Keywords and Categories for Your Kindle eBook” by David Masters. A good start to understanding what is to be an intricate subject for all people in the self-publishing field.
And in related reading:
Smashwords has progressed from a publisher to a retailer. Read the interview with Mark Coker here.
Also, SpritAuthors comes in with a great article about making sure your book lands in the right categories in Amazon, which you can find here. I recommend you look at all areas of the site.
What are your experiences with metadata and how have you implemented it into your e-book? What have you learned about it? Please leave a comment below and share with others.