As with any new venture, there are often a whole host of things one must learn quickly. Such has been my experience with publishing my upcoming novel, Realm.
Ever since the beginning of the year, my life has been an exciting and scary mixture of “hurry up and do this” and/or “twiddle my thumbs and wait.” Every e-mail from BookBaby that lands in my inbox has evoked both elation and fear. I don’t know why I’m a ninny about such things because I have great assistance from BookBaby as well as a host of amazing, supportive friends and family members.
Anyhow, one of the neatest things I have learned during the whole process has been about metadata. I don’t know about you, but beyond hearing the term metadata, I honestly had no idea what its purpose was or how to use it. That is until it became an integral part of not only publishing my novel but making sure it was easily searchable.
I am proud to announce that the metadata for Realm has been optimized!
Seriously, folks—this is one of the first and easiest things I had to do toward the production of Realm. And now that I’m an expert on it, I feel compelled to share with you just in case, like me, you are unaware of how important metadata really is.
Metadata is data that provides information about other data but not the content of the data, such as the text of a message or the image itself. Descriptive metadata is descriptive information about a resource. It is used for discovery and identification. It includes elements such as title, author, and keywords.
The etymology of the term metadata consists of two words, one Greek and one Latin. First, the Greek word meta, which means after or beyond, and second, the Latin word datum, which means datum, the singular for data. Therefore, the expression metadata means beyond the data. Metadata is a fairly new word, it appeared in the second half of the 20th century, while data dates back to the middle of the 17th century. Are you impressed yet?
By this point, you’re either zoning out because this is irrelevant to your life right now, panicky because you’re about to publish, too, and metadata is probably in your near future, or scratching your head because there is something about metadata that is familiar.
That’s because you’ve been using metadata longer than you realized. This invaluable resource didn’t always bear such a fancy name and wasn’t always digitalized. Remember using something like what is pictured below to locate books in the library whether for pleasure reading or for the purpose of writing a report on a subject assigned by your teacher?
Yep, that’s right. A card catalog is a repository for metadata. All those brilliantly conceived little cards bearing information such as author’s name, book title, subject matter, and key words in case you can’t remember the first three are a basic form of metadata. Personally, I miss the soft, wooden click of the drawers closing as I moved between them in search of a book.
Although you’ll probably never search for my novel in an old-fashioned card catalog, I’ll still provide you with all the optimized metadata to ensure you’ll find my book.
Author: HL Gibson
Main Subject: FICTION
Keywords: Adventure, Christian, Faith, Fantasy, Futuristic, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction
Imprint: Bezalel Media