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Big cover change

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Sep 8, 2015, 10:04am Top

We've just pushed a major cover change. The changes touched dozens of files and impact dozens of pages. Some issues are to be expected.

If you have a bug, you can post it here, or in bug collectors.

We'll post more about what's "new" later on, once the dust has settled.

Sep 8, 2015, 10:20am Top

I'm getting all default cover thumbnails in the "Recent News" module of my home page.

Sep 8, 2015, 10:32am Top

Cover-related bug reported at


Without actually knowing what you did it's tough to say for sure it's related, but the timing is suggestive.

Sep 8, 2015, 10:36am Top

Previously I could click on the cover in my catalog to pop up a menu including a "change cover" option. I can no longer do that; is this intentional?

Sep 8, 2015, 10:39am Top

Attempting to change the cover to use an existing member-uploaded cover produces a page with what looks like debug data:

type => 1
id => 8985906
book_id => 121151379

The cover was successfully changed, so I'm putting it here rather than in Bug Collectors.

Sep 8, 2015, 10:53am Top

Looks like where I've selected a cover, and then later changed it for my default cover, it's reverted back to my original choice (or whatever Amazon's now offering up instead of "my" cover). And, I can't change these covers for my default cover.

Also, a very minor one, the default cover in my "recently added" isn't my chosen default cover design.

Edited: Sep 8, 2015, 10:54am Top

Sep 8, 2015, 10:55am Top

Are we supposed to now see two copies of the cover on the work page?

Sep 8, 2015, 11:08am Top

>9 MarthaJeanne:

Fixed. Only admins were supposed to see that :)

Sep 8, 2015, 11:17am Top

Also, a very minor one, the default cover in my "recently added" isn't my chosen default cover design.

Looking at.

Sep 8, 2015, 11:19am Top

>10 timspalding: On the work page, what or which is the is the plain brownish cover showing on the right under popular covers?

I also noticed that my uploaded covers are the default on the work page instead of the Amazon default.

Sep 8, 2015, 11:25am Top

Can you address whether or not >5 lorax: is in fact intentional or not? I feel like we're just randomly poking around here. "Something changed! It's big, and we'll just let you figure it out on your own."

Sep 8, 2015, 11:27am Top

I also noticed that my uploaded covers are the default on the work page instead of the Amazon default.

Sorry, can you say that again?

Sep 8, 2015, 11:27am Top

>5 lorax:

Sorry. I'm not sure what you're talking about. But I'll know when I look into it. I got a list and I'm going down it :)

Sep 8, 2015, 11:29am Top


Oh, I should have said I always use list view; this was never possible in cover view. I tend to forget cover view even exists.

Sep 8, 2015, 11:38am Top

>14 timspalding: asks "Sorry, can you say that again?"

No, because I shouldn't have said it at all!

Sep 8, 2015, 11:40am Top

>16 lorax:-17

I'm so confused.

Another bug: The recent books on the homepage has flipped back to defaults again. Shoot me.

Sep 8, 2015, 12:05pm Top

Also, a very minor one, the default cover in my "recently added" isn't my chosen default cover design.

Fixed. Thanks.

Sep 8, 2015, 12:10pm Top

>13 lorax: Given that Tim didn't mention any changes, I believe we should assume that the work is all behind the scenes and any changes you notice are unintentional and should be reported.

Sep 8, 2015, 12:33pm Top

Sep 8, 2015, 12:41pm Top

>3 paradoxosalpha:

To clarify: I'm getting all default no-cover thumbnails in the "Recent News" module of my home page.

Edited: Sep 8, 2015, 12:47pm Top

>20 jjwilson61:

Well, he did call it a "big change" and say they'd post more about it later, and did not say that the disappearing functionality from >5 lorax: was a bug. So I'm still unsure; the bits and pieces I've been hearing earlier were that there would be some user-facing changes (it's not just a refactor, they are actually pulling in some different data sources), so I don't want to assume it's a bug.

