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Topic: Replacing blue book covers

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Subject: Replacing blue book covers
Date Posted: 12/2/2014 10:42 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,753
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How long does it usually take for a book cover you submitted to be approved?

Date Posted: 12/2/2014 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,300
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It depends.  I think it can take up to two weeks or more.  Some have taken even longer.  The person who has to verify the information you've sent might be busy and not be able to work on it right away, especially at this time of year.  Sometimes it's taken care of in a day or so.  It will eventually get done, and if there's a problem with what you've submitted, they'll usually send you a PM about it (at least they do me).  Pat

Date Posted: 12/2/2014 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,476
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The covers are approved by volunteer members. So it really depends on their time. Then it will take several hours for the website to update it across the country.

Some things will speed up the process. The image needs to be cropped and straight.

Here is the Help Center's suggestions for size and format:

If the book cover image is incorrect on a listing in the database (the title/author shown are wrong), or there is no cover image, you can submit an image for the book to our Book Image Collection volunteers, as follows:

  • Find a cover image for the book on another Internet database, or scan one in or take a digital photograph
    • The image must be less than 5 MB
    • The image must be in .jpg format
    • The image must be cropped to show only the book cover
    • The image can't be one that has "See inside!" (some images from Amazon.com have this)
  • Scroll down to the bottom of any page on the site
  • Click Member Tools
  • Click "Upload Book Covers" on the Member Tools page
  • Enter the ISBN for the book
  • Browse your hard drive for the cover image
  • Click to submit it
  • The Image Approvers will usually approve images quickly.
    • If your image is not approved, it might have been too fuzzy or in the wrong format or not properly cropped
    • The Image Approvers will often replace your image with a better one when your submission comes in.

If the book cover image on a listing matches the author and title but doesn't happen to match YOUR copy of the book that has that ISBN:

  • This image does not need to be replaced.
  • Cover images do NOT have to match the book being listed, because sometimes publishers reprint using the same ISBN but a different cover art.
  • ISBN, author, title and booktype must match when you Post a book; cover image does not have to match.
Date Posted: 12/2/2014 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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Then it will take several hours for the website to update it across the country.

I am not sure what this means Emily, "updating across the country". The images don't need to physically travel anywhere and it updates for everyone at the same time. 

Adding an image to a listing with no image should be be almost immediate at the time the approver accepts the image, if there was an image already there, it should show up in 2-4 days (this has improved from the previous weeks it took).

If the approvers get a lot of images into the que for approval, it will take a little more time for the image to be approved. If an image is not approved, they will email the submitter, so if you are waiting on an image just wait for it to appear or hear from someone on the imaging team.

Date Posted: 12/2/2014 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,476
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PBS has said that the updates slowly move to update the cache on various servers. That is what I was referring to. 

This had rather surprised me, as I thought PBS was hosted on one main server in Georgia. But it would explain the delays in getting books added to the database.

Date Posted: 12/3/2014 12:09 AM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 793
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I had several days off at Thanksgiving and I have been scanning and uploading A LOT of covers for books on my huge shelf.  Patty P. has been approving a lot of them for me and she has been wonderful.  I guess she had as many days off because many were up within a day.  I have a good scanner and she advised me to crop them inside the borders which I assume has helped speed them along.  Thanks so much Patty!!

I did these on the blue covers but I must say I don't like a lot of the generic covers so these will be my next project.

 



Last Edited on: 12/3/14 12:11 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/3/2014 1:58 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,476
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Having covers really helps when folks browse your bookshelf to add more books to an order.

Date Posted: 12/3/2014 2:45 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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The time it takes for a cover image to be approved and visible on the site depends upon several factors. Here are some of my perspectives as an image approver.

First, the primary factors for how quickly an image is approved include how many images are in the approval queue at any given time, and the quality and accuracy of the images that have been submitted for approval. In addition to checking image quality, we also check to be sure that the title and author match the listing for the given ISBN. When the image approval queue is large, it takes more time to check each image and approve it. Images that are good or have minor defects can be approved very quickly, while images that are poor quality or that do match the title and author for the listing may slow down the approval process for everybody. When an image is not approvable as submitted (either, for example, because it is skewed, not cropped, blurry, too small to be legible,is  obscured with stickers, has writing on it, has many creases, scrapes or other defects, or has missing corners, etc.) approvers have three choices. We can either deny the image outright and contact the member; fix the image that was uploaded; or search the web to find a replacement, which frequently also needs to be fixed or touched up. This process not only takes more time for any particular image that needs to be fixed, touched up or replaced, but also takes time away from approving other images in the queue. Sometimes images are skipped over in the approval queue if they are poor quality and would require a lot of time or effort to fix or replace, and move on to other images that can be readily or easily approved with either little or no fixes or touch ups. A skipped-over image may thereby stay in the approval queue for several days before an approver decides to takes it on and work with it.

