Although I worked for a computer software firm, I’m not a technical person. I didn’t grow up with computers and my learning has been trial and error. Sometimes this learning has been painful, and other times it’s been funny. My publisher wants authors to post on social media, so I posted: When I was minding my own business a book idea popped into my mind.
That’s what I thought I posted, but when I looked at the screen I was horrivied to see I said the idea pooped into my mind! At the time I didn’t know how to delete a post and, within seconds, comments started to appear. One viewer wrote, “Hilarious!” Another wrote, “Too funny.” Being a computer klutz wasn’t funny to me.
Since then, I’ve made computer learning a life focus. Recently I listened to “Metadata is Your Brand,” a podcast by Bublish founder Kathy Meis. According to Meis, metadata is information that computers use to access information, or “online book discovery.” If you and I had metadata scorecards how would we rate?
Book category. Your publisher will be glad to help you choose a category. Since I write health/wellness books I thought my category would be “health.” Not so. It turns out they fit under “self-help” and “inspiration.”
Keywords. Long before my book started production my publisher asked me to think of keywords. Some of the words: family, caregiving, caregiver, care receiver, home health, and health-care. Brainstorm on keywords for your book.
Images (book covers). Look at book covers on publishers’ websites and Amazon. Notice that some covers stand out and others are poor in comparison. The cover of your book should be eye-catching and include elements that represent the content.
Locations. This category includes your publisher’s website, Amazon listing, ebook listing, and online presence. With these things in mind, I’ve added extra information to the end of my mails: Visit (website link), Learn (blog link), Like (Facebook link) Connect (LinkedIn link), and Follow (Twitter link.)
Get Amazon Reviews. Your options include asking friends to post reviews, paying for reviews, putting an electronic version on a review website, book groups and clubs. Allow lots of lead time because garnering revews is a slow, challenging process. If you get 10 reviews the computers will notice. Get 50 reviews and the compuers will order more books.
Use Hashtags. This is a new practice for me and may be new to you. Think of a hashtag as a file category system. Rachael Sprung expalins in her Internet article, “How to Use Hashtags In Your Social Media Marketing.” Her suggestions: 1) Be unique and specific, 2) Make it eay to remember, 3) Use on multiple social media.
Authors can improve their metadata information. But it’s a detailed, ongoing task. What would you look for if you wanted to discover your book? Think creatively, think technically, and think Metadata. Help to spread the word about the book you care about so much.