October 24, 2012

METADATA-What is it? Why do Authors need it?

By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief

Some call it "data about data”. So what is Metadata? Information about a certain item's content.  It’s really just common sense. When people are searching for a book, they need information.  This information is data used to categorize your book. If someone is in a library or bookstore, this data is used to locate your book. In essence, it is for marketing purposes. I realize I am stating it in a simple way, but I believe people should not make things difficult. So here is the simple explanation.
For an author, metadata is:
·         Book’s genre
·         Description of book
·         Keywords (used to help buyers/readers find your book)
·         Author’s bio.
·         This data is how people find your book.
For those who would like more in-depth information about Metadata you can go to this link:  NISO is the National Information Standards Organization.
Obviously, Metadata is for other things besides books, but it is a definite need for authors. All of the key points above are vital for an author. Be sure your information is correct. If you aren’t sure of genres then find books similar to yours. How are theirs  listed? How did they describe theirs? Help people find you, whether it is in a library or a bookstore.

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