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Topic: WL books with different ISBNs

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Subject: WL books with different ISBNs
Date Posted: 3/7/2009 4:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2009
Posts: 8
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As we all know, books often are released with different ISBNs, even though the content and format (hardcover/paperback/massmarket/etc.) may be the same or very similar.  Is there a way for PBS to implement either of the following suggestions -

1. Wish for a book by title and author (and perhaps paper or hard) rather than having to pick one of several ISBNs

2. Permit a PM to the member at the head of the WL for a particular title advising that you have the book they want but with a different ISBN. The wisher could then reveal their identity in a reply PM, allowing the book owner to post the book directly to the WL.

By way of example, there currently are 6 members wishing for Wicked, by Gregory Maguire, published 2/5/2007, ISBN-13: 9780755331598 - ISBN-10: 0755331591.  A search of posted books shows that there are 7 different paperback versions of Wicked available, all with different ISBNs (including one with an incomplete ISBN). I'm sure that most, if not all, of the 6 wishing members really don't care which edition they receive; they just want to read the book.  (I happen to have a copy of the 2004 edition, which includes photos from the B'way musical, ISBN 0060745908, but I haven't posted it yet.)


Date Posted: 3/7/2009 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,671
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There may be something unique about that ISBN they have on their WL.  Some people prefer hardcover, some trade sized paperbacks, and some just want the book and don't care what version they have.

All any of those 6 members wishing have to do is click the author's name on their WL and they'll get a list with that author's books.  Links in green are in the system and available to order.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 3/7/2009 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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If you do post your version of the book, then all of the wishers who have not disabled "similar item" emails will get an email telling them about your book.

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Most of the time if I post a different ISBN of a book that's WL in different forms-it's ordered pretty quickly just from the Books Posted Today List.  My guess is those people really want the ones on WL since there are 7 copies of the one posted.  Maybe the ones posted are mmps and people really want the tradesize or the hardback.  Like Sarah said all people have to do is do a search by author name and search All books to find if there's other versions available. Sometimes I will tag the WL version with the ISBN of the one that's posted if the bindings are similar.  Or if there's a long WL version for hardback and there's a couple mmps posted because there's probably someone on that hardback list that doesn't care about binding-like me. I prefer mmps but I'll take a hardback if I come across one. 

I think if the WL if for hardback, large print or audio and there's several copies of a paperback posted then they really want the version that's WL.  Some people prefer hardbacks for their keepshelves, some people like audio books and others need large print. 

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I've found that many people who want only the certain ISBN want it for one of 2 reasons - either they want it for the cover art (or dust jacekt art) or they want it for the reason that the paper it is printed on is better than the other versions.  But one can't always tell who does and who just doesn't know there are other versions.  I tend to tag different paperback versions with the ISBN's of other paperback versions.  It gives people a "head's up" that the author's list doesn't since you can't tell which books are which kind on the author's list.  And some peoplemay not realize that they can click on the author's name and get a list of his/her books.


Date Posted: 3/7/2009 9:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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If I were at the head of the WL for a particular ISBN I would start getting very annoyed, very quickly, if every person with a different ISBN copy of the same book started PM'ing me to tell me about it.

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 10:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I like the suggestion to tag it.  I know my Dad only wants HB or Trade PBs as his eyesight is going. 

The system should PM us if a similar book is offered IF we have that setting turned on in our account.

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 10:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't really care about binding about most books. I'm not a collector.  I keep few books and usually if I keep them it's because they're unpostable and I like them enough to reread.  Even so: I wouldn't want a bunch of PMs asking me if I want a different binding. I have the email thing turned off because I WL a lot of audio books that are readily available in print.  I got tired of getting 20 emails a day.