Sep 8, 2015, 1:06pm Top

Probably not related, but I just noticed it: If I do anything to a book with a review. Even just pressing Edit Book and then Save (i.e. no changes at all), it shows up immediately in the "Your Recent Reviews" module on my Home page.
I'd have expected it to check for a change in the "Review" field and nothing else.

(I have "Your Recent Reviews" just beneath "Recently Added" which is where I typically see covers, so that's why I was looking there :-)

Edited: Sep 8, 2015, 4:03pm Top

I may have missed this but I can't tell for sure. I noticed that before the change, on the home page under 'Recent Additions' the title of the book appeared on the default cover. Now it does not. I just get the date added below the cover as I did before.

Typo - s/b additions rather than editions.

I cannot comment about 'recent news' as I don't have that on my home page.

Sep 8, 2015, 2:07pm Top

>24 bnielsen: wasn't this always happening?

Sep 8, 2015, 2:24pm Top

>26 JerryMmm: Yeah, probably, but I just noticed now what was going on because I was looking at the covers :-)

Sep 8, 2015, 2:45pm Top

To clarify: I'm getting all default no-cover thumbnails in the "Recent News" module of my home page.


Sep 8, 2015, 4:24pm Top

This has been around for ages. The blobs will not go away.

Sep 8, 2015, 4:24pm Top

and the blobs hang off the edges of the shelves

Sep 8, 2015, 4:49pm Top

>29 Collectorator:

Can you post a screenshot? I don't see any blobs. What I see are a number of blurry instances of the cover that appears for the second and subsequent books in the series; it looks like it's a couple of seals or some other marine mammal hauled out on the beach. (So it's Not a Cover, but it's what shows on the work pages, so that doesn't seem to be anything relevant to this thread.)

Sep 8, 2015, 4:56pm Top

>29 Collectorator:

Well, there are two issues here. First, I need to start removing covers that flunk a vote. Second, it should know the size of the cover when making the shelf.

Sep 8, 2015, 5:01pm Top

When I login as the public would when I select covers there are no pictures, just the plain brown covers.

Sep 8, 2015, 5:07pm Top

>32 timspalding:

First, I need to start removing covers that flunk a vote.

If you did that, I'd start voting on them again; like many others, I gave up when it became clear that it had absolutely no effect.

Edited: Sep 8, 2015, 7:17pm Top

Okay, flags now "matter"—successfully flagged covers can't be chosen as the main cover for a work.

We got one bunch-of-seals(?) left.

I've set it up so that:
* Vote "yes" needs to be at least 4
* Vote "yes" needs to be at least three times "no."

Next up I'm going to move flagged items to the end of the lists. I'm of two minds about removing them entirely, though.

Sep 8, 2015, 7:25pm Top

o Glory Hallelujah! I thought this day would never come.

Thank you, Tim Spalding.

Sep 8, 2015, 7:37pm Top

>35 timspalding:
Wow. Cover flagging that does something. Excellent. Moving flagged covers to the end of the list would be good. If you're not going to hide them completely, I'd like a little flagged icon on the flagged covers.

Sep 8, 2015, 7:54pm Top

What was said in >37 eromsted: Me too!

This is a change I actually like (and we know I hate change...sometimes, anyway).

I always flag them, and vote on it, because I'm compulsive. As long as this change is going in, could it please be set that when someone flags, their vote is automatic? I think that most people don't realize that if they flag a cover, they still have to *vote* on the flag they just did. That was true the last time I paid attention, which was within the last couple of weeks.

Sep 8, 2015, 8:00pm Top

Did you get rid of the "recalculate cover" option?!?!?

Sep 8, 2015, 8:37pm Top

I'd like a little flagged icon on the flagged covers.

Good idea. I'll look into it.

Please note, btw, that it's a nightly recalculation. That's the best I can do at present, given the data structure.

Did you get rid of the "recalculate cover" option?!?!?

Yup. Until all this pans out, I want to work with what is. I'm working on bringing it back tonight.

Sep 8, 2015, 10:33pm Top

I can't access Change Cover from catalog view. Bug or deliberate?

