One publisher's comprehensive guide to the basics

This is an edited version of notes made by one of our clients, kindly shared here with permission, which provide one possible approach to entering and maintaining metadata.

First, sign in.

A. Create the work record

If you use Consonance’s acquisition tools, such as the P&L, acquisition pipelines and proposals, create the work before you begin the acquisition process. If you do not, create it after you’ve signed the contract.

Add the contributors

Add the primary author, unless they are an existing author with a record already in the system. If you have details of other contributors (co-authors, illustrators, and so on) at this stage, add them too.

  1. Go to People > Contacts. Click the Add button. This opens the Contacts > Add new contact page. Complete the form with as much information as possible about the author – titles, positions and contact details. This can be added to or edited later. The following are key bibliographic ONIX fields that must be completed:
    • First name and initial(s)
    • Surname or ‘key name(s)’
  2. Scroll down to Marketing texts. In the About (ONIX) field, add a short biographical text about this author. This can always be added to or edited later. Don’t add text that refers to any co-author, or that is so specific to the new work that it will appear strange if it appears alongside a different work.
  3. Scroll down to Contact types. Tick the box next to Book contributor. This is essential as without it you can’t add the author to the work record when it is created.
  4. Click Save.

Repeat steps 1 to 4 to add other contributors if you have their details at this stage.

Add the new work

Adding a work also sets up its products’ bibliographic data and, optionally, schedule.

  1. Go to Bibliographic > Works. Click the Add button. This opens the Works > Add new work page. This page has some boxes, only some of which need completing at this stage. Completing the right boxes correctly at this stage makes things much easier later. Don’t be tempted to press the save button until the end of this section.
  2. In the Title box, complete the Title and Subtitle fields. If possible this should be the finalised title and subtitle but these can be changed later if the title changes. These are key bibliographic ONIX fields that must be completed.
  3. In the Metadata box, click on the grey triangle and select Don’t use a work template. Choose the relevant subjects from the dropdown lists that appear.
  4. In the Author / editor box, click on the grey triangle and click Select an existing contact. If you haven’t added the primary author, you’ll need to click Add a new contact but using this route you’ll only be able to add their first name, surname and role and will need to edit the contact details later.
  5. If you’ve clicked on Select an existing contact, choose them from the list that appears when you click on the grey triangle in the Contact field, and select the appropriate role by clicking on the grey triangle in the Role field. This is a key bibliographic ONIX field that must be completed. If the contact doesn’t appear it is either because they haven’t been added or because the Book contributor box wasn’t ticked. In either case abandon this page: go to People > Contacts on the left of the screen and either add the author or edit their record accordingly.
  6. In the Contract box, tick the Contract signed? box, if it has been.
  7. In the Schedule box, click on the grey triangle and choose your regular production schedule.
  8. Fill in the Proposal text, Blurb, and Selling points boxes if you know what they are. Edit them later if necessary.
  9. In the Products box, select the formats the work will have by ticking the boxes next to the format types.
  10. If the work is to have an ebook edition, tick the Ebook box and select Kindle from the dropdown menu. Do not select an ISBN, publication date, page extent or default price.
  11. If the work is to appear in print, choose the Hardback or Paperback box (or both) as appropriate and choose the desired format from the dropdown menu. In the ISBN column choose Allocate ISBN from the dropdown menu. In the Publication date and Estimated # pages columns put the projected or desired publication date and page extent. Add the planned Default price (GBP).
  12. Click Save.

The basic record for the primary author and products are now set up. The contractual details can now be added, the product schedule created, and further bibliographic data added as it is created.

B. Edit the bibliographic record

Find the work / product you want to edit by using the search tool at the top of the webpage or by browsing the Product menu on the left of the webpage. This opens to the Overview page of the work.

This page displays basic bibliographic information but is mainly an overview of the progress of the workflow. It has links to update some bibliographic information.

Click Metadata to edit the bibliographic metadata for this work.

