Choosing a book from the shelves in a library or bookstore is a very different experience from selecting an eBook online. Customers in a physical space will often wander among the shelves, going to a specific topic area, browsing the selection and pulling out a book here or there because its title sounds interesting or its artwork grabs attention. The admonition to never judge a book by its cover notwithstanding, the truth is that many a reader first notices a favourite book because of the cues presented by its cover design, size, colour or overall presentation. Online, however, those traditional, visual hints are altered, and tactile cues are missing altogether.
Online customers must already have some idea of what they want.
Online, a customer must already have some idea of what she wants, even if it is just a genre or a topic area. Publishers of eBooks then, face particular challenges in helping customers discover books they may enjoy yet don’t think to search for. In our experience the answer to this dilemma lies in metadata -- the numbers, words and phrases that are attached to an eBook listing, communicated down the value chain, and used by search engines such as Google and retailers like Kobo.
Here at Vearsa we emphasize the importance of eBook metadata to optimize sales. Publishers' metadata needs to be complete and maximized to give your titles the best chance of discoverability. There is plenty of evidence to support this emphasis, including hard sales figures and success stories from our long experience in eBook distribution. For example, the precise title, accurate spelling of the author’s name, and a 13-digit ISBN in the metadata can make the difference between a customer choosing your edition of that classic novel or buying one from a competitor. Beyond that, the way an eBook is described offers competitive ground that, used strategically, confers distinct advantages.
When writing a description for a book’s metadata, an excellent tactic is to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Ask yourself what words and ideas the customer is likely to use when typing his query into a search engine. Consider, for instance, a woman who wants to buy a book about the upcoming World Cup competition in Brazil for her granddaughter. Depending on that woman’s nationality, she may type “soccer” or “football” or “futbol” into a search engine, so if you are selling a World Cup book internationally, you will want all three of those words included in the book’s metadata description.
Small decisions have big consequences.
These are the kind of small decisions that can have big consequences, which is why Vearsa makes it a priority to provide publishers with the kind of technology, support and advice that adds real value to their eBook business. Using contemporary marketing techniques such as keyword audits, SEO, content optimization and dynamic pricing, we can help you generate a significant uptick in sales. Plus, our innovative Analytics technology allows you to test various descriptions to find the one that is most successful.
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