Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding and editing metadata, part of InDesign CS5.5 to EPUB, Kindle, and iPad.
Getting the metadata right in your EPUB is critical to its success once you are distributing it, because people can't walk into a bookstore and look at the pretty covers. Online they are typing in search terms. Whether they're looking in the iBookstore, or they're looking them in the Nook Store, or anywhere were eBooks are gathered. They are typing in search terms, and the search terms are going to look at the metadata that you add to your file. Now when you upload your EPUB file to Amazon, or to the Nook bookstore, or to iBookstore, they will often ask you for metadata that they'll include in their own database.
But you too can include metadata yourself. And I showed you how in an earlier video, just want to briefly refresh your memory, that in InDesign, if you go to the File menu and choose File Info, you can insert all kinds of metadata. This will travel along with the file. So I've already inserted a bunch of stuff. And then when you export to EPUB, there is more of metadata that you can add right at the very top of the General section. So you want to make sure you turn on Include Document Metadata, you can add your Publisher Entry, and a Unique Identifier.
There's only two pieces of metadata that are required for an EPUB to pass validation, and that is a unique identifier, which is usually your ISBN number, and the publication date. Now if you leave the Unique Identifier empty, InDesign will automatically create a Unique Identifier for you, and put it in the Metadata section. It will also automatically add a publication date, which is the date that you exported this to EPUB. We are hoping in upcoming versions InDesign that they will add a field for publication date, but in the meantime, it's added behind the scenes.
Now if you want to look at the metadata of an EPUB file, and edit it, and perhaps you want to edit fields that InDesign doesn't let you edit, or maybe you don't have the original InDesign file, let me show you how you can get to that. I am going to cancel out of here, because I have already exported to EPUB here in the finder. So this is the SFHistory- simple.epub that I exported. I could open this in oXygen Author, or any number of other programs; the thing is that the metadata is included not in any of the HTML files, but in an extra XML-based file within the EPUB.
Right now, I don't really need to change anything. So I just need a way to look at the content without extracting it. I could use oXygen Author, or I could use TextWrangler, or if I was in a PC, I could use Notepad++. One thing about TextWrangler though, that I want to show you, is that if I just bring this over to TextWrangler so it opens up, and I twirl open the OEBPS folder, which is where our file is located, you won't see it. The file is called contents.opf, and TextWrangler does not show that file, nor does it show the toc.ncx file.
I am not quite sure why. But we can skin that cat another way. I'm going to drag and drop the EPUB on to Springy, which is that cool program I mentioned earlier that lets you look at the contents of an archive. And then here we can see all those files. And then I'm going to open up the content.opf file in TextWrangler. So this file is where the metadata is stored, and then I don't need to extract it; I am just going to edit. You'll see the metadata at the very top of the content.opf file. And I did go over what is inside the content of that OPF file in another video if you are curious what else is in this file. But at the very top, in between the two metadata tags, you'll see who created the metadata, the generator was Adobe InDesign, and whole bunch of entries.
So, for example, it says as dc:title, A Brief History of San Francisco, and then it closes that tag; dc:creator, dc:subject, and so on. Here is the date that it was exported. This is what InDesign added automatically. Here is my unique identifier that I added. Apparently, I could have entered source, relation, and coverage in InDesign; it's just putting it there for our sake so we could actually enter in source, and enter in relation. But if you are wondering, first of all, what does that mean? What's the source, and relation, and coverage? Second of all, why is it called dc? What does dc have to do with anything? Actually, dc stands for Dublin Core; the Dublin Core Metadata element.
Dublin Core is kind of like the EPUB standard created by the IDPF.org. The EPUB standard relies on the Dublin Core metadata. So what is the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative? It is just a way to standardize on metadata for all sorts of books. If you scroll down on this page -- and you don't have to, I mean, this is just a little bit of extra information that you only get from a lynda.com video -- you can see that, for example, the DC Label: Contributor, this is what it means by that.
Here are some examples of that. If you're wondering what Source is, we can just scroll down here, and it says the label of Source, it's a reference to a resource from which the present resource is derived. So now that we're back here, we can go ahead and edit, now that we know all about DC. These were actually keywords that we added. So if we want to add more keywords, we could select this whole thing, copy it, click in front of here, paste, and don't worry about the indentations, and we'll say also it should be all about Dublin.
So when you're done editing the metadata, or checking it out, or correcting it, just close the content.opf file, and save your changes, and you are done.
- Understanding ebooks and ebook publishing
- Examining the EPUB format
- Creating customized navigational TOCs
- Using layout order, the Articles panel, and XML tags to manage content flow
- Formatting with paragraph and character styles
- Creating a cover image
- Optimizing images
- Exporting InDesign content to an EPUB
- Including drop caps, pull quotes, and text wraps
- Acquiring an ISBN for ebooks
- Converting an EPUB to Kindle, iBookstore, and Nook formats
- Distributing ebooks with resellers and aggregators