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Topic: book listed as hardcover, but not

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Subject: book listed as hardcover, but not
Date Posted: 3/7/2011 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,461
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I got a request yesterday for a book that PBS had listed as a hardcover, but is not. I might not have noticed this discrepancy but for several not unreasonable conditions for hardcovers. I  sure don't know how this got to be this way. The PBS listing showed two ISBN's and mine matched the second one.

Anyway, I just accepted the request and sent PM to the requestor explaining the situation. I also told him that book was bought from QPBC (30years ago) and had been read exactly once and was not a book club edition (one of conditions). I told him that I would not ship unless he gave me the go-ahead.

That is what I did. Not wanting to be called before The Grand Inquisitor, I thought I just might get an opinion as to the propriety of my actions.

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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John, you should really cancel the request and repost it as a non-ISBN item.  The fact that the binding doesn't match the ISBN in PBS means it is unpostable in its current form, and the member could mark it "Received with a Problem", particularly since they have hardcover RCs in place, even if they potentially agree to you sending it.  Let them order it from you as a non-ISBN item if that's what they want, then everything will be on the level.

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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Since the binding doesn't match, you should remove the book from your bookshelf. Books often have the same ISBN assigned to multiple bindings and the first one in the system gets it, the rest need to be posted as books without an ISBN. It is a good plan to not ship if the other member doesn't want it - though I would usually recommend cancelling rather than PMing because it ties up their request/wish on a book they didn't really ask for. Sending a paperback when a Hard Cover is requested might earn you a trip to the Grand Inquisitor's office ;-P

From the Help Center:

When I enter the ISBN on my paperback, the listing shows a hardcover!

Problem: You enter the ISBN on your paperback and the book Listing Preview says "hardcover".

This means one of two things:

1.  Your book is an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC)

If your book is a paperback, and the ISBN brings up a Book Listing Preview that says "hardcover", please check your book to be sure it is not an ARC.   If it is an ARC, it cannot be Posted for swapping at PBS.

Solution: You can offer this book to others in the Book Bazaar Discussion Forum, but you cannot Post it to your PBS bookshelf.

2. The publisher chose to assign the same ISBN to more than one version of this title.

Publishers sometime choose to assign the same ISBN to multiple versions of a book.  However, PBS can attach only ONE booktype to the listing for an ISBN.  If your book does not have the booktype assigned to the ISBN in the PBS database, you will need to post it with a customized listing, using the Post a Book Without an ISBN link on the Post Books page, so that the booktype matches your book.

Solution: You will need to post this book with a customized listing for the book, using the Post Books without an ISBN link on the Post Books page.


Date Posted: 3/7/2011 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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Wouldn't a QPBC edition be considered a book club edition?

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 3/7/2011 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,132
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QPBC is Quality Paperback Book Club. They create paperback books with the same ISBN as the retail hardcover books (at least they used to use the same ISBNs, I assume they are still doing so and this seems to be what happened with John's book.) These books cannot be posted with the PBS database listings, because PBS' database entries are for the hardcovers that are produced by the original publishers. For this reason, all books from QPBC must be posted here as if they had no ISBN.

Yes they are bookclub editions, but that is nothing to do with why they have to be posted without an ISBN. They have to be posted without an ISBN because they are paperbacks that were printed with the hardcover's ISBN. Book club editions can be swapped here as long as they are posted correctly.

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,461
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Some misunderstand here about QPBC. I am practically a charter member and before PBS this was my main source of books. They don't "create" many books. I don't know what their arrangement with publishers is, but  the great majority of books they sell are the exact same books that are found in bookstores. Occasionally, they offer books that combine two or three novels, but they do this only with very popular authors. e.g. I just went over to my bookshelf and saw four Anne Tylers. Two were QPBC combinations;one published by Borzoi; one by Knopf, the latter two being the same edition found in a bookstore.

And, again, the only way I knew this was a QPBC book was because I remembered it. It is not a "bookclub edition,"  It has an ISBN clearly marked on the outside back cover. It has the same ISBN on the third page from the front, along with all other pertinent publishing data.

It would appear to me that the PBS mechanism mislabelled the book. Then again, to question infallibility may be a court martial offense. If so, so be it.

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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Interesting, the anti-PBS things that have been appearing today. I don't really understand.