  1. Publication > Identifiers. Check that the title and subtitle are correct. If not, edit them here and add any other information if necessary. If some of the information, particularly around the formats of the products, is shown as unknown, this will update when the format section of this page is completed.
  2. Publication > Dates and statuses. Check the publication date here and change if necessary. Keep up-to-date if there are publication delays. Check that the status is appropriate to the date. For print formats prior to publication, this should be 02: Forthcoming. You may need to change the publication date click and revisit the status box before the 02: Forthcoming option appears. If there is a Kindle format, and you don’t want to send that data out to any recipients, then change the Allow Onix Exports? checkbox for the Kindle to No.
  3. Publication > Copyright. Add the Copyright year – normally the year of publication. In the Copyright owners field, select the author or publisher as appropriate (normally author). If there is more than one copyright owner because there are multiple authors/contributors, select all the copyright owners that appear. If only the primary author appears, you will need to return to this tab after completing the Contributors section. Once the copyright year and copyright owners fields are filled, click save and the Copyright notice will be added automatically. If it is incorrect, replace it by adding a free text copyright statement including the © symbol and year in the Copyright notice field.
  4. Publication > Publisher. Imprint box. Select the publisher from the dropdown menu. Choose the imprint. If previously published somewhere else, enter the appropriate information in the Inheritance box.
  5. Associate publishers box. Enter Co-publisher, Sponsored by, Published for fields where appropriate.
  6. Publication > Series. If the book is in a series, select the appropriate series from the dropdown menu by clicking in the box. If the series is not listed, right-click on the Series link and set up the series in a new tab or window. Then return to this page and select the new series name.
  7. Publication > Editions. If the work is a 2nd or higher edition, then add the edition number in the Work edition number field. (Not necessary for 1st editions). Add the appropriate Work edition type code. Normally REV: Revised or NED: New edition. (Again not necessary for 1st editions)
  8. Publication > Derivations. Ignore unless appropriate.
  9. Pricing. Add the relevant prices for the products.
  10. Format > Measurements. Check print formats are correct and that height and width are correct. If the format needs changing go to the Format > Form section and change the format. Add thickness and weight in in/oz. If getting the figures from L.S. then weight is L.S. lb number x 16oz.
  11. Format > Extents. Add (approx.) no. of words to print and Kindle products if you have them. Copy Approx. page extent from print to the in-print counterpart field for the Kindle.
  12. Format > Form. If you need to change the format(s) for the books this is where to do it. So in In-house edition select Hardback, Paperback, Ebook as appropriate. For print editions, select the appropriate format. If necessary, right-click the In-house Format link and open the pre-saved format types in a new tab or window. Make sure the Product form box shows BC:Paperback / softback or BB:Hardback as appropriate. Add the Approx page count for print editions. For Kindle, make sure the Product form field shows DG: Electronic book text.
  13. Format > Parts. Ignore unless you have complicated books with separate parts, box sets etc.
  14. Contributors. Assuming the primary author was in the system already, their name should appear here with their role A01: By (author) or B01: Edited by. Make sure this is correct and that the tick boxes are ticked for all formats. If the author is not here or you want to add a further contributor, click the Add button in the Contributor roles box. A new window opens. If you haven’t added the contributor or ticked the Book Contributor box in their contact record, you’ll need to right-click the Click here to add a new Contact and create or edit their record as appropriate. Click on the Contributor field and select the name of the contributor. Add their Role from the dropdown menu. If necessary, add their sequence number (the order the contributors will appear). Leaving it blank will automatically generate a number – this can be altered on the metadata page if necessary.
  15. Ignore the Authorship descriptions box unless you want to override the system generated description.
  16. Files > Artwork Files. Click the Add button in the Artwork files box. A new window will open. Make sure all the boxes are ticked in the Linked to section. In the Select image browse box, choose a cover file to upload and upload. In the Is it a draft? section, click 07 Image / Artwork (for PUBLIC viewing). This is assuming you are uploading the final cover file - recommended. This can be replaced later if not and if necessary.
  17. Marketing > Marketing texts.
    • This process applies for the following compulsory fields:
    • Short description
    • (Main) Description
    • Long description
    • Biographical note
    • The following fields should also be completed using the same process if possible:
    • Table of contents
    • Back cover copy
    • Endorsement/praise for
  18. Click the Add button in the Marketing texts box. A new window will open. In the About this marketing text box, click the dropdown menu in the Type field, and select the type of marketing text you want to add – see bullet list above. In the External text box, write or paste the text for the field you are adding. N.B. this allows basic HTML formatting. You can ignore all the other boxes and fields in this window. Click the Save button. This text will be saved and box/label will appear in the top left hand side of the screen confirming this. To quickly add another marketing text, click the Add another link in the message that flashes up. Otherwise, click on the See all marketing texts for this work link to see all the added texts in one window (quite useful) or click on Metadata. When you’ve added marketing texts to a record you will see a table of them on the main metadata page. Make sure that the tick boxes are clicked for each format for each of the texts.
  19. Marketing > Reviews. Click the Add button in the Review texts box to open the same marketing texts as above. Again in the About this marketing text box click the drop down menu in the Type field and select the type of marketing text you want in this case one of the Review quote fields. Paste the review text into the External text box as before. Then scroll down to the Reviewer and Publication boxes. Where possible, add the reviewer’s name and the name of the publication the review appears in. Add a link to the review if it appears online. Click the Save button and return to the metadata page.
  20. Marketing > Prizes. Click the Add button in the Prizes box and in the window that opens add the relevant details of the prize. Note you can add books to this if they don’t win the prize. Select the Prize code field and select the appropriate label: winner, short-listed etc. It is worth adding a prize to a title as soon as you know it is nominated or long-listed or shortlisted. Remember to update the Prize code as the book progresses through the award.
  21. Only ignore the Lead title, Similar products, Comparison product notes boxes if you want to omit discoverability data from your data feeds.
  22. Contents > Ancillary contents and illustrations. Add the Number of illustrations in the box. In the Detailed Types field, select the appropriate types from the drop down menu – often 01: Illustrations, black and white for monotone paperbacks. If the book is more complicated, add further detail in the free text field Illustrations note.
  23. Contents > Languages. Click the Add button in the Languages of content box, and, in the window that opens, click the Language role dropdown menu and select 01: Language of text. Then select the Language code dropdown menu and choose the relevant language – nearly always Eng: English for UK-based publishers.
  24. Subjects > Subject schemas. In the Keywords field add free text using up to 20 words and phrases, separated by semi-colons.
  25. Click on the Add subject field in the Thema, BIC and BISAC columns on the Primary row and repeat the following for each. In the window that opens, click on the grey triangle and a dropdown menu with search box will open. Search for a code using free text in the search box or select the appropriate code if you know it from the menu. Note the BIC codes are often the same as Thema ones but not always. Click on the Add subject field in the Thema, BIC and BISAC columns on the Additional row and follow the same procedure, but note that, when you select a code, you can then immediately select another in the same window by continuing to type text. You can have many additional texts but follow the notes that appear on the screen. Click the Save button. Complete the rest of the Subject Area labels for maximum discoverability.
  26. Subjects > Dewey decimal code. Complete if you know it.
  27. Subjects > Children’s Book Marketing Categories. Ignore this unless it is a children’s book.
  28. Audience. Ignore the Audience description box. The Audience codes box should show General/trade by default. Click the Save button.

