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Subject: Vintage Books
Date Posted: 3/22/2015 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2008
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Regarding Vintage/Classic books without an ISBN...  is PBS working on being able to search for a book without the pre-ISBN books being added to the database one copy at a time?



Last Edited on: 3/22/15 10:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 3/22/2015 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
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Not that I've seen anywhere.  That'd be a good question to ask the PBS Team.  Just use the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page.

I've never had a problem posting a book without an ISBN.  They're usually scooped up pretty fast, I think people have saved searches for what they're interested in.

Date Posted: 3/22/2015 11:42 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
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Not sure I understand your question, but I believe that if you search for an author under posted books, it will bring up all books, including ones with the short ISBN # used for pre-ISBN book. Hope this helps.

Date Posted: 3/23/2015 2:17 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
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I don't quite understand the question either. You can search for books by title and author, to find all copies of the book, both with full ISBN-13 numbers and with PBS-assigned "short" ISBN numbers. I recommend using Advanced Search, and selecting Search Type (near the bottom of the search form) appropriately, either Posted Booked, All Books, Unposted Books, or Wish List Books. You can also specify other criteria in your search such as keywords, Publisher, or Publication Date to help narrow the search.



Last Edited on: 3/23/15 2:18 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/23/2015 4:02 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
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You can search by the publication date range under Advanced Search. Having the year listed when you posted without ISBN becomes quite important for vintage books.

Or are you talking about adding several books, while trying to not post them one at a time?

Date Posted: 4/2/2015 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2008
Posts: 8,866
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I wanted to search for a book that's not in the database. Nothing from the author was listed and you can't add a new book to PBS WL without an isbn. So I "posted"a copy of the book I was looking for to get the author into the system and then removed the book from my bookshelf so no one would request it. It seems to be a convoluted way to get it entered. I couldn't watch for it otherwise since the title or author didn't exist.

Last Edited on: 4/2/15 10:00 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/2/2015 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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If the book doesn't have an ISBN, the person who posts it will have to make a special entry. You won't be alerted via your WL even though you've created your own non-ISBN listing. Unfortunately, the only way will be to keep searching every now and then. Though, I'm still not entirely sure I'm understanding your question.

Date Posted: 4/2/2015 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
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 I remember the book you were looking for.  I looked it up on Amazon, used copies start at 1¢ plus shipping.

AbeBooks has it for $1.00 plus $2.99 shipping.  I know you would like to get it here but it can be bought for just a few dollars. 

Date Posted: 4/3/2015 3:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
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You won't be alerted via your WL even though you've created your own non-ISBN listing.

Kayleen, you should be alerted with an email from PBS when a book "similar to one on your wishlist" has been posted. Your method of posting and then removing from your shelf was a bit convoluted, but I think it ought to work.

------
Correction added 4/5/2015 :
The above statement is not correct. PBS will not send "similar book" notices for non-ISBN listings.  Sorry for the error.
See Anna's post below.



Last Edited on: 4/6/15 1:11 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/3/2015 7:25 AM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2008
Posts: 8,866
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Caviglia, I can't WL that copy, but at least now I can search for that author or title.
Date Posted: 4/3/2015 7:28 AM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2008
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Chris, thanks. That's what I was thinking. It was a round about way of getting there. So I guess the answer to "Is PBS working on a way" is no for now. :)
Date Posted: 4/3/2015 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I don't see why you couldn't search for the author or title whether you added the entry or not. As the entry was created by you, and the book has no ISBN, it shouldn't make a difference. I'm also not certain a book with a self-created entry will be linked via the PBS system and trigger the "similar book" email.  

Again, unless I'm missing something here.

Date Posted: 4/4/2015 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
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Since the non-ISBN listings are not supposed to be re-used, adding one to your wish list really is a waste of time.  The system does NOT send you notice if same or similar books are posted - that only happens with ISBN listings.  The non-ISBNs truly are 'ugly step-children' once the initial book is ordered or removed.

From the Help Center:

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.

 

Date Posted: 4/4/2015 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2010
Posts: 2,855
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Yeah... I might need to go take a look at my WL.

