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Topic: I'm throwing away books without images

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Subject: I'm throwing away books without images
Date Posted: 12/20/2011 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2005
Posts: 60
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**Edited by Santa**

Now, Bob, it's understandable that you are frustrated by submitting images and having them rejected.  I know-ho-ho that you don't mean to insult the hardworking volunteers at PBS who devote so much time and effort to improving the site!   You can ask the approvers why an image was rejected, and learn from what you are told, and if something seems unfair or inconsistent, it's annoying but certainly not malicious. 

Everyone here is human, after all, and everyone is doing his or her very best.  I know-ho-ho that if you think about this, you will realize that there is a more constructive way to handle things. 

Now I am back to packing my sleigh.  Wishing all of you the most wonderful holiday!

Date Posted: 12/20/2011 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Okay then.

Date Posted: 12/20/2011 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2011
Posts: 2,413
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Hey Bob,

Some of the best books I have received from members have been those with no covers pictured. So don't give up.  I know I am not alone in  posting and searching for lesser known older hardbacks. I like mostly non fiction. Lots of PMing usually accompanies these trades, but that's what makes it fun when you find a good one. A very old copy of Dicken's Dombey and Son with the gold edging on the pages is my favorite so far. I just hope you don't think some of us don't appreciate the obscure. Welcome to the forums, keep posting, it gives your shelf wonderful exposure.


Date Posted: 12/20/2011 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,683
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You are just having some bad luck. I've downloaded a number of images from Amazon and uploaded them. Sometimes they do not meet the requirements and one of the people responsible for approving the images gets back to me and lets me know what was wrong with the image. In some cases, then even fix the images and then approve them. This only happens when I am too lazy to call them into Photoshop, as I sometimes miss the fact that they need to be cropped. I have learned that a lot of Amazon images have white space around them, and this needs to be cropped out.. 

Mostly, I've scanned the images myself from my books and uploaded them. I can remember only one image that did not get approved and, after about a week, I uploaded it again and it was approved quickly. Obviously, it missed being noticed that it required approval.

I use Adobe Photoshop to crop the images and save them to 800 dpi height and then save to optiminze to the Web. 

There are a lot of low cost image editing products out there and I need to find one to replace Photoshop as I retire from my job in about six months. Any of the imagers have a good suggestion for a nice, but low cost image editing software package?

Last Edited on: 4/10/13 7:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/20/2011 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Many of the Amazon have that "Search Inside" logo. I've started looking at google books for covers.
Date Posted: 12/20/2011 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,602
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Stop Bob, please,, Like Lori I am out for those hard to get older  books that may not have a cover image available. I follow up on notices from my e-mail that let me know that a similar book is available- same title -different ISBN . Some books I want have no ISBN.

Date Posted: 12/20/2011 10:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2011
Posts: 286
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I've ordered some great books that had no images and no descriptions.  It was fine because I knew what I wanted.  One of the best things about PBS is finding those OOP books that you've wanted a copy of for ages.  You never know what is going to turn up.

Date Posted: 12/20/2011 10:30 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Bob, they are your books to do with what you like. I guess I am part of the nitpicker squad. What you may not know is that even if approved, it could take some time to show up in all the views. The images are stored on hosted servers and sometimes it takes time to sync. There are rules that approvers must follow. 1. No borders, usually white, black or grey from scanning. They must be removed. 2. Straight images, no slants side view or spines. 3. No flashback, flash or white hotspots generally caused by a flash of a camera 4. Author and title must be clear and readable. 5. No larger than 5mb 6. Must be a jpg. 7. No tags, prices, labels, marks or branding so such as the amazon arrow or bookstore name. Some approvers will not notify submitters if they plan on fixing the image and uploading. If we can't find a better image and can't approve the image you submitted, then you should receive a PM. I will be happy to work with you to find acceptable images and I would be happy to help you fix the images too. Just send me a PM if you are interested.

Last Edited on: 12/20/11 10:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/20/2011 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 2,329
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Graphics from amazon tend to have the white borders on either side of the image.

I've found that bn.com doesn't have those.

I upload book images and I have been contacted when there is a problem with my image - like when I submitted a graphic that said vol 5 and I was posting to vol 6..

But I would say with 99% certainty that if you're uploading images from amazon, your images are being rejected due to the white space.

But in the end, it's your books, so do with then what you want.  I see this sort of attitude all of the time with people on Freecycle who don't get their way.  "I'm just going to throw my stuff in the dumpster then!"  OK, if that's what you want to do b/c hey it's your stuff, but I'm not falling for the emotional blackmail..

