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Topic: Partial ISBNs

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Subject: Partial ISBNs
Date Posted: 8/15/2009 6:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2009
Posts: 177
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Why do some books only list a partial ISBN?  I've seen several books this way.  One I was just looking at has a 5-digit number for ISBN-13.  When I tried to post my copy, one of the questions asked was "Does the ISBN match exactly?"  Of course it doesn't--mine has 13 digits.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 8/15/2009 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,121
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These numbers are generated by the PBS system whenever someone posts a book without an ISBN.

You should not wish list these books, and you should not reuse the listing to post one of your books.

Date Posted: 8/15/2009 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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some books have to be posted as though they do not have an ISBN because one of the key points (Author, Title, ISBN, and binding type) do not match the listing on PBS...

Please do not post your books by just looking for one that appears to look like yours...the only way to post books is by ISBN...

Date Posted: 8/15/2009 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2009
Posts: 177
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I wasn't trying to post a book under the wrong ISBN.  I know that the ISBNs need to match, that's why I stopped.  I have the hardcover copy and the ISBN in my book matches the softcover version.  The hardcover is listed on PBS with the partial ISBN.  I can't list it under the ISBN because it comes up to the softcover version, and the hardcover ISBN listed is partial.  How do I list this book?

Date Posted: 8/15/2009 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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You will need to list it without an ISBN and the system will assign it its own personal 5 digit #.

Date Posted: 8/15/2009 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It looks like the publisher reused the ISBN which is actually pretty common.  They pay for blocks of those #'s and they frequently reuse them when reissuing a book in another binding.  So those other people on PBS have the same problem and have posted the book without an ISBN.  As someone else said-those 5 digit #'s are assigned by PBS. 

 

Date Posted: 8/15/2009 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2009
Posts: 177
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Thanks, Christy.  I was wondering where the 5-digits came from, since they matched no part of the ISBN in my book, which is exactly like the one listed.

Date Posted: 8/15/2009 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Marsha, it may seem redundant to have a new number assigned when it appears someone else has already been in your position and had a number assigned.  But that's how the system wants to handle it, so go for it :-) 

Also, when adding books to your wishlist, watch for the short ISBN's.  Frequently there are copies already in the system under the proper number, and you don't want to be in a line with a dead end number.  Had a couple listed for months before learning what they were.  For some reason, members get antsy about a new release and add it to the system before the real number is available...other members find it there and innocently add it to their wishlist, not realizing it's a dead end.  The 4th C.L. Wilson release scheduled for this fall has over 100 members waiting with a short ISBN, and no way to find them in the system.



Last Edited on: 8/15/09 6:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/15/2009 7:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2009
Posts: 177
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Thanks, Denise.  I just went and cleaned up my WL.  I had 3 of these short ISBN books listed.  If each one is given an unique number, it makes sense that they'll never be offered to me.  I've seen listings for books that have many of these short ISBN copies listed.  I wish PBS would delete these listings when the book is ordered, because it makes it very confusing about what books to put on your wishlist when you're a newbie.