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Topic: Whats Up With Wacky Book Pictures?

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Subject: Whats Up With Wacky Book Pictures?
Date Posted: 4/3/2013 11:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Ok I'm so tired of seeing these funky 1960's style pictures of people in place of where a book picture should be.  They generally look like this and are of a celebrity.  How are these getting past the book data group.  Every time I've tried to update a picture if I haven't gotten the white edges off of the book it gets declined but somehow these are making it through.   

 Let Me Go (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell)

This one is on Let Me Go By Chelsa Cain: http://www.paperbackswap.com/Archie-Sheridan-Gretchen-Chelsea-Cain/book/0312619812/  And I think I have like 10 or more of these on my wl they are really annoying.  I'd rather see a blue box. 

What special things do i need to do to put in a picture for a book data edit?  The last few times I tried it was declined because I had white edges around it.  Do I just need to crop them out, then submit the edit?
Date Posted: 4/4/2013 12:31 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,980
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Those are so weird!  I've never seen that before.  Must be something funky with the database the site's pulling pictures from. 

This is probably a better question for the book data team, but are you getting your pictures from Amazon.com?  They usually have that white space around them.  On their site the book covers look like rectangles, but they're actually squares because they have the cover in the middle and then lots of white space on either side.  Maybe that's why they keep getting rejected. 

I've never had a cover I submitted be rejected, so I don't know the criteria specifically.  I usually use Goodreads or Google images to find the biggest, clearest, no border picture I can to submit. 

Date Posted: 4/4/2013 2:08 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
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I usually look on other sites than Amazon, due to those huge arrows.  So I also look on Goodreads or Google books.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 4/4/2013 8:29 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,132
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Those images come in from Amazon when the book data is initially imported. 

I verified this once when I got a book added to the database here by searching for its ISBN. I was surprised to see the ugly image on the listing, so I popped over to Amazon and sure enough, they had the same thing. They updated their database by the next day to get rid of it, but PBS doesn't get automatic updates for images or listings that it already has, so someone has to put the right image in place manually.

It's also complicated by the fact that book image approvers aren't allowed to update a bad image if it's more than 60 days before publication and the title on the data listing is incorrect. The ugly image just stays in place until it's close enough to publication to get the data update approved first.

Date Posted: 4/4/2013 11:32 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,631
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huh, have never seen those.

FYI--  Amazon just bought GoodReads-- that was in a discussion here a few days ago.

Date Posted: 4/4/2013 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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It is too bad that the image edit (and data edit) teams aren't allowed to make updates until 60 days prior to publication.  I totally understand them not wanting to have to deal with multiple corrections due to changing information from the publisher, but think exceptions should be made for obviously erroneous/incomplete data.

I submitted a correction for the description of a book that hasn't been published yet a few days ago.  The description on this site is something like "More exciting details abut this book coming from Penguin soon."  Amazon has an updated description about the plot of the book, so I submitted that.  My update was declined because of the "60 day rule" Cathy mentioned.

Date Posted: 4/4/2013 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Oh Emily--I found a trick (I think from someone posting it here before) to get images from Amazon without the big arrows.  When on the Amazon site, right click on the image of the book with the arrows and choose "view image".  Then in the address bar of your web browser, about half way through the address for the picture, there should be a series of numbers that end something like _BO2,204,203,200_ .  Remove everything from the address after the last underscore ( _ ) to right before the .jpg and then reload the webpage.  It'll be a nice size image without any arrows.  When I submit images for updating here, that's almost always how I get my pictures.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 4/4/2013 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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All of the above posts are correct.

The "wacky" images are submitted automatically by the PBS data source when the book information is added to the PBS database, and the images are put through without any advance approval, so they show up as you see them in the PBS database.  This is often the case when you see the same bad image on PBS and Amazon (which shares a book data source with PBS).

These images can only be replaced by members submitting "good" replacement images, which -do- go through the approval process and -are- declined if they have not been cropped (had the white or outside excess areas removed).

 

PS I have submitted a new image for the above listed "wacky image" cover; hopefully the new and improved image will be showing up on the site soon!



Last Edited on: 4/4/13 2:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/4/2013 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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PBS doesn't import book information from Amazon, but they seem to share a common data source. 

