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text 2017-09-22 00:00
BookLikes How-to: How to Edit the Book Catalog / E-mail notifications note

BookLikes is a blog platform dedicated to book lovers but it's also an open book catalog which shares author pages and book records of the already published titles, the new releases and the upcoming books. Any BookLikes' member can search the catalog, add a new book record, edit the existing one and update the author page.

 

The group of BookLikes Librarians takes care of the catalog and watches on the accuracy of the data and works really hard to keep it well organized and lucid. Today, we've asked two of them to share some core tips on editing the book records. Read on and keep on editing.

 

Thank you so much, BookLikes Librarians! Keep up the great work!

 

*

 

A guest post by Libromancer's Apprentice & Murder by Death

 

Parts of a Record

 

Cover:

Cover should match the edition/ISBN/ASIN - and that’s what we’ll check against.  Make sure you include a valid source code (or “book in hand” or “owned book”) when you are trying to change a cover:  missing/invalid sources will cause the edit to be rejected.

 

If you think your cover is one of several correct covers for an edition, please file a book report instead of a book edit, with a note that it’s an alternate cover for that edition. Include the URL to the cover you added too, please.

 

When covers do NOT need a source:

  • If you’re adding a cover to a book that has NO cover (green box)
  • You’re replacing a bad quality image with the SAME image at higher quality
  • You’re replacing a ‘cover coming soon’ placeholder

 

Covers can be .jpg, .gif or .png but must not exceed 250mb in size.

 

Title:

We want *just* the title and subtitles for books.  Series title should go in the Series Field.  As a general rule, there should be nothing in the title field within a set of parentheses.

 

For Graphic Novels we have to bend the rules a little due to their serial nature… and multiple systems of collecting issues. Please still fill out the series field as appropriate.

For comic books that have multiple different series under the exact same name (particularly superhero comics), the years of that series are used to designate the difference between the distinct runs.  So you may have “[Series Title] (YEAR-YEAR).

 

Where it gets a bit sticky is for Graphic Novels we want you to keep the series title in the title (we know!  We just told you not to do this for records)!  This is because the series title in this case is most often a very integral part of the volume title.

 

Example: The Wicked + the Divine, Vol. 1: the Faust Act

 

“The Faust Act” on it’s own is not the proper title, so we include the series.  Note, we used “Vol.” instead of “Volume” because the abbreviation is inclusive of the full word.

 

We don’t have a perfect solution for single issues of comic books yet, since they have UPCs instead of ISBNs (though, digital versions often have ASINs).  For single issues, use #[Issue Number] in the title.

 

Author:

Enter the author name, then wait - the database will search for records that match that name and return a list of three results. Choose the one that matches the book’s author. 

 

If search returns “no results” - please check the spelling of the author’s name carefully: if it is spelled correctly, hit “enter” to create a new record.  (There have been reports that this doesn’t work for non-librarians, if you find it didn’t assign the book to the proper author, flag the new book as ‘wrong author’ and note the correct name in the report.)

 

If search returns multiple results:  if your author has a name that is likely to be unique (i.e. J.K. Rowling, or Jo Nesbo), and the search returns multiple results, it’s an indication that there are author records that need to be merged.  Choose the author record at the top of the search results, and after saving the record, please flag us and let us know there are author records that need to be merged.

 

Author records should NOT have titles or qualifications:  for example:

  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - WRONG
  • Arthur Conan Doyle - CORRECT

 

(No Sir, Dr., Mr., Mrs., Dames, etc.)

 

  • Kathy Reichs, M.D., PhD, D.A.B.F.A. - WRONG
  • Kathy Reichs - CORRECT

 

(No MDs, PhDs or Jr., Sr, etc.)

 

If you are adding narrators, translators, etc. please be sure to label them accordingly; this will make the sort by author function on people’s shelves work a little bit more accurately.

 

What are these other roles?

  • Author: whoever wrote the work, or a significant part of the work.
  • Narrator: The performer of the work, such as in an audio book.
  • Translator: Translated the author’s writing into a different language.
  • Illustrator: an artist for the work.
  • Editor: did not write the work, but shaped it, such as the editor of an anthology.
  • Contributor: someone who added to the work in some other way, such as writing the Foreward.

