Ingram Blog

How to Use eBook Editions to Improve Metadata Offerings

by Dmitri Barvinok, Front Edge Publishing
Publishers know eBook editions are a vital part of a book release. What you may not know is that the metadata for your eBook editions can open a doorway to valuable options on, and other retailers. That’s especially true if your book has multiple contributors.


Metadata refers to all of the information a publisher submits to partners like Ingram, who in turn provide that information to retailers for creating informative sales pages. Metadata includes BISAC codes, related ISBNs, marketing copy and much more.


However, retailers vary in the way they use metadata. For example, many retailers limit a print book product page to a maximum of three contributor names. Usually, publishers list the main author of the book, then add the names of writers or editors who contributed other significant text. That contributor field is an extremely valuable space on a retailer’s website, since each contributor associated with a book is indexed as part of the website’s search engine. If a popular author or public figure is indexed as having contributed to a new book, whether they’re an editor or a preface writer, the new book will come up in searches that include the contributor’s name. This strategy is a great way to boost a new book’s visibility and is a big part of why building allies for new releases is vital for marketing success.


However, here’s the challenge: Some books have many contributors, allies, authors and editors. Deciding how to prioritize contributor listings is especially important in this case, but it can be difficult to decide who to list immediately after the author.


Here’s where eBook metadata can be valuable: List additional contributors when setting up the eBook version of the book through a retailer’s eBook portal. Most eBook partners allow more than three contributors to be listed for a book. As you’re setting up your eBook, list the first three contributors the same way they appear in the print version, but add additional contributors even if they’re not specifically indexed with the print edition. Make sure to list all of the contributors for the print book in the eBook metadata so that retailers synchronize your sales pages across formats. This means readers searching for contributors listed for the eBook version of a book will also arrive on the print product page.


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