Metadata in publishing is all information about a book: it includes author, title, description, keywords and much more. Ebook metadata input is not only important to keep distributors happy, but is a powerful tool to improve sales. PublishDrive has teamed up with a publishing metadata expert, Zsofia Dedinszky who has kindly agreed to share her extensive knowledge and experience with us. This article is the third in a series: we talk about best practices for selecting the correct BISAC codes and putting the book in the right category on Amazon.
Previous articles in the series:
- Metadata 101 and most important metadata guidelines
- Filling in the title, subtitle, and series fields
There are many ways of classifying a book. Most countries have their own traditionally preferred methods, many using separate systems for libraries and stores. But why is classification important at all? The classification system decides where your book will appear in the stores.
Everybody understands the importance of knowing where to look for a book in a brick-and-mortar store. You either immediately go to the cookbooks in the basement or to the language books on the third floor: a misplaced book has little chance of ever being found.
It is exactly the same for ebooks. Unless somebody knows exactly what they are looking for and is searching for your name or title, they’ll browse through a category, looking for something they might find interesting.
Most ebook stores let you place your book in three categories. So, you have three chances of finding your ideal reader and putting your book in front of them. If I were you, I would take this seriously.
Just as importantly, a badly classified book can be highly disappointing to readers. If somebody is expecting to read a paranormal shifting romance but gets a psychological thriller instead, they are understandably unhappy. They might leave a negative review on your otherwise amazing book.
In the following, we’ll write about BISAC (the most common classification system), and about the importance of selecting the correct category for your book.