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Topic: Responding to wish for a book with no ISBN

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Subject: Responding to wish for a book with no ISBN
Date Posted: 6/18/2012 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2006
Posts: 14
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I've got a copy of this book:

http://www.paperbackswap.com/Strange-Case-Patty-John-And-Francine-Pascal/book/187509/

This is the edition I have (it reads Signet, July 1974 on copyright page).  It doesn't have an ISBN. When I post

If your book does not have one of these ISBNs, please post your book from the Post Books page.

ISBN-13: 187509
ISBN-10:

 

It of course doesn't have either of those. A little research gets me to this page:

http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=25

Hovering the pointer over non-ISBN item tells me the listing is for a specific copy of a book.

The listing shows there's one member wishing the book. Is there any reason I can't just say okay, post the book and the wishing member get it?

Date Posted: 6/18/2012 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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That 6 digit ISBN is one issued by PBS and isn't supposed to be reused.  A lot of people don't realize that they shouldn't be wishing for those small ISBN numbers. Then there are books with no ISBN edition in place and people will WL the PBS generated ISBN in hopes it'll be seen and posted. 

I would post the book with a new PBS generated ISBN.  Then put a tag on the ones with a WL that it's been posted under a diferent ISBN # and list that #.

Date Posted: 6/18/2012 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,668
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IMO, if you read the listing and your book matches, you should be fine posting to it. Because it is a "one copy" listing, I woudl take extra care to match on things that normally do not need to match, such as the publish date. Many people understand the short ISBN to mean that they are getting the exact book described in the listing, down to the publish date, etc.

Also, I wouldn't be in a big hurry to mail it out. In this case, I might contact the requestor via PM, if they do, in fact, request the book after it is offered to them, just to clarify anything that might be unclear. Make sure you are sending them what they are expecting to be getting.

Date Posted: 6/18/2012 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,322
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The Admin Team has asked us not to reuse other people's non-ISBN listings.  The number is attached to one particular copy of the book.  If someone else uses the listing for a book you received here, and then you go to repost the book, it can mess things up.  It can also confuse things in your transaction archive.

On the Post Books page, up in the yellow bar, there's an option for posting your book without an ISBN.

And from the help center:

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

 

Date Posted: 6/18/2012 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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Given all this, why does the system even allow people to put non-ISBN books on their wish list?  If the only person who is supposed to re-post using that entry is the person who got it from that entry, just how likely is that *ever* to happen?!

Date Posted: 6/18/2012 9:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 1,252
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Mary L. (MsRight) - Thanks for your suggestion above.  I've got a book now that I had to post with the short ISBN.  It also shows that someone has WL'd a hardcover copy like mine but with a traditional ISBN.  Granted - it might be an old WL, but at least now, I've tagged that book and maybe mine will be looked at.

 

Date Posted: 6/18/2012 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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I agree Evelyn.  TPTB prefer we not re-use the short ISBN's....but many members do not really understand what they are and their use here at PBS.  Think I was a member for over two years before I understood them.  In which case, IMO the PBS system should purge them after the transaction is complete.  Having those 'one time' entries floating around is confusing for both posters and wishers.

Date Posted: 6/19/2012 1:14 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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Because there is history tied to the ISBN and it could be reposted by the original receiving member, the system can't purge or block the ISBNs from being used.

Posting to a listing that PBS specifically tells us not to use except in one instance runs the risk of a RWAP with no argument for why the book was posted to the listing incorrectly (other than wanting to post to a wish listed item rather than posting the way we are told to). To me, the risk of losing book, postage, and credit isn't worth it and I'd just post the book properly by setting up the new listing.

Date Posted: 6/19/2012 1:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Posting is easy, the pic can be a bit of a headyache.  Then it's difficult to be 'found' even if the book is wishlisted under another ISBN (or short ISBN). 

