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Topic: how to choose which ISBN version of a given book to wish for?

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Subject: how to choose which ISBN version of a given book to wish for?
Date Posted: 4/5/2016 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2009
Posts: 18
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I've been a member for some years and still don't have a good feel for which version(s) of a book are best to wish for. Perhaps there are some sophisticated tools that I don't know about? I do know about the obvious metrics that are displayed for each ISBN version. Maybe there is a way to determine the number published for each ISBN, so you could know the supply as well as the demand.

There seems to be evidence that the "hive mind" might be up to something. Say a given book has six ISBN versions, and one of them has most wishers, falling off across the others. Yet none of these versions indicate any momentum - no recent trades. Is this just accidental or do the majority know something I don't?  Do they simply pick the latest edition, assuming it has the most supply?  


Date Posted: 4/5/2016 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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I don't know.... I just check all of them and throw it to the winds.  Unless it's a type of reference book that have various editions throughout the years, then I'll pick the most recent one. 

Date Posted: 4/5/2016 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,540
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I used to always check all of them and lately I decided I didn't really want HC so a lot of times I'll check only the PB versions. I collect series, but I don't care about matching sets since I read & re-post. Whatever comes up first I'll take, though by the time I obtain the last in the series the first ones are mostly no longer WL. 

Date Posted: 4/6/2016 10:07 AM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2007
Posts: 5,948
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I usually pick the one with the most reviews. I assume it's the version with the most copies available.

Date Posted: 4/6/2016 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,806
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Say a given book has six ISBN versions, and one of them has most wishers, falling off across the others. Yet none of these versions indicate any momentum - no recent trades.

Some of this variance may be due to international imprints of a book.  They have unique ISBNs, but are usually posted here far less frequently than US versions.

Date Posted: 4/6/2016 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,086
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Yes, for many books a whole slew of international ISBNs get loaded into the database, particularly for authors who are either citizens of other countries (the UK, Australia, Canada) or are published in 40 languages or whatever. But those ISBNs are highly unlikely to trade more than a copy or two here, ever, if at all.

If you want to WL the most likely copies, then go to Amazon and see which ISBNs are the US versions. The ones that Amazon itself stocks are going to be the US versions, the ones that are only available as Used copies (or, sometimes as New copies but not stocked by Amazon, but when you check you see that all the New copies are shipped by sellers in the UK) are going to be the international versions. That's a pretty decent rule of thumb to use, probably about 98% true.

There is not enough information on the PBS site to be sure what you are ordering, as I have seen the "WL pileup" situation, where an international ISBN is "first" to be loaded into PBS, then it gets a ton of wishers, probably most or all of them not knowing that they will never get that version of the book, and then when the US ISBN gets loaded up a few months later, people are still confused. This is particularly common in the case where the author is not a US author, but is maybe a British author, and the books are being released in the UK before being released in the US.

Last Edited on: 4/6/16 1:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 4/6/2016 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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Anything that's available in the PBS Market should be generally available in the U.S, so if you want to wish for the "most likely" version, that's a pretty good clue as to which one it is.

I have enough spots on my WL to be able to wish for all versions, and I have sometimes gotten the UK version of best sellers, so that's typically what I do.

Date Posted: 4/6/2016 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 794
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Different versions can also have to do with print size or print font type.  Be particularly careful not to select a Large Print version if you don't want one.  The large print version is often the one with only a few wishers.  Sometimes print size isn't immediately obvious in the description.  If I'm not sure I do the Amazon cross reference where the description may be clearer.  Also check the number of pages as those versions with more pages often have larger fonts.

Last Edited on: 4/6/16 9:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/7/2016 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Certain publishers are known for Large Print or UK versions. Those move slower.

Date Posted: 4/7/2016 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2013
Posts: 764
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I check all of them.  It kind of sucks when a book you want has four or six versions.  It eats at your WL, but if you don't check all, then other versions just get posted and someone else nabs them first.  I learned that the hard way.