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Discussion: Dos and don'ts for Editing Books
posts: 13 views: 291 last post: 4 weeks ago
created by: Murder by Death
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All BookLikes users can edit book records. Those edits, once submitted, are put into a queue for approval by a BookLikes librarian. They have the ability to accept, or reject, some or all of the edits made to any book. Unfortunately, there's no way at this time to explain why something might have been rejected, so here are some things that will get rejected and why:

1. Don't change covers without including a valid source link showing your cover is the correct one for that specific edition. Librarians can and do, reject cover submissions without source links. Exception: upgrading covers to higher quality versions, or replacing "cover coming soon" placeholders.

2. Don't change the ISBN of a book unless that ISBN is invalid. Invalid does not mean out-of-print. Invalid is an ISBN number that never existed or is incorrect based on the book standard algorithm, or it's an ISBN that belongs to a different title entirely (not a different edition).

If you submit an edit that includes an ISBN number change or removal, the librarian is going to check it; if it's validly tied to the book title, your edit is going to be rejected. If there's a new edition of this book you want to add, Add a New Book.

3. If you see an ASIN field filled with what is obviously not an ASIN (most likely a repetition of the ISBN10 or 13), just delete the wrong number and leave the field blank, unless it's actually a kindle or an audible. Please do not add ASIN numbers to print, ebooks or CD editions. Those will be rejected.

Just to be clear: do not include ASIN numbers on paperback, hardcover, ebook, or CD Audio editions. Kindles and Audible audiobooks only.

4. If you change the format of the edition, please only use kindle for Amazon books with an ASIN (or audiobooks if they're an Audible book) and ebook for ebooks.


Also understand that if you make edits to a book they won't go through right away; they are added to a queue for a librarian to approve or reject. So if you add a cover, or try to change a cover (for example) and you don't see your changes after you save, it isn't because it didn't work. Once a librarian approves it, you'll see it. If you see some changes, but not all of them, then likely some of your changes were not approved; review and reevaluate. (Librarians don't have the ability to notify you about why changes might have been rejected.)

Questions about making edits? Please feel free to ask below!
This actually belongs in "Dos and Don'ts for ADDING books" feel free to move it if need be, or I can delete/repost.

I have a question about adding new books. I keep trying to add basic fiction (regular novels or short stories,) but while we have some deep dives on other types of genre, fiction isn't a possibility, nor are "short stories" -- THAT I CAN FIGURE OUT. Am I missing something? If so, I've screwed up most of the books I've added. I end up marking things "literary fiction" just to have any genre at all sometimes. I'm not really sure what the difference is, but when it's not a romance or horror or vampire steampunk dystopian lesbian martial arts, is there a way to add some very very basic fiction tags like, just "fiction" "short stories"? I've been using "contemporary" for anything post 1945 (which is what I figured out "modern fiction" usually means from watching Yale lectures on YouTube. I'd also love some cultural genres too "migration/immigration or "southeast asia" and "africa" and something denoting west asia or what we in the US often call "the middle east" and other countries/regions too - even just the continents would be grand! I don't want to complicate it, so continents would be awesome. African American fiction is one I'm missing a lot when I try to add a book. It's not a huge deal, but it's sort of amusing that I can choose ten types of romance and no basic modern fiction post-1945 type thing exists (that I can figure out.) Thanks
I've been kinda frustrated by the genre tags too. It looks like there might possibly have been more choices at one time from the tags I've seen on some of the existing database entries, but the present drop down box definitely doesn't have enough categories. I haven't figured out if there's a work-a-round/alternative for it either, but I'm tech challenged so there may be one I'm not aware of.
You aren't doing anything wrong - our genre/subject list could use some thoughtful attention (when they first started the database, it didn't even have non-fiction subjects in it, so it is a work in progress).

I've been using 'contemporary' myself when I have a book that's really just 'general fiction'. If it's not contemporary, it's historical and we have a label for that, so I figure it works well enough for now.

The tricky part with that list is making it comprehensive without making it unwieldy; in quite a few ways (as you've noticed with romance), it's already unwieldy, but we need label for politics, western, and 3 or 4 I can't remember now, but have written down somewhere. I like your continent idea too; it would allow more specificity without getting insane with labels for every single cultural demographic.