 

Series:

Type in the series, and wait a second to let it try and find matches.  If it does find a match, select that series.  If it doesn’t, hit Enter/Return on your keyboard to add the Series.

 

 

Position in Series:

The system will accept whole numbers and decimals  (ex. 0.5, or 3.5).  Please do NOT include multiple series’ numbers.  If a book is part of multiple series, choose the main series, and assign it the appropriate place in that series.

 

What is a series:  multiple books with the same cast of characters, set in the same universe with a continuing or evolving progression. Progression is the key word: Sherlock Holmes is NOT a series; the stories were published without any timeline continuity.  Each story acts as a complete stand-alone and can be read in any order.  

 

What is NOT a series: Publisher imprints (Harlequin for example), that publish stand alone books, but number them within the imprints printing history.

 

There’s no ISBN/ASIN yet checkbox:

Only use this checkbox if your book is pre-1970’s or is scheduled to be published in the future, if the book is online-only, or fanfic.  In all cases, a valid source code must be included at the bottom of the edit page.

 

ISBN/ASIN:

Generally an either/or situation, with ASIN’s applying to Kindle books and Audible audiobooks.

However, there is a known bug that will sometimes mark valid ASINs as invalid, so at this time we are *not* splitting off combined ebook and Kindle editions.

 

If you need to edit a record and it doesn’t like the valid ASIN included, Librarians are recommending that non-Librarians remove the ASIN and submit the edit.  We check the record when ISBNs and ASINs are removed in an edit, and can specifically not approve that part of the edit.

 

ASINs are always a combination of letters and numbers - so if you see a string of just numerals, that can be cleared right now.  Similarly, ISBNs are only numeric (though you will see the occasional ISBN 10 ending with an “X”), so if you see something in an ISBN field that’s a mix, that needs to be fixed!  Also, an ASIN and ISBN should never be identical, if they are listed as such, one of them needs correcting!

 

Records with invalid (or missing both altogether) ISBNs/ASINs need to be merged.

 

Publisher:

Start out by typing in the publisher name, it should then generate a drop down list of options, sometimes with duplicates or odd one-off variations.  Please choose the “cleanest” version if there are duplicates (for example, a lot of them have dates after the name - avoid those if you can).

 

Librarians can’t remove or merge duplicates or one-off variations of publisher names, but we do submit them to the BookLikes staff for handling.

 

Date Published:

Date published for that edition, at least the year, more if you have it.

 

Format:

For the most part, format should be relatively straightforward, such as with a hardcover or paperback, but there are some areas, especially with digital formats, that may trip you up.

 

For digital items:

  • If your record has an ASIN choose “kindle”
  • If your record has an ISBN choose “ebook”
  • If you have a digital audio file, choose “audiobook”
  • If it’s fanfiction or a online only digital short, choose “online only”

 

Special physical formats:

  • “Library Binding” is generally a third party publisher rebinding and selling a softcover book or a collection of serial publications together with a hardcover.  One example is the company PawPrints that does this with children's books, and if you look at the page with the publication and Library of Congress information the ISBN will be different than the ISBN on the back cover barcode.
  • “MP3 CD” is a specific type of book-on-cd, where 10+ hrs of listening are on a single disc.

 

 

Description:

 

Book synopsis only please - do not include author plugs, or sale information, or series information in this field.

 

Genre:

 

This is optional, but please try to limit it to four genre tags; this may not always be possible, but it keeps the book record easy to read.   Note that if you search genres for “suspense”, books that are also “romantic suspense” will come up too, so there is no need to assign “romance” and “suspense” and “romantic suspense”  to a book.  

 

 

Duplicate Records

 

What qualifies as a Duplicate?

 

The obvious stuff:

  • Books with duplicate ISBNs
  • Books with duplicate ASINs

 

The not-so-obvious stuff:

  • Older pre-ISBN editions - do they have the same publisher and/or publish date?

 

If a record has any of the above, or lacks so much information that it is impossible to tell which physical book it’s a record of, it will get merged. Bare minimum for disambiguation is:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • Publish Date

 

The important thing here is that if a book has a different valid ISBN or ASIN, it is not a Duplicate, which leads us to...

