What the Heck Is Metadata?

When we move a book into production, we ask every client to provide us with a completed form, called the "Production Checklist."  The "PCL."  It's a simple form in Word, with boxes to be filled out by you, as the publisher.  Those boxes are "metadata."  Using the PCL is optional.  If you don't provide us with one, we'll simply embed the book name and author name in the metadata.  If you do complete it, we'll embed all the information on the form (description, tags, subjects, etc.) inside the book, invisibly.  (That's what "metadata" is for ebooks--information embedded inside a book that's invisible to the human eye, but is visible to search engines, to help them find your book in searches on the Net.)

This is one of the services that we include, as part of our Secret Sauce, to help our authors get their books sold, after they are published.  For more information please read this article from PBS and Mediashift about metadata, and how it's used:  PBS and Mediashift Article about Metadata and why we go to the trouble of adding to your book.  

Too Long, Didn't Read--What Does That Mean for Me as an Author?

The short version is this: the description, tags, subject information, that you fill out on the PCL are put inside your book so that it can be found across the Internet by search engines.  Some of these Search Egnines are able to search what is sometimes called "The Deep Web," which is merely web-geekery-speech for "databases."  The upside, though, is that by using the embedded metadata, your book is more likely to be found by someone searching for a title in your area (genre, topic) than someone whose book only uses the metadata fields available to them at upload at Amazon, B&N and the like.  It's simply part of our service.  

Don't miss that MediaShift article--it's long, but it's worth the effort and the focus.  

Phone Call Alert! 

(Please read, thanks.) 

Old Timey Switchboard Operator Cartoon

 

Due to the COVID-19 onslaught, we currently cannot take incoming phone calls.  

 

A notification about phone calls:  due to the COVID-19 plague, we've significantly increased our incoming inquiries--nearly double our usual volume--and the number of incoming inquiries by phone has been literally overwhelming.  Although most writers will say that their call "will only take 15 minutes," the truth is, that after 10 years of doing this, most author inquiry calls take an hour.  45 minutes at best. I'm currently receiving 7-10 calls/day, and due to that, I've had to stop accepting incoming phone calls, which my voicemail will tell you. You can leave a message--I can't call you back without one--and if a call is needed, I will of course call you.  But we have very complete and extensive email replies, handouts and our website is very informative. Almost all the questions that I receive during a call are actually already answered on our site, or are, in fact, publishing questions, not questions about our services, what we do, what we offer, or the like.  I already handle between 90-130 emails/day, as it is. I can't handle that many emails and take 7-10 hours of calls each day. I can't. So, in order to be able to answer this huge email volume, to help the greatest number of people, with my time, I've had to stop accepting calls.  I'm sorry, but that's just how it is. I'm in the process of setting up a call-appointment function, for free 15-minute calls to answer questions from new prospective customers and longer paid sessions for folks who generally want consulting on "publishing," generally (and for prospective kids' book publishers, as a special category of paid consulting).  But that functionality isn't yet set up. I hope to get that working the 3rd week of July, sometime.  

Thank you for your understanding.