Find your Book Online!!

Hey there! Welcome to this blog about metadata. 

In this blog, I will be talking about what metadata is along with information about keywords, book titles, book descriptions, categories, publication dates, and paid vs free ISBN.

Metadata is information that describes a book that allows readers to find your book online. So, it is important when marketing your book to get the metadata details right. If you don’t, then people may have a very hard time finding your book online.

Metadata can include ISBNs, the book title, the book subtitle, book description, categories, author biography, price, and publication dates. I will be providing a description for each of these in this blog. 

Keywords are important to include with each of these that have the asterisk next to them. As you can see, keywords are very important. Keywords are the main words that someone may use to describe your book or to try to find your book. When choosing what keywords you want to include in your book’s metadata, you may want to ask yourself: what will your target audience be searching for? What will they be typing in a search engine that would lead them to find your book? Whatever that is would be a keyword or possibly even a keyphrase. Consider what words describe your book. For example, if your book is about finance, type in the word(s) finance and see what other books show up. Is your book comparable to those books? What other words are used in their titles, subtitles, and descriptions that would also describe your book? You can even start typing letters into a search engine slowly letter by letter and see what words are suggested. Oftentimes, the words that pop up are the most common words or phrases people have typed in starting with those same letters or words. And, like I had said before, look at comparison titles to see what words are used to describe them and whether or not those words would fit your book’s description as well.

Do you already have a title for your book? Book titles may not be copyrighted, but it is possible to be trademarked, so you shouldn’t name your book the same title as another popular book on the market. If possible, it may be best to try to come up with a title that hasn’t been used before. One tip for coming up with book titles is to write a list of possible titles or even have others offer suggestions of possible titles. Some authors engage their audience by asking them questions throughout the publication process such as choosing a title based on a few suggestions or choosing a cover based on two choices. This can help to build an audience and promote a book ahead of publication. Consider what sounds the best and what explains the book the best. Is it easy to say? Is it attention-grabbing?

Book descriptions should catch potential buyers’ attention, typically by having something known as a hook, which hooks the reader from the first line and makes them want to read more about your book. A good book description should show how your book can benefit your potential reader and may also include information about what sets your book apart from other books. It’s also important to have book descriptions formatted for easy reading. And, finally, you want to see if you are allowed to include reviews. Some authors include positive reviews that they are allowed to share within their book’s descriptions.

Other things to consider when writing a book description is to keep it short and simple, yet attention-grabbing. I’ve heard 150-250 words are recommended. Anything too lengthy may not get read all the way through. It is also recommended to use the third person, so you shouldn’t be including the words “you” or “I” within the description. Also, saying “this book is the best book ever” or “buy this book now” may come off as being arrogant and maybe a turn-off for many readers. Furthermore, if they do still decide to buy your book, and it doesn’t live up to the potential of being “the best book. ever” even though it says it in the description, they are more likely to leave a negative review than a positive review.

 A book description should not be used to summarize an entire book or give away the ending of the book but should get the readers hooked and interested enough to want to read the book to find out what is going to happen next. Again, using keywords in a book description is helpful so readers can find your book easier online. And again, it’s a great idea to look at other books in the same genre as your book and see what their book descriptions says. How do they entice you to want to read more? How are their descriptions formatted? Are there any techniques you can see they used in the book description? What do you think makes a good book description? I once heard someone say to “think of the book description as an ad, not an infomercial”. You want to entice your readers to want more but not be too gimmicky by telling them “buy this now before it’s gone!” 

Book descriptions for nonfiction books do vary slightly from the average fiction book. If your book is a nonfiction book, you may want to include your potential reader’s pain point in the description and mention how your book will solve that pain point. What is it that you want your reader to be able to solve by reading your book, and how do you want your book to help them? It may also be helpful to share what your expertise is on the subject, so they know why they should be reading your book about that topic instead of someone else’s book on that same topic. Again, what sets you and your book apart from other authors and other books on the same genre?

As a self-published author, you also have the opportunity to choose a publication date or at least an approximate publication date. Here are some questions to consider as you choose a publication date for your book: Are you just going to publish the book as soon as you are finished with it? If you are in a hurry to publish and aren’t that concerned with promoting it in advance, that may be okay for you. But, if you are wanting to promote it before publication, obviously, that will require a little more planning. It’s also helpful to consider when the book would be relevant. Again, you may want to look at other books in the same genre as your book and see if there seems to be a consistent time frame for those books being published. For example, many (self-help books) self-help books go on the market in January when people have their New Year’s Resolutions in mind. Holiday books typically go on sale shortly before that particular holiday. Along those same lines, are there any special days or months that correlate with your book’s theme? And as I had said before, how much time do you want to promote your book before it is published? Many traditionally published (books and the) companies (that publish them) promote books months or possibly even a year or so in advance. So, is there something you have in mind for how to promote your book, and how much time do you think would be appropriate?

Well, that’s it for this blog. In the next blog, I will be talking more about offline places such as considerations for offline retailers, contacting stores, and considerations for libraries.

Until then, may you have a wonderful day! Take care!

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