I recently downloaded several books on the topic of ebooks, ebook marketing and platform development written by a well regarded local author and ebook ‘expert’. They are very comprehensive, if not rather ugly. See my post on beautiful ebooks.

How is it then that digital editions sold by an ebook expert omit any meaningful metadata?

Metadata is to online data management as writing is to a book. It is the difference between a ‘smart’ book and a ‘dumb’ book.

Metadata lets search engines find your work more accurately in searches, which will become increasingly important as we move to semantic search.

Metadata lets ebook media management applications (such as iTunes) sort your book accurately.

Metadata lets online bookstores catalogue your book so that it will appear more accurately, and frequently, in customer searches.

Metadata does a whole lot more and some are even asking whether the value in metadata is greater than the content itself …!

In this so-called incarnation of web 2.0 the internet remains relatively dumb. As a rule we need to enter relatively specific data in order to obtain the search results we’re looking for. This is particularly the case when searching for content, such as music, books and other digital media. Incorporating accurate and comprehensive metadata into your ebooks will help search engines and retailers assist your customers by providing the content you want them to find.

If you want to know whether the ebook expert you’re talking to is really an expert, ask them about metadata!