Metadata Primer

New dates to be announced

Page last updated 15th Spetember 2021

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Purpose of the Course
Many twenty-first century book readers are searching for, discovering and purchasing books via the internet instead of browsing the shelves of a library or bookstore. Whether digital or in print, a reader's success in finding the right book for their needs dictates how well the book sells. And this success depends on metadata.

Increasingly, the power of metadata is replacing traditional selling techniques. In effect, the publisher needs to treat ‘information about books’ or ‘product metadata’ as its online sales force. Understanding how metadata is created and managed, how it is distributed through the book trade, and how it is used by retailers, libraries and readers is critical knowledge for today’s publishers.

This course begins with a simple overview of what metadata means in the book world, linking what the publisher does with simple information like title, author, ISBN and price with what the outside world – the retailer or reader – sees. It describes how publishers can take responsibility for and manage that data. And it takes a look at the ‘data supply chain’ – how the key data gets from publisher to bookstore and library catalogue. It discusses how metadata can be given a commercial value, and how more comprehensive and more timely data can fuel extra sales.

The course covers the range of different metadata fields that can be supplied, the needs and expectations that retailers and libraries have, methods of data delivery and how publishers may be assessed on how well they meet those needs.

Benefits of Attending
By attending this course, delegates will:

  • Understand what book metadata is.
  • Learn which are the most important metadata elements
  • See how the metadata elements can be communicated
  • Gain an overview of the metadata supply chain
  • Understand why metadata is commercially valuable
  • Gain insight into how your organisation can improve its metadata

Course Level
This is a beginners' course. Anyone involved in creating and updating information about books – including new recruits into the book publishing sector, publisher’s editorial, marketing, publicity, sales and production staff, micro-publishers and self-publishers – will benefit from attending this course.

Course Outline
Although the content of this course can be tailored to a certain degree to its attendees, the topics covered will include:

  • What is metadata for the book industry and what is it for?
  • The metadata supply chain
  • The commercial value of metadata
  • Elements of BIC Basic including how the elements support discoverability and reduce supply chain friction, and common errors
  • Improving your metadata
  • Beyond the basics

The Trainers
Graham Bell / Chris Saynor, EDItEUR. (Read about BIC Trainers, here).

Feedback for this Course
Read the feedback received from previous attendees of this course, here

Dates of this Course 
Dates will be added to this list in due course. 

Course Location
Online / Virtual Training. 

Course Length
This is a half-day course which will be delivered, 1.00pm-5.30pm (GMT) on the date specified above. 

BIC & EDItEUR Members £148 + VAT
Friends of BIC £175 + VAT
Non Members £200 + VAT

Discounted rates apply to BIC and EDItEUR members only.
Not sure if your organisation is a BIC member? Check the BIC Members list here.
For EDItEUR's Members list, click here.

Register to attend this course via Eventbrite here. Payment is accepted via VISA, Mastercard and American Express.

Alternative Payment Option: If you would prefer BIC to invoice your organisation directly, please contact Please note that this process will incur a £25.00 administration fee.

Read BIC's Course Cancellations & Refund Policy here.