The Importance of Book Metadata


Book metadata is what describes your book. The better the metadata, the easier it is for a reader to find it. The easier it is for readers to find, the more likely it is your book will sell. Book metadata is all the searchable information, including title, author, genre, book description, ISBN, price, keywords, and more, that readers use to find your book. It is essential to your book’s discovery, whether the reader is looking in a library, a bookstore, or online.

Following are reasons why metadata matters:

  1. Metadata describes your book. It goes without saying that readers want to know what a book is about before they purchase it. The book’s description is an opportunity to employ the use of keywords that readers might use to locate books of interest to them. Compelling book descriptions drive sales. Using the right keywords helps customers find your book, while the description drives the conversion.
  2. Booksellers and Librarians use metadata to shelve books. If the genre is crime, the bookseller will shelve the book under the crime section of the bookstore. All genres carry their own code, and retailers, librarians, and bookstores use these codes to determine where to shelve books. More than one code can be used to identify the genre. The more specific, the better.
  3. Metadata is used by online providers such as Amazon, so a crucial element of the book marketing strategy needs to be making the book easy to discover online.
  4. Search engines use metadata, and it is the most important aspect of metadata utilisation. By including keywords, the title, author, description, contributors, genre, related titles and the like, means search engines can find the book.
  5. Metadata tells readers about you, the author. Metadata needs to include as much relevant information about you as possible. When it comes to attracting readership, particularly for new authors, they should include whatever distinguishes them from the crowd. Information about illustrators, collaborators, and other contributors should be part of your book metadata also.
  6. Keep metadata consistent. Create a document where you keep all the metadata for the book. Use this to disseminate information across the internet. Include it on a page of your author website.

While your content deserves all of your focus and attention while writing, your metadata deserves your focus while preparing your book for publication. A good story is essential, but no one can read what they can’t first find, which is why creating quality book metadata is necessary to support the publication of your masterpiece.