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Topic: Question: Wrong Description of Book

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Subject: Question: Wrong Description of Book
Date Posted: 1/27/2009 1:15 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 69
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I searched through the FAQ, but couldn't find anything about this, so I'm posting here.

I recently found a non-ISBN book posted that had the poster's book's condition instead of the actual book cover blurb or something else that would tell me what the book was about. Is there a way to fix/report that?

Date Posted: 1/27/2009 1:29 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2006
Posts: 1,468
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Welcome to PBS, Katie !


From The Help Center:


If the information on a book listing in the database is incorrect...

If a book listing has an inaccuracy in it, you can very easily submit the correct information to our Data Correction volunteers as follows:

  • Scroll to the bottom of any page on the site
  • Click the "Edit Book Data" link
  • Enter the ISBN on the book
  • Click Yes-> on the next screen to confirm this is the correct book
  • On the next screen, fill out/correct the information there, leaving all correct information in place
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click .
  • Your submissions will need to be reviewed and approved by our Data Correction approval volunteers; this may take a few days.  The volunteers do these approvals as they can, and sometimes verifying ONE data correction is a labor-intensive process.

What the Edit Book Data feature CAN be used for:

  • To correct a typo in the title, or a missing or wrong author name

  • To correct an incorrect "recommended postage" that prints out on the PBS wrapper for a book.

    • Recommended postage is based on the information the database has for the weight of a book
    • You can enter the correct weight for a book (it will be on your postal receipt if you have sent the book)
    • This will correct the Recommended postage that prints out on the wrapper.
  • To correct genre classification:

  • You can choose genre/subgenre on the Edit page
  • These choices will replace the genre classifications on the listing for the book.
  • To submit a book description for listings that do not include this information.

    • such as a plot synopsis, for example taken from the back of the book

  • To add "abridged" or "unabridged" to the title or book description  for an audiobook that lacks this information.

  • To assign a book to the Homeschooling genre/category in the database

    • there is a checkbox for this on the Edit screen.

What the Edit Book Data feature CANNOT be used for:

  • You will not be able to change booktype using the Edit Book Data Link.

    • The reason is that publishers sometimes use the same ISBN for more than one booktype
    • The booktype attached to the ISBN on PBS is the only booktype that can be Posted with this ISBN
    • In other words, if an ISBN is listed as hardcover on PBS (but the publisher used that ISBN for both hardcover and paperback).  If members could change the booktype:
      • members could Post their hardcovers with this ISBN correctly
      • and then someone who had the softcover changes the booktype on the listing for the ISBN
      • now all the members who have posted the book correctly have had their listings changed.
    • If you think the booktype on an ISBN is incorrect, you can submit this information to us in a feedback message.
      • You should check more than one non-Amazon internet archive for this ISBN; if the ISBN appears to have been used for more than one booktype on an Internet search, the booktype probably won't be able to be changed in the PBS database.
    • If you have a book whose ISBN brings up the "wrong" booktype on the listing when you try to post it, you will need to post it using the Post Books without an ISBN feature.  Please see Solutions to common Book Posting Problems for more information.
  • Books that are not listed as Large Print should NOT be assigned as Large Print unless you have confirmed that no other version of the book was published with the ISBN.

    • The reason for this is exactly as described above for changing booktypes.
  • Items listed with "short" (5-digit) numbers in place of the ISBN cannot be edited.
    • This is because a "non-ISBN" item was posted into the system by the member who had the book, when her book did not match any pre-written listing in the system.
    • Each "non-ISBN" item represents one copy of the book, and unless you have that exact copy that was posted using that listing by the original poster, the information about the book may not apply.
    • This also means that for a posting member  who posts a book without an ISBN and makes  a typo/mistake in doing so, this cannot be edited after submitting the listing: the listing will need to be removed from the bookshelf and reposted correctly.
Date Posted: 1/27/2009 1:35 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 69
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The problem is that I don't know the real synopsis to put there. I was searching by genre and just found it. Can I take out the conditions stuff and just leave the synopsis blank when I correct it?

(And thanks! I really like this site)

Date Posted: 1/27/2009 2:10 AM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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No, you can't change information on system-generated "fake" ISBN numbers, as they're not supposed to be re-used. All books are presumed to be in good condition, so members shouldn't put anything like that either in their non-ISBN description (even though technically the numbers is specifically only for that copy), nor in a review. About the only thing you might do is report that book under "contact us".


Date Posted: 1/27/2009 8:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Have you googled the book name/author?  You can probably find the book's info on Alibris or Amazon and possible an actual ISBN #.  You won't be able to edit that copy but there may be another version out there. 

Date Posted: 1/28/2009 12:53 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 69
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Thank you all for your help!