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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in simple terms means the process of improving your website to increase its visibility in Google. It is a complicated “science” that is becoming more and more convoluted by the day. If you are really interested in additional details about SEO, please see this URL. Https:// is a fairly in-depth 2.5 hour look at Search Engine Optimization.

Unfortunately, Google website optimization isn’t the only culprit in the greater SEO universe. Every social media app has its own set of proprietary algorithms that sort and prioritize everything we do; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikToc, YouTube, all of them. My blogs will eventually discuss SEO in much more detail. However, because this subject is overwhelming for most of us, I want to first focus on one small aspect of optimization that should interest all writers; the basic information about our books. It’s a simple place to begin.

Although metadata and meta tags are closely related, they are very different concepts. Metadata mainly defines extra information about entities (i.e., books in our case) while tags are used for organizing entities. In layperson terms, tags are category or group names for metadata’s book details.

For now, let’s just fly over the surface of metadata; our book details. There are three main types of metadata; descriptive, administrative, and structural.

  • Descriptive metadata enables discovery, identification, and selection of our babies. It includes elements such as title, author, and book subject(s).
  • Administrative metadata facilities the management of books. This includes elements such as technical, preservation, rights, and use.
  • Structural metadata describes relationships among various parts of a book, such as chapters or subjects in a book.

Book metadata enhances the overall accessibility and visibility of books; thus benefiting authors, readers, and the ever-changing publishing ecosystem. These details are crucial for discoverability, categorization, improved search results, meeting reader expectations, marketing and promotion, as well as ensuring standardization and interoperability within the book industry.

So, what exactly is book metadata?

  • Book Title
  • Author Name
  • Book Description
  • Book Categories/Genres
  • Keywords that represent your book’s themes, topics, and genre
  • Book Cover Image
  • Reviews and Endorsements
  • ISBN (International Standard Book Number)
  • Publisher information
  • Series Information

Always keep this information current and update whenever it changes. It is then possible to analyze how your books perform in terms of visibility and sales using true data-driven adjustments if you so desire. Don’t forget about leveraging book-specific platforms and retailers that have their own metadata requirements; including Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Smashwords, Ingram Spark, Barnes & Noble, and others to optimize your book’s discoverability within those platforms.

OMG, my brain is exploding! Where do you actually put metadata? Don’t overthink it. I only want you to understand that the correct bulleted book metadata above is important in getting to your readers. You have already created your metadata if you are a veteran of Amazon, for example. Authors filled out their publication forms, entering relevant book details. And, if you are not Amazon exclusive, they will pass along your book details to some of their “competitor” platforms.

My point in all of this is to request that you please revisit your metadata in Amazon and other platforms to ensure your book’s information is up-to-date. It is your best opportunity to reach additional readers. The most important book metadata is keywords, since this is how most readers search for new books to read. They ask for all kinds of books using orthodox to unorthodox phrasing; thrillers, love stories, sci-fi, horror, true stories, mysteries, books I would like, books similar to such-and-such, etc. When your book turns up in the resulting list, your other details will make the sale.

Be creative and periodically experiment. Don’t be afraid to try new keywords and other book details. 


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