Metadata and Other Mysteries

It’s never been easier to publish your book. And it’s never been easier to do it wrong.

When I decided to go it on my own to publish my first novel, Haints, I didn’t go all the way on my own. I’m using a professional company to help me design the book cover, format text, proofread and distribute the book, which includes optimizing the metadata.

For those of you still new to the (self) publishing world, metadata is super, extra, very important. Every distribution platform, like Amazon or Barnes and Noble, requires you to enter all the descriptive information that would best help potential readers find your book. That whole “readers finding your book” thing is key for you, the companies helping you sell your book, and your future readers! It’s something you shouldn’t blow off.

statue of buddha holding a small statue of buddha
Buddha holding Buddha: a different kind of meta. Photo by Galen Crout on Unsplash

What I’ve discovered in my many, many years of freelance writing, is that it can be difficult for an author (or business owner, etc.) to adequately describe their own work or product in a way that helps the unfamiliar become intrigued. In my case, though I’d prepared long and short book descriptions and a pile of keywords that could show up in my potential audience’s wish list, my publisher (ahem, the self-publisher publisher) edited the descriptions and embellished the keywords so they were both longer (called long-tail keywords) and matched more commonly searched phrases. In other words, they optimized my metadata.

This is exactly the kind of help I was hoping for when I hired a self-publishing company!

I’m eagerly awaiting design and formatting proofs … should be another couple of weeks on those babies.

*Note: although I linked to outside companies in this blog, I’m not actually endorsing them. I simply liked how they described the terms I linked.

Do you recommend a good self-publishing service? Drop a comment or DM and let me know.

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