Second, once an image is approved the length of time it takes for it to display correctly depends primarily upon whether it is an image replacing a blue box or an image replacing one already in the PBS image database or library.

Approved images that replace blue boxes will update very quickly and with few exceptions will be visible and display correctly within minutes or less after being approved.

On the other hand, images that replace poor or incorrect images already in the site's database take longer to display correctly, and sometimes a listing may even toggle back and forth several times between the old or bad image and the new, replacement image before displaying stably. The reason for this is that even though an image has been approved and the PBS database or image library has been updated, the image must then propagate through an array of primary internet servers to become fully updated. Internet servers do not update their image cache at the same time, so one may update soon after an image has been approved on PBS while another may not update for several days or even weeks. Logins to PBS go through different internet servers and individual members do not necessarily always connect to the site via the same internet server from one time to the next, and therefore the image displayed for a given book will depend upon how recently the particular server connecting you to the site has synched its data to PBS.

It has not been uncommon in the past for replacement images on PBS to not be synched with all internet servers for anywhere from several days up to a month or more in some cases, before updating and displaying correctly and consistently across the net. Recently, however, replacement images have appeared to be updating much more quickly, often within 3 or 4 days rather than a week or more, and sometimes as quickly as 1 or 2 days. Although an improvement in image updates across the net is not yet conclusive, this has been my experience over the past 6 weeks or so.

So, to summarize my comments for the original post, image approval may take anywhere from less than 1 day to 3 or maybe 4 days from the time an image is submitted. It may then take anywhere from minutes or less for blue boxes up to several days or longer for replacement images to display properly across the net.

 

 

 

 



Last Edited on: 12/3/14 4:06 AM ET - Total times edited: 7
Date Posted: 12/3/2014 11:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Theresa sez:

<<Patty P. has been approving a lot of them for me and she has been wonderful. >>

Patty P. is, indeed, amazing. heart

Date Posted: 12/3/2014 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,753
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Think I have a problem......I couldn't get the white off the sides of the image. Will have to ask hubby for help, then resubmit.

Date Posted: 12/5/2014 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,250
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Over the years, I have uploaded a large number of images, both for blue boxes and replacements for poor cover images. However, since I recently moved, I've discovered that the time period for getting the images of covers approved has greatly increased. This may be because I haven't had the time to hook up my scanner to my computer yet. smiley
 



Last Edited on: 12/5/14 10:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/6/2014 4:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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If images are taking longer to be approved it is likely either because more images are being uploaded and therefore take longer on average to be approved, or because many images in the queue are poorer quality and approvers must then either fix them or find replacements.

It is great if you are able to hook up a scanner to your computer because scanned images in general are usually better than photographs and often better than many images found on the web. These will likely move through the image approval process more quickly as long as they need little or no touch up. On the other hand, good quality scans also more clearly show defects such as creases, scratches and scrapes that may need to be cleaned up, but these are also generally easier to work with than lower resolution images.

My philosophy is that images on the site should depict covers for books in good, but not necessarily pristine, condition. This is especially important for books with true ISBNs because the images should not reflect the defects of a particular copy of a given book. In my view, this also applies to images for books posted without ISBNs and identified in the system with "short ISBNs".

For me, images in the system should not show all the defects of a given member's particular copy of their book, but rather should depict what a reasonably good, clean copy of the book might look like. These can also then be used for other copies of the book having either true ISBNs or PBS short ISBNS.

In cases in which member-uploaded images have prominent defects (such as creases, scratches, scrapes, stains, rough edges, stickers, reflective glare, etc.) I tend to either clean them up or find alternate images for covers in better or good condition. When the image approval queue has many images that need fixing or replacing, this will slow down the approval process for all other images in the queue as well.



Last Edited on: 12/7/14 12:38 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/6/2014 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,418
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Thomas, are you saying it's like hoping to win the lottery when you haven't bought a ticket!?!  LOL

Date Posted: 12/12/2014 10:19 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,753
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I heard from one of the book image approvers thru PM that the image I sent should be fine.  Still waiting for it to be approved.