We often hear that keywords are important to help readers find and discover books. But what does that mean, and do keywords actually make a difference? In this post, we look at how keywords are used to search book websites (in particular, online booksellers), and their adoption by publishers. For this investigation, I had help from Pat Payton (Bowker) and Catherine Toolan (Firebrand). We set out to answer the following questions:
• Are publishers adding keywords to book metadata?
• Are they providing quality keywords?
• Do online booksellers use keywords in their search engines?
In this post, “keywords” refer to consumer-oriented terms to describe a book that are added to an ONIX feed and sent to third parties. These terms aren’t seen by the public and are primarily used for search indexing. Conversely, web search engines (such as Google) don’t make use of ONIX keywords, but analyze the text of public webpages to create search indexes. As book content isn’t public, search providers rely on metadata to help consumers locate books.
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Why Distributors Are Book Publishing’s New Gatekeepers (HuffPo)
As a former gatekeeper, I’m fascinated by the gatekeeper divide in book publishing, where the role gets falsely propped up by supporters of traditional publishing and completely dismissed by those who favor the indie space.
HarperCollins Announces New Indie Bookstore Development Program (DBW)
HarperCollins announced yesterday a “New Bookstore Development Program” for indie booksellers in the US who are opening new stores or expanding to new locations. Through the program, qualifying stores will be eligible for market development and fixture fund discounts. In addition, HarperCollins will provide grants toward ABA membership dues and three months of Above the Treeline fees.
BEA: Foggy in Chicago (Pub Lunch)
Chicago has been wrapped in fog as BEA returns to this city for the first time in over a decade, a smaller show than it has been in some time. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Beyond the already-reported reduction in advertised show square footage, almost everything about this year’s show makes you feel small. Even if it were packed, occupying just one part of the mammoth, multi-building McCormick Place convention center sprawl exacerbates the smallness.
Buzz May Not Bring Sales, But It Does Bring Curation (Pub Perspectives)
Not in every case does an Editors’ Buzz panel spot at BookExpo America ensure good sales in the autumn. But there’s a curatorial factor at work that may pay off in the longer term.
BEA 2016: Is a Flat Royalty Rate Possible? (PW)
Although the members of a panel discussing possible changes to standard publishing contracts didn’t agree on all points, there was one idea that gained support from all four panelists on Wednesday morning—the possibility of eliminating different royalty rates for different formats in favor of a flat rate that would cover all book formats.
7 Ways Writers Protect Their Work from Piracy (IngramSpark)
You’ve spent months on your book; you’ve paid for editors; designers; marketers—this book is your baby! And then someone kidnaps it. Without warning, you stumble upon your book being offered free—or worse, someone is actually profiting from it and not passing that profit on to you—and you feel violated. Piracy happens. But if you care about your work, then there are ways to limit and eliminate it.
BEA 2016: How Booksellers Can Create Better In-Store Events (PW)
An hour after the BookExpo America show floor opened on Wednesday afternoon, approximately 50 people gathered in a conference room to hear a panel of booksellers discuss best practices for store events.
‘For Change to Take Place, We Need to Get Personal’ (Bookseller)
How can the diversity of the publishing industry in the UK be improved? That was one of the questions at the heart of a discussion between eight employees of Penguin Random House and young people working at Rife Magazine when they met in Bristol earlier this month. Penguin Random House was invited by author Nikesh Shukla, who is editor of Rife magazine.
Lagardere Publishing Down Modestly, As HBG USA Sales Fall 10 Percent (Pub Lunch)
Lagardere reported first quarter earnings, with publishing sales of €415 million down €6 million or 1.4 percent (and declining 2.1 percent on a like-for-like basis). The results include a €5 million contribution from the acquisition of Rising Stars in the UK a year ago. (The Perseus acquisition did not close until April 1 and will be reported in the next quarter.) The company reminds investors “that the first quarter traditionally makes a lower contribution to the year as a whole.”
Norway to Be Guest of Honor at Frankfurt Book Fair 2019 (DBW)
The Frankfurt Book Fair announced today that Norway will be its guest of honor in 2019.