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Topic: Book Has ISBN, but...

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Bast -
Subject: Book Has ISBN, but...
Date Posted: 9/1/2007 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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PBS doesn't recognise it. I know I'm supposed to post it as a non-isbn book. :(  But my question is this: why, when I put in the ISBN (in this case: 0749704713), it goes to the the page to put the books info in, and gives me this ISBN (already filled in): 9780749704711 ? I won't get in trouble for the ISBN not matching, will I?

Date Posted: 9/1/2007 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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Those are the same ISBN -- the longer 978 one is usually a couple of numbers "off" from the shorter one.  

Date Posted: 9/1/2007 2:06 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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What it is giving you is the 13-ISBN for your 10-ISBN, it is the same book. fill in all the info, and post it.

What you have is a book that IS recognized by PBS database, but has never yet been entered. the PBS database, knows that that is a vaild ISBN and belongs to A book, but doen't know any more than that at this time. Once you fill in all the info, it will then be listed in the database. Hopefully you will put the description as well as a cover image for it too.

Just DON"T use the link on the data entry page to upload the book cover, it will not take. Enter the data first, THEN use the link at the bottom of the pages for covers to upload the image.

Bast -
Date Posted: 9/1/2007 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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No, they're completely different numbers - they're similiar, but (I understand the ISBN 13 part) the last digit in the ISBN is different, so I can't see how they're the same. I'm not being argumentive, I promise, I just don't understand how they're the same number, when they're not. My book ends with 713, and the 'new' ISBN ends with 711.

Date Posted: 9/1/2007 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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Okay ... "technically" they are different numbers, but are equally valid, and amount to the same thing. If you go to Amazon.com, and look up most (newer) books, you'll see that they give both the 10 and 13-digit ISBN versions for the exact same book. I don't fully understand it myself, but for technical reasons, you cannot just stick on the 978 prefix - instead the 10-digit number has to be "converted" and changes very slightly in rounding with the math equation used.

Bast -
Date Posted: 9/1/2007 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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Oh! Thank you, John. I wasn't aware of that part of it. Thank you for taking the time to explain it to me.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 9/1/2007 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,103
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Sheri -- the final digit of an ISBN is always a checksum digit. You apply a mathematical formula to all the digits except the last one, and the output is the last digit. If you want to know whether any 10-digit or 13-digit number is a possible ISBN, you just take the first 9 or 12 digits and do some math. If you get back the 10th or 13th digit, then you know the number is valid. If you get something else, then some digits were transposed or mistyped. When you type an ISBN in a box at PBS and it turns green, that means PBS has done the math and verified that this might be a real ISBN.

This also means that the last digit contains no identifying nformation. The actual unique number that identifies your book is really 9 digits long. To convert it to the 13-digit ISBN, you use 978-xxx-xxx-xxx-y where the x's are the first 9 digits and y is the new checksum calculated over all 12 digits. Since including the 978 changes the checksum value, the last digit will always be different. Credit card numbers work the same way. If you know the rules, you can tell right away whether a CC# has been mistyped without bothering to try to run a charge against it.

So far we haven't really gained anything by putting 978 in front of the existing ISBNs, but soon we will run out of 10-digit numbers and then you'll start seeing other prefixes. When that happens, new books will have only the 13-digit number and there will be no way to convert it back to a 10-digit number.

I'll bet that's way more than you wanted to know about this subject :-), but the question comes up pretty frequently so in case anyone else is curious, I thought I'd give the full answer.

Bast -
Date Posted: 9/1/2007 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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Thanks, Cathy. I appreciate the info - very interesting!

So this is my question, then - will the system accept or deny someone being able to report it as a wrong book, since the ISBN's don't (to the untrained eye) match?



Last Edited on: 9/1/07 4:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/1/2007 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Sheri, it IS the same book, you simply have the 10 digit, and all the enter page show is the 13-digit. Always. It never shows the 10-digit anymore. If it give you a 13 digit number when you enter the 10 digit number it IS the same book. Once you have entered the book, you will see both numbers listed in the details, I promise. All newer books now have two numbers, even if the book only shows one, the databases know the other one, and will display it in the details.   :)



Last Edited on: 9/1/07 4:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Bast -
Date Posted: 9/1/2007 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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No, Sherry, I'm sorry - I'm not being clear. I do understand it's the same book. Promise! :)

But will the person getting the book be able to see both ISBN-10 and ISBN-13 to match it with what the back of the book shows, so that they don't mark the book as the wrong ISBN?



Last Edited on: 9/1/07 4:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 9/1/2007 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,103
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Yes, when the requestor looks at his "en route to me" page he will see something like this:

The Burnt House: A Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Novel


Author: Faye Kellerman


ISBN-13: 9780061227325

ISBN-10: 0061227323


Book Type: Hardcover

Then when he clicks "Was Book Received", that same information is displayed right above the buttons that say No, Yes, or Yes with a Problem. Since both the ISBN-13 and ISBN-10 are right there on the screen, there should be no reason to mark it as a wrong book.



Last Edited on: 9/1/07 6:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Bast -
Date Posted: 9/1/2007 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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Thank you!!! I appreciate EVERYONE'S kindness in explaining. I love PBS!

Date Posted: 9/2/2007 2:10 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Yes, dear, sorry for not being clear that all books now have both the 10 and the 13 digit ISBN posted. Look at any book's detail page, and you will se them both. BUT when a book is first entered into the system, or when you do a data edit or upload a cover to it, the database only displays the 13-digit ISBN. Does that make better sense worded that way? Sorry to continue to leave you confused :)

ETA: Sorry, was looking at the previous page, and didn't see that Cathy already finished explaining on this page :)



Last Edited on: 9/2/07 2:11 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/2/2007 8:07 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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This is really good information to know.  If I had been in Sheri's place I think I also would have assumed that my book had the wrong ISBN and simply posted it under "no ISBN", because (from what I've just read) it sounds like both ISBNs don't appear until AFTER you start the posting process.  Do you think a lot of books are going into the system under "no ISBN" because of this quirk?

Bast -
Date Posted: 9/2/2007 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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Thanks, Sherry! I'm just sorry I sounded as thick as a brick. :D But all's well that ends well!

Date Posted: 9/2/2007 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Not thick, just thorough! hahahha I understood what you were asking, I just wasn't getting the answer completed correctly :)

Bast -
Date Posted: 9/2/2007 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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hee! Thanks, Sherri!