I've actually seen short ISBN's with dozens of wishers, I feel sad for them b/c most don't realize it's a dead end and the book is unlikely to be posted to them.  They also don't realize they should be looking for the 'real' ISBN, and just sit in the wrong line for ages.

Date Posted: 6/19/2012 3:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,322
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the pic can be a bit of a headyache

If you like the book cover image on another listing here and want to add it to yours:

1) Open the listing and click on the image to get the largest view

2) Right-click on the large image and choose "save image as..." to save it to your computer.  (If it isn't cropped, crop it -- but most images here are cropped)

3) a. Add the image when you create your non-ISBN listing or

    b.  Click on the upload button under the blue "no image available" box or

    c. Go down to the bottom left corner of any page.  Under "my account" choose "member tools" and upload it there.

4) Wait -- it has to go through approval before it shows up.

 

I've actually seen short ISBN's with dozens of wishers, I feel sad for them

My experience is that in the past, a newer member would add every version of a title to his wish list.  I know I did that early on -- I'd get in a dozen lines for each book I wanted.  We'd get the book and wouldn't think to remove the other versions of the book from our WL.  So a non-ISBN listing with 12 wishers doesn't mean 12 people still actually want the book.  Most of the wishes are leftovers. But tagging the ISBN listing is a great idea.

Wishlisting non-ISBN books is less likely to happen now with the wish list expander, since the non-ISBN listings are not linked to the ISBN listings, and so don't appear as choices in the expander.

 

 



Last Edited on: 6/19/12 3:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/19/2012 7:10 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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It should be possible to prevent shorts ISBNs from being put on wishlists, even if the entries aren't purged from the system. It should, likewise, be possible to prevent short ISBNs with 0 copies posted from showing up on searches, and to prevent people other than someone involved in the original transaction from posting to that ISBN.

It makes sense that they need to keep the listing for Transaction Archives and other things to work properly, but it wouldn't be likely that Person A would post a no-ISBN book, Person B would receive it, and then Person C would get it from Person B (off PBS), be able to identify the correct listing, and re-post. It wouldn't take complicated code, I wouldn't think, to prevent this from happening.

Date Posted: 6/19/2012 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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Posting is easy, the pic can be a bit of a headyache.

I do what Patty explains, copy the image from the existing listing to my hard drive and upload it to the new listing.

it wouldn't be likely that Person A would post a no-ISBN book, Person B would receive it, and then Person C would get it from Person B (off PBS), be able to identify the correct listing, and re-post. It wouldn't take complicated code, I wouldn't think, to prevent this from happening. 

Why is it any less likely for the non-ISBN books to be reposted as the ISBN books? There are books in the PBS system with pretty long footprints. People just use the post button from their Bookshelf, TBR, or TA to repost the book and it automatically picks up the correct edition. Some very common books need to use short ISBNs because of the binding or reuse issue so a well published romance paperback could be in the system under a short ISBN 400 times and being reposted on a regular basis because the hardcover got the ISBN (or it was a recycled ISBN and the old book has it). Wishes could be being filled on those books regularly by reposting.

Date Posted: 6/19/2012 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Thank you Patty & Melanie.  I'm going to be posting a non-ISBN book later today, so I'll try your cover sharing method.  This book in particular already has the cover pic elsewhere in the system.

Date Posted: 6/20/2012 8:07 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,456
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Because I am a fan of older books, I can tell you sometimes I get E-mails for books that are posted with the same title or (similar title) I really appreciate the members who post books without ISBNs- they may be just what I'm looking for.

Date Posted: 6/20/2012 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2006
Posts: 14
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Geez, this gets to be too much trouble for a book that might not actually be on anyone's wishlist!

If only there were a button for these non-"ISBN" entries that says "copy this info for a new entry" that would make an entry with a new "PBS ISBN" so I wouldn't have to re-enter all the same info as in "post new book," that would make it easy enough. I know it's all a "simple matter of programming and these things can get complicated enough. I'm not going to bother with this book for now.

