What is Ebook Metadata?

As eBook sales continue to rise, Lulu wants to be sure you have access to all the latest and greatest tools and resources to help you sell more books in this exciting new market. In order to reach the millions of customers who own e-Reading devices, it is important to stay up to speed on best practices for making an electronic book quickly and easily.

One term you’re likely to come across when publishing your ebook is “metadata.” It also happens to be one of the main causes ebooks get bounced back from distribution.  In many cases, a quick revision of your eBook’s metadata is all it takes to push your content out onto digital shelves and increases your work’s marketability.

Simply put, metadata is the who, what, when, and where of your ebook.  Items such as your title, author name, volume number, etc. are all types of metadata and are what most retailers use to appropriately list and categorize your content.  When your ebook is listed on an online store, customers will see an image of your cover, which they can click on for more information about your work and to access the actual content of your work.  Many retailers treat the cover image and the actual ebook’s content as two separate pieces and it is vital that the metadata for both match (including upper and lower case letters) so your customers are linked to the correct book interior.

For example, lets say your book title is The Greatest Book Ever: A Tale of Suspense and Intrigue by Samantha Thomas. If the metadata for your cover is only listed as The Greatest Book Ever, by Sam Thomas, without the subtitle and a different author name, then the retailers can’t be sure if it’s the same work.  With the thousands of new ebooks being submitted everyday, it becomes too difficult to try to match the cover to the content.

Luckily, on Lulu it is pretty simple to ensure all your metadata matches. When you start a new project and name it, whatever you enter into the title and author fields will autofill the empty fields in the cover step. Whenever a colon is used in the project title, the system automatically treats any text after it as a subtitle. Once you get to the cover step, you can still edit your title, author name, etc. just be sure if you do make changes, you also go back and change the project information you started with too. For authors uploading a one-piece cover, again, just be sure all the text matches the project information you enter.

Be sure to check out our knowledge base for more ebook metadata tips to help you reach more readers in more markets all over the globe.

8 thoughts on “What is Ebook Metadata?”

  1. My book is now listed on Amazon.com for $64.10. That has to be a typo. Is there some way to fix that? I doubt anyone will purchase it for that price.

  2. Ioanna Iatridou

    can I use a specific pen name, which is relevant to the book content, for private life reasons: future employers might not like that I published a book, my partner wants total privacy etc.? Possibly,I will be publishing up to 10 e-books on one specific theme, where I plan to publish under this pen name, because the pen name is more relevant than my real name plus my real name is extremely difficult for English speakers to spell correctly or even remember, usually it takes over 2 years for an English speaking person or company to remember and spell my name correctly. The pen name format I need to use is 2 English words followed by 8 numbers in format:dd-mm-yyyy. Thanks

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