Regarding the OP, I haven't run across that particular 'placeholder' cover pic although I have seen a couple others.  If you can find the real cover, it can be submitted for approval.

Date Posted: 4/4/2013 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Denise--one of the problems is what Cathy mentioned. If it's more than 60 days prior to the book release date, the site's policy is not to accept any edits/changes. So those images can stay around here a lot longer than they do on tne Amazon site. I've had a few books show up with the same or similar picture. Eventually they get updated by someone. I have submitted some myself.
Date Posted: 4/4/2013 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 822
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Maybe I'm just dense, but instead of rejecting an image that has too much white space, how hard would it be for the book data team member reviewing the image to simply crop it themselves? I realize that I have NO idea how many of these things they do each day. But, personally, I can download, crop, resize and upload an image in very little time. (I will admit that I have sold so many things on eBay with at least three picture in the past year that I've gotten fast just through sheer repetition.)

Date Posted: 4/4/2013 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Ed well I believe that sometimes they are not allowed to change some things.  I have no clue if the others are right and they can't change images if they are 60 days before publication or not.  I do know that the few times I've had this happen the person declining sometimes rejects it and says they will put up the right image.  So they do fix it themselves but I'd rather just be able to fix the problem myself instead of having to involve them since they do have lives of their own ; ) 

Mostly I was curious how the got on the site, and how to get rid of them.  I do do data edits for other things so I don't mind fixing the one's I see.  I'd just like to know that before I take the time to do it that it will be accepted.  So I guess a better question is are there rules for edits so that my edits don't get rejected?

 

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 4/4/2013 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Ed, you'd be amazed at how many of these we see!  The image approval line can have HUNDREDS of submissions awaiting review each day, and if the Approvers took the time to fix every single inappropriate submission themselves, it would be several days before the Approver could review the pending submissions, and all the while, MORE submissions would be added all the time.  And while the Approver was busy taking the time to fix an image and resubmit it, all the rest of the pending submissions are in limbo, so good images take longer to get onto the site.  A vicious circle!  (Especiallly since many image submissions seem to come from Amazon, and MOST Amazon images need cropping before being submitted here!)

That being said, many Image approvers DO take the time to fix and resubmit images, especially when the Approvals line is not so long and there are not so many members awaiting approvals.

My own personal policy is to take a screenshot of every image denied approval and put them in my TO DO folder to work on later.   I can then work on reviewing the other submissions awaiting approval without delaying them, and still retain the submitted image for correcting in the system.   I also send a PM to the submitter explaining why the image is denied, hoping that they will fix and resubmit themselves, as this is often faster than my getting to the image.  My TO DO folder currently has thousands of images in it awaiting fixing...  I just do not have enough time in the day to do them all!

 

ETA I also believe the old adage: Give a man a loaf a bread and he eats that night but teach that same man how to MAKE bread and he can eat many more nights.  So I believe that sending a note (which also takes up time away from doing the approvals reviews) rather than fixing all the uncropped images myself will help guide the member into submitting better future images, rather than continuing to submit a number of insufficient images that will need to be fixed and resubmitted before they appear on the site.  I believe that helping to inform and instruct the members rather than doing the work myself will save time for me in the long run as well as in the short run!!!



Last Edited on: 4/4/13 5:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 4/4/2013 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Also, a note on the 60-day policy:  Images should NOT be approved if the image does not match the PBS listing title, and often, if the PBS listing is not yet within the 60 days of publication, the listing title will NOT match the submitted image.  So the net effect is that images submitted before 60-day approval period are not approved.  But there is nothing preventing approval if the image submitted does happen to match the current listing title.  Even if the publication date is more than 60-days away.

The 60-day policy, therefore, primarily affects DATA submissions; image submissions, not so much.

Date Posted: 4/4/2013 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 822
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Sianeka: Wow! Hundreds a day... I didn't think it would be that much. I guess this is just one small incidator of the explosive success of PBS, huh?

Out of curiosity, how many are on your team?

"So I believe that sending a note (which also takes up time away from doing the approvals reviews) ..."

I'm presuming that you have a canned email/note that you send. However, I am a BIG fan of automation... Hafve you considered requesting that the PBS Team build that note into the website, so that all you would have to do is click a checkbox (or two) and click ?