Date Posted: 6/21/2012 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,279
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Anyone who has a non-ISBN book posted, can advertize it in the Book Bazaar!

In the 'olden days' (lol), it wasn't possible to post to an existing non-ISBN except through the receiving member's tbr; nor was it possible to edit those listings.  Unfortunately, subsequent major changes to the site have opened them up.

Date Posted: 6/21/2012 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2010
Posts: 754
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This is all new to me!

 

 

The Countess Angelique (Bk 6) :: Sergeanne Golon
ISBN-13: 98853 - ISBN-10: 
Copies Available: 0
Date Added: 6/21/2012

 2

So this book has 4 wishers in line.  But you are saying it is pointless to get in this line because it's a FAKE line?

 

 
 
Date Posted: 6/21/2012 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,668
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Yes, you would be better off wishing the version of the book with the "real" ISBN. Looks like it had 7 wishers.

Date Posted: 6/21/2012 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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thekoose its not a fake line, its just that it is a limited line for 1 specific copy of the book. Unlike wish listing an ISBN where any copy bearing that ISBN posted would get offered to the next in line, the short ISBNs should only have one specific copy being posted to them and there is no guarantee when or if that copy will come back into the system.

Date Posted: 6/22/2012 1:04 AM ET
Member Since: 12/11/2008
Posts: 42
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What do you do if you want a book where there isn't a "real"/long ISBN in the database at all but there is a short form ISBN entry (though it is not posted)?  I usually add the short form to my wishlist.  Is there another or more efficient way of doing this such that if someone does post the book I would get it or be notified?

Date Posted: 6/22/2012 11:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,279
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The short number itself may be your best clue.  They are currently 6-digits beginning with 386,  last Dec., they were beginning in the 368,000s.   So, I would think that any number less than  365000 wouldn't even be worth checking. 

You would probably be better off to post in the Bazaar that you are looking for  (titles and authors)...

SBNs (a 9 digit number) went into use in the US in 1966.  In 1970, publishers began using the 10-digit ISBN.   If you can't find a  true ISBN for a book you want, it probably hasn't been in publication since at least mid-60s.

Date Posted: 6/23/2012 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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People just use the post button from their Bookshelf, TBR, or TA to repost the book and it automatically picks up the correct edition.

I do not recommend doing this.  I've seen too many people get RWAPs for books they just reposted into the system like this because the original poster didn't post it correctly.

Personally, I ALWAYS type in the ISBN for every book I post.  Can't get it wrong that way, and I really don't care about the footprint thing.

Date Posted: 6/23/2012 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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People just use the post button from their Bookshelf, TBR, or TA to repost the book and it automatically picks up the correct edition.

I do not recommend doing this. I've seen too many people get RWAPs for books they just reposted into the system like this because the original poster didn't post it correctly.

Personally, I ALWAYS type in the ISBN for every book I post. Can't get it wrong that way, and I really don't care about the footprint thing.

 
As long as people have reviewed the information on the book, there is no problem reposting from their lists. I personally check all the information when I receive a book to ensure I got what I requested so I know that it is in the lists correctly.
Date Posted: 6/25/2012 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,322
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What do you do if you want a book where there isn't a "real"/long ISBN in the database at all...

You can also do a search for the book, and then save your search.

Date Posted: 6/25/2012 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Like Shelia, I also post books to my bookshelf by ISBN only (if it has one).  Too much potential for problems otherwise, even if I could find the right book in all those transactions (I've been a busy PBS girl).  I'd rather be right than RWAP, the footprint thingy doesn't even hit my event horizon (and I sometimes have duplicate copies).

I use Patty's method for researching non-ISBN books, the saved search feature.  This will pull up any new books posted into the system, regardless of ISBN. 

Yes Wreckgirl, I also sometimes add one of the shorts to my Wishlist as a reminder, but run the 'search' every so often too.



Last Edited on: 6/25/12 6:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1