Date Posted: 4/6/2015 1:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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Thanks for the correction, Anna!  I knew that it it's a waste of time to put a non-ISBN book on your wishlist, but then forgot that you also won't get "similar book" notices from the system.

It is unfortunate, however, that one cannot get notices from PBS when a book having the same title and author as an already-listed, non-ISBN book becomes available. If a book has not been republished with an ISBN the system has no way to alert members that another copy has been posted, and the only recourse appears to be for members appears to search every now and then by title and author to see if it is available.

Date Posted: 4/6/2015 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
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One thing I used to do with eBay (pre-PBS days) was to list an author name so I'd get a notice anytime a new listing mentioned that name.  Now, on occasion, it wasn't a book by that author ... maybe just  "if you like author XX, you'll like this book'.  But overall, it was helpful.  I'd like to see something like that here at PBS - 'notify me anytime a book by Author XX is posted'.  I think that or something similar has been requested a time or two in the CMT 'Suggestions Wanted' red stickie.
 

Date Posted: 4/7/2015 7:11 AM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2010
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I thought this one would be okay (ISBN-13: 408302) since it had an ISBN 13, but now that I look at it, the number is too short and doesn't get a hit on the PBS database.

This one seems dubious too... 9780780628564

What do you think?

Date Posted: 4/7/2015 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,279
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ISBN-13 means just that -- it will be a 13-digit number.  The one you list is valid.  If you're in doubt, just pop it into Google search and see what comes up.

Historically, the first standardized book numbers were 9-digits, so any you see here with less are PBS-assigned.  Some may also have a true 10-digit or 13-digit number, but can't be posted here using that # for other reasons .. publisher used the same ISBN for hardcover/paperback, standard print/large print, audio and any of the previous listed.  With PBS, the first to open is the 'winner'...

Date Posted: 4/8/2015 1:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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Here are a few historic notes regarding ISBN-010, ISBNN-13, and PBS "short-ISBNs" numbers ....

The first SBN numbers came into being in the late 60's and were 9-digits. These became fairly common by 1970 and quickly transformed into the more familiar 10-digit ISBN numbers. By the early 1970s, 10-digit ISBNs were the norm. To convert English-language books having the earlier 9-digit SBNs, simply prepend a "0" to the number to obtain a valid 10-digit ISBN. The ISBN-13 numbers were introduced in 2007. Most book sites have built-in, transparent algorithms for converting between ISBN-10 and ISBN-13 numbers.

For "vintage" books published before SBN, ISBN-10, and ISBN-13 came into being and for books published thereafter without ISBNs, PBS adopted a model of assigning an arbitrary number to them sequentially. The numbering began with "1", for "Test Title", "Test Author 1", and "Test Author 2", with publication date 1/1/2011, and then incremented from 1- to 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, and eventually 6-digit numbers. The current 6-digit numbers are "458xxx".

Every book posted without an ISBN is incrementally assigned a "short-ISBN" by the system. If a non-ISBN book is posted and assigned the number 458165, then the next non-ISBN book is assigned 458166, and the next, 458167, etc.

The historic, first "short ISBN" on PBS is for ISBN: 2, an anthology titled "Eden Close" published by Futura,  and currently two copies of this book are actually still listed in the system! Good luck finding anything with a short ISBN fewer than 4-digits, but you are welcome to try. :-)



Last Edited on: 4/8/15 1:42 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/8/2015 1:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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"I thought this one would be okay (ISBN-13: 408302) since it had an ISBN 13, but now that I look at it, the number is too short and doesn't get a hit on the PBS database."

If you enter a short-ISBN in a normal PBS search and don't get a hit, then go to Advanced Search in the drop-down menu from the Search tab, enter the number in the "ISBN:" box and click "Perform Search".



Last Edited on: 4/8/15 1:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/8/2015 2:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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"This one seems dubious too... 9780780628564"

This ISBN comes up normally with no problem. "In the Mouth of Madness" by Sam Neill, about the John Carpenter film.

Date Posted: 4/8/2015 7:40 AM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2010
Posts: 2,855
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Thanks! I was worried that a release of the DVD had somehow made it into the system and that I was waiting on a "book" that wouldn't get posted ^.~