 

 

New Book vs New Editions

 

If you have a book that you can find the title and author but not a record that matches on ISBN/ASIN, you can “Add New Edition” from the existing book page. This ties your book record to the other versions of the same book.

 

Sometimes a book isn’t in our system at all, and that’s when it’s time to add a New Book. Before that stage, try the search a few ways first, just in case something has changed between our initial record import and the publication in hand.  For example, sometimes authors change titles.

-Search by ISBN or ASIN

-Try altering your title search slightly to include all or a portion of the author’s name.  So if you search: The Scandal of It all and come up with nothing, try:  The Scandal of It all Jordan, OR:   The Scandal of it all Sophie.

 

 

Bad book records:  How to spot them

 

If you open a book on your shelves and think it might be a ‘bad one’ here are some things to look for:

 

Does the title have random brackets, extra words, or really really funky punctuation?

 

Does it have an author?  -  Some imports came through with corrupted author fields, leaving these records with blank or empty authors

 

When you’re looking at the book page, can you see any other books by that author listed on the right?  Does anyone else have that book shelved (also listed on the right)?  These aren’t always 100% accurate indications of a bad record, but they can often be a big indicator - if you click on your edition of Pet Cemetery and it’s not displaying any other Stephen King books, or it looks like you’re the only person on BookLikes who has read it, it’s a bad record.

 

Can you see a language?  ALL records must have a language assigned to them and you can see it in the block of information on each book page.  Like the bad author imports I mentioned above, some imports brought in records without any language assigned. These records will not appear in searches at all, and need to be corrected.

 

Is it an empty record - does it have nothing save the title and author?  For most books, that means that even if it’s not a bad record, it probably has a much better defined twin in the database somewhere, (unless you’re shelving the super-obscure titles), and should be merged properly.

 

Example:

 

*

Thank you!

 

 P.S.

E-mail notifications

 

You've probably noticed that your mail boxes have no BookLikes e-mails :( SO sorry for this silence!

 

We're experiencing some mailing issues that's why you have not received the e-mail notification for some time now. We're working to fix the problematic issues and we do hope everything will be back to normal any day now.

 

So sorry for this inconvenience! Your notifications on the service should be working fine so you can still stay up to date with the comments, likes, reblogs and discussions. Just check the notification spot next to the main menu button on the top of your Dashboard.

 

With any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate and mail Kate@booklikes.com

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text 2017-09-05 08:39
Building tables in HTML, or, how to get your spreadsheet on BookLikes

I'm using the spreadsheet I made in RL on BookLikes to track my Halloween 2017 Bingo reads and I've been asked by a couple of people how they can go about doing their own. 

 

BookLikes supports HTML tables in posts, but it's not obvious how to go about doing it.  There are basically two parts involved:  knowing where to put the table and building the table (or copy/pasting).  

 

I'm going to cover building the table - because there are a couple of different routes you can take to do that - first.  Then I'll cover where to put it, because there's only one way to do that and it applies to everybody.

 

So first: the code.  For advanced users, this is what I did:  I created my spreadsheet and converted it to HTML**, then opened that HTML up in an editor (any text editor will work) and cleaned it up (most apps put a LOT of extraneous crap in that won't work in BL).  For BookLikes you only need the table itself:  the HTML tag, head tag and body tag will only mess things up.

 

(**Excel will export to web page.  Mac users using Numbers app need a middle step: Copy the table from Numbers.  Create a new document in TextEdit and make sure Rich Text Format is turned ON. Paste the table into TextEdit - make sure it looks like the one you copied.  Save the document as an HTML page.)

 

For the person who does not want anything at all to do with the table creation:  if you are willing to PM me your email address, I'll send you the code I used and you can paste that into your post and alter it to suit your books/style.  It can also be had by doing a "view source" on my blog page and doing a copy/paste.

 

If you want to try building your own table from scratch, I'm assuming you know a bit about HTML and CSS.  Below are two screenshots: one of the beginning of my table and one of the end of it (it's stupidly too long to put in as one screenshot).  Feel free to use this as a guide to achieving the coloured rows, etc.  Some of the styles are overkill, but it was easier to leave them than it was to delete them.

