Everything You Thought You Knew About Metadata…
The publishers are not solely to blame. The prime culprits are the big online resellers, from Amazon to Sony. They're taking their own sweet time migrating to version 3.0.
Nonetheless, advanced metadata mavens need to get started creating ONIX 3 because it will soon be supported more widely and because it does make a difference for findability. It takes time to relearn ONIX, so now is the time to get started.
2. International metadata varies.
Publishing is by nature language-centric, and countries are dialect specific. American English is different than Canadian English and different than British English, and that's ignoring the regional dialects in each country. Authors have struggled with this for many years, but publishers always played to their home market. Those days have ended.
With the vast internationalization of the retailing of English books, publishers will soon see that their market is as much the millions of Chinese readers with English as a second language as it is the folks back home. At this stage it's a fine point, but soon publishers will look to language experts who know how to describe a book with a reduced and simplified vocabulary that plays as effectively for a native speaker as it does for the student in Serbia.
3. The book's web site should be the No. 1 source of metadata
If you have one of those authors who never bothered to build a web site, you've probably built one for them, or at least for their new book. The web designer you assigned to the task might be contracted to maintain it for a few months after the book is published. Afterwards the site will be abandoned. t will become a site that advertises how little the author and the publisher now care about the book and its readers.
Thad McIlroy is an electronic publishing consultant, analyst and author, and principal of The Future of Publishing. Since 1988, Thad McIlroy has provided consulting services to publishing and media companies, printers, prepress shops, design and advertising agencies, as well as vendors serving the publishing industry.