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Topic: Books in Database With switched ISBN numbers

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Subject: Books in Database With switched ISBN numbers
Date Posted: 4/8/2013 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2008
Posts: 1
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Here is the issue, my wife posted the following 2 books and at the time the picture was correct but the titles were switched. As these are new books they were requested right away. She then mailed them to the requestors based on the ISBN number. One member has responded that they got the wrong book while the other did not. Further, clicking the Buy from Amazon link on each books page takes you to the correct book on Amazon.

The Mighty Quinns: Jack (Harlequin Blaze) - ISBN-13: 978-0373797509

Crash Landing (Harlequin Blaze) - ISBN-13: 978-0373797493

I have emailed PBS, but they have not replied.

My question is, what are other members doing when they encounter these issues? Wait and not post a recently released book because the database is Wrong? Contact each member as they request it to confirm the title they want?

I have searched the Help Center and this topic http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=206 doesn't really address this situation. What I am understanding from the question "Problem: the ISBN brings up a Listing Preview showing a totally different book than the one you have" isn't applicable in this situation as this is obviously an error in the database and not a book that is just not listed.

Date Posted: 4/8/2013 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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When you post a book, if the following things are not the same as the book in your hand, you should not post it:

1. Title

2. Author


4. Binding type

Pictures don't matter, the book you post does not have to match the picture.

In the case of a newly published book, the best thing to do is to not post it at all, and instead submit a Book Data Edit with the correct information PLUS an explanation in appropriate field. The Data Edit team will research the issue and the PBS will allow them to change the title on the listing if it's appropriate. But they don't like to change titles on listings if people are already mailing books around because they assume that people are not posting books to the listing if the title is not correct on their copy. It muddies the waters, so to speak.

In the case of an older book where the listing might be correct because several books re-used an ISBN or whatever, in those cases, you can post your book to the PBS website without an ISBN.

But I woudln't do that right off the bat with a newly published book. I would try for the data edit first.

Database errors happen, especially on newly published books. The data submitted from other sites that PBS accepts into it's database is not always correct, or it gets corrected at the source later on but PBS is not updated with the correct information.

Last Edited on: 4/8/13 7:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/8/2013 11:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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The Help Center does address the situation:


  • Confirm that your book matches the information in the Book Listing Preview

    • You will see the text below the Book Listing Preview:

      This is how your book listing will appear in the PBS library.

      Do the Title, Author, ISBN and Book Type match your book EXACTLY?

      Please note: book cover image shown does NOT need to match your book.

    • If all of the information (ISBN, title, author, booktype) on the Book Listing Preview matches your book EXACTLY click  .   Do not click Refresh on your browser while the button reads "Processing..."  Doing this may cause the book to be Posted twice.

  • If your book does NOT match the information in the Book Listing Preview:

    • If it is a minor difference, such as a misspelled title or the wrong author first name, you can post the book and submit corrections afterward using the Edit Book Data link.
    • If the booktype is different (if your book is a paperback, and the Preview shows hardcover, for example):
      • You will need to post the book without an ISBN
    • If the book title says "(Large Print)" and your book is regular-size font:
      • You will need to post the book without an ISBN

To Post a Book Without an ISBN:

  • Click the link "Post a Book Without an ISBN" at the top of the Post Books page.


Since the 4 key fields did not match, the book could not be posted to the ISBN and should have been posted as a book without an ISBN or waited until a data edit was submitted to correct the listing. What Amazon says doesn't matter, people are ordering the books based on PBS criteria (which is that the 4 key fields - Title, Author, ISBN, and binding Type - match).