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Old 08-24-2013, 05:33 PM   #1
pslsr
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images of metadata entries?

Hello: several related questions. #1. Are there any images, here or elsewhere, that I can view as examples of how subject entries are entered correctly (for maximum success/viewing online by ebook buyers) in Sigil's metadata editor? For example if my potential book were on antique coins, a subject would be ANT011000 - and that's it, right?
-Ques. #2: will browsers (and/or ebook sites) rank any non-BISAC (BIC/IBIC) tags I put in there? For example, if in "subject" of Sigil's metadata editor, what if I simply put in the word "pirate", to help readers locate my book if the book was about, for example, antique coins recovered from buried pirate treasure? But if these non-bisac codes don't do anything -they're just words, not codes - why bother? Thanks.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:30 PM   #2
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In my experience, the subject metadata (and any of the metadata, really) that is internal to the epub is not even used by most online retailers or seen by potential customers/readers. Not directly anyway.
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
In my experience, the subject metadata (and any of the metadata, really) that is internal to the epub is not even used by most online retailers or seen by potential customers/readers. Not directly anyway.
They're used by libraries, and by certain distributors. If you're trying to reach readers, use text, not BISAC codes. If you're trying to get to libraries, use BISAC codes.

However, the reality is: it can't hurt to use it, but the BISCAC codes won't help you with readers. When was the last time you searched for a book using a BISAC? Right? So, if you don't, most won't.

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Old 08-25-2013, 02:27 PM   #4
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I don't often handle the uploads of ebooks to distributors personally, but I believe most if not all of the larger distributors (B&N, Sony, Kobo, Apple, Amazon... ) utilize a means of supplying metadata separate from the epub itself. It can be via a web-based interface, or via a custom spreadsheeet, or an ONIX file, depending on the distributor.

This "external" metadata typically includes more extensive data than is included within the epub. E.g. fields like BISAC codes (primary and optional secondaries; both codes and human-readable descriptions), author bio, long and short descriptions, pricing, geographical distribution, and so on. Some required fields and some optional, but everything in a format specified by the distributor.

I'm not aware of any distributor that makes use of the internal metadata in the content.opf of the epub itself -- at least not to any great extent.

And for that matter, reader software seldom makes use of it either (Calibre can read and display many common elements, however.)

So while it wouldn't hurt to put in as many <dc:subject> tags as your heart desires, putting BISAC codes in the epub is a waste of time.

HTH

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Old 08-26-2013, 02:44 PM   #5
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Thank y'all! I will put in a lot of tags.
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:20 PM   #6
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Just so you know... it pisses me off to no end when I download an ebook that has more than a couple of subject tags configured. The truth of the matter is: readers who care about "subject tags" are more likely to delete yours and use their own tagging system that they've refined over time for their personal libraries. Readers who don't care about them don't care about them.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 08-26-2013 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:59 PM   #7
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I am in the Diap camp

The truck load of subject tags are holdovers from the paper card catalog era .

Fiction, science fiction, blah blah blah

may have been from an era when you needed a card in each of those categories.

My town has been using Electronic catalogs since the 1980's ( And now uses the old space for terminals ) I could even do keyword searches back then, who needs 97 (mostly wrong) tags
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Just so you know... it pisses me off to no end when I download an ebook that has more than a couple of subject tags configured. The truth of the matter is: readers who care about "subject tags" are more likely to delete yours and use their own tagging system that they've refined over time for their personal libraries. Readers who don't care about them don't care about them.
So, I take it that you do make use of them in some way? I ask out of curiosity, not to be argumentative. I'm one of those who pays little attention to them in books I purchase. And I think you're right about them not being suitable (generally) for classifying, if only because they aren't a controlled vocabulary (unlike BISAC codes).

That said, when making epubs for production, I put in whatever the boss (SWMBO!) supplies. Who knows? Someday vendors may make them searchable, like keywords on a web page.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st_albert View Post
So, I take it that you do make use of them in some way? I ask out of curiosity, not to be argumentative. I'm one of those who pays little attention to them in books I purchase. And I think you're right about them not being suitable (generally) for classifying, if only because they aren't a controlled vocabulary (unlike BISAC codes).
I have a "staging" calibre library where my new purchases are quarantined for a bit. Usually only long enough to "fix" any wonky metadata, to add any relevant series info, convert (if necessary) and to check for--and fix--glaring formatting issues that will detrimentally affect my reading enjoyment. It's at this point where I usually add a few "sensible" tags that make sense to me and my library. After that, it's off to the permanent calibre library.

Quote:
That said, when making epubs for production, I put in whatever the boss (SWMBO!) supplies. Who knows? Someday vendors may make them searchable, like keywords on a web page.
Gotta do what you gotta do!
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
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However, the reality is: it can't hurt to use it, but the BISCAC codes won't help you with readers. When was the last time you searched for a book using a BISAC? Right? So, if you don't, most won't.

Hitch
[PEDANT]
Well, you don't search by BISAC code directly, but at Amazon, for example, when you browse by category, you're browsing by BISAC category. You don't see the code, you see the human-readable discription of the category. Similarly at Sony, B&N, etc. I assume.

So from the reader's point of view, you're absolutely correct. However from the authors POV, s/he'd better supply some well chosen BISAC categories if s/he wants the right eyeballs to find the book. It's important for more than just libraries. I think KDP has you choose the categories from a drop-down list of BISAC descriptions, so you still don't need to know the actual code. Sony, Kobo, and some others, not so much.
[/PEDANT]



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Old 08-26-2013, 11:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st_albert View Post
[PEDANT]
Well, you don't search by BISAC code directly, but at Amazon, for example, when you browse by category, you're browsing by BISAC category. You don't see the code, you see the human-readable discription of the category. Similarly at Sony, B&N, etc. I assume.

So from the reader's point of view, you're absolutely correct. However from the authors POV, s/he'd better supply some well chosen BISAC categories if s/he wants the right eyeballs to find the book. It's important for more than just libraries. I think KDP has you choose the categories from a drop-down list of BISAC descriptions, so you still don't need to know the actual code. Sony, Kobo, and some others, not so much.
[/PEDANT]





Albert
Albert:

[PEDANT]

OP's questions, both of them, were explicitly about READERS finding it, e.g.:

Quote:
how subject entries are entered correctly (for maximum success/viewing online by ebook buyers)
and

Quote:
what if I simply put in the word "pirate", to help readers locate my book if the book was about, for example, antique coins recovered from buried pirate treasure?
I read the original questions twice to ensure I understood the intent. I would be the first to agree with you that if the OP is uploading via FTP to iBooks, or Amazon,etc., then, yes, s/he better get those BISAC codes ready; but in Nook, Amazon, iBooks and, AFAIK, Kobo's direct uploads, the category selections are all text, not BISAC. I've filled out many an ONIX sheet myself, but my comprehension of the question was that the OP wanted to know if using the BISAC codes, in the meta, would somehow make his/her book "findable" to buyers. I still say what I said.

[/PENDANT]

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Old 08-28-2013, 06:01 PM   #12
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I second st_albert's first comment: If you're interested in discoverability—that is, readers' ability to find your book—the external metadata is more important than what you embed in the actual file. So whatever information you give to a retailer when you upload the book or create its record is what will show up on the search page. For the time being, data embedded in the file is mostly irrelevant.
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:03 PM   #13
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Thanks again, y'all. Learning...
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