If all these steps have been completed, the work should now have a complete bibliographic record.

C. Checking data

When all the above steps have been completed, click on the Checks link. This will open a page of check results. Most of these will be passed, some will be not applicable, some suppressed, some blocked and some failed. You need to review the blocked and failed checks.

The failed checks are likely to be due to missing or wrong data. Most of these will need to be corrected but some can be ignored. You can suppress the error message by clicking on the three dots to the right and selecting Suppress for this work.

Some of the blocked checks are blocked because data is missing. When data is added, these might become passed or failed so always do another check after adding or changing data.

Key fields

The following table is one possible plan for adding data at different stages of the publishing process.

Consonance Lightning Source At acquisition At handover At publication
First name and initials First Name Add Check
Surname or ‘key name’ Last Name Add Check
About (ONIX) Add Check
Role Role Add Check
Title, Subtitle Title, Subtitle Add Check  Check
Format Trim size, Binding type Add Check Check
ISBN Print ISBN Add Check
Estimated no of pages Page Count Add Check Check
Default Price (GBP) Add
Publication date Publication date Add Check Check
Status Add/ Check Check
Check
Copyright Year, Owners Add Check
Publisher Add Check
Imprint Imprint Add Check
Series Series name and number Add Check
(New) Contributors Add Check
Work edition type code Edition Description Add Check
Pricing: GBP, EUR, USD, CAD, AUD Pricing: US$, £, €, CA$, AU$  Add Check
Cover Add Check
Short Description Short Description Add Check
(Main) Description Full Description Add Check
Long Description Add Check
Biographical note About contributor‣Biography Add Check
Endorsements/praise for Review quotes Add Check
Table of contents Table of Contents Add
Back cover copy Add
Review quotes Review Quotes Add
Prizes Add
Number of Illustrations The no # Add Check
Illustrations. Detailed types Indicate color/b&w Add Check
Languages of content Language Add Check
Keywords and phrases Keywords Add Check
Thema Thema Subjects Add Check Check
BIC Add Check
BISAC Subjects Add Check
Audience Audience Check Check Check