Metadata: ONIX for eBooks


Metadata: ONIX for eBooks

The metadata format required for adding (or updating) eBooks in CloudPublish is ONIX.

ONIX is published by Editeur and is the industry standard for communicating book product information. There are two versions currently in use, 2.1 and 3.0. Although plenty of publishers still use 2.1, and there are not a great many differences that are relevant to eBooks, it is recommended that all new metadata feeds use 3.0 as there are a number of useful improvements, and the available documentation from Editeur is also improved.

A single ONIX document (or "message") can contain data for multiple eBooks, and it uses XML. The XML file required to describe a typical catalogue can be very substantial, and we do not recommend creating these files by hand. It is best to export from your database using suitable software, or by outsourcing the entire task to a "digital asset management" / distribution product such as CoreSource by Ingram.

One company supplying "suitable software" is ONIXEdit, which has several versions and includes the ability to convert from Excel as well as from more substantial databases.

Mandatory fields

There are several fields that we require to be completed, but which are not mandatory in the ONIX specification. These are needed for CloudPublish to function effectively, and must be specified for every book, within the publishing detail composite:

  • Imprint - ImprintName
  • Publisher - PublisherName
  • CityOfPublication
  • CountryOfPublication
  • TitleText

Do not include "ltd", "Inc." etc. in ImprintName. It is important that the imprint is consistently given in order to reliably return lists of books by imprint.

It is essential that PublisherName exactly matches one of the publisher names on your account, or else the eBook will not be processed.

The ProductIdentifier must contain the eBook's ISBN-13, and this must match up with the uploaded files (PDF and cover). It must not contain spaces or dashes.


We are able to "dry-run" your metadata for testing purposes and we can offer advice on optimal configuration of your ONIX files - please ask your account manager if you require this.

More information

It is recommended that you become familiar with the ONIX documentation, which is available here. In particular, the ONIX 3.0 Format Specification and accompanying code lists should be familiar.

For more information about other types of metadata, please see these pages:

See also:


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