On Metadata

WHAT IS YOUR BOOK’S METADATA?

This is a set of data that describes and gives information about your book. It is the information that appears on your book’s detail page when uploaded to the distributor’s website. Put simply, it is all a buyer needs to know about your book. Some distributors require more information than others, but in this guide, I have included the basic information needed across most.

WHY IS METADATA IMPORTANT?

A cover can only do so much. Without the right information, your book is unlikely to reach its target audience. This can have a devastating effect on its success. In the days of brick-and-mortar stores’ prevalence, a reader could simply walk in, pick up a book they were attracted to, and read the blurb on the back to know what it was about. They could flip through and scan the first few pages or sit down to read a bit of it (like the samples offered in some ebooks today) and then decide whether or not to purchase it.

At the dawn of the age of the digital store, readers only got to see the front cover image, so all the other info the reader would have got from walking into a bookstore (e.g. the category, blurb, price, format, page count, etc) had to be added to the digital book’s page.

With the rise of indie publishing and as digital book retail advanced, more and more data became necessary for readers to find the books they were looking for, hence the list of information needed for book distribution uploads. It is not always the case that the information requested is required, and most platforms will indicate which you must fill in, but it has been found that the more – both accurate and detailed – information included, the better chance a book has at landing with its ideal reader.

For this reason, I’ve created and attached a downloadable PDF template and a guide which explains and walks you through getting the necessary metadata for uploading to KDP Select and IngramSpark. 

(Both platforms have their own official upload guides and requirements documents.)

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