 

 

[...]

 

Note:  I used a div tag to center the table in the post; span didn't work; I didn't try table align=center, ymmv

 

This post would go on forever if I explained each style, but if you are looking for a specific result, or want to know what any of them means, please ask in the comments and I'll be happy to explain further.  

 

Now once you've decided how you're going to get your table, you need to know where to put it.  On the Create new post page, in the toolbar, you want the button at the end:

 

 

When you click on that you'll get a pop up window for another text input box called Source Code.  If you've already started your post, you'll see the text and HTML code in this window.  It'll likely look messy.

 

If you've copied your table code from somewhere else, place your text cursor where you want the table to go in the post, and paste.  If you are starting from scratch, this is where you start typing. 

 

You can use this 'source code' button whenever you want to add a bit of flair, or tweak your post - I often use it to adjust the padding around my images (i.e. I want padding on the right, but not the left side of my image), or on the rare occasions when I want coloured text.  BookLikes will take a fair bit of CSS, but sometimes it's hit and miss - what it doesn't like it just deletes, so your results may vary.

 

I hope this helps and if anyone would like to just use my code as a starting point, and adjust colours and styles, please let me know via PM and I'll email it to you (PM won't take the code either, so email is about the best bet).

 

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text 2017-08-24 19:56
BookLikes How to: inserting book page links and cover thumbnail links to books on BookLikes

 

BookLikes bloggers are amazing supporters and their blogs are full of awesome resources, and tips&tricks not only for BookLikes newbies but also regular bloggers.

Please welcome Debbie in the BookLikes How to section. We're republishing her post (originally published on her blog in April 2017) with some nice tips about book links on BookLikes. Great work, Debbie!

Enjoy all!

*

 

Runaway Robot - Lester del Rey -- A guest post by Debbie from Debbie's Spurts

 

The large bookcover at left (dashboard view) you get by choosing "post" on book pages, "update and publish" on currently reading display or by pressing the large "plus" sign when creating/editing posts. 

 

If in the text of your posts you want to link to book page (like Runaway Robot - Lester del Rey ) or with book cover thumbnails like:

Runaway Robot - Lester del Rey then read on for screenshots and instructions.

 

(Of course, you can also use the URLs to the book pages to link but this method is the booklikes equivalent of goodreads' "add book/author" and LibraryThing's "touchstones".  For some odd reason, possibly just cross-posting, I keep seeing booklikes posts with  links to the book pages on other sites rather than to booklikes book pages.)

 

When creating or editing a post, you click on the plus'ed book cover to see additional options.

 

 

Pressing the photo/image icon now showing on upper left of bookcover inserts a cover thumbnail that links to booklikes page:

 

 

 

Pressing the gray chain/link icon inserts a text link to the booklikes book page:

 

 

 

Pressing the "X" leaves anything in body of your post intact but removes the big giant opening bookcover.

 

 

 

[I'm also seeing lots of posts linked to books with green-missing-image covers that also include a hand inserted image of the bookcover.  If you have the cover image available to insert manually in your posts, please consider taking the time to help your fellow readers and beef up the booklikes database by visiting the book page and clicking "add cover" underneath that empty cover:

 

 

When a missing cover gets added, the "+" cover automatically updates; the thumbnail added to body/text of your post must be reinserted.

 

Happy writing and linking!

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text 2017-08-10 11:47
BookLikes How-to: Housekeeping! or, Using the Mass Post Editor

 

-- A guest post by Jenn from Murder by Death

 

If you’re a BookLikes veteran or new to BookLikes but with a huge import of data, you might, like me, look back at all of that history and think “I really need to clean some of those posts up” or “shoot, I wish I’d been using ‘x’ tag on all of those posts”, but then you imagine actually doing it, shudder to yourself, and find that sorting out your sock drawer suddenly sounds exciting.

 

OR, like I’ve been doing lately, you’ve gone to tag a post, see the mile long list of previously used tags and think to yourself “WHY do I have all those tags?  Was I drunk when I thought ‘tthhpphhhttt’ would make a good tag?” or you notice that you’ve collected multiple versions of the same tag and wish you could just clean that mess up.

