I recently had the opportunity to check in with publishing consultant Laura Dawson (@ljndawson) on the current state of metadata. Dawson says publishers are starting to understand that metadata is the only indication that an ebook exists (discussed at 0:10), but they still don’t quite know what “metadata” means or exactly how to fit it into a production process. She says publishers are tending to assign one person the duty of handling metadata and aren’t grasping that it’s integral to every department and stage in a workflow:
“If each function across the publishing company is responsible for their own metadata, then marketing is going to be responsible for the metadata that’s most important to marketing, production is going to be responsible for metadata that’s most important to them. So, rather than having one person decide what’s the most important metadata, if everyone’s taking responsibility for it — and using it — then it’s guaranteed to be good.” (Discussed at 1:01.)
Dawson also explains how metadata is a by-product of a good workflow (discussed at 1:31).
You can view the full interview in the following video: