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(re-posted with permission)

New Smashwords Series Manager Improves Book Discovery

Smashwords today released a powerful new tool called Series Manager that makes series books more discoverable.

Series Manager allows series writers to attach their books to series, and manage multiple aspects of their series metadata.

The new feature is available now in the Smashwords Dashboard under the Series Manager link.

Once authors organize their series titles within Series Manager, readers can easily identify books within a series, or across related series.  Just as importantly, series metadata will give our retailers greater flexibility to promote books within a series.  Let's say, for example, a retailer wants to do a merchandising promotion of the top 50 bestselling Smashwords series that have a free series starter.  Without the series metadata, it would be nearly impossible for Smashwords or our retailer to accurately identify which books are in a series, and in which order.

It's not uncommon for the books in some series to make no reference to their series in the book title, book cover or book description. This makes it difficult for readers to identify all the books in a series, or books in related series, and makes it difficult for retailers to properly merchandise them.  Series Manager helps solve this problem.

With Series Manager, authors can easily attach books - including preorder books - to a series using point and click check boxes. Simply click to your Dashboard, click Series Manager, click Create New Series, then attach the books.  Authors can select from multiple series numbering methodologies such as Book 1, Book 2; or Book I, Book II; or Part 1, Part 2; or no. 1, no. 2; or you can dispense with series number and simply give the series name, such as "Fellowship of the Rings."

Series books can be members of multiple series, all
controlled within Smashwords Series Manager
     

Authors can even connect books that span more than one series.  For example, the Smashwords Style Guide is a member of two series, Smashwords Guides and Smashwords Style Guide Translations.

If you've written series with spinoff series, this is a powerful feature that will make it easier for fans to identify books within a series, and discover new books in your related series.

You can also identify the ideal sequence of books within a series.  For example, if the Star Wars movie series was a book, you might want to designate that the Prequel to episodes 1, 2 and 3 should be enjoyed after the first three in the series.


Smashwords will provide the new series metadata, as input by the author or publisher, to our retailers.  Each retailer will handle the metadata differently.  Some will make use of all the data, and others might cherry pick.  Either way, the improved metadata will make it easier for retailers to enhance the discoverability of Smashwords books today while having the capability to develop improved discoverability features in the future.

The series metadata will also increase the discoverability of series titles in the Smashwords store. Within each book's listing, whether it's on the book's book page or in the search results, we'll display the series to which the book is connected.

If the book is attached to more than one series, then the other series will appear as well.   In the example at left which shows the book page, the Smashwords Style Guide is a member of two series.

Series names are clickable.  Readers can click the series title and view a dedicated series page, such as my page for the Smashwords Guides.  Incorporate the link into your marketing.  If you're doing a marketing campaign around a single series, provide fans a direct to your series page.

We look forward to your feedback as we enhance this feature. See original post here.

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