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Topic: chapbooks w/ ISBNs: are they postable?

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Subject: chapbooks w/ ISBNs: are they postable?
Date Posted: 5/11/2009 3:40 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 294
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The subject heading says it all. I have a lot of chapbooks: some have ISBNs, some don't. Some are thin and only contain, for example, one short story. Others are substantial, such as the one I'm holding in my hand right now: it has an introduction, 9 short stories, 1 autobiographical story (w/ several photographs), and a bibliography--and it has an ISBN. And yet, like all chapbooks, it is bound only with staples.

I did a search on "chapbook" in the Help Docs and got a result of zero.

--thanks in advance,




Date Posted: 5/11/2009 8:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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I don't know what a "chapbook" is but I'm thinking no if it's only bound with staples.

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 8:34 AM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 533
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What's a chapbook?

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 1/31/2006
Posts: 1,405
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Fiona,  If any of your chapbooks are by Charles DeLint, PM me  : )

A chapbook (in the past) was a small, hand-stitched, inexpensively printed book.  These were usually of poetry or religious tracts, but the early gothic serial novels were often printed and bound as chapbooks as well.  Today chapbook generally refers to small self-published manuscripts.  However, in some genres, fantasy and sci-fi in particular (though I have seen some horror as well) it is not uncommon for certain authors to publish chapbooks with short stories not sold to their major publishers.   These are limited print runs and in high demand.  I'm ALWAYS looking for older DeLint chapbooks.  Recently the demand for some of his chapbooks became so high that his publisher contracted to print an HB anthology of them.  It's on my WL  :  )

Anissa (WVgrrl) - ,
Date Posted: 5/11/2009 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2009
Posts: 432
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Pamphlets/Booklets/leaflets without ISBNs: NO

  • These sometimes contain advertising; members also complain at having to pay a credit for these.
  • Leaflets = non-children's books with less than 20 pages
  • Booklets = non-children's books with less than 50 pages
  • Leaflet/pamphlets/booklets with ISBNs may be posted
    • if so, the number of pages must be included in the item description.
  • Children's books do not count as booklets or leaflets, even if they are short. 
    • Children's books can be expected to have short pagelengths and the booklet/leaflet designations do not apply

I think this help topic is the one most applicable to your chapbooks. Ones with an ISBN, then yes. Ones without an ISBN, then no. But you might be able to list non-ISBNs on your shelf header or advertise them in the book bazaar. In this case I think they would be similar to the rules for Advance Reader Copies (ARCs). As long as the requester knows what they are getting through these means, then it seems to be acceptable.

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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My interpretation is different: if the chapbook is at least 50 pages, it is a "book" not a "booklet".  If less than 50 pages, then they're (the ISBN-less ones)  pretty clearly un-postable.

I think the rules are saying that items under 50 pages, without an ISBN = No, and under 50 pages with an ISBN = Yes (provided there's a page count). If you're going to post the ISBN ones, you're obliged to check the book data, providing a page count if missing.

Date Posted: 5/12/2009 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 7:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/12/2009 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2005
Posts: 6,987
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I think though that the binding is what is the deciding factor here. Since they cannot be classified as either audio (obviously not), paperback, or hardback, they can't be posted.  With staples for the binding, they are like many ARC's (like Anissa said) which often come with spiral-type binding or stapled.

I agree that the BB would be the best place for these...although they do sound like a true find! :)


Wikipedia defines chapbooks as "booklets" multiple times.

Last Edited on: 5/12/09 12:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/12/2009 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Ok, First of all I'm not sure what staples have to do with anything.  The HC says that Unbound pages are unpostable, but no stipulation is made about staples.

The HC Item above, while pertinant, doesn't tell the whole story.  If you'll go to this HC section (I tried copying what i wanted but the link part didn't work):  What can be swapped here?   and hover over "Leaflet"  you'll see that leaflets, pamphlets and booklets *with* ISBNs may be posted IF;

  • The # of pages must be included in the item description
  • The item needs to be clearly described in the listing as to its brief length/small size.

So, the ticket here would be to make sure that you send send edits for any of them that did not have this information in the description.  Also, until you are sure those edits have been approved, I'd PM people who order just to be sure they understand what they've ordered. 

Last Edited on: 5/12/09 1:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/12/2009 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
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If the chapbooks are by Shane Ryan Staley, I'd love a PM.  I have several of his books on my WL.

Date Posted: 5/12/2009 10:03 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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There is an "Other" category for bindings (to cover turtlebacks, plastic covers, library bindings, etc), so that could be used.  Presumably this is a professionally published work, and the staples are just used because the book is so thin/short.  If it were something "homemade" or potentially photocopied and then stapled in lieu of a binding (am not saying Fiona would do this, just an example), that would be unpostable.


Date Posted: 5/13/2009 12:03 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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The staples would seem irrelevent, many postable childrens books are bound with staples.