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Topic: What is considered a book?

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Subject: What is considered a book?
Date Posted: 7/5/2013 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 3/16/2007
Posts: 1
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Hello, I've been trading books on PBS for several years and never had this happen before BUT I ordered 2 books recently and they arrived today; I ordered them from the same person as they are by the same author.  They are not full sized books they are booklets in that they each measure about 5" by 4 "  and each contain 57 pages.  Is there a guideline (s) regarding the size of a "book"?  I feel like this is unfair because I know I would not even list them as books.  I don't believe I should have to give up 2 points for these, maybe 1 would be fair but before I say anything to the person that sent them to me I wanted to know the rules.


I appreciate feedback,

Thank you,

Peanutplays (Ruth)

Date Posted: 7/5/2013 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2010
Posts: 4,320
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Well, I think that PBS assumes that the person requesting the "books" should know what they are ordering.  I will admit that I've made that same mistake twice in ordering what I thought was a "full sized" book, but then the books turned out to be small booklets & I wasn't aware of that when I ordered them.  However, they had ISBN numbers & were in fact books according to PBS & they were the ISBNs I ordered.  The fault was all mine.

If the books you ordered were listed properly by the sender, then you will just have to suck it up to learning the hard way.  If the books were NOT listed correctly (do they have the right ISBN that you ordered? title/author/etc?), then you could ask for your credit(s) back.  You can't ask for the credits back if the sender wasn't at fault.

From now on just make sure that you know what you are ordering.  Typically you can look on Amazon.com to see what size book a certain ISBN is.  This way you won't have an unexpected unhappy surprise.

Date Posted: 7/5/2013 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,396
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The Official Guidelines for pamphlets and leaflets are below (from the Help Center):


Pamphlets/Booklets/leaflets without ISBNs: NO

  • These sometimes contain advertising; members also complain at having to pay a credit for these.
  • Leaflets = non-children's books with less than 20 pages
  • Booklets = non-children's books with less than 50 pages
  • Leaflet/pamphlets/booklets with ISBNs may be posted
    • if so, the number of pages must be included in the item description.
  • Children's books do not count as booklets or leaflets, even if they are short.
    • Children's books can be expected to have short pagelengths and the booklet/leaflet designations do not apply.
Date Posted: 7/5/2013 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,220
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The deminions of the book do not matter for posting on PBS, the number of pages matter when it comes to posting as the rule states that Mary has copied. Since these books have more than 50 bages they are not considered booklets, they are books and fully postable with or without an ISBN and the page count listed.

PBS does always go with the stance that people should know what they are requesting. Kind of sucks because you don't know you can get something you don't want until after you get it once. Now you know you'll want to do a little checking on some books that you might not be familiar with.  Since they likely cost more than a credit value to buy the books someone, you probably still got value for your request.

Date Posted: 7/5/2013 5:42 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,668
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Books come in all shapes and lengths. I've posted and received many smaller sized books that likely had 50 pages or less. Sometimes the smaller books are quite expensive on Amazon as mass marketed books are cheaper than smaller scaled publishers.

If the books you received are not what you were looking for you can always repost them and get your credits back.  

Date Posted: 7/5/2013 8:27 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1,422
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Last Edited on: 11/24/13 7:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Comics?
Date Posted: 7/6/2013 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2013
Posts: 10
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I've seen a number of individual comic book issues listed on here which seem to fall into the "booklet" rule.

I'm relatively new and can't find the comic book clause, if there is one. Any guidance is appreciated!

Date Posted: 7/7/2013 12:01 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,396
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Single-Issue Comic Books: NO

  • These often contain advertising.

Here's a link explaining what can and cannot be posted.

Date Posted: 7/7/2013 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 2,552
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 I feel like this is unfair because I know I would not even list them as books.  but you did ORDER them as books.  like PBS says, know what you are ordering!  sort of like, caveat emptor. 

you can always repost them and get your credits back.  but not shipping


Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 7/7/2013 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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Julie -- the item you received is actually not postable at PBS since it is not an audio book (which is defined by PBS as "a book read aloud by a narrator"). So while you are responsible for knowing what it is you're ordering, the other member is also responsible for knowing whether her book is allowed here. In your case, I might have contacted the other member and asked for one of the two credits back since you both made a mistake, her by posting a disallowed item, and you by ordering it.

Per the Help docs, these items are not allowed:

  • Music recordings, spoken-word recordings (these can be swapped as accompaniments to a bound book *for 1 credit for the set*, or at SwapaCD if they are in the database there. These are not "audio books," which are books read aloud by a narrator).
  • Audio language courses without accompanying bound book.  (if audio tapes/CDs ARE accompanied by a book they are considered a bound book with accompanying media, and swap for 1 credit. They are not "audio books," which are books read aloud by a narrator.)


Date Posted: 7/7/2013 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2013
Posts: 10
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Thanks for the link.

So, if I click on Marvel Comics, I get a whole bunch of single-issues displayed. What do I do about these, if they're not actually tradeable items? It's pretty misleading to have so many on site!

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 7/7/2013 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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Collin -

If you see listings for single issue comics that have an Order This Book button on them, then you can use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the screen to send the list of ISBNs to the PBS team. They can contact the members who are improperly posting these items. If you don't see an Order This Book button on the listing, then that means the book has not been posted and there's no need to report it (the database has a lot of listings for things that can't be posted; these listings cannot be removed from the site because the database comes from an outside source).

Also, Marvel does publish many actual books, including collections of comics, and those are swappable here.

Date Posted: 7/8/2013 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2013
Posts: 10
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Right, I definitely know the difference between single issues and trades.

I couldn't find the 'report' button, so thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Date Posted: 7/8/2013 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Unfortunately because ISBNS are also used on lots of things like comic books, pamphlets, calandars and such, the database keeps uploading these things.  It's probably a losing battle for PBS as far as keeping them all off.  They have to rely on members to know the rules and report miss-posted, listed items. 

Date Posted: 7/10/2013 2:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,350
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It's helpful to tag them as not postable.