Date Posted: 12/21/2011 2:59 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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As Robin posted, PBS has criteria for book images.  Yes, some poor quality ones sneak in from Amazon, but some members (myself included) report those for correction.

If I have a good copy of the book, I scan the cover myself, crop and submit for approval.

Date Posted: 12/21/2011 7:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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Keep in mind too that the cover image shown here does NOT have to match what is actually on the cover...sometimes there are multiple versions of the book with the same ISBN but obviously one cover can be shown. I never pay attention to the cover.....I don't go browsing through people's bookshelves looking for pretty covers...I order books by ISBN, so chucking books off your shelf because there isn't a cover image is just plain silly, IMO.

Oh, and also? Show some respect. These people who check cover images are VOLUNTEERS who help PBS in their spare time. And who has a lot of spare time this time of year? Not me, that's for sure.


Date Posted: 12/21/2011 9:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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At least donate them to a local thrift store rather than tossing them out. 

You could also find out how to be a data editor and then do that stuff yourself instead of complaining about the volunteers here.

Date Posted: 12/21/2011 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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<<You could also find out how to be a data editor and then do that stuff yourself instead of complaining about the volunteers here.>>

+1 to this.


Last Edited on: 12/21/11 11:28 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: Double Standards
Date Posted: 12/21/2011 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2005
Posts: 60
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**Edited by PBS to remove unkindness**


Last Edited on: 12/26/11 11:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/21/2011 9:57 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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I've submitted a couple of covers and they've all gotten approved, so I can't say why some are accepted and some aren't.  I've never had a problem.

I am also one of those who orders books with or without images.  I follow the Amazon link if I'm curious enough.

Date Posted: 12/21/2011 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Troll. Ignore.

Date Posted: 12/21/2011 11:33 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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As a side note for site improvement (and other than it is semi-related to the troll).  I would like to see that the Amazon images or whatever does replace the submitted images stop replacing submitted images.

When I first uploaded my bookshelf, I made sure that (for all but one hardback book that I had no dustjacket for) I had scanned images in and cropped/edited them to make my bookshelf more appealing.  I very much appreciated the work of the volunteers and found them to be very consistent and helpful, to be honest I actually worried about some of the time I was forcing them to spend.

Since then several of my books have ended up with pictures and scans that I KNOW the volunteers would never have approved, to be honest it rather disheartened me, and now the only time I will actually scan in a picture is if it is a Short ISBN book that I know will not be overriden from wherever we input data.

This also makes me wonder about how the volunteer approvers feel concerning this as well as all the time and effort they go to must go to waste as well.

Because things had further devolved here after my post I'm simply going to edit my reply in.

Thanks Elizabeth B, and especially Melanie D.

I hadn't been aware that it was a one time update, apparently as usual I simply have poor timingwink.  I've already received a message from one of the volunteers who has apparently already gone through my bookshelf (a task in and of itself) checking for problem pics.  I will probably revisit it sometime after the first of the year (and allow time for any new pics they found to be uploaded).

Thank you to all of you who do volunteer.  It is very apparent that Bob K isn't aware of how many small businesses actually work in the real world.  I think he would be doubly surprised by the three people that I know who have created incorporated entities with the simple purpose of losing money, filing for tax-exempt status is a LOT of headache, but apparently you don't owe taxes if you don't make money because you give it all away.

Last Edited on: 12/22/11 11:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 12/21/2011 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Trucker-monkey, constructive suggestions like yours are best sent to the Team directly, using Feedback, so they can consider your (and other members') ideas for possible implementation.  They don't always read the forums, but they do always read Feedback.

Date Posted: 12/21/2011 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 2,329
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When PBS pulls the initial book data from Amazon, there's no checks and balances to prevent non-preferred images.

I often make it a personal quest to ensure that every book on my WL/RL has a cover.  The upload doesn't show this, but when you edit book data, you will see:

  • A large image will produce all 3 image sizes, a medium image will produce 2 image sizes, and a small will produce only the smallest image size.
  • Only JPG images are accepted that are less than 5MB in size.
  • No need to submit edits below if only uploading a new cover image.
  • If a cover already exists for this book, it may take up to 2 weeks for the new cover to appear on the live site. This is because our images are cached offsite and we cannot determine when our service providers will re-sync the content. If there is not a cover for this book and this is the first upload, it should appear within 24 hours after approval.

And from the relevent help doc (which was very easy to find)

  • 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)
  • <snip>
  • 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.
Date Posted: 12/21/2011 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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Graphics from Amazon may nor may not have a white border. The question is, why are they picked up automatically by PBS?

