What is metadata? If you have visions of Star Trek characters instead of book descriptions, you are probably not alone! Metadata is a technical term for how your book gets discovered: by creating accurate, descriptive information that says what your book is about, who wrote it, and why people should read it.
Metadata begins with simple descriptors: Book title, author, publisher, copyright year, ISBN, subject, price. But in the age of digital publishing, metadata has become much more: it includes book reviews on Amazon, and book “extras” you might enter on Shelfari. It includes author interviews posted on blogs, comments about your book on Goodreads, tweets, links, and so much more.
Laura Dawson is a 25-year veteran of the book industry, an expert on metadata, and currently works as project manager for identifiers at Bowker. I recently had the opportunity to interview Laura and lead a group discussion with several other indie authors. Despite some video glitches, the conversation is highly informative and answers many questions authors have about how to control and optimize metadata for our books.