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Topic: How do ISBN # works?

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Subject: How do ISBN # works?
Date Posted: 8/10/2007 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2007
Posts: 515
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Just curious, but is there a data base that has all the info for books based on their ISBN?

I have had a couple of books with ISBN numbers that didn't come up with any data when I enter them here. I did double check for typos too. I was able to find them online at Barnes and Noble. I even tried the 2nd ISBN # they listed but still came up with no data here.

Also I'm just curious to know why are there 2 ISBN # (ISBN-10 and ISBN-13)?


Date Posted: 8/10/2007 11:40 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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The reason for the 10 & 13 is that they just implemented the new numbering system because they were going to start running out of 10-digit combinations. So, now all books have been given a new 13-digit number, but since it is so new, not all companies have changed, and the 10 is still put on there.

Whenever I have a book that cannot be found by the database, I simply enter the book singly into the post books page, and the system will automatically send me to the post a new book page, where you will need a ruler and the book because the dimensions are needed as well as other info.

I often look to see if there is another edition of the book with a different ISBN already listed, and open a window to that edition and with the windows side-by-side, I copy paste the title, author, and description over to the new listing.

As for there being A database with ALL books with ISBNs MAYBE the Library of Congress (catalog.loc.gov) but that would be the only catalog that would hold all if there was such. Most only hold books that have been entered into them. So, the database PBS uses will only hold your book after you enter it, but not until SOMEONE enters it ;)

Hope that all makes sense.

Date Posted: 8/11/2007 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 1,150
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Thanks for answering that--- I have been wondering ever since I joined here about the whole "two isbn number thing", and was afraid to ask.  :-)  When I was selling on half.com, I only ever saw the 1 isbn number, then I came here a long time later, and see that most books have two.  Just goes to show you learn something new every day.


Last Edited on: 8/11/07 10:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 1