So, in my discussion of metadata from last Wednesday, I promised I’d tell you what would happen if I tagged my post with every possible misspelling of my name. In the continuing ed course she taught about self-publishing at the ACFW conference, Hallee Bridgeman had recommended misspelling our names and the names of our books so they could always be traced back to us through the discoverability of the metadata.
What happened is that I found all the misspellings of my name on both Yahoo search and Google search. Both search engines associated the misspelled names with the correct spelling and pointed back to the post in which they were mentioned, and only that post. I tried them on Amazon, and got nada—though that’s not a big surprise. So far as I know, Amazon searches its own databanks, not the World Wide Web’s.
Basically metadata are just words that describe other data—what we know as keywords and phrases. And for our books, we need to come up with as many as we possibly can. For The Final Ride, for instance, I’d have these: Circle Bar Ranch series, male/female relationships, heterosexual romance, family relationships, women’s fiction, Christian fiction, inspirational fiction, romance, Texas, New York, Manhattan, bull riding, bull rider, rodeo, ranch, ranching, gardening, chef, cooking, cattle, horses, cowboy, cowboy poetry, cowboy church, cowboy preacher. Virtually any relevant noun I can think of that plays a part in the story.
The big question is, where do I store this data in a place that makes my book discoverable. This is where Hallee really rattled me. All those keywords and phrases are typed in computerese in the front of the manuscript. Not the manuscript itself, though—the mobi edition (or whatever other digital format you use). It’s time consuming, but apparently, it’s worth it. (The picture below is just a simulation. I have no idea whether it’s accurate, but it looks similar to what Hallee showed us.)
From what I understand in the class, Amazon bots, or the bots from whatever distributor you use, read all this stuff and store it in their databanks, so if someone is looking for “women’s fiction on a Texas ranch” my book will be one of the ones that comes up.
Do I know how to do this? Uh . . . no.
Do I think it’s necessary?
I don’t know.
I’ve always thought that some authors seemed to have the key to the rocketship that shoots them at the speed of light above all the other authors. Is this it? I wish I knew.
If you know, if you do this and have seen terrific results in return, tell me, okay?
By the way, The Final Ride is on sale on Kindle! If you haven’t got your copy yet, now’s the time—a 99c sale on a new release doesn’t come along every day!