Sunday, February 18, 2007

Blinding Flash of the Obvious

I criss-crossed the country last week talking to publishers about digital strategy. (Truth be told, I probably spent more time waiting for delayed flights in airports than talking to publishers).

During one of those conversations, the publisher was talking about his strategy for getting titles into the top 8 search results on Google when an individual typed in various search terms. We moaned about how books rarely, show up in the top 8.

This conversation dove-tailed with another about content distribution, and Google indexing PDF files. Suddenly, there was a very simple solution to get the book to come up more readily - put keywords right in the text! Two seconds later, it was obvious where to put them: the copyright page. What reader would ever feel the slightest bother of having Internet search words listed on the copyright page? None. After all, Library of Congress Catalog in Publication (CIP) terms are already there.

Here was an almost cost free way to help improve the ability for consumers to find these titles on the Internet.

We may all love our physical books, but here is an opportunity to link old school and new school thinking, and to help battle obscurity.

The only issue with this plan is that marketing needs to get involved with the book earlier in the publication life cycle than they normally do. But, that sounds like a good topic for another blog entry.

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