 

Well, you can. Only tags that are actively used show up in that previously used menu - deleting those unwanted tags from all your posts makes them disappear from the list too.  And you can do that easily using the Mass Post Editor - it takes the ‘tedious’ out of blog housekeeping and puts it back in the sock drawer where it belongs.

 

To get to the Mass Post Editor, use your Dashboard pull down menu to get to your dashboard blog page (not your fancy public blog) - (http://booklikes.com/blog).  You can also go direct by using the following address (assuming you’re currently logged into BookLikes): http://booklikes.com/post/mass-editor/

 

 

 

On your blog page, look for the Mass edit posts and tags link on the right side of your page:

 

 

The Post Mass Editor page is pretty easy to use, but here's an overview of what you’ll see (if this is old news for you, scroll down for more information on cleaning up your tag list):

 

A: sort by: allows you to specify whether you want to sort your results by Publish Date or by Rating, ascending or descending.

 

B: The number of results you’d like to appear on a single page (max is 100).

 

C: status: allows you to narrow down your results to show only posts that are scheduled to be published in the future, currently published posts, or draft posts.  Leave this menu at —select— to show all three.

 

D: type:  allows you to narrow down which type of posts you want to display: Text, Photo, URL, Video, Quote, and Review.  Leaving this at —select— will return all types.

 

Please note that the fields A-D are live update options. Your search results will update instantly after you make a selection from any of these four fields. Selections made using date from (E) and with tags (F) will require you to click Show (K).

 

E: If you know that the posts you want to work with were done within a certain time frame, you can use the date from and date to fields.

This is especially helpful if you’re trying to find posts from a specific game or challenge (and you remember the dates).

 

F: with tags: This will narrow down your post results to only the posts that currently have the tags you select here.  You can select as many as you need to further narrow down your results, or leave it at —select tag— to display all.

 

The selections above, A-F are designed not only to make it easier to find what you’re looking for, but also to minimise the load on the BookLikes servers; the more specific your criteria, the easier it is for the databases to return your results as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

 

G:  select all / unselect all:  Once you’re ready to work with your posts, you can either use the individual check-boxes on the left of each post entry to select them, or choose select all to choose all of the posts in the list.  Likewise, unselect all will clear all the checkboxes.

 

H:  x delete posts:  Maybe blogging right after the cocktail hour wasn’t such a good idea, or maybe you just have posts that have expired content and you want to get rid of them. You can select those posts here and hit delete posts. Just be careful - you can’t undo delete posts. Once they’re gone - they’re gone.

 

I:  x remove tags:  remove tags from selected posts.

 

J:  + add tags:  add tags to selected posts.

 

K:  Show:  use this button to apply specific time frames or tags to your results.

 

L:  Type and Title:  Click on either the type or title of a specific post to go to that post.

 

M:  This is a shortcut for the tag menu (F):  clicking on the tags here will put them in the with tags section - just remember to hit Show to update the results.

 

N:  Edit:  Takes you directly to the edit post page so you can edit the post.

 

 

As I said at the start, it’s pretty self-explanatory, but I want to show you how you can use the mass post editor to clean up any superfluous tags you might have acquired over the years.

 

Using myself as the guinea pig, I’ve found that I have two tags:  audiobook and audiobooks.  I don’t need to have both so I want to edit all of my posts so they only use audiobooks, thereby deleting audiobook from my tag list.

 

I’ve searched for all published posts that use audiobook (the tag I ultimately want to get rid of):

 

 

I’ve used select all to check all (three) posts currently using audiobook, and then I clicked on + add tags:

 

Note that you can use this menu to create new tags and apply them to posts too.

 

I’ve selected the audiobooks tag I want to add and clicked Add tags.

 

Next, I’ve hit select all again (the checkboxes clear each time so you don’t accidentally change posts you didn’t mean to change).

 

This time, I’ve clicked x remove tags:

 

 

 

This looks a bit different; x remove tags only shows you the tags that are currently applied to the posts you’ve selected.  So, I’ve checked audiobook and clicked Remove tags.

 

Done!

