I’ve written a post over on DigitalPublishing101.com to briefly explain how and where metadata is used to help sell books online.
It provides a little bit of background on how metadata works with search engines and with algorithms like Amazon’s recommendation engine, and offers a few simple tips — follow them all and you’re (almost) guaranteed to improve your e/book’s chances of being found in the right online places.
- Provide complete metadata, including enhanced as well as core metadata. This might be obvious, but hopefully you’ll have a better understanding of why.
- Descriptive copy should contain keywords, especially in the first 50-100 words.
- Titles or subtitles might include keywords (this is not always possible or desirable).
- Use categories, and provide several categories if you can (for instance, Amazon allows for up to 5).
- Include prizes, awards, reviews (including some review excerpts), and media mentions.
- Make excerpts available.
- Use HTML tags in metadata if permitted.
- Provide website links (for example to author pages). This is not always possible or permitted but use it if you can.
- Apply these principles to author information as well as book information.
- Add author location which will help online retailers target the local audience.
You can read the complete article here.
If you want a more detailed understanding of how to identify the right keywords, optimize your site and your metadata, and track your results, you might also want to check out this article on the subject of SEO for books.
And if you really want to become an expert on the subject of how to sell more e/books online, you can take the complete online course, Marketing 101 for Ebooks. It’s much better than bad TV as a way to fill in a few rainy Autumn nights.
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Martin Taylor (@nztaylor) has been involved in the publishing, technology and internet fields for more than 20 years. He operates a digital publishing consultancy and founded the Digital Publishing Forum, an initiative to accelerate the development of digital publishing in New Zealand. In a former life, he published technology and business magazines.