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Topic: Same ISBN - my book is different...How to list?

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Subject: Same ISBN - my book is different...How to list?
Date Posted: 8/27/2009 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2007
Posts: 82
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My book is softcover Better Homes & Gardens All-Time Favorites. The ISBN on the back is 069621248x. When I try to post into the system, it comes up with another BH&G cookbook about cooking light. I did a search by title and only one shows, that has no ISBN, no cover photo, no details. How do I go about posting my book into the system properly under the correct ISBN? Thanks!

Date Posted: 8/27/2009 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,327
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It sounds like you will have to post your book without an ISBN since the information does not match.

When do you need to Post a book using the Post Books Without an ISBN feature?

  • When your book has no ISBN
  • When your book's ISBN is unknown to the PBS database (has not yet been added by regular updates)
  • When your book's ISBN "brings up" another booktype in the database
    • Such as the paperback if you have the hardcover, and vice versa
    • Such as Large Print when you have the regular-font version
    • This happens when the publisher assigns the same ISBN to multiple booktypes).

If your book does not match the listing information (title, author, booktype) in the database for the ISBN on the book, it must be Posted without an ISBN

To post your book without an ISBN:

  • First, make sure to look over your book really well
    • Sometimes ISBN numbers can be found in unexpected places like the spine
    • The back of the book and in the publishing information in the front of the book are the most common places to find an ISBN.
  • If your book has no ISBN (or the ISBN you have doesn't work in the system):
    • Go to the Post Books page
      • From My Account: click the Post Books tab
      • From anywhere on the site: place your cursor over My Account on the toolbar at the top of the site and click Post Books in the menu that drops down.
      • From your Bookshelf, click the link "Post Books" at the top of the page, in the yellow bar.
    • On the Post Books page:
      • Click the "Post a Book without an ISBN" link at the top of the page, in the yellow bar.
      • Enter the information about the book in the form that comes up:
        • Mandatory information includes: title, author, book dimensions, Subject (genre), booktype
        • Optional information includes: Large Print, Homeschool, Publisher, # pages, Back cover Description (synopsis of the book content), Book Cover image.
        • Your Book Cover Image needs to be less than 5 MB in size, and in .jpg format.

When you are done, your book will be listed in the database with a customized listing that has a "short ISBN" or "PBS ISBN", which is the 5 or 6 digit number that PBS assigns in place of the ISBN to keep track of the book in the system.

Date Posted: 8/27/2009 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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This is one of those frustrating things. By the way, I looked up the ISBN on Amazon and the book it pulls up there is your book--the All Time Favorites one. Meanwhile I noticed the Light and Luscious one is wishlisted and I'm thinking that if there is something wrong, that person is never going to get a chance to get the book. I know that ISBNs can be reused but sometimes I guess there can just be glitches.


ETA: Just did a little more checking on Amazon and here. Evidently that Light and Luscious Cookbook has never been issued in a paperback version--at least it doesn't show up on Amazon no matter how you search for it. However, there is a hardcover version of it available here, plus the hardcover ISBN is totally different from the one above. I wonder how something like that would get in the system if the book in question was never issued in that other format. And yeah, that person wishing that particular ISBN doesn't have a chance of getting the book because it doesn't exist in that format.

Question for book data people--is this a case where book data can be asked to be corrected? I'm never sure about when edits can be submitted.

Last Edited on: 8/27/09 9:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/27/2009 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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The edits need to be approved and they use numerous sites to confirm changes.  Making changes like this to the database would be very difficult if not possible.  I would contact  Sherry N - royaltech - she is the senior coordinator for book data team and she will be able to tell you exactly what can and can not be done and if she can help you - she will.  Sherry is awesome.  I am new to the team and just learning so I do not have specifics for you.

I did find this in the help docs - http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=206

Problem: the ISBN brings up a Listing Preview showing a totally different book than the one you have:

Explanation: This happens when publishers assign ISBNs to more than one title.  

On PBS, only one book listing can be attached to each ISBN. The one you are seeing on the listing preview is the one attached to that ISBN at PBS.

Solution: You will need to post this book with a customized listing for the book, using the Post Books without an ISBN link on the Post Books page.


Date Posted: 8/27/2009 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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When I first looked at the listing, I thought you were going to be in luck and PBS would allow the change. Then I saw someone is WL'ng it. Unfortunately, if we changed the listing, and you posted your book to it, they would be rather disappointed to get a different book. This is why changing listings is so difficult and generally only happens when there are none posted to the ISBN and no one WL'ng it either.

So, the final page to the story, is that you must list your book as if it did not have an ISBN, using the Post a Non-ISBN Book link.

Date Posted: 8/28/2009 6:50 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I've done the Non-ISBN thing in the past (and continue to do so when required). This is why it would be nice to be able to contact a person wishing a book somehow though because the person doesn't have a chance of getting the book wishlisted since it doesn't exist under that ISBN or even in that format. I understand the theory behind everything and why the system is set up the way it is (and for the great majority of times it works beautifully). It's just that sometimes there are these very weird cases.