Sep 8, 2015, 10:58pm Top


Sep 9, 2015, 1:18am Top

I can't access Change Cover from catalog view. Bug or deliberate?



Sep 9, 2015, 2:06am Top

>35 timspalding:

Wow! At last all my flagging matters.

Sep 9, 2015, 4:21am Top

>35 timspalding: I'm of two minds about removing them entirely, though.

I think covers flagged as spam should certainly be removed. In other cases it is up to members to decide to use whatever cover they want, e.g. using the cover of an omnibus edition on seperately entered parts.

Sep 9, 2015, 4:28am Top

>35 timspalding: Should be enough, but just in case, people can vote here http://www.librarything.com/work/2059632/covers

Sep 9, 2015, 6:46am Top

should we have a Vote for Not a Cover thread?

Sep 9, 2015, 9:57am Top

>41 PhaedraB:, 42

Apparently I just made the error of reporting that bug (in post 5) during normal work hours rather than the middle of the night. :-)

Sep 9, 2015, 9:58am Top

>45 henkl:

"Inapplicable" covers such as an omnibus for a portion or vice versa should never be selected as the default, though.

Sep 9, 2015, 9:59am Top

>48 lorax:
What were you thinking?

Sep 9, 2015, 10:43am Top

>49 lorax: Agreed.

Edited: Sep 10, 2015, 6:02pm Top

Sep 10, 2015, 8:59pm Top

Thank you, Thank you, for adding actual book covers to kindle books in "my library."

Sep 11, 2015, 4:01am Top

This can have been around always, still thought I'd mention it:

https://www.librarything.com/catalog/sunny - I click on 'Your books', then on 'Covers' (between 'List' and 'Tags').

Then I get the option to '(show all)', the link being https://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?&offset=0&previousOffset.... But clicking on it has no effect, I'm still in page one and still see the number of pages. Only change: option '(show all)' has disappered.

(I'd love to be able to get push notifications of talk replies, for example by email..)

Edited: Sep 11, 2015, 12:06pm Top

It's great to see the flagging count for something!

I was going to file a cover-related bug report, but things seem to be changing as I write. Originally when trying to recalculate the cover for http://www.librarything.com/work/16431242 I got this message:

INSERT INTO ( wtcb_work, wtcb_idtype, wtcb_id, wtcb_customcover ) VALUES (16431242, 1, "1679115", NULL) - fatal error (1)

But it seems to work now, using the Amazon cover. However, other works from the same clean-up job, e.g. http://www.librarything.com/work/14674510/covers are using the "real fake" cover, even though it too has a single Amazon cover and no member-uploaded ones. Given the recent changes, it's not really clear to me what the behavior should be?

ETA: In case it matters, I think the work that was originally erroring was a new-to-today work, whereas I think the second one was an existing work (that I happened to combine an edition into).

Edited: Sep 11, 2015, 11:41am Top

>54 sunny: It sounds like the "Show all" link may be deceiving you. "Show all" expands the list of page numbers—it doesn't show you all your books. It's possible you have a small enough library that all page numbers are displayed by default. I'm not sure what the limit is (I think it's 7), having only 4 pages' worth of library, myself. But, if I had, say, 20 pages' worth, at some point the list would start looking like this:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 20 (show all)

Clicking "show all" would expand that list so that all numbers, 1-20, were displayed.

Edited: Sep 11, 2015, 2:45pm Top

Ah, thank you, lorannen - yes, I expected it to show all the covers on one page.

Sep 12, 2015, 8:29am Top

In the change cover light box, the checkbox label cannot be seen in localized versions because if the underlying HTML or XML tags being visible.

Sep 14, 2015, 2:20am Top

Is this feature already so cold that bugs should go to Bug Collectors?

Sep 15, 2015, 5:54pm Top

Some of my covers have turned into little blank squares. And when I try to change them back I can't seem to get them to work.
I've had problems in the past with random cover changes from the one I've picked to something else, but always was able to fix it.
Happy Birthday!! I love Librarything!!!

