With the spring season starting, it’s time to think about upgrading your metadata to support Thema and ONIX 3.0. For more information about these standards, here’s BookNet’s Noah Genner, on Thema, and Tom Richardson, on ONIX 3.0.
So how do you ensure that your team and equipment are ready to cover these bases?
There are several software options on the market, most of which have an upgrade plan to support Thema and ONIX 3.0. eBOUND Canada, for instance, offers its members CoreSource as a digital asset management system. CoreSource already accepts incoming ONIX 3.0 and is working to export it, and is implementing Thema this year. There are other simple solutions for a quick fix, and larger-scale programs that can replace parallel databases. We’ll look at some of your options at the BookNet 101 session I’ll be presenting in March, in case you want to make a trade or you’re wondering how the program (or database, or system) you’re already using is upping its game.
In terms of your team, it’s not just data entry that’s required. At one publisher I worked for, BISAC coding involved meeting with marketing and editorial to ensure that main subjects were accurate, relevant, and strategically applied. For Thema, BookNet Canada will be providing a mapping from BISAC to the new subject codes; however, you’ll still want to ensure there’s contemplation before coding. It’s also essential to make a fluid workflow that involves checking your efforts. While you’re at it, you might want to take stock of your BiblioShare reports, and have other errors efficiently struck out at the same time.
How can you stack your team without breaking your budget?
While at eBOUND, I developed a publisher services model that involved creating metadata records from scratch. LitDistCo, LPG’s subsidiary company, is also in this business. It’s good to break down the value of a product record and consider opportunity costs in your evaluation, before deciding whether to hire out the work or tackle it in-house. At my BookNet 101 session, I’ll give you a sample budget for upgrading on a per-record level, and a sense of how much staff time is required. If you’re looking for a free agent, I’ll give you suggestions for freelancers too.
In addition to these costs, consider if with your current business practices it makes sense to spend on these developments, or whether you’re better off waiting. You don’t want to overextend, but you also don’t want to be outplayed either.
When do you move from testing your new data to game day with aggregators?
What comes first, the best-practice data feed or the retailer’s requirement for up-to-date information? At BookNet 101, we’ll check the status of some of the major players today to help solve this debate. This can affect how you set your schedule depending on resources and priorities for ONIX 3.0 and Thema.
I’m already looking forward to your ideas and questions at Tech Forum’s BookNet 101. And did I mention there will be baseball metaphors?
Christen Thomas is Executive Director of the Literary Press Group of Canada, and is currently teaching ebook production at Centennial College’s Book and Magazine Program.