"Dear IPG..."

I’m new to publishing and am a bit baffled by metadata! What should I be prioritising to make sure booksellers and buyers can find my books?

Metadata is a common source of confusion and frustration, and it’s a publishing language that can take a while to learn! But it’s a hugely important aspect of sales and marketing, and time spent getting to grips with it is rewarded with much improved discoverability of your content.

The IPG Skills Hub has several resources to help you understand metadata in plain English and identify quick ways to sharpen it up. Take a look at Ten practical tips to improve your metadata, Ten top tips for better sales through data and Increasing online sales with richer metadata.

Two more good sources of help are Nielsen Book, which is the UK’s leading coordinator of metadata and provide services around electronic trading, ISBNs and much more; and EDItEUR, the international trade standards body for the book, ebook and serials supply chains. Both organisations provide excellent support resources that can save publishers a lot of time and headaches.  

Publishing-specific software tools and services are available to help manage metadata. For advice about picking one, see What to look for in a data management system on the IPG Skills Hub, and see the IPG’s A-Z Directory of Publishing Services for details of supplier members with services to offer.