 

Now, it’s important if you’re trying to replace one tag with another that you add the new tag before you remove the old one because clicking Remove tags automatically updates your results list.  What does this mean?  Well, if I had removed the audiobook tag first, my result list after removing it would look like this:

 

 

 

As you can see - I no longer have any posts in my list to add my new tag to, because I no longer have any that are tagged with audiobook

 

So, add first, remove last.

 

Once you’ve done this, and assuming you’ve applied it to all your posts, you’ll find that old tag is history.  (To check, make a change anywhere in your search criteria - hit show if you need to - and force BL to search again.  This will refresh your tag list.)  Yay!  Only about 100 more to go!

 

 

If you’ve been thinking your blog needed a bit of housekeeping, check out the Post mass editor.  Even if you already run a tight ship, don’t forget it can be a valuable resource for finding posts that aren’t tied to books on your shelves. So if someone comes up to you someday asking you for that youtube link to that cat video… you know, that one - with the cat doing that cute thing?… you’ll have a place to start.  ;-)

 

Happy BookLiking!

 

Art by Akgulian, Nishan

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text 2017-08-03 14:55
What did you read in July, and how to find reading challenge posts?

 

Seven months checked, five still to go. Have a look at BookLikes bloggers July reads and let us know how are you doing in your 2017 reading challenge. Click the blogs' headings to visit the blog pages and follow the reviewers.

 

Scroll down to view more June reading reviews from book bloggers. Happy reading!

 

I'm super excited that I was able to read 7 books this month. I've been struggling for a long while. My health and not having a good system in place has affected me greatly, but now I think I have a good one. I talked about it in a previous post. I will listen up to 5% of each book for the month and... continue reading
 
Gork, the Teenage Dragon - Gabe Hudson In The Still - Jacqueline Chadwick Dark and Stars (Serengeti, #2) - J.B. Rockwell The Late Show - Michael Connelly
I didn't finish nearly as much as I'd intended to this month -- every book I've read over the last couple of weeks has taken me at least 1 more day than I'd estimated/planned. There are two books I was supposed to read and write about in July that I haven't started yet -- whoops. Still, I read a lot of pretty good stuff this month, and that's the important thing, right?... continue reading

 

Artificial Sweethearts (North Pole, Minnesota) - Julie Hammerle  Lumberjanes Vol. 1 - Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen  Thor, Vol. 1 - Coipel Olivier, J. Michael Straczynski Wilde Like Me - Louise Pentland

Favorite book(s) of the month: every single one of them

THIS HAS BEEN SUCH A GOOD READING MONTH.

I didn't expect it. I felt a bit of a reading slump coming but I powered through it... continue reading

 

Bone White - Ronald Malfi A Game of Ghosts: A Charlie Parker Thriller - John Connolly For Those Who Dream Monsters - Anna Taborska, Steve Upham, Charles Black, Reggie Oliver, Reggie Oliver Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

In July I read 19 books! ... continue reading

 

The Doctor's Undoing (Love Inspired Historical) - Allie Pleiter Persepolis I & II - Marjane Satrapi A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson Licensed for Trouble - Susan May Warren

Two things helped push the number of books I read this month higher than usual: 24in48 Read-a-thon and binge reading series via COYER. Since the start of COYER, I have managed to read through 4 series (1 was a duet, the others were longer). I will not be adding any more books to the list in August because I want to finish off the list. I am finding myself to be a definite mood reader (see binge reading a series) rather than a list follower... continue reading

 

 

If you've missed June wrap ups by other BookLikes bloggers, have a look at the following posts, and feel invited to read and join :) If we haven't included your post link, let us know in the comment section below.

 

 

To check what other readers are reading in 2017 reading challenge click the tag underneath this post:

 

 

OR type the tag in the book search box above and select TAGS:

 

 

And you'll see a collection of posts WITH this tag. Only posts with a tag will be presented.

 

 

If you haven't used the tags yet, we do highly recommend using them in your BookLikes posts.Type in a tag and press comma to insert it OR use your most recent tags OR search an accurate tag in your tag list and select.

Tags are great and they will organize your blog posts and improve deliverability of your writings among community.

Let's tag! :-)

 

Happy writing and tagging!

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