Marketing books these days is a totally different beast than just 20 years ago. What once was highly dependent on word of mouth recommendations, despite the large amount of money used on ad campaigns, is now a predominantly online discovery experience. The Scholarly Kitchen brought this interesting information to our attention in their article, “Enriching Book Metadata is Marketing in the Digital Age.”

Most online shopping experiences are about finding things that you aren’t aware of or that you don’t know anything about. Amazon’s entire algorithms are based on finding things that are tangentially related to what you have searched for or viewed, or what someone else has purchased after viewing. I confess, I have found and purchased many things as a result of this.

But sometimes there are also those serendipitous finds and those are harder to stage on the internet. There are systems to support unintended discovery and they rely solely on the metadata about the object. SEO-optimized metadata is key for any book, but it’s especially critical in the booming world of digital publishing where many self-published books and hybrid-published books are online-only.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.