It’s no small wonder that the words “metadata management” can be overwhelming to anyone unfamiliar with what exactly that job entails; this is especially true in the publishing world, where all we want to do is help people tell their stories and get those stories into the hands of readers who will love them as much as we do. We love bookshops, and shelves upon shelves of beautiful covers and clever titles, and perusing Powell’s and reading their “Staff Picks” at our leisure. But we also have to be realistic: a growing majority of today’s readers just don’t have time to browse indie bookshops on a regular basis for their next epic tale, memoir, or anthology. Today’s audience does much of their browsing (gasp) ONLINE.
Sit in a room full of English majors long enough, and you’ll eventually hear someone groan, “Ugh… math.” The topic may be differential calculus or how to split the tab, but the sentiment is always the same. Why, the lover of words bemoans, do we have to take a break from talking about books to do things with numbers?