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Topic: Is this not a real book in the system?

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Subject: Is this not a real book in the system?
Date Posted: 3/29/2011 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2010
Posts: 196
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The Pursuit: Success is Hidden in the journey :: Dexter Yager, John Mason, Steve Yager
ISBN-13: 176153 - ISBN-10: - Book Type: Paperback
Wish Date: 1/12/2011 - Your position: 1 of 1 - Last Posted: 01/15/2009 - Estimate: N/A

So I noticed that I have this book on my wishlist and it has this ISBN that is only 6 digits long. I don't think that's a real ISBN but just something made up to have this book posted once? Cause I can see that the last posted date is 1/15/2009. Am I correct?

Date Posted: 3/29/2011 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,222
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That is a PBS generated ISBN for a book that was posted as a book without an ISBN. From the Help Center:

About non-ISBN items at PBS

Non-ISBN items are items Posted by a member onto his or her bookshelf using a customized (not pre-existing) listing.  This is necessary when:

  • The book being posted has no ISBN
  • The book does have an ISBN, but the PBS database is using that ISBN for another version (binding type or Large Print)  of the book
  • The book does have an ISBN, but the PBS database is using that ISBN for a completely different book (this is rare, but it does happen that publishers reuse ISBNs) 
  • The book does have an ISBN, but the PBS database does not include a listing for it.

A book that is posted using the Post Book Without an ISBN feature will be listed on PBS with a "short ISBN" (usually 5 or 6 digits).

The posting member created this listing using the Post Books Without an ISBN link on the Post Books page, entering the information manually that applies to his or her specific copy of the book (this information includes book dimensions and book description).  This means that:

  • Non-ISBN items (Items listed with "short" (5-digit) numbers in place of the ISBN) cannot be edited using the Edit Book Data link at the bottom of each page on the site.
    • This is because each "non-ISBN" item was posted into the system by the member who had that specific copy of the book, when her book did not match any pre-written listing in the system.
      • Thus, 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 (eg, book dimensions) about your copy of 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.

Because the listing was created manually, the listing represents only one specific copy of the book, and the book is not linked to any other item in the database, even if the titles are the same.  This means that:

  • non-ISBN books on a Wish List
    • will not trigger "Similar-to-wished-for-item" alerts
    • will not trigger a Wish List offer unless that particular copy is reposted into the system by someone who received it through PBS (using the Repost Books area or TBR Pile)
    •  will not be removed automatically when another version of that title is received through the Wish List.
  • "Short ISBNs"
    • cannot be reused to post another copy of that book (the Post Books field will accept only 10 or 13 digit ISBNs)
      • this is because not all the information the first poster provided about the book may match another book of the same title that needs to be posted without an ISBN
    • cannot be added to a Book List (TBR Pile or Books I've Read) manually.
      • If that copy of the book is received through PBS, it can be added to TBR when it is received
      • If that copy of the book is received through PBS, it can be added to BIR when it is reposted from the TBR Pile or Books to Repost area
  • non-ISBN items on the Club Wish List if no ISBN version of the book is currently wished-for
    • Usually mean that the wishers already got an ISBN version and neglected to remove this non-ISBN version from their Wish Lists
      • this would not have been done automatically by the system when the ISBN version was received, since the items are not linked
    • If you see this, it is likely that no one is actually currently wishing for that title; these are "leftover" wishes

In other words, it is not very effective to put a non-ISBN item in the database onto a Wish List.

Date Posted: 3/29/2011 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2010
Posts: 196
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Date Posted: 3/29/2011 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yes, that's a 'short' ISBN.  They are generated by PBS and intended for one time only use.

Date Posted: 3/30/2011 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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If they are intended for one-time use, then why doesn't PBS remove them after they are shipped?  Having a whole bunch of them around just confuses everyone--especially newbies like me!

Date Posted: 3/30/2011 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Evelyn--I *think* (not sure mind you!) that it has something to do with the database and transaction archive.  In order to keep track of past transactions, they need to keep these.

Date Posted: 3/30/2011 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2011
Posts: 126
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If you order and receive one of these books with a short ISBN and you read it and want to re-post it, is there any reason why you cannot re-use the short ISBN entry that the book was associated with originally? I'm thinking that would be okay. So in this case it is not really a one-time use, although it is a one-book use.

Date Posted: 3/30/2011 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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You can reuse them if you are reposting the same exact book.  So if you order a short ISBN book, you can repost it under that same listing when you are done. So they are reusable in that sense.  Just not intended for anyone else to match their book up to it.