I don't think it matters whether the mistake is a mistake with the database (and the book was only ever issued in paperback), or whether the PBS mechanism made some sort of error (though I don't know what that would be, if the ISBNs match), or whether there were in fact two different bindings published for the same ISBN. It really doesn't matter whether it was a bookclub edition or not - the same rules apply. Bookclub editions are allowed. There aren't any special rules about them; you follow the same procedures as normal.

Whether it is a mistake or some sort or not, the rule is that we don't post a book under an ISBN if the binding doesn't match the binding listed in the description. Instead, we must post it without ISBN (as if it didn't have an ISBN, even though it does). This can be highly annoying - I have a couple of really nice hardcovers right now that I haven't gotten around to listing because of exactly this problem (the database lists this ISBN as paperback).

I don't think it has anything to do with PBS infallibility - I haven't seen anyone claim that, anywhere. Certainly we've posted enough times on these boards about the mistakes PBS, and the PBS system, has made! You will, however, find people getting testy about those who choose not to follow the current, stated procedures.



Last Edited on: 3/7/11 1:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/7/2011 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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John - what you explain is what book club editions are - books that are printed by one source, not the retail publisher - often with a different binding that the one that the regular retail release has. Many book clubs (sellers as opposed to the Oprah type) use the smaller hardcovers, QPBC is one that uses a paperback binding instead. Most of the time being a book club book is irrelevant when they come as the smaller hardcovers since size and publisher do not matter. The QPBC books are a problem for the site because they use the ISBNs of books released in a different binding than the general retail. The system can't give it to both.

If you can find that any of the QPBC books were never sold as anything but a paperback, then send that research to the site and they can look at it. But, the way you describe the books (and the way I've always heard them described) they will often share an ISBN with a hard cover book and the only solution the system can offer is posting as a book without an ISBN.

PBS gets its database listings from an outside source. It is possible for a listing to be completely incorrect and there have been a few found. The only fallibility of the system is that in those cases it takes a member to volunteer their time to find it, research it, and notify the Team of the problem.

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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I agree bookclub editions are allowed but in addition to the difference in bindings, the OP mentioned an RC regarding book club editions. While I only remember ever coming across one QPBC book, it was clearly marked as such and I would have considered it a paperback book club edition.  

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,461
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I think I am beginning to waste your time and mine. What we have here is obviously a failure to communicate. I will now list descriptions of three paperback books, all bought through QPBC:

Mama Day by Gloria Naylor. Published by Vintage Books 1993. ISBN on outside back cover 0-679-72181-9. Price, also on lower outside back cover $13.95 US, Can $21.00. Size 8x5.25

Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler. Published by Alfred A. Knopf (Borzoi Books) 1988. No ISBN shown for this book: Library of Congress data on 4th page. No price shown. {Size of all three books the same}

Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac. Published by Riverhead Books, 1995. ISBN on lower outside back cover 1-57322-505-3. ISBN & other publishing data on 3rd page. No price shown.    [I need to pull this one out and read it again]

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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I guess I am confused. In your OP, you say that PBS listing says Hard Cover when you have a paperback, yet the two you list with ISBNs are in the PBS system as paperbacks and the other without an ISBN wouldn't have an established listing. You would have no problem posting those books. Did you assume that the requester thought they were ordering a Hard Cover because of the RCs referring to one? Many people do not turn their RCs off so the Hard Cover requests are shown for all books they order, even the paperbacks.

Since QPBC is a bookclub (it's name indicates such) books that are marked as published by them wouldn't meet an RC for non-bookclub books. If there is no distinguishing mark on the book saying a book can from QPBC, I don't know how it could be an issue on a paperback book since many books are bought used; hard cover books have other easily identified features.



Last Edited on: 3/7/11 3:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 3/7/2011 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,132
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Yes, QPBC (of which I was also a member for many years), does indeed "create" books. They have a special areement with some publishers that allows them to print trade paperbacks with the same ISBN as the retail hardcover, and they sell those trade paperbacks to their members, often way before the trade paperback is released to the stores. 

This is exactly how Book-of-the-Month Club, which owns QPBC works, except their agreements with the publishers allow them to publish a smaller hardcover version of the retail book, using that same ISBN.

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 10:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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Bottom line here is that

1) book is incorrectly posted

2) requestor states not "book club" books and QPBC (Quality Paperback Book Club) is a "book club" so, would not meet the RC

The book should be removed from OP bookshelf and reposted correctly as a book without an ISBN.

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,461
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Thanks for the laughs ladies. Situation has been resolved favorably for all concerned. kiss