What is metadata?
When creating a new eBook using Kobo Writing Life, you’ll be asked to input information that will help us to display and categorize your book. This information is called metadata. It is essentially the who, what, when, and where of your eBook. You’ll enter your metadata in the ‘Describe your eBook’ section of your book on KWL.
Why is metadata important?
One of the best ways to enhance and increase your sales is to ensure you are providing the best quality metadata. The more accurate and consistent your metadata is, the more enhanced your discover-ability options become. After the cover image, it’s the next thing that the customer will look at when browsing. It’s important that your metadata is presented well and that it matches what’s showing on your cover image.
Tips for optimizing your metadata
Author Name Field:
When entering author/contributor names into Kobo Writing Life, you can enter up to 50 authors/contributors. By default, the author name is pre-populated with the author name you used when signing up for Kobo Writing Life. But you can easily add another simply by clicking on the Add another author text to the right of the first author (or primary contributor) name.
Author names are clickable on our site, so you’ll want to ensure that you’ve entered one author name per field. This will ensure that customers can find all of the books by that author. Please note that it’s important to be 100% consistent in order for these searches to be more successful. (For example, entering “Joe A. Author” for one book and “Joe Author” for another makes the search less successful since the metadata doesn’t match 100%). Please see this post for more details.
Series Name Field:
It’s important to ensure that you’re using accurate and consistent metadata so that your books are linked correctly together in our store. When you enter information in the series name field, you’ll see an option to enter the volume number.
Entering this information correctly will ensure that your titles are linked together on our site. This also allows our system to automatically recommend the next book for purchase in your series when the customer reaches the end of a book. Your customer will know right away which book is next in the series when they’ve finished one.
This value should be a whole number (ie, “1” and not “one” or “I” — or, for the example we are using, “14” and not “fourteen” or “XIV”). You may also enter 0 which some people might use for a prequel or box set. In addition to being able to enter whole numbers (0, 1, 2, 3, 4), you may enter decimal values such as 1.5 or 2.5 for novellas or stories that take place between two full length novels. For more details on the series name field, please see this post.
Please note that Series information including book/volume numbers and series names should NOT be listed in the Title and Subtitle fields.
Writing a great synopsis is almost as important as writing a great book. This is where you want to be able to entice your reader to buy your book but you don’t want to give too much of the storyline away. (Here is a great post about how to write the best cover copy.) What you should keep in mind when writing your synopsis for your Kobo Writing Life book is that you can enhance the content.
You can bold, italicize and underline your content. In addition, you can create numbered or bullet lists and adjust indentation.
Things to avoid in your metadata
Entering the same information multiple times – Our store will separate your title and subtitle but only if they’re in the appropriate fields. If you’re entering this information multiple times, it can be quite distracting. You want your metadata to be as clean as possible, and to not look like this:
Tagging in the metadata – Book titles, subtitles, series titles or author fields that include extraneous words that are not actually part of the official title, subtitle, series title or author name are not acceptable and lead to confusion and the corruption of metadata standards. Official metadata for Title and Subtitle refers to actual text present on the cover image of the book; including extraneous taglines or information not present on cover image would fall under metadata corruption. Your potential customer is much more inclined to buy a book that’s got neat metadata instead of one that’s filled with random keywords.
Website Links and contact information in Metadata Fields or Cover Image - Do not include website links, contact information, and/or social media handles in any of the metadata fields, including the description. We don’t allow pages that have the primary purpose of redirecting visitors, acting as a bridge page, or driving traffic to another website. We also don’t allow content that has the primary purpose of profiting from displaying ads from any publisher network, such as pages created with little or no unique content that exist only to display ads. Website links, contact information, and/or social media handles can be listed inside the epub file if needed.
Series information on Title and Subtitle - Please refrain from listing the series name and/or book numbers in either the Title or Subtitle fields. Please ensure these are listed in the correct fields so our system is able to link your books together on the Kobo store. Using the correct series fields is also another way our system is able to recommend the next book in a series to customers as they finish the previous book.
If you have any questions or comments about metadata, let us know in the comments!