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Topic: This is almost getting humorous

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Subject: This is almost getting humorous
Date Posted: 11/21/2008 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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I am trying to collect a series (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon) in the trade pb version.  I have two of the books still on my WL, and have been waiting since August.  A month or so ago, one of them was posted to me, and what I received was...a mmpb.  It was a new member, she refunded my credit, and I went back on the WL.  Last week, the other one was posted, arrived, and again, was a mmpb.  The member was very nice, swore up and down that she posted it by the ISBN, but unfortunately, the ISBN of the book she sent me is nowhere close to the one I have WLed.  She confirmed what I suspected- that when posting the book, she got the screen that listed some alternate versions, which asked "Is this your book?", and got confused and clicked on one of those, instead of on the "post this book" button.  She was very nice and refunded my credit.

So, since I don't want to do this every week, I put on a RC.  It said "This condition applies ONLY to books in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  If the book I have ordered from you is not an Outlander book, please disregard these conditions", then went on to say that for Outlander books, please make sure it is the trade version, and if not, please decline the order.  The first thing that happened was that a Goosebumps book that I had WLed for my son for months was offered, and then declined because of my RCs.  Arrrgghhhh!  Apparenlty people just don't read the darn conditions- because I think I was VERY clear that it only applied to Outlander books!  So now who knows how long I will have to wait for that book to come up again for my son.  I did get smart though, and turned off my RC, and am only turning it on when I get notification of the Outlander books being posted.  This week, that has been twice, and both times, the request was declined due to my conditions, because the book was, of course, a mmpb.

I don't get it.  Is it really THAT complicated to post a book by its ISBN?  I've done it dozens of times, and I see the alternate versions, but it seems obvious to me that those are NOT my book.  Oh, by the way, I checked, and the ISBNs that I have WLed are for ONLY the trade versions- I know that sometimes the same ISBN can be used for different versions of the book, but that is not the case here, I checked that with Amazon before I WLed these.  So clearly, people are posting with the correct ISBN, but for some reason are clicking on the trade version in the list of alternate versions, probably not realizing that it is not the same version as theirs.

So I guess I'm just going to sit back and see just how long it takes to get the correct versions posted to me.  The mmpb versions are posted into the system pretty frequently, so the potential for this happening again and again and again is pretty good.  Earlier this week, I was beyond annoyed about this- but now it's actually kind of funny.  I will sure be glad when the "amusement" is over and I have the books I want though!

Date Posted: 11/21/2008 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2006
Posts: 4,972
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I think fate is telling you to just go to the bookstore and buy the book;)



Date Posted: 11/21/2008 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I think it would be better if PBS did not list the other versions of the book, rather put, click here if this is not your book and THEN list in another pop the other versions if the same ISBN was used.  I know it can be confusing to some, hubby entered a book for me once and luckily I caught it right away  and saw it was not an LP as he had listed it as. (the font looked big to him).

Date Posted: 11/21/2008 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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I've had a few books like that, it seemed I was destined to never get them. A suggestion on the RC -have it written up, but don't turn it on. Put the Outlander books on your WL without auto-request.  When the book is offered to you, turn on the RC before accepting the offer. That way the RC will only show on those requests and not mess up any other orders. Good luck.

Date Posted: 11/21/2008 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2006
Posts: 2,303
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Most of the time I am not picky about version. Most of the time I do not notice the ISBN number on books I receive...or if it even has one. Posts like this make me wonder how many times I have gotten one that didn't match and didn't care. Maybe I will start checking (so I can help "educate" people?)

There have been about 2 times that I did care about the version and received something other than what I expected. Both times the ISBN I received did NOT match the one I requested. One sender kindly apologized and refunded my credit. The other continued to argue it was "no big deal. The content of the book is EXACTLY the same..."

Date Posted: 11/21/2008 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,451
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I guess I'm confused - I know there's a difference between MMPB and the trade version (but for the life of me I can't remember what it is, except that some paperbacks are larger - 5x8).  However, having said that, if I post a book by it's ISBN, wouldn't the right version come up (for the most part - I know I posted one once by the ISBN and I didn't notice that it showed it should be a HB and I had a PB).  If so, then how could someone post a book by an ISBN that should be a trade version and it comes up as a MMPB?  The only way I can see this happening is if they posted an ISBN knowing it wasn't the book they had in their hands.  Pat

Date Posted: 11/21/2008 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Pat, the trade versions are the larger paperbacks that you mentioned.  The books in this particular series are over 800 pages each, so they are really much easier to read in the trade version than the mmpb, which are 3 inches thick at least.  As to how someone can post by ISBN but not end up posting the right version- here is what seems to happen.  They put in the correct ISBN for their mmpb, and they get a screen that has a button on it that says "Post this book", with their book information on it.  However, sometimes, other alternate versions are listed below this, and it says "Is this your book?"  I think people sometimes get confused when the covers don't match, and they end up clicking on an alternate version and posting it instead.  That is the only explanation I can come up with, since everyone has said that they did post it by the ISBN on the back of the book, yet that is not the version that ended up being posted.  Hope that makes sense.  I'd love to see the list of alternate versions go away from that screen, it would certainly clear up a lot of confusion and save me a lot of trouble.