Sep 16, 2015, 12:32am Top

I've found recently that if I pick a cover, and then decide to upload a file or grab one from the web it doesn't work. I mean it doesn't complain, it just doesn't do it. I also found that recalculating the cover just returned an error.

Sep 16, 2015, 10:37am Top

To see all your covers on one page try this.


Sep 16, 2015, 1:16pm Top

>60 hredwards: Can you give me some examples of the books you need to change, and which cover you need to change it to (i.e. your default cover, or an Amazon cover, or a member-uploaded cover)? I checked another account for this today and was able to change the covers for them. I'd like to see if it's working for you now as well.

Sep 16, 2015, 1:19pm Top

>61 al.vick: Can you give me an example of some of the books you're trying to pick covers for? And, if you can, some links to the covers you're trying to select?

"it doesn't work." What exactly doesn't work--what happens or what doesn't happen (that you expect to occur)?

When you click to recalculate the cover and get an error, what does the error message say?

Sep 16, 2015, 1:40pm Top

>64 kristilabrie:
It's working fine for me now. At least on the only one I know about that hasn't been fixed.

It seemed to occur only if I chose a member uploaded cover, and then decided it wasn't quite right and tried to upload a different one either from a file or from the web.

I see that "recalculating the cover" works now too. (It gave an error yesterday).

"it doesn't work": Here is what was happening: It would do everything like it was uploading the picture, but the picture for my book in the upper left corner of the book page wouldn't change.

Edited: Sep 16, 2015, 2:58pm Top

Most of them seem to default covers, but not all. It seems to be random, the latest one is Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close. I used the default cover originally but now it won't show up and I can't get it to come back.
Thanks, hope it's not something stupid I did.
Oh, and it doesn't show up in the corner of the book page.

Sep 16, 2015, 4:10pm Top

>66 hredwards: Okay, I was at least able to change your "Extremely Loud" book to your default cover by clicking on the "Use your default cover for this book" link (see below). Can you try this on a couple of your other books and let me know if it works for you? Use the "Change cover" tab on the left of each book page.

Interestingly, I noticed all of your books with empty covers seem to be from Amazon.com, which is where we're getting updated covers. I'm going to see if there's anything that can't be done to fix this for you in one fell swoop, instead of editing each book manually.

Sep 16, 2015, 7:10pm Top

>65 al.vick: This might be at the "did you unplug it?" level, but I have found sometimes that the cover thing can get confused if I'm making a bunch of changes one after another. So if it's being difficult, I navigate away and come back to it. Has that been your experience?

Sep 16, 2015, 9:45pm Top

>68 PhaedraB:
I had tried navigating away and back again and it didn't help. But like I said, it seems to be working now. So I'm not sure I could reproduce it again.

Sep 16, 2015, 10:32pm Top

hredwards' bug is now fixed.

Sep 16, 2015, 10:33pm Top

Awwww. He got a bug named after him.

Edited: Sep 17, 2015, 1:45am Top

Whatever you did seems to have fixed my bug, too. (Actually, hredwards' bug sounds very like mine.) Anyway, reall glad to have covers again.


Sep 17, 2015, 6:49am Top

When going to somebody else's library and hit 'See in library' (of the books you share) and then want to view the covers, that doesn't work yet, does it? It only gives the default covers.

Sep 17, 2015, 10:06am Top

Correct. But this is when you view any library/catalog in "Covers" view when not logged into that account, not just when you click to see the books you share with them.

Sep 17, 2015, 10:24am Top

>73 paulstalder:

That bug has been reported for Cover View; are you seeing it in List view as well?

Sep 17, 2015, 10:37am Top

List view covers are showing up for myself and others: http://www.librarything.com/topic/195759#5276413

Sep 17, 2015, 10:42am Top

>76 kristilabrie:

Yes, for me too, which is why I was asking paulstadler, since missing covers in List View would be a new bug.

Sep 17, 2015, 1:39pm Top

>75 lorax: I can view the covers in list view, but not in cover view.

