In late December, our publisher was informed that a major portion of the shipment that was en route to our distributor was lost. She acted fast, looping in the Design Manager, Operations Manager, and me, the Project Manager, and we did some major troubleshooting. FedEx was attempting to locate the shipment, hopeful that it would be found after the holiday backlog cleared. The publisher reached out to Ingram, our distributor, to see if it was feasible to use their print-on-demand service to ensure we would have books in time to meet the industry deadline for new titles. Because of many factors (timing, holiday closures, and staffing numbers), the success of this option was not guaranteed. Ultimately, moving the publishing date forward a month was the best solution.
All right, you’ve got a book being released soon. Congratulations! Now you’re onto the ever-daunting marketing phase where you have to plan the book launch, create social media hype, and develop the terrifying metadata. Having trouble thinking of those keywords? This can help!
Ultimately, all of this is done to get that book in the hands of someone who has felt the same passion I’ve felt my whole life.
The role of Publisher’s Assistants seems vague in the world of Ooligan because a lot of our work consists of managing metadata, cataloging keywords for search engine optimization (SEO), and inputting BISAC codes for all of our titles, just to name a few of the fun things. We also help other department heads, project managers, and (most importantly) the publisher with a lot of back-end tasks and fulfill certain requirements for getting books, well, published! This blog aims to uncover the mystery behind how the PAs help the rest of Ooligan.
We all know books are categorized into different genres. There is an official committee that essentially helps publishers categorize their titles. It’s called the Book Industry Study Group, and it creates, activates, and deactivates the current BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications) codes. These are exactly what they say they are: codes that define industry standards.
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.