If you think the distribution network available through all the online self-publishing companies is the same, think again! Most of them offer varying levels of “global reach” and some even offer different degrees of distribution within their own companies.
What is a “distribution network?”
It is an overly-simplified way of describing the way all books are sourced, warehoused, distributed, and sold. Granted, the distribution network nowadays for nearly every self-publishing company is acceptable, so you’re usually off to a good start regardless of who you publish with. But if you want your book available at more places around the world, it’s time to upgrade your metadata!
Okay… what is “metadata?”
Simply put, metadata is “data about data” according to Wikipeda. You can read the full definition on Wikipedia for a deeper understanding by clicking here, although their definition fails to identify books as “data,” when nowadays they most certainly are when you come right down to it. Metadata is what publishers provide to distributors and retailers about books for the purposes of informative distribution.
Unbeknownst to most authors, there is a great divide between the metadata provided by publishers. Some provide distributors like Ingram the bare minimum while others provide the whole enchilada. The better and more thorough the metadata, the better and more thorough the distribution. Distributors (such as Ingram) and retailers (like Amazon and Barnes & Noble) have additional “fields” for additional book details that help to classify, catalog, and categorize books in a more effective manner. By the same token, search engines perform more accurately when more metadata is distributed about books. The end result? Better search results, more accurate search results, and by that logic, “higher” search results. In a nutshell: better and easier “findability” for your book.
Want an example?
Let’s use BookFinder.com to compare the distribution network for a book published by Outskirts Press, titled Sell Your Book on Amazon, and a book published by Amazon’s own self-publishing branch, titled Aiming at Amazon. With the exception of the cover and a $3 price difference (in the latter’s favor), the books are very similar in that they both tackle the same non-fiction subject matter, were published within two years of each other (2007 and 2009, respectively) and are both written by industry experts — making them ideal examples for this comparison. Click on the book cover to verify the results directly from Book Finder, or simply compare the “findability” number displayed below the cover.
|Outskirts Press’ Global Outlets: 190||Amazon’s Global Outlets: 132|
Amazon’s own book (about itself) has 58 less outlets than the book published by Outskirts Press. See what a difference additional metadata can make?
What are some examples of additional metadata?
Good question! In no particular order of importance, here are five examples:
- Thema Subjects Classification — Similar to BISAC (the category codes provided to distributors & retailers based upon your book’s genre), Thema Subjects content-oriented categorization helps to identify the major subject/genre categories for a book. Thema Subjects is used internationally by global distributors, aggregators, and retailers.
- Additional Keywords — Additional keywords & key-phrases help all search engines (from Amazon’s to Google’s), improve your book’s “findability.”
- Specific Audience Designation — Working in tandem with BISAC codes, Audience Designation identifies the age and/or grade range of the book’s intended reader, which makes this an integral piece of metadata for nearly all demographic-specific books, from children’s books to books that target the senior market.
- Searchable Table of Contents — By making your entire Table of Contents searchable by search engine algorithms, all your content will be more easily found by potential readers.
- Annotated Description — This is a more “search friendly” (i.e., shorter, keyword-infused) description of your book.
Check with your self-publishing company to see if they offer enhanced distribution or additional metadata options. For instance, the Elite Distribution Upgrade from Outskirts Press does all this and more!
So, are you ready to publish your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively? If so, connect with Outskirts Press right now in whatever manner is easiest for you.
- Call 1-888-672-6657
- Live chat at OutskirtsPress.com
- Schedule a free consultation with a Publishing Consultant
- Or click that button above to order the best publishing package for you today
“First rate timely service made my experience wonderful. I have started my next book and am definitely planning to use Outskirts Press when its ready for publication.” – Pamela Roberts Lee, author of The Darkness at Dawn