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Metadata Minute (Issue #1)

The KEY to Keywords in the Book Publishing Industry

Introducing the “Metadata Minute” LinkedIn Newsletter — your monthly guide to boosting book sales and visibility by mastering metadata elements! Whether you’re an author, publisher, marketer, or industry enthusiast, “Metadata Minute” has something to offer everyone.

🔍What to expect:

  • Insights from industry experts
  • Tips and techniques to perfect your metadata for backlist & frontlist titles
  • The latest industry trends in metadata practices, ensuring you’re always one step ahead
  • Case studies proving the power of metadata transformations

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Never underestimate keywords!

Back in 2016, Firebrand Technologies and Kadaxis ran a Keyword Research Study on the impact keywords have on book sales. During our testing period, we partnered with Dover Publications specifically studying their backlist titles without keywords.

We took a 1967 title with no keywords, added Kadaxis’ suggested keywords into Title Management, and observed a 25% increase in overall sales! The math on this is simple: keywords sell more books! If you haven’t updated or added keywords for your backlist titles, we highly encourage you to start that process.

“When you’re writing these keywords out, remember your audience language. How your audience thinks about your book is how they’re going to search for your book. Look at places where the audience talks about your book or others by the same author or genre. That’s going to be helpful to you in coming up with that larger list of keywords.”

– Joshua Tallent, Firebrand Technologies’ Director of Sales and Education

Keep in mind, Barnes & Noble only utilizes keywords for product recommendations. Amazon and Apple both use keywords for their search results; however, Amazon will only utilize the first 210 characters, excluding spaces and semicolons.

Having said that, we encourage you NOT to base your keyword selection solely off Amazon’s guidelines. Given that Amazon can actually import up to 2,000 characters, anecdotal evidence suggests they may utilize more than their claimed 210.

Not to mention, there are plenty of other retailers and distributors that will benefit from the extra data. Provide as many keywords as possible! It can only help you.

Consider these guidelines when creating keywords:

  • Provide a minimum of 30 keywords. Books with 30+ words enjoy significantly higher average sales.
  • Include the strongest keywords within the first 250 characters. Try not to duplicate words unless it’s necessary and relevant.
  • There’s no such thing as too many keywords. Title Management Enterprise can hold up to 1,500 characters — fill it up!
  • Consider borrowing from your metadata, like your book description. If you’re still stumped, reach out to your subject indexer for suggestions! They likely know your book better than anyone.
  • Be sure to take advantage of online resources, such as UbersuggestGoogle Adwords/Ads, and KeywordTool.io.

Avoid these mistakes when creating keywords:

  • Generic words like amazing, bestseller, book, etc.
  • Redundant data, such as the title, author, and format of the product (audiobook, ebook, etc.)
  • Misspelled words, unless they are uncommon misspellings or specific words that your audience will use
  • Time-sensitive statements like “new” or “on sale now”
  • Words already mentioned in your BISAC categories
  • Other authors or unauthorized brand names

Thanks for tuning into the first of many monthly Metadata Minutes, published on the last Monday of each month. 

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