eBook Platforms: Discoverability in the Age of ‘Search’ on Online Retailers and Library Aggregators

Elsevier’s eBook library is available and discoverable on more than 60 third-party retail, library, and specialty platforms, helping you reach your target audience however—or wherever—they prefer to access books. Our books are readily available on leading retailers like Amazon, Google Play, and Apple’s iBookstore.  Whether they are browsing to add a book to their Kindle on Amazon, or researching a topic in the library through EBSCOhost, the information fed out including title, keywords, and sample content, is essential to having your book found on these popular platforms.

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Your Book’s Search Ranking

A study done by Elsevier in July 2013 revealed that each of these retailers uses different information to rank books when customers search for them. For example, Amazon uses keywords and the sample book preview, while Google Play books uses book title, book description and full text to rank search results. Having complete information directly reflects how your book is found. For example, when Fundamental Neuroscience, 4th edition was searched for on Amazon without keywords provided, it did not show up when related subject words were used to search for the book. When the search was conducted with keywords added to the record, it consistently appeared in the top-ten results.

Not only do retailers use this information, library aggregators like MyiLibrary, ebrary, and EBSCO also have their own way of indexing books. For example, EBSCO, which is available to over 100,000 institutions worldwide, ranks books in the order of subject heading, article title, author keywords, keywords within abstracts, and full text. Having your eBook as part of EBSCO’s eBook collection, in combination with their powerful EBSCOhost search tool, increases the likelihood it will be found and used by library patrons.

Optimizing Your Book for Search

Because search is so important to users finding our valuable resources, we make sure to provide third-parties with all the information collected from you by our editorial team.

Key steps we take to ensure your book is optimized for search:

  • Take Search Engine Optimization into account, by using key terms and phrases, when creating book titles, chapter titles, and descriptive copy
  •  Make sample preview content available to all channels that can use it, in the proper format (e.g., print PDF for Amazon – Elsevier provides this automatically)
  • Use keywords wherever possible

Elsevier reaches your audience by making your book available and discoverable on customer’s preferred ebook platforms. Every day, through a powerful distribution system, Elsevier sends out key information about our books. The digital age has made ‘search’ the means to which people find the information they are looking for. It is our goal, with information provided by authors like you, to make content discoverable so that our customers can find the authoritative resources they need.

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