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Topic: book has ISBN, but site does not recognize it?

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Subject: book has ISBN, but site does not recognize it?
Date Posted: 11/25/2008 3:35 AM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2008
Posts: 398
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I've posted several books that have ISBN's but the system does not recognize the ISBN. I've ended up posting the book with out the ISBN.  Am I missing something? Is there a way to add the ISBN to the book?  Why is the system not recognising the ISBN?

Date Posted: 11/25/2008 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 556
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PBS gets it's data from a third party, if the ISBN isn't in that set of data it can't be recognized. 

Sometimes publisher's make errors in printing the ISBN.  The ISNB includes a check digit, so if the publisher gets one of the numbers wrong the entire number may not actually form a valid ISBN. 

You do have to enter these books as books without an ISBN.  You can include the ISBN in the book's description/summary.

Date Posted: 11/25/2008 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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Sometimes the books are foreign-published books that for whatever reason PBS' database doesn't recognize--at least that's the most common reason I find for it, but I do read a lot of books published in the UK and Australia. Usually you can tell that without even opening the book by looking at the price...if the price is in £ it's definitely British. LOL Sometimes the ISBN comes up on those, other times not, and then yes, you do need to enter it as a book without an ISBN. It really does bug me too, because the "I" in ISBN stands for International, so you think those ISBNs would be recognized world-wide!


Date Posted: 11/25/2008 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,452
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I had a couple of books that the ISBN wasn't in the system, and did have to post them as without ISBNs, then in the 'tag' space, I put in that the ISBN in the book was xxxxxx.  Pat

Date Posted: 11/25/2008 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I think I can solve why not all ISBN are recognised by the system. If the book was never published in the US then its ISBN will not be in the system. I have several books that when entered in here did not show up and I know they are australian books and pretty much only ever published in australia.  Cant get them here at all -hence why I have not added them yet.

  Where does PBS get their data from?

Date Posted: 11/25/2008 8:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2008
Posts: 111
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I have quite a few books from Scholastic that had ISBNs that weren't in the system. I figured that since they were only available through the school book order that amazon or whoever supplies the database would not include them. That is why I didn't join the PBS book journal, there were too many of my kids' books that I couldn't include, and since I was not posting them I didn't know how to add them to the system so I could keep track of them.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 11/25/2008 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Are these older books, like from the '70's?  I didn't realize this at first, but a lot of my science fiction paperbacks had the older 8-digit SBN's which aren't in the PBS system...what makes it confusing is that most publisher's put the 3-digit price afterward (if the book was $0.95 the number would end in 095) and there will be an 11-digit number of the side, but this is not an ISBN.

I have posted at least a couple hundred books without an ISBN.  It works fine...I just leave the ISBN info blank.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 11/26/2008 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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As an addendum...if there is a nine-digit SBN on the publisher's info page, usually you just have to add a zero at the beginning to get a match.  I have only seen this with a few books from the late '70s, though.

Collecting books has gotten me fascinated with all the variations over the years, and how different publishers operate.   

Date Posted: 11/26/2008 11:02 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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when you try to post the book with the ISBN does the box turn green but no info pops up?  If so, PBS recognizes it as a good ISBN but just isn't in their database and you can add all of the info on the next screen and add it to the database.

If the box does not turn green you'll need to set it up as if there were no ISBN