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Weekly News Digest

December 1, 2011 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Nielsen Research Finds Metadata Helps Increase Book Sales

Nielsen Book announced the initial findings of research into the effectiveness of high quality and appropriate metadata on the sales of books. One interesting finding was the 42% sales increase that enhanced metadata has on growing sales of some backlist titles that previously had no enhanced metadata. The next steps in Nielsen’s research program will be to look at the impact of metadata on sales by genre and by format. Once complete, Nielsen will publish a white paper and a summary of these findings that will be presented at Digital Book World in New York in January 2012.

Nielsen’s Metadata Research leverages its bibliographic data and its historic Nielsen BookScan sales data to look at three aspects of the impact of metadata on book sales: first, how well populated was the enhanced metadata of the U.K.’s bestselling 100,000 titles of 2010, and second, which fields of enhanced metadata had the greatest impact on those sales? Thirdly, Nielsen analyzed the difference in sales before and after enhanced metadata was added to title records. The work was undertaken by Andre Breedt and David Walter of Nielsen BookScan.

Jonathan Nowell, president of Nielsen’s book information businesses, presented the initial findings at The Publishers Launch conference at the Frankfurt Book Fair. “Our initial findings build a compelling bank of evidence that as little as 40% and as much as 80% of a title’s sales may depend on having rich, timely, and appropriate metadata.”

Nowell said: “So far our research has been conducted only on print titles. I would expect a much higher impact on e-books, where discovery is harder and metadata, at this point in time, is generally less rich, less timely and less appropriate. The message to publishers in the global world of selling content has to be ... Invest in your metadata and disseminate it as widely as possible."

The next steps in Nielsen’s research program are to look at the impact of metadata on sales by genre and by format. Once complete, Nielsen will publish a white paper and a summary of these findings will be presented at Digital Book World in New York in January 2012, where Nowell will be speaking.

Source: Nielsen Book



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