I might write up a suggestion for Kate and BookLikes that contains a revised genre list - zero guarantee they'll do anything with it, but perhaps it will get the ball rolling.
Reply to post #4 (show post):

POI - Those 'extras' you see are genre tags that come through from imports; they're just imported in as text as-is, but don't ever become options. Which is a good thing, I think, because we don't need a "book club" genre. ;-)
Thanks for enlightening me, MbD. :)
Reply to post #5 (show post):

I hope Kate is monitoring these posts -- I remember we had a discussion about this very thing on another thread quite recently; can't remember whether it was Bug Reports or Suggested Features, but I think one of the two. Writing up a revised list would be a great idea, especially since they do seem to be introducting selected new features on the quiet (e.g., "remove book from this [specific] shelf" -- I can't remember ever seeing an explanatory post about that), and there would hardly have to be a big announcement about a revised book categories list as such ... other than to thank you for once again going above and beyond the call of duty, that is!
Thank you sooo much for the explanation as well as not reprimanding me for the wrong thread. Honestly - contemporary works for me. I just really miss "fiction" as a label, since that's the one I usually go to first before anything else (unless of course, it's nonfiction.) Thanks for the info, and I agree - continents would be great, but more detail than that can be handled individually in people's tags or shelves or whatever. I heartily agree we don't need a book club "genre". ;-p Hugs and thanks again all!
Reply to post #9 (show post):

It's not the wrong thread - this applies to editing books too. You'd be surprised (or maybe not) how many books are added without any genre tags being assigned. :)
Definitely not the wrong thread; apologies if my above comments came across that way. All I really wanted to say was, yes, this ought to be addressed, and the number of conversations we're having about it in a very short space of time just goes to show precisedly that ...!
Hi ! Not sure this is the right place to post this but , I have been coming across a lot of books not in the system that have been new author releases that are part of already existing book series or their new releases and wondering why I have to add the books myself so that can show up on my read shelf.I am mentioning this because this has been an on going problem for the last two months or more and why the system isn't updating itself.(Is this a bug report problem that should be reported?)Personally I don't have a problem with adding a book now and again but going through my shelf I have personally added over 150 or more books that where not in the system myself over the last couple of months but , in doing so that makes more work for me and the librarians that have to check all the links submitted and I think they already have enough to contend with.So this seems like a problem to be addressed. These books were all kindle and audio book releases if this helps.

So in doing so leads me to a question regarding this on going post.....

The other day I added a book by a author that was not in the system and they have co-written many books together and they have an on going series together that I have been reading so It was by two authors.When I added the book I only added it under one authors name assuming that once the asin was in the system that it would show up in the system and be automatically updated or eventually show up under the other authors name this is has not been the case.

So my question is if you are adding a book that is written by more that one author do you also have to add the book under the other authors name as well at the same time in order for the book title to be included under their name to so it shows up on there book page as part of a list of their book titles ?
To answer your last, and easiest, question first: Yes. If a book is co-authored you should always add both (or all) authors. Once you create a new book record there is never any automated system that updates it - this is a feature of BL's database, as anyone from GoodReads who has seen how Amazon has destroyed GR's data knows. If you add a book that is subsequently updated with complete information here, it's because a BL librarian has manually added the information.

Now, for the first question: at the moment there is no book import feature actively working. Speculation based on the timing of the feature stopping is that it is related to the new European Privacy regulations, although that's JUST speculation. BookLikes has only confirmed that they are working on resolving the issue. Until then everyone has to add all newly published books, and likely - given the eclectic tastes of BL readers - a fair few backlist titles.

On the one hand, this is SUPER annoying, especially when you have a large number of new books you want to shelve. On the other hand, as a librarian who approves all the new books that people add, 80% of them have been beautifully accurate and complete (let's not discuss the other 20%). I have to admit, as much as I want the auto import feature back, and boy, do I - I don't miss having to clean up all those horrid import records. :)

Hope that covers everything? If not, please let me know what I've missed. :)
Thank you Murder by Death for clearing things up thanks!
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