Thursday, January 24, 2013

Where Kristin Discusses The Importance Of Metadata

STATUS: Caught the crud on my way back from New York over the weekend. It's not helping with my catch-up efforts.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now?  EL SUENO DE LA HIJA DEL REY by Savina Yannatou

As many of you already know, I was in The Big Apple last week speaking at Digital Book World. After Mike Shatzkin's interview with me and Hugh Howey, I sat on a panel with my fellow agents Jane Dystel, Steve Axelrod, and Jay Mandel.

My question was this: "What should Publishers be learning from authors who are self-publishing?"

My answer was twofold:

1) Authors who are successfully self-pubbing release a lot of content and a variety of content regularly. For example, one of my authors publishes 2 novels a year but also publishes short content in between the major releases to keep the momentum going. Also, successful self-pubbers do a VARIETY of content. If one work is building (and therefore more appealing to the audience), then the author will set aside the other content and focus on what is building momentum. Because the author is in full control of the publishing, she can make that decision quickly and immediately act on it.

Publishers need to find a way to do the same.

2) Second, success is all about the metadata. Most editors input the metadata tags when the author contract is submitted and then don't think about it again. Well, that's not what successful self-pubbers are doing and that's not what we do at NLA digital either. We are constantly tweaking.

For those of you wondering what the heck is metadata, these are the descriptive tags included in product description and in a lot of cases, embedded in the content file itself of electronic books, that allow a novel to be searchable and discoverable on distribution venues such as Amazon, BN, and Kobo.

I tell a great story about what was unfolding, literally, the week of DBW.  And now I can share it with you. Some enterprising videographer filmed me while speaking (so thank you BookMarketingAME). The video starts a little shaky but evens out. Hear it for yourself.

And here is the visual I didn't include at DBW but can share with y'all via the power of my blog. *grin*

The author's editor is the true heroine of the story for being persistence with her internal team to get the metadata fixed.  Within 12 hours of it happening, voila! This title was not even showing up in the top 100 or even the top 250 in ranking in this category until the fix.

And yes folks, that's the importance of Metadata in a nutshell.