Thanks for letting me know, that the bug is already reported. So, we wait and see :)

Sep 17, 2015, 1:46pm Top

Thank you timspalding and kristilabrie!!
Looks great!!

Sep 17, 2015, 1:47pm Top

I has a bug.

Sep 22, 2015, 8:47pm Top

I'm not if this is intended or not, but when I go to my home page, " Hot Reviews" do not have covers. Is that intended or is that a glitch? Another LT member mentioned to me that she is having the same problem on her home page.

Sep 23, 2015, 8:53pm Top

I'm very glad something is being done about flagged covers!!! Thank you! I do find it VERY confusing though when I flag, whether to check Yes or No. Am I saying "Yes, the cover is incorrect", or "No, this is the incorrect cover". Can you please make it clear on the "flagging page" which answer goes to which idea? I am totally at a loss as to which one to click.

Also, I know this will be a touchy issue, but is there some way to also tag "print on demand covers", so that they will show up in a section other them "member uploaded" and "Amazon covers"? My desire would be for them to never show up as the automatic cover, or in the top choices, but still be available for those few who want to use them.

For example of what I'm referring to, check out this page for this series, and click on Show all Covers:

There are three print-on-demand covers that will always show up as the main picture, despite the fact that they are *not* real, official covers of the books that people want to see. I've uploaded what I could to fill in "blank" pictures, but nothing I can do can supersede these print-on-demand pictures. (as you may gather, I deal mostly with pre-UPC, collectible books).

One more possible suggestion: Is there a function that could be added where members can delete *their own* uploaded pictures (not other's, but only their own). Sometimes one may accidentally upload the wrong picture, or simply want to re-scan with a better quality one, or realizes a good picture was already up but was missed.

Thank you for opening up this blog! I appreciate it!

Sep 23, 2015, 8:53pm Top

I agree--significant issue with this.

Sep 24, 2015, 2:07am Top

>83 TrentJerome: If noone is using it, a cover will disappear in a day or two. So don't worry if you make a mistake.

Oct 1, 2015, 3:17pm Top

Is it correct that the "default cover" now counts as "Member Uploaded Cover Chosen by You" in the stats page? Because I was methodically going through and updating/inserting/scanning covers for all my books that were using the 'default' or 'blank' cover and now they're all mixed in with the aforementioned category. That's kind of frustrating.

Oct 3, 2015, 3:02am Top

A lot of my covers appear to be missing? http://www.librarything.com/allyourcovers I know I see some books with the blank blue box where I uploaded covers.

Dec 6, 2015, 12:50pm Top

I was going through my library and changing my covers so that they matched the physical copies of the books I own with relative ease. There were a few occasions where the site simply would not let me change a cover; I'd click to change the cover, select the desired image and "change cover," the page would refresh like I was still changing the cover, rinse, and repeat. Whatever, no big deal. Now, however, I cannot edit books or change there covers at all; it won't even take me to the page to do so. For instance, I just added a book on the French New Wave by Jean Douchet and not only does it not appear in the "Your books" tab despite making sure that was selected and that, when I added the book, I added it to "Your library," the cover is just the generic brown cover and the only way I can edit the book's information is the quick edit links on the books page for tags or a rating. This started after I added a film, wanting to create a separate collection for my film inventory, but I deleted that and the film I added thinking that somehow was causing the problem (I experienced the same inability to edit/change the cover). I'm not sure what I did; all of my settings and collections/library have been reverted to how they were before I initially experienced this error, but nothing is working. I tried logging out and back in, and it's still there.

I apologize if I posted this in an inappropriate area; I've never reported/sought help for anything on LibraryThing before and my Google-Fu led me here.

If anyone winds up reading this, thank you for your time.

Dec 6, 2015, 1:51pm Top

>88 plasmapetrol: Sorry to hear you're having trouble! Based on a handful of bug reports I saw rolling in all around the same time earlier today, it looks like something may have been off with the site (probably a server syncing error). Please try your cover updates and adding books again. I haven't been able to replicate any of the issues you've outlined here.

