I’m still working on the awesome task of creating metadata for my new book, BURNOUT — How a desert lizard restored my faith. Here’s what I’ve got so far.
In the publishing world, metadata refers to all that information about our books we must provide so readers can find our books. This is especially true for indie authors whose readers shop online instead of in bookstores. I’ve filled in the blanks with what I have so far about my book.
Subtitle: How a desert lizard restored my faith
Author: Dr. Pam Young
Got it! And, you should know that each format of a book must have a separate ISBN –e.g., eBook, print, audio)
Ordered last week.
I was shooting for mid-December, but could easily be first of January because I’m seeing lists even now, on November 17, of “Best Books in 2016.” That indicates, at least to me, that the season for publishing has already ended.
If you go to the Kindle Store online, you’ll see a long list in the left column about categories. On Amazon, we get to pick two. So far, I’m choosing (1) Religion & Spirituality and (2) Health, Fitness & Dieting.
Each category has “children” or subcategories. The challenge is to “drill down” to an appropriate string for your book. Here’s a sample from a friend’s book:
Health, Fitness & Dieting > Counseling-Psychology > Movements > Transpersonal
BURNOUT is for people who can relate to the topic either from personal experience or by knowing someone who has. It is also for those who work in the mental health field – counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists. And for support personnel in organizations that want to protect their business as well as their employees.
These are hopefully very similar to the words readers type in the internet search bar to find books like yours. Actually, they’re more likely to be 2 to 3 or even 4-word phrases. I’ve read that some authors actually type titles of successful books with similar topics hoping to share their traffic. Please read arguments pro and con and then decide if that’s a tactic you’d choose.
Meanwhile, imagine you are a reader searching for a book like yours. What words or phrases would you use to find such a book? When you fill out the information for your Kindle book, you’ll get to list 5 keywords.
Some people advise inserting those keywords into your title; others advise against it. But definitely include at least some of them in your book descriptions without belaboring the issue.
Samples for BURNOUT:
- worker burnout
- existential crisis
- spiritual seeker
- dark night of the soul
Volumes have been written about “how to write a book description” for press releases and publicity as well as for the back cover. But today, with internet marketing, we have a few more. Generally, the author should write a minimum of three:
- a one liner (called “the elevator pitch”), for use in social media marketing (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and limited to 140 characters.
- a “sales ad targeting reader benefits” for venues of eBooks — like Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes Bookstore, etc. — and
- a detailed “fill in the blank” sort of thing for Bowker if you bought your ISBNs directly from the source. It helps librarians and book store people make decisions. According to the information I gathered, it should state what’s special about the book and include a paragraph description, outline, word count, and publishing date.
Sample 1-liner for social media:
BURNOUT: How a desert lizard restored my faith is about burnout madness and how camping with Indian shamans began the healing.
Sample short for social media without character limits:
BURNOUT– How a desert lizard restored my faith is a personal memoir about the madness I experienced with extreme burnout and how camping with Indian shamans in Mexico renewed my commitment to life and restored my faith.
[No sample for “ad” because you’ll see it soon enough if you’re on my launch team!]
Excerpt of my detailed description for Bowker:
BURNOUT illustrates the concept of professionally diagnosed “burnout” and “dark night of the soul” from the inside out, from the perspective of someone who had the experience. The writer’s expressed purpose in sharing her story was to reassure others that
You are never alone. You are more than okay. No matter what you’ve experienced, you will get to the other side if you want to. And you will have all the help you need for your journey. If you choose to accept it.
BURNOUT illustrates how “it’s never just one thing” when life seems to fall apart. It includes the clumsy, destructive steps the author took, and then the efforts she made to get help – just to survive. It shows how real healing began when she camped with spiritual leaders in a different country, in a different culture from hers.
BURNOUT is divided into four parts :
Part 1: It’s Never Just One Thing
Chapter 1 Spiritual Journey Interrupted
Chapter 2 Mom’s House
Chapter 3 Searching for Love in All Those Wrong Places
Chapter 4 Being the Target
Chapter 5 On the Couch
Part 2: Down the Rabbit Hole
Chapter 6 Astrologers, Tarot and the Psychic
Chapter 7 The Psychic, the Massage Therapist and the Mountain Lion
Chapter 8 Summer Time and Breath Work!
Part 3: Vision Questing Somewhere in Mexico
Chapter 9 Dancing with the Desert
Chapter 10 Meet the Shamans
Chapter 11 Camping with Shamans
Chapter 12 A Lizard talks to Me
Part 4: Coming Home
Chapter 13 Summer 1989
Chapter 14 You Really Can’t Go Home Again
(Note: this is not a how-to book.)
BURNOUT will be approximately 46,50 words, available as eBook, before Christmas 2016.
Coming up next time:
The Book launch — What it is, why it’s done, and how friends and family and followers can participate if they want to support you.
Till next time — be kind to everyone you meet for we all have our hidden sorrows. ~Tzaddi
Joel Friedlander’s “Self Publishing Basics: Introduction to Metadata”
Got the Editor ITCH?
Please DO offer constructive criticism to help me write the best descriptions possible to promote my book. I will deeply appreciate any help I can get!