Apparently the [approvers] aren't able to prevent these from being posted

You answered your own question Bob. The image uploads during database updates cannot be controlled or the bad images wouldn't be allowed into the system. The only images that quality can be controlled on are the manually submitted and your opinion that bad images are better than no images is not one shared by the site. All you have to do to get the image approved is spend a few minutes cleaning them up before submitting them. If you have questions, the image approvers are always willing to help.

Yes, there are many bad images in the system. There are many volunteers that spend hours of their time, not only doing the approving process on other's submissions, but finding, editing, and submitting images to replace those bad ones in the system. Unfortunately there are A LOT of them that come in and there just aren't enough people that give their time freely to help with the task.

Since then several of my books have ended up with pictures and scans that I KNOW the volunteers would never have approved, there was a database upgrade/change (not sure of the right word), that unfortunately overwrote many good  images with crappy ones. Yes, many approvers and submitters were very disheartened too, but most dove back in and started working to fix it. Usually once a better image has been submitted and approved, an Amazon image won't overwrite it.

Subject: Probably censored also
Date Posted: 12/21/2011 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2005
Posts: 60
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Last Edited on: 12/26/11 11:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 12/21/2011 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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+1 Melanie  yes

Melanie, as usual you took the words right out of my mouth!!!!

We on the volunteer Image Collecting team work hard and devote many, many hours to fixing up images.  So sorry that the site cannot meet everyone's situation and expectations, Bob, but the teams here are trying to help make the site work and look as good as possible for as many members as possible. (All PBS volunteers giving up so much of their valuable time are soooo wonderful, and as a member of several volunteer teams myself, I've "met" here some truly fabulous and generous people through the teams!)

ETA:  Bob, people tend to want to do things that they really love, and often are willing to help out more doing things that give them pleasure.  I don't have and am unable to make the time to go out and volunteer much needed time, oh say at a soup kitchen in the downtown area where I live, but I am able to spend some time cleaning up book cover images and book descriptions/details and spend time answering member questions, since I am at a computer anyway and can spend some time doing these activities, which, by the way make me feel happy and fulfilled knowing I am helping out.  No, I'm not saving the world, but I am spending some quality time helping others better enjoy a site that I love and that I truly enjoy.  I love PBS and I love the PBS membership.  I've met some really, really GREAT people here, even though I don't even know them in real life...  They make me smile, and I hope by my efforts here, I can help someone else smile too.

Last Edited on: 12/21/11 12:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/21/2011 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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What I don't understand is why so many people volunteer their time for a profit-making business, when there are so many charities that need help.

Many of us do that too! But most charity volunteering can't be done in my pajamas, straight from bed, while I sit at my computer at home and take care of my furry kids; or in the few minutes it takes me to pop on the site and do something while I have a process running on my machine at work or am taking a lunch break. Many members are home with their kids while they do things around the site.

Right now, the volunteers' time saves the site significant costs that would result in membership fees if the volunteers weren't doing the work. Many of them wouldn't be able to be members if member fees were instituted so giving their time saves them money in the long run.

I have also *met* some pretty great people through the various "volunteering" I have done on this site :)

So why not? PBS gets something out of it, but so do the volunteers, and so does the general membership. Win-Win-Win 

btw - If there weren't volunteer data image approvers, it wouldn't be that your images would just get added to the system, it would be more likely that the site just wouldn't be able to allow the general membership to submit images at all unless they found a way to cover the costs of employees to ensure no inappropriate images were submitted.

Date Posted: 12/21/2011 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,283
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What I don't understand is why so many people volunteer their time for a profit-making business, when there are so many charities that need help.

Well, you can play that game all day. For example, I support animal charities, not people charities. Every once in a while, someone will ask that same question ... 'Why do you waste your time on animal charities instead of saving (the children, the world, the homeless, the mentally ill, battered women, starving children, people dying from cancer,  etc etc etc)?."

Now, my snarky answer is "Because I care more about dogs than children". Which is what I feel like saying sometimes just to end the conversation.

The true answer is that I just don't know. I choose based on what my heart tells me at this point in my life. Sometimes my heart tells me to upload images to PBS and make Book data Edits. Sometimes it tells me to go support animal charities. So far, it hasn't told me to go feed any homeless.

And here is a question just for you because I really can't stop myself from asking:

Why do you spend time posting to website forums when there are so many charities that need help ? which leads naturally to:

Why do you spend time reading books when there are so many charities that need help? which is another favorite of those same people I reference above.

Last Edited on: 12/21/11 1:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/21/2011 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2007
Posts: 1,140
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Last Edited on: 12/22/11 7:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1