If you're still experiencing trouble, please make a new bug report over in the Bug Collectors group.

In making a bug report, including a couple details about your system (what browser and OS you're using, particularly) can be helpful to us in nailing down the issue.

Dec 7, 2015, 10:27am Top

#83 by TrentJerome>

The generated print on demand and eBook generic covers that are created by Amazon and other sources really don't seem to represent any books that people have, except perhaps on an e-reader or computer. Somehow they become "popular" and a vintage book cover image doesn't stand much of a chance of replacing it now. I hope for different things in the future but don't expect it.


Dec 8, 2015, 12:36am Top

>83 TrentJerome: I agree. It's hard to keep thing clear and accurate with Amazon's ways. I avoid using them as a source. Prefer to manually enter items and upload cover photos, as Amazon keeps trying to change covers and ISBNs. Even ones that have no connection to items in question - titles not the same. :-(

Edited: Dec 8, 2015, 4:31am Top

>83 TrentJerome: If you change your cover and noone else is using it, it will disappear after a while. Mistakes do not stay there forever. Thank goodness. I've made my share.

Dec 10, 2015, 12:10am Top

>91 VicRML: Amazon does not change the ISBNs. If you pick an Amazon cover that has a different ISBN than your actual book, LT will change the ISBN so it can fetch the cover you chose from the Amazon site.

Amazon will occasionally change the cover. If the cover associated with the ISBN changes, and you have selected to use a cover from Amazon, the cover will change. But that's only because the publisher has given Amazon a new cover associated with that ISBN.

Publishers and booksellers provide the information to Amazon, and what comes from the latter is often downright awful. Their (the booksellers) goal is to sell books; they have no reason or need to be concerned about cataloging. That's why it's so much more useful to use a library to import data.

TL;dr, Amazon isn't quite as clever as all that. Once you import the data, the only thing Amazon affects is Amazon covers, because they are stored on Amazon, not on LT. But of course, you don't have to use them.

Dec 10, 2015, 9:50pm Top

>93 PhaedraB: Thanks, Phaedra. I want to have the cover match the book in my hand, so when folk go looking for it on the shelf, they see what they're looking for. I also enter ISBNs from the book in my hand. So why does a message come up "Do you want to change the ISBN of your book?" sometimes when I click on a cover that matches the book in hand? If I say NO, the ghost in the machine won't let me have the cover.

Dec 10, 2015, 10:16pm Top

>94 VicRML: Because Amazon ties a cover to an ISBN. If you select an Amazon cover then the ISBN on the book needs to the ISBN that Amazon has for that cover. If you select a user-uploaded cover then you don't need to worry about changing the ISBN.

Dec 10, 2015, 10:17pm Top

>94 VicRML: Because the only way LT can fetch covers from Amazon is with an ISBN that matches the one Amazon attaches to that picture. So, if you want the cover, it changes the ISBN so the cover can be found. If you don't want to change your ISBN (perfectly reasonable), LT can't give you that Amazon cover.

However, if you choose a member-uploaded cover, no ISBN is involved, Amazon is not involved at all, and you get the cover you want.

If the only cover that matches your book is an Amazon cover, there is a way (tedious but doable) to either a) download the cover image from Amazon to your computer then upload it to LT, or b) use a modified version of Amazon's image URL to swipe the cover and place it on LT. Since Amazon often adds overlays to the image, "Look Inside!" being the most common example, it takes a little tinkering to get just the cover, but once you know how to do it, it's simple enough.

Dec 14, 2015, 1:22am Top

>95 jjwilson61: Thanks jjwilson61. And sometimes the Amazon book has nothing to do with the ISBN or title.

Edited: Dec 14, 2015, 1:25am Top

>96 PhaedraB: Thanks, PhaedraB. I've done that from other book sources. Maybe someday when our remaining 3,500+ titles are finally on LT I'll dig into 'how to clean up Amazon graffiti on book covers'. :-)

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