Metadata is very important when it comes to categorizing and even marketing and finding readers for a book. Now that EPUB3 is around, authors/publishers can add really granular data to ebooks, which can help define target audiences, among other things.
The concept of structuring data using markup is not new. Schema.org “ provides a collection of schemas that webmasters can use to markup HTML pages in ways recognized by major search providers, and that can also be used for structured data interoperability (e.g. in JSON). Search engines including Bing, Google, Yahoo! and Yandex rely on this markup to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right Web pages.”
W3C also has a community working on a set of vocabularies, which it created by “extending Schema.org schemas for the improved representation of bibliographic information markup and sharing.” Additionally, IDPF specified that vocabularies other than schema.org can be used in EPUB3.
According to R.V. Guha in a Slideshare presentation, having this kind of information can help create vertical search engines, and help target audiences find the information they are actually looking for. For example:
More details about EPUB3 structural semantics can be found at http://www.idpf.org/epub/vocab/structure/.
What are some ways you might use semantic vocabulary in ebooks? Please share in the comments!