"...teach that same man how to MAKE bread and he can eat many more nights. "

Oh, definitely... Unless, of course, he opts to bake cookies...



Last Edited on: 4/4/13 5:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 4/4/2013 6:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I -do- have several "form" letters I use, so that I do not take quite so much time away from doing Approvals, but I try to personalize each one I send, so that I am not JUST sending out a canned response to the submission.  I have refined these so that hopefully, no one will feel criticized or hurt when they receive the note.  (My first efforts were not received as I'd intended so I had to revise these form letters several times before they got to the form they are in now.)

I really don't know how many total members there are on either the Image or the Data teams, but I do know that of all the Approvers on the team, there are fewer than ten of us actively working on Approvals each day.

Do you want to join the teams????? *smile*  (Seriously, anyone interested in joining the teams should feel free to contact me!)

PS  I -LOVE- cookies!!!



Last Edited on: 4/4/13 7:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 4/4/2013 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,132
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The 60-day policy, therefore, primarily affects DATA submissions; image submissions, not so much.

Yeah, you're right. I just found it a little silly recently when one of my images was denied even though the image that's on the listing has the exact same title as the image I submitted. Reason for denial: the data says "Untitled". Even if the title changes later on (although there's no reason to think it will), the image that's on there now will be equally as wrong as the one I submitted and it's no harder to replace the new wrong image than the old wrong image.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 4/5/2013 1:42 AM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Actually, Cathy, it -IS- really harder to replace existing images.  Replacing an image that exists in the system requires much more follow-up to make sure that the new replacement image that was submitted "sticks" (is accepted by the system) and replacement images take longer to upload to the site and stabilize to a listing than newly added images due to server synchronization issues.

Date Posted: 4/5/2013 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
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Speaking from one who is on the image and data teams, the approvers will help you a lot.  I am sure they would love new faces.

Date Posted: 4/7/2013 9:31 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,980
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I think it's also important to mention that all those approvers are volunteers (as are the tour guides, data editors, etc.)  No one gets paid to spend time fixing things all day and many of us have full-time jobs too. :)

Date Posted: 4/8/2013 12:07 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
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I also think it's important to mention that Sianeka is AMAZING.  She has helped me get to the point that nearly everything I submit is approved.  And I submit a lot.

Date Posted: 4/12/2013 7:12 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 2,552
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How are these getting past the book data group.

remember they ARE volunteers.

 

Date Posted: 4/15/2013 12:22 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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I totally agree with you guys the book data teams are amazing and they are volunteers.  Thats why I asked what the rules were on fixing these that way I know they are getting done right and I'm not wasting anyones time, or making them feel guilty and want to fix it themselves.  I totallly don't mind helping out with edits I just don't have the time to join the teams and have a large amount thrust my way.  I have been known to do data edits so I'd just like to know that if they need a picture replaced I'm doing it right.   

Is there a better place to get the pictures from?  I know amazon always has that white space.  I try to pull most of my information that I get either from the authors web page, or the publishers website though when I do edits that way I know the infor is pretty acurate.

Thanks for fixing this one guys.  I'll wait until closer to the release date for the others on my wl that are not yet out before I attempt a data edit : )

 

Date Posted: 4/15/2013 5:20 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
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"Is there a better place to get the pictures from?  I know amazon always has that white space.  I try to pull most of my information that I get either from the authors web page, or the publishers website though when I do edits that way I know the infor is pretty acurate"

This raises an interesting question in my mind... Does the picture team prefer an image posted elsewhere on the Internet (like a publisher's website), or would a high-quality flatbed scan of the actual book being posted be preferable?.

Date Posted: 4/16/2013 12:46 AM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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I get images from Amazon--as I posted above, I right click on the picture image and choose "View Image".  This opens up the image in the window.  Then I delete everything in the url after "BO2,204,203,200_" in the middle of the url--but leaving the ".jpg" at the end.  Then I hit enter.  This reloads the image without all the white space and the "click to look inside" logo.  Perfect for uploading to PBS. 

NOTE--I use Firefox--I have o idea if this works in Chrome or Internet Explorer.

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