is actually more important than the manuscript itself becuz it’s what the [browsing] reader sees first … if they don’t like what’s in the metadata — summary of the content and description of the book — then, they won’t buy your book or read it … eh?
Metadata is a buzzword in digital publishing today. Publishers know they need to do it right, but there seems to be a poor industry-wide understanding of what exactly it is.
Think of it as the digital version of everything you would find on a physical book’s book jacket: author; title; ISBN number; blurbs from luminaries praising the book; the book cover; a summary of the content and description of the book; an author’s biography; and so on.
Why it’s so important for e-books is that when a consumer lands on a book’s page at an online book retailer, the metadata is what tells them what the book is about, who it’s by and generally indicates whether they should buy it – just like a book jacket.