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Feb 23, 2012, 9:17pm Top

How can I post E Books read to my collection. Is there a special designation to distinguish these 'books' from the rest?

Feb 23, 2012, 9:33pm Top

I catalog mine by ASIN (since I have a Kindle) and just put {e-book} (with square brackets instead) after the title. But it's up to you what you do really. I just wanted to be able to identify mine at a glance.

Feb 24, 2012, 12:02am Top

I put mine in a separate collection I created called ebooks. I also make covers that show them as ebooks. I hadn't thought of putting it in the title...but actually, I don't want to, because that would separate them from their paper counterparts (Little Women {ebook} would not automatically be combined into the work Little Women).

Note that except for Kindle books, it may be difficult to find the ebook in the usual sources - I usually either add a paper copy and edit the publication details to match my ebook, or just enter it manually (Manual Add is a link at the bottom of the Add Books page, that lets you type in the details of the book. You can enter as little as a title or full title/author/publication data/etc).

Feb 24, 2012, 7:52am Top

Actually, I don't think adding {e-book} separates it out. It seems like mine are all combined correctly. But it's worth looking into a little more.

Feb 24, 2012, 2:27pm Top

brightcopy determined recently that LT ignores things in parentheses, but notices them in curly or square brackets - so it should stay separate. Unless someone put {ebook} in and then manually combined, in which case any future adds would also be combined.

Of course, take "should" with a large grain of salt - we're talking about computers here. Complex, interlocking code on computers, at that.

MikeD - this is very common; someone asks a question and the regulars answer then get into a discussion about the answer. LT has a _lot_ of features, which frequently change in subtle or overt ways...there's always an angle for discussion.

Feb 24, 2012, 4:42pm Top

If it is the same book, why should it be separated in the first place?

Feb 24, 2012, 5:11pm Top

It shouldn't, but if the title contains ebook (within brackets), LT would (might) see it as a different book and keep it separate. So it would have to be manually combined.

Now "should" is taking on too many meanings!

The correct way - the most logical one, in the library and LT sense - is for an ebook that is the same content as a paper book to be combined with that work.
If the ebook is entered with "ebook" (or whatever) in curly or square brackets, LT will (probably) read it as a different book and not combine it. This is correct for the (current) code, but not correct librarianship. So my first line in Msg 5 meant that if you enter {ebook}, and if my understanding of the code is correct, it _will_ remain separate until manually combined. Take "should" as meaning "probably will".
If the book is entered with (ebook) in the title, that will be ignored and LT will combine with the other books/works with the same title (and author and etc).

Clear as mud?

Feb 24, 2012, 5:17pm Top

I know, I know. I was just wondering because a few of the posts above were sounding a bit as an advice on how to enter to make them separate :)

PS: Mine are added as normal books and just live in their own collection.

Feb 24, 2012, 5:24pm Top

Actually, they were meant (mine, anyway) as advice on how to make them _not_ separate. But yes, written as "If they are entered this way, they will be kept separate"...

Feb 24, 2012, 5:31pm Top

That is why I said sounding a bit :) On second reading, I know why it was written :)

Feb 24, 2012, 10:01pm Top

As you said, someone else might have added {e-book} and combined, but I certainly haven't. An example I would give is that my e-book copy of Pride and Prejudice shows 42,000 copies, so I assume it is correctly combined. Now, if someone else did the combining, then that explains it under your clarification, but it seems unlikely that all the books I add {e-book} to would have coincidentally been previously combined and none of them seem not combined... if that makes sense.

just a few other examples
Soulless e-book 2,076
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children e-book 1,806
The Man With Two Left Feet e-book 270

Feb 25, 2012, 1:35am Top

Putting stuff in brackets will only prevent automatic combination if the book is being added manually. If you add via a source, and then change the title to add brackets, it won't prevent it being combined; it will already have been automatically combined if it could be, and any separations will have to be done manually (and the brackets only help at that point for finding the edition that needs to be separated).

Feb 25, 2012, 1:39am Top

FWIW, here's what I found when I tested manually adding various titles with brackets vs. parentheses. It wasn't entirely consistent with what one would expect:


Feb 25, 2012, 12:38pm Top

Ok, that makes more sense. Like I said, I've been adding via Amazon by ASIN and then editing my copy to say {e-book}. I've not manually entered any but I can see how that would create the problem.

