Yes, you read that first line correctly. No, it’s not a cheesy attempt to get your attention as I write about the incredibly important/often sleep inducing subject of book metadata.
Well, maybe a little. Truth be told, most articles about book metadata are dry as dust. As you probably know, metadata incorporates your book title, description, author bio and all the key selling info needed to distribute a book, onto sales pages at Amazon, iBooks and other online retailers to help readers discover your book….
Let me shake you awake with the real estate roller coaster. Over in the Netherlands, real estate broker Verder met Wonen needed something different to attract the attention of potential home buyers. Instead of the tried-and-true open houses and the like, he took a different route. Literally.
He installed a miniature version of the popular fairground attraction inside a seller’s home. Prospective buyers are invited to hop into the wood carriage which whisks them through the property, plunging down into the basement garage, up stairs and finally around the garden.
Insert your own bad pun here about the ups and downs of the housing market.
Wonen’s idea attracted the attention of the BBC, Reuters and more including his target audience — prospective home buyers. Getting mindshare is half the battle.
But our Dutch realtor’s idea went one better. His roller coaster ride wasn’t just cheap and easy attention. It actually functioned as a useful selling tool for the broker. Prospective buyers were touring the home while enjoying the novel ride, being every bit as “sold” through a unique experience that attracted attention.
Now this thrill ride of a blog post finally careens back to your book metadata: What’s the lesson here for authors? It’s not enough to simply wave your arms in the virtual sense via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, spamming social media feeds with ‘look at me I have a book’ posts every 15 minutes. The challenge for authors is to both attract and interest potential buyers. You can get plenty of eyeballs by shooting off fireworks, for instance. But once the last sparks flicker out, what’s left? Darkness.
What authors need is book promotion that encourages readers to open the cover: That’s the deeper meaning to the much talked about concept of book “discoverability” and finding ways for your literary work to stand out on the virtual bookshelves.
One of my favorite bloggers, Joanna Penn, summed up her concept of book “discoverability” in her “Back to Basics” blog post from January 3: “My aim. Grow a list of readers who love the books I love and want to read more books in a similar vein.”
For your potential reading audience, book “discoverability” might not seem to be a problem. Readers already have enough books on their bookshelves – real and virtual — to last a few lifetimes. But that’s the problem: The self-publishing revolution has triggered a tsunami of digital content washing through the marketplace. How do readers find the next great book amongst the flotsam and jetsam drifting in the sea of content?
The authors’ best chance to break through is by publishing a book with focused metadata. The sad fact is that most authors spend comparatively little time compiling this incredibly important data versus the hours they’ve put in to provide content between the covers. If you take the time to do it right you’ll find it’s more of a science than an art form.
If you can’t tell the story of your book in a compelling way outside the covers, your readers will never find their way inside. Over the coming weeks I’ll be covering more about constructing your own book metadata. If you’re as serious about it as I hope you are, I won’t need a cheap tactic like roller coaster home sales to keep your attention!
Tell Your Book’s Story With Metadata
Making The Most of Print On Demand, Part 1: Your Timeline To Maximize Book Sales
Making The Most Of Print On Demand, Part 2: All You Need To Know About Book Pre-Sales
Budget Enough Time (And Patience) For Your Book Promotion
How To Use 100 Print Books To Promote Your Self-Published Book