Date Posted: 11/21/2008 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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Also, keep in mind that there are others like Pat that don't know or can't remember the difference between MMPB and Trade Paperback so, they may turn down your RC just because they don't know and aren't willing to accept and then have to cancel the order.

In the listing of these books does it say Paperback or does it specifically say Trade Paperback?

Date Posted: 11/21/2008 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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<<In the listing of these books does it say Paperback or does it specifically say Trade Paperback?>>

Often the listings just say "paperback", and publishers sometimes reuse the same ISBN for both trade and mass market versions, which adds to the frustration.



Date Posted: 11/21/2008 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 284
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And sometimes you ask for a book and you don't care and so don't notice that the ISBN listed isn't the ISBN on the book. When it's time to repost the book, you just repost it from your bookshelf repeating the error someone else made way back when.

Hanging my head in shame.


Date Posted: 11/21/2008 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,451
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Thanks for the explanation.  I have several of the larger books (5x8) so now I understand. 

When I first came to PBS I'd read the "Alternative books thing", but realized that they weren't the book I was posting, so now I just ignore it.  I guess you could get confused, by it, but if you read it, it's pretty self explanatory. 

Susan - you're right about not checking the ISBN on a book when I receive it.  I usually just want to read it so don't care what ISBN it's under.  Also I never post from my bookshelf as I use my reminder file for something else.  So when I repost a book, I do it from the ISBN on the book, so at least that would take that book out of the cycle (if I had one like that). 


Thanks.  Pat

Date Posted: 11/21/2008 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2007
Posts: 62
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Well, I learned something (a few things actually) from this thread!  Now I know what a Trade Paperback is (and I have quite a few).  I also will be checking the ISBN # on books I receive, something I've never done.  This system doesn't work unless as many people as possible follow the guidelines.  :)

I have had my WL book requests denied with a "we don't ship to anyone with ANY RC" so it could also be that.  They don't bother to read them at all and don't care.  Got an RC, they deny. 

Hope you get your books soon!


Date Posted: 11/21/2008 11:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2008
Posts: 1,728
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lesley, i agree that you should set those couple WL books to 48hour request rather than auto request. then turn your RC on before accepting the book, and turn them off when done.

however, you might add to your RC that trade paperbacks are X by X dimensions, so that no one gets confused

Date Posted: 11/21/2008 11:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2008
Posts: 101
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Ha, I finally completed my MMPB collection of the Outlander series, I really prefer them over trade for some reason.  I was looking for the MMPB of the last one for forever, and was a little wary of having it on my wishlist, because I was sure someone would accidently send me the trade size (which I already had), but finally found it at a used book store.

Date Posted: 11/22/2008 9:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2007
Posts: 126
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I've been going through the same thing for the last 2 months (also trying to get the Outlander series in Trade-Size). I received two books (mass market) with ISBNs that didn't match what I'd asked for. Luckily, there was a waiting list for them so they went right back out.

I've received two of the books in trade-size and have now removed the rest from my WL. It's just too much work. I'm hoping for some gift cards for Christmas and will use them at Borders to just BUY what I'm looking for.

It's been a frustrating couple of months!


Date Posted: 11/23/2008 8:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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Lesley, you could also try PMing the person as soon as they accept your order--you might catch them in time and they can check to be sure the book is the right kind.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 11/23/2008 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I really don't see why such simple rules become so difficult, but obviously they are.  I'd be in favor of making someone type in the ISBN by hand even after they click the "post this book" and bouncing it if it doesn't match, or directing them to the correct edition...."do you want to post this?"

I am grateful the DAW series I am collecting follows pretty strict rules.  There are only a few trade editions at all, and those are listed as "DAW Trade" in the publisher's information.  Also, it's usually easy to tell by publication date...MMPB's always come out a year after hardcover (and trade if there is one).

Date Posted: 11/24/2008 1:52 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2008
Posts: 150
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  • And sometimes you ask for a book and you don't care and so don't notice that the ISBN listed isn't the ISBN on the book. When it's time to repost the book, you just repost it from your bookshelf repeating the error someone else made way back when.  - Susan

This is the thing that I am concerned about.

Leslie I have that book and unfortunately it is not the version you want. BUT, I didn't know that until the explanation was given above on what the difference was. Also, although I haven't read it yet, when I do, I had intended to click the little button that says I can add it to my bookshelf. I wouldn't even have known if it was correct in the system. I just assume it is, because it was what I wanted according to my standards when I ordered it. I didn't care about whether it was trade or not, I would have noticed had it been hard back however, so I understand your frustration. I don't think the average person probably pays much attention to trade vs PB.

I would suggest that instead of mentioning terms like trade and PB (which to me are one and the same) in your request, you say you are only looking for the book with this isbn (then list the isbn to the one you want). I am suggesting this becuase I may have declined you request even if I had the right copy cause I wouldn't have known what the difference was. But checking the isbn, as long as you provide it, would be easy. State that you are trying to complete your collection and thank the person for taking the time to checking the isbn for you. I also ignore requests if I don't think they are politely worded. It is a request after all.


Good luck.