Oct 24, 2012, 12:50pm Top

I just add an e-book Tag. Then in the book collection, I can click on the "Tags" button and see all of the e-books as if they were a separate collection.

Edited: Dec 5, 2012, 3:17pm Top

I don't anticipate any problem adding eBooks, even if they DO need to be entered manually, but what do we do about covers? Are we allowed to use covers from Amazon (the generic public domain covers)? Are there any rules about where to get covers for books that are not in the system?

(edit) OK, I DO have another question... The ones that I pulled in using the ASIN don't seem to have stored that anywhere. I had assumed that the ASIN would just take the place of the ISBN, but no such luck. Should it be stored someplace else, or just cast aside?


Edited: Dec 6, 2012, 2:16am Top

ASIN and ISBN are, currently at least, merely two ways of showing essentially the same code.

My bad - no they are not.

Dec 5, 2012, 5:47pm Top

So it would be OK to past the ASIN in the ISBN field? I haven't tried yet, but I didn't know if there was some validation routines in place. Amazon is a little ridiculous. The ebooks that I downloaded last year have been replaced with a new improved version of the same thing, with a different ASIN. :-s

Dec 5, 2012, 7:10pm Top

Yeah - and that's why I wouldn't recommend putting it in the ISBN field. That's _supposed_ to be a unique code to identify that book/edition (which an ASIN is) and a _standard_ code that everyone uses (which an ASIN isn't). Dunno, if there's no ISBN for that book I suppose an ASIN is better than nothing. If it's not a valid ISBN (ASINs have letters in them, don't they?), LT will treat the field as blank for combining purposes anyway (I believe).

Using book covers - the actual covers of the books - to mark those books is fair use (the way LT sees it, anyway. As far as I know, it's never been tested). So despite the cute little "copyrighted information" overlays on some Amazon covers, yes, you can use them (I delete those - clone them out - if I can't find a cover without the overlays). If you get the cover from Amazon - either from the book page or by right-click and Save Image Location on an LT Amazon thumbnail - strip the URL down to one number.jpg and you'll get the largest, clearest, least cluttered image available through that (strip it from, for example,
down to
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/P/1400160308.jpg )

You can also find book covers through Google Images (which often leads to Amazon pages. Sometimes to publisher or author pages, often to blogs...whatever). Same thing, fair use - the exactly proper use of those images (the copyright belongs to the publisher, so using it to mark their books is perfectly appropriate).

If you use calibre for your ebooks on the computer instead of (or as well as) Kindle for PC, you can copy the cover from the ebook directly.

I put my ebook covers in a frame (that looks like a generic ereader), using GIMP, so I can see directly which ones are ebooks. I'm behind in doing it, but that's the plan. Take a look at my ebooks collection to see some (and if you want the frame, I have it in a GIMP file).

Edited: Dec 6, 2012, 11:19pm Top

>2 leahbird:? (not sure what the approved syntax is yet)
leahbird, where do you put the ASIN? Do you put it in the ISBN field or one of the comment fields?

ah-HAH! I didn't think it was going to store that by the other post, but ya never know.

>19 jjmcgaffey:?
Jennifer, most of your answer would take more time than I have to invest right now, but I'm really confused about what part of my question is answered by the "Yeah". I'm seeing, "Yeah, it's OK to paste the ASIN in the ISBN field," but then you say, "... that's why I wouldn't recommend putting it in the ISBN field." Color me confused.

Dec 7, 2012, 2:54am Top

20> I think I was responding to your last sentence, about the ASIN changing. But in fact that's a change of "edition", so a new number makes sense. My third sentence reverses myself anyway, saying that an ASIN is better than nothing if there's no ISBN.

I do tend to think as I write - so by the end of a post (or a paragraph) I may have changed my mind. I find it valuable, when I go back to read my posts, to see the path I took - but it might confuse other people. Feel free to ask me for clarification.

The above is the most common form of post reference - the number followed by a greater than sign. But different people do it different ways, and as long as it's clear that the number is meant as a post reference, it doesn't really matter.

