What is metadata? Metadata is all the information you will give Amazon KDP, Barnes and Noble’s PubIt, and Smashwords when you publish your book.
I’m going to cover a list of metadata you’ll need to publish your book on the sites listed above. If anyone can think of something to add to the list, please let me know.
1. Book Title
You want a title that will intrigue your target audience. Search through Amazon and B&N for titles in your genre and see which ones spark your interest if you’re having trouble coming up with a one.
2. Book Cover
All I can say is make it attractive and gear it to your target audience. We are doing posts on book covers already, so I won’t say more than that, except to say HAVE A BOOK COVER! There is no excuse for not having one.
3. Book description
You need one. I see too many authors only give snippets of reviews instead of giving a book description. Please do your potential reader a favor and tell them what your book is about.
You don’t want it too long. I think less is more. Try to sum up your book with the following:
- the main character(s)
- the problem
- what the character(s) stand to lose (aka crisis)
- a hook that will leave the potential reader wondering how it’s going to end
4. Author Bio
This should be about a paragraph or two but short. Readers don’t need to know your life story, just get a look at you. Here’s elements you can put in it:
- Publication credits or awards (other articles/books written, number of books published, any awards won, any bestsellers’ lists you were on)
- Anything you want to share about your family or where you live (my suggestion is to be vague: ex. Author X lives with a husband, two kids and a dog in Florida.)
- Information on where people can find out more about you, such as your website or blog.
Only you can determine this one, and to put your mind at ease, there is no right or wrong price. You price it at what you want. Who cares what someone else thinks? This is your book, not theirs.
6. To DRM or not to DRM
I prefer no DRM because I want my reader to be able to transfer my book to another device if they wish, but it’s up to you. Again, do what makes you comfortable.
7. Territorial or Worldwide rights
If you want your book available in other countries, use this feature. If you don’t want it published in some areas, then choose the territory option and click the countries you want your book available at.
Try to limit this to two or three. Your book has a broad category it fits in, so you want to focus on that audience. A romance novel with a dash of sci-fi does not make your book a sci-fi novel. It might be a contemporary or paranormal romance or even a sci-fi romance, but it is not a sci-fi novel. Too many authors want to say their book is for a bunch of categories when two or three will do just fine. Besides, this is where keywords come in.
9. Keywords (aka tags)
Only use words that apply to your novel. Don’t put keywords you think people will want that don’t help the reader with their search. For example, if you think “vampires” are hot, but your book doesn’t have vampires in it or you have the heroine say one line about a vampire book she read, then you should not use “vampire” for a keyword. Also, I don’t think you should use other authors as keywords. You are your own author with your unique voice. Let your story stand on its own merit, not someone else’s. If a stranger tags your book with another author’s name who writes books similar to yours, then that is fine. But I don’t agree with doing this to your own books.
Focus on major themes in your book when listing keywords.
That’s all I can think of. Does anyone have anything to add?