But one step at a time. First we need to collect the metadata, and that's where you come in.
Smashwords authors and publishers are already well-versed in metadata. Metadata is data about your book. Metadata is comprised of things like book category, book title, author name, book description and price. Metadata makes it easier for readers to discover your book by screaming, "Look here! I'm what you're looking for!"
Ebook box sets are a relatively new phenomena, and indie authors are leading the charge. Until now, metadata for box sets has been lacking. Most obviously, a box set is treated like an ordinary ebook, when in fact it's a bundle of books either from a single author or multiple authors. Retailers have shown increased interest in box sets over the last two years, but the process of identifying them is still manual. Retailers who want to promote them, and customers who want to read them, must perform manual searches on the phrase "box set" and hope the author placed the words in their title or book description. That's kludgey. There should be a special designation for box sets so retailers have the option to create custom virtual shelves to promote them, and so customers can easily find them.
We know retailers want to promote box sets. iBooks, for example, has done many promotions that featured Smashwords box sets. Last year they ran a major worldwide merchandising feature that included over 40 Smashwords box sets from more than 100 Smashwords authors. You can read my blog post on that particular iBooks box set promotion here. We'd like to see more promotions like this from all the retailers, but do assist this endeavor we need to make it easier for us and our retailers to identify box sets in a more automated, programmatic way.
If you've published a box set at Smashwords, you can now click to your Dashboard's Settings page for your box set and classify it as a box set. Click the option, click Save, and that's it.
|Box set option from the Smashwords Publish page
Today's enhancement is a first step. It's a foundation upon which Smashwords and our retailers can build. It will eventually make box sets more discoverable in the same way the Smashwords Series Manager tool makes series books more discoverable at Smashwords retailers and the Smashwords store.
If you've never done a box set but are curious to learn more, check out my blog post from last year, How do Box Sets for Audience Building, Charity and Profit.