Some of the best things about being an editor for Indie Author Magazine are the gems of wisdom I come across in our writers’ stories.

Take Eryka Parker’s feature on keywords in this month’s issue. Like many of you, I’m sure, I’ve always viewed managing metadata as a bit of a chore—something we do to keep the algorithms fed and our books showing up in readers’ search results. But Eryka’s story approaches things from a new perspective: one that frames keywords as a way to build a relationship not with our distributors but directly with our readers.

It probably shouldn’t be as novel a concept as it seems—or at least as it seemed to me when I read it. Everything we do as authors points back to our readers and lays valuable paths between us, especially marketing. The genres we select for our books are a promise of the kinds of stories we’re going to tell and the story elements found within the pages. Why wouldn’t our keywords be the same kind of promise?

Yet Eryka’s perspective was an important reminder for me nonetheless. Metadata, at its most basic, is just a series of online breadcrumb trails leading readers—not distribution sites—back to our books.

None of this is to say crafting that metadata can’t still pose a challenge. We’ve dedicated this entire issue to helping you make sense of it, in fact! But it’s an interesting reminder of just why metadata is so important, and so deserving of its own IAM issue. On its own, metadata may just be a series of digital breadcrumbs. But if we only approach this vital step of publishing as a way to feed the algorithms, the path that’s left may be too muddled to fulfill its true purpose: guiding potential readers home. 

Nicole Schroeder

Editor in Chief

Nicole Schroeder

Nicole Schroeder

Nicole Schroeder is a storyteller at heart. As the editor in chief of Indie Author Magazine, she brings nearly a decade of journalism and editorial experience to the publication, delighting in any opportunity to tell true stories and help others do the same. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism and minors in English and Spanish. Her previous work includes editorial roles at local publications, and she’s helped edit and produce numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including a Holocaust survivor’s memoir, alongside independent publishers. Her own creative writing has been published in national literary magazines. When she’s not at her writing desk, Nicole is usually in the saddle, cuddling her guinea pigs, or spending time with family. She loves any excuse to talk about Marvel movies and considers National Novel Writing Month its own holiday.

Start or Join a Conversation About This Article:

When Writing Means Business, Storytellers Read Indie Author Magazine

Read Indie Annie's Latest Advice:

Dear Indie Annie,

I’ve only ever written in one particular genre. I have an audience built there, a decent backlist, and a few ideas for future books. But I just recently got an idea for a story in an entirely different genre—one that I don’t even know I’ll continue past this book. Do I write the new idea or stick with what I know?  Pestered by a Plot Bunny Dearest Plot Bunny, The temptation of an off-brand manuscript

Read More »

Dear Indie Annie: Seeking More Sales

My biggest obstacle in my career is profitability. I have a full series of eight books, with great read-through. I do everything I’m supposed to do to advertise them: Facebook Ads, freebies, group promos, daily posts on social media. But I’m still not earning much. How do I make money in this business? Seeking More Sales (Aren’t We All?) Dearest Seeking Sales, Oh, my little crumpet, this profit pickle has so many of us in

Read More »

Indie Annie – Multinational Merchant

Dear Indie Annie, I really want to sell signed books, but I’m worried about shipping. The majority of my readers are in the US, but I am not. Would readers really be willing to pay extra shipping for signed books or special editions? Multinational Merchant Dear Multi, Do you mind, my sweet, if I shorten your name? My darling, no need to get your knickers in a twist over shipping signed books abroad. You may

Read More »

Follow Us

Weekly Tutorial

Sign up for our Newsletter

We’ll send you our best articles, special offers, and industry updates

Would You Like a Free Issue?

Hello! I’m Indie Annie, and I would love to send you a copy of this month’s issue of Indie Author Magazine. Just join our email list and I’ll drop it in your inbox!