Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Book with "short" ISBN

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Book with "short" ISBN
Date Posted: 10/27/2011 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2006
Posts: 4,794
Back To Top

Yesterday I posted a non-ISBN number book to my bookshelf . . . hardback book with dust jacket, new condition.  As it does not have an ISBN, I posted it as required by PBS and the book was assigned a "short" ISBN.  My question is this:  there is one member wishing for this book, but with a different "short" ISBN.  (I believe the book was only published as a BCE; hence no regular ISBN.)  When looking at the wish list, is it permissible for me to click on "post this book" even though the short ISBN numbers do not match . . . and never will since each book with no ISBN is assigned one of the shorter numbers. 

Date Posted: 10/27/2011 9:11 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
Back To Top

No, you can only reuse a short ISBN number if it is the copy you received in a trade with the short ISBN -- in other words, that short ISBN number is tied to a particular book. Don't worry, your book will be requested shortly if it is wishlisted -- someone will find it and request it.

Date Posted: 10/27/2011 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2006
Posts: 2,110
Back To Top

Karen - i had the same exact issue with a book i posted a few days ago - one wisher with short isbn - still keeping my fingers crossed that they connect

Date Posted: 10/27/2011 9:38 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 2,585
Back To Top

If you can view the person's wishlist - why not give them a heads up that you have it posted under a different short ISBN.  this would give them the option to order it from you if they wish.

Date Posted: 10/27/2011 10:05 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
Back To Top

Also - you can tag the other version, I believe, with the short isbn you were assigned and someone may find it that way.

Date Posted: 10/27/2011 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

She wouldn't be able to view that persons name w/o posting the book.  Unless she happened to see it when looking at people's WL.

Date Posted: 10/27/2011 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,292
Back To Top

Well, I have a different take on this question.

Since the "short" ISBN is on someone's Wish List, I think it would be fine to post your book to the short ISBN, and them PM the other person and open a discussion about it.

All of us forum users know perfectly well that Wish Listing short ISBNs is completely useless .... since technically NOBODY can ever ever post a book to a short ISBN (which I am not certain is actually a rule anyway ... why can't you post to a short ISBN on someone's Wish List, if your book matches the one they are wishing for?)

So .... I think in the spirit of trying to connect someone with a book that you have, that otherwise can never be properly offered to them ... post it to them, open a conversation via PM to make sure that the book you want to offer them is the exact one they are wishing for ....  (if they say no, then you cancel the offer, and they go back to wishing on a short ISBN which will never be offered to them.) No harm done.

I don't see a downside to this. If they don't answer your PM, then just cancel the offer of your book, and they are not out anything and neither are you.

Date Posted: 10/27/2011 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

I agree with Sara, especially about pm'ing before sending. 

Many members do not check other versions (or spend much time on research or PBS account maint.) and may not realize they have wishlisted a short ISBN or that they can/should occassionally check for other versions.  There are a couple famous short ISBN's that were input into the PBS system before publication of a popular upcoming release.  Unknowing wishers didn't know to check back and pick up the real ISBN when it became available and unfortunately many of them languished over a year on the wrong ISBN while the real ISBN wishlist was actually shorter and moved well. 

I was an active PBS member for a couple years before a nice gamer pointed out that I had wishlisted one of the above referenced short ISBN's ... until then I was only vaguely aware of shorts and their purpose and limitations.

Date Posted: 10/27/2011 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,365
Back To Top

The short ISBN wishes are ususally left-over wishes:  A new member added every version of a title to his wish list, not knowing that it's not generally useful to add short ISBNs.  He received the book already and never cleaned up his wish list.


Sally put it well -- the short ISBN is attached to a particular copy of the book, and should only be reused by the person who received that copy.  When someone else reuses it, it can mess up old transactions records, according to the PBS Team.  They've asked us not to do that.



Date Posted: 10/27/2011 8:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
Back To Top

#1 I asked TPTB specifically about the issue of re-using the short ISBN's, they requested that I not do this (if anyone is interested I can hunt up their exact wording I saved the e-mail).  I will point out that it doesn't appear to be a "punishable offense" though.

#2 If there is only 1 wisher I wouldn't worry about it.  Before I asked about this issue I posted an untold number of books to these short ISBN's where someone had it on the wish list (3 people or less).  Of these books (I guestimate around 35-40) I only had 1 case where the book didn't time out.

In short I have come up with the rule of thumb that you should post it as requested.  If it is actually a highly sought after book someone will see it posted (I'm one of those people that watches the books posted today).  If it still doesn't go quickly place a note in the bazaar thread (wishlisted books for a different ISBN).  If there is only one wisher then it's probably just a single copy in the system type of book.