In May 2023, the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) released a statement reminding the industry of the proper use of the title and subtitle fields. This statement joins a 2018 statement from BIC on the same topic, and is, in many ways, a restatement of the best practices defined in the BISG’s Best Practices for Product Metadata guide.
The problem being addressed is that some publishers are including promotional and marketing text in the subtitle metadata field (and sometimes even the title field). This marketing text is promoted by data professionals outside the book industry as a method for better product discoverability on certain retailers. However, a problem arises when those metadata differences spread throughout the supply chain. Extraneous content in the title and subtitle fields can cause issues for distributors, data aggregators, libraries and other parts of the supply chain that use those fields to properly identify the product in question.
Firebrand Group’s supporting statement reads:
Firebrand Group’s supporting statement joins statements from other industry leaders.
About Firebrand Group
Firebrand Group—a global collection of companies including Firebrand Technologies, NetGalley, and Supadu Ltd—offers comprehensive technology solutions to nurture book publisher success. The Firebrand Group is owned by Media Do International (MD-i), the US-based subsidiary of Japan’s Media Do Co., Ltd, one of the largest ebook distribution companies in the world retaining the largest share of Japan’s ebook market. For more information, visit firebrandtech.com. For more information on Media Do’s services and corporate divisions, visit mediado.jp/english.