The quick way to get covers is to pick one from the Member Uploaded section of the Change Covers page. Or the Amazon section - hmmm, the biggest problem with Amazon may go away if you don't have an ISBN. I don't know if they send covers for ASINs (or if LT asks for them that way). The biggest problem with Amazon covers used directly is that if Amazon decides a different cover belongs with that book, your cover will change without notice. So the right-click, tidy up the URL, and put it into the Grab field to get the cover is much safer (and puts that cover into the Member Uploaded section for someone else to use.

But if there's a decent-looking cover in Member Uploaded, that's the easy way - one click.

Edited: Dec 7, 2012, 8:05am Top

Actually, if you chose an Amazon cover you will end up with the ISBN of that cover. So you have an ISBN that is not right for your copy, and if Amazon changes the cover for that ISBN your cover will change.

Dec 7, 2012, 2:25pm Top

Yes, of course that's the way it works. Sheesh. I'm being very brainless this week.

Dec 7, 2012, 8:19pm Top

21> "...I find it valuable, when I go back to read my posts, to see the path I took - but it might confuse other people..." I dunno about valuable, but interesting. :-) Reminds me of a friend. We'd be talking about something and she'd go off on a tangent, start talking about a friend, go off on aNOTHer tangent, etc... and then come back to the original topic, while I'd sit there with my mouth hanging open. I mean, I like tangents as much as the next being, but I don't never come back!

22> MarthaJeanne, I've seen the warning LT gives you when you try to pick an image from a book which has a different ISBN from yours, but I'm pretty sure Jennifer was talking about getting the image directly from Amazon, as she described in #19. (actually, I knew about that from back in GR, but it was more to get rid of the "Click to look inside" and the arrow than anything else.

Now if somebody would please tell me where I should stick the ASIN... let me rephrase that... If somebody would be so kind as to tell me whether or not it would be OK to use the ASIN instead of the ISBN, I can get on with it. I've already found out that LT is perfectly happy with B002RKSUN0 as the ISBN for The Story of Little Black Sambo.

Thanks to all.

Dec 7, 2012, 9:32pm Top

MarthaJeanne, I've seen the warning LT gives you when you try to pick an image from a book which has a different ISBN from yours,

Actually, you get that warning even when the ISBNs are the same.

Dec 7, 2012, 9:33pm Top

25> Can the ASIN ever be the same as an ISBN for a different book? ISBNs can only be 10 or 13 digits, so if ASINs can't be those lengths then your safe.

Dec 7, 2012, 10:35pm Top

25> Actually, you get that warning even when the ISBNs are the same.

Well, THAT's a disappointment! ROFL!!! (yeah, it's been that kinda week) :-)

Actually, 10 character ISBNs sometimes end in X, but other than that, I'm pretty sure

Wow! Chrome just recovered after a power failure and I didn't lose anything!

According to Wikipedia, the check digit for a 10 "digit" ISBN depends on doing calculations with the first 9 digits, so that only the tenth character can be anything but a number. Since all the ASINs I've seen start with "B00" it should be safe.

Jeff, you've been around for the longest of the five or six people I "know" here, but... What are the chances of ever getting an "official" verdict? Like I said before, I don't want to be the new guy who screws things up. :-s


Dec 8, 2012, 1:20am Top

Heck if I know. The algorithm that decides when a book is entered that it's the same work that's already in the system uses Title, Author and ISBN and it sometimes combines things that shouldn't when there is no ISBN. So if you have another number to put in there that actually identifies editions then it should help. At least I don't see any downsides.

Dec 8, 2012, 3:52am Top

There was a combination bug a few months ago, where some books with ISBNs were combined into a no-ISBN edition. Someone eventually figured out that the ISBNs had been entered with hyphens in them, so they weren't recognizable to LT as ISBNs - so the field was treated as empty. As far as I know, nothing has changed in that regard. So, assuming that's true, entering an ASIN will neither hurt nor help anything - LT will consider the field empty, but people can see it. And if changes have been made, so that things in the ISBN field that aren't pure ISBNs are recognizable, it will identify the book. At worst, you might have to do some combining to get your book into the greater work - but it won't hurt anything if you don't want to do that.

So go ahead if you want to. It won't hurt anything. And "official" verdicts on anything are very rare - even rarer when it won't harm anything. LT, and Tim, are all about letting people do things their own way.

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