Mixing it Up With Metadata!
How do teachers, librarians, parents, and kids find the Nomad books they need?
You might read a blog post or spot a mention of a Nomad author on social media. Maybe you read a review of one of our books in School Library Journal, Booklist, or Publishers Weekly. Maybe you come across a Nomad book at a bookstore or library. If you’re an Amazon user, you might see an ad for one of our books.
There are a lot of pathways to Nomad books, but none of those pathways would actually exist without something called metadata.
Metadata is information about each book we publish. That includes descriptions, categorizations, keywords, and more. Every Nomad book has a lot of metadata!
Every book we publish is assigned a list of keywords that we use to try and match up web searches to our books. Looking for information on how engines work? You can bet one of our long keywords is “how engines work” and that just might help one of our most recent books appear in your web search. And yes, it’s a book all about how engines work. You should check it out!
These keywords are also used in the descriptions–long and short–that we write for all books. These descriptions are uploaded to databases that are used by online booksellers. Some of these descriptions are also used on the back covers.
Author biographies are another form of metadata. Other books authors have written, their location, and any awards they’ve won help make our books findable.
Writing and uploading metadata for every book is a time-consuming process, but it’s one of my favorite parts of editing books. I’m often writing metadata before the book has even been written, and it’s a great way to hone in on our vision for the book, what we want it to be, how we want it to serve readers, what questions we want to help answer. Writing and revising metadata is like peeking into the future, and then making a better book.
Books are like icebergs. You can see the cover and read the words, but there’s A LOT below the surface. We’ll look at more of that below-the-surface material in future blog posts. Join me!
Check out some fantastic nonfiction that gets kids excited about learning! Hands-on activities go hand-in-hand with engaged reading!