Librarian Manual
The low-down on being a Librarian on Goodreads. For more resources check out the Goodreads Librarians Group
  • About Goodreads Librarians


    How do I become a librarian?

    If you have added 50 books and would like to become a librarian, you are welcome to apply here.

    Applicants who are accepted to the Goodreads Librarian program will be notified by email. Please note that no notification is sent if an applicant is not accepted to the program.

    What can librarians do?

    Goodreads members with Librarian Status can edit book and author data, add book covers, and combine different editions of books. Each book and author has one unique entry in the Goodreads database. Librarians help correct book issues, like if the data isn't correct, or is missing things like the book description or URL.

    Why not make everyone a librarian?

    Initially, we allowed everyone to be a librarian. Anyone could edit book and author data, add cover images, or combine books. However, we found that while 99% of the people did a good job, occasionally we had someone who messed things up. So we created a new status that we bestow on those interested in helping keep things nice and tidy, which has worked out well.

    What is the difference between regular librarians and super librarians?

    Super librarians can do these things that regular librarians cannot:
    * Delete an edition of a book with more than 5 adds
    * Delete an e-reader with more than some number of adds
    * Edit a quote with over 500 adds
    * Merge two quotes with over 5 adds that aren't Levenshtein similar
    * Merge two quizzes
    * Hide a quiz with more than 50 "takes"
    * Delete a trivia question with more than 100 "takes"
    * Edit the sub-genres of a genre
    * Delete a place with more than 3 books

    Please note that there isn't a structured way to apply for super-librarian status.  There are only about a dozen non-Goodreads staff who have it, all of whom were granted the status by staff due to their significant participation in the Librarians Group.

  • Some general guidelines for librarians


    * Always think twice before changing existing data. The accuracy of the information in our database is important, and changes you make to the book data will be reflected in members’ shelvings.

    * Replacing or removing the cover of an existing edition is in violation of Goodreads policy. Please see information on how to add an alternate cover edition if the book has been released with a new cover.

    * If you are unsure why something is listed the way it is, you can check the "librarian change log" for the book (linked on the left side of the page, above "add a librarian note"). The log will tell you what edits were previously done on the book. If no prior edits are listed, it is likely fine to make the changes you feel necessary. If there are other edits, you may want to read through the edits to see what was changed, and if any of the changes contradict a change you planned to make, you can post to the Goodreads Librarians Group to ask for help in finding a solution.

    * If you are concerned about particular edits, please use the flag feature on the book’s librarian change log. This will bring the edits you’re concerned about to the attention of a staff member, who can take appropriate action as needed.

  • Using the book edit page: part 2

    Note: Replacing or removing the cover of an existing edition is in violation of Goodreads policy. Please see information on how to add an alternate cover edition if the book has been released with a new cover.

    (This topic has now been broken down into subtopics for ease in using and editing.)

    upload photo

    format

    edition

    official URL

    description

    edition language

    created

  • Using the book edit page

    Note: Replacing or removing the cover of an existing edition is in violation of Goodreads policy. Please see information on how to add an alternate cover edition if the book has been released with a new cover.

    (This topic has now been broken down into subtopics for ease in using and editing.)

    librarian change log

    add a librarian note

    title

    sort by title

    author

    isbn - isbn13

    publisher

    published - month - day

    number of pages

  • How to edit book or author information


    To edit book or author information, navigate to the book or author's page, then click on the 'edit data' link which is found in the lower right side of the box containing the book or author's information. Please remember to be accurate in your edits, as your changes will be reflected on anyone's shelf who has that book.

    Note: Replacing or removing the cover of an existing edition is in violation of Goodreads policy. Please see information on how to add an alternate cover edition if the book has been released with a new cover.

  • Acceptable sources for covers and book data


    Acceptable sources for book covers and other book data:

    Author Websites
    Publisher Websites (such as Random House and Smashwords)
    Amazon (since they now own Goodreads)
    AbeBooks
    Book Depository
    Audible

    National Libraries of the World: http://www.publiclibraries.com/world.htm
    Use this site to find non-US libraries, some even have English based sites in addition to the native language, so this would be a good resource for librarians rescuing non-English books.

    WorldCat: http://worldcat.org

    Argentina
    http://agencia.librosar.com.ar/portal...

    Australian
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/book

    Danish
    http://bibliotek.dk/

    Dutch
    http://zoeken.bibliotheek.be/
    http://www.kbr.be/catalogues/catalogu...
    http://www.kb.nl/
    http://www.debezigebij.nl
    http://www.boekerij.nl
    http://www.degeus.nl
    http://www.uitgeverijcargo.nl (is an imprint of De Bezige Bij)
    http://www.uitgeverijathenaeum.nl

    English (UK)
    http://www.nls.uk/catalogues/online

    English Publishers
    http://www.persephonebooks.co.uk

    Finnish
    https://fennica.linneanet.fi/ (National library database)
    http://www.helmet.fi/ (Database of capital area libraries)
    http://monihaku.kirjastot.fi/en/frank...

    Finnish Pulbishers
    http://www.tammi.fi/
    http://www.otava.fi/
    http://wsoy.fi/yk/
    http://www.soderstrom.fi/ (publishes books in Swedish)
    http://www.karisto.fi/portal/suomi/
    http://www.teos.fi/fi/etusivu/index.php
    http://www.like.fi/

    List of Finnish publishers
    http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luokka:S...

    German
    German National Library/Deutschen Nationalbibliothek: http://www.d-nb.de/

    http://www.ubka.uni-karlsruhe.de/kvk....
    http://www.ubka.uni-karlsruhe.de/kvk_... (English version)

    German Manga Publishers
    http://www.carlsen.de/web/manga/a_bis...
    EMA/ Egmont Manga & Anime: http://www.manganet.de
    Panini comics/ Panini manga: http://www.paninicomics.de
    Tokyopop Germany: http://www.tokyopop.de (click Bücher)

    Italian
    Bibliotecha Nazionale Centrale di Roma: http://193.206.215.17/BVE/ricercaBase...
    Internet Culturale: http://www.internetculturale.it/openc...

    Italian Publishers
    http://www.einaudi.it/
    http://www.librimondadori.it/web/mond...

    http://www.astrolabio-ubaldini.com/
    http://rizzoli.rcslibri.corriere.it/
    http://www.adelphi.it
    http://www.feltrinellieditore.it/
    http://www.minimumfax.com/
    http://www.elliotedizioni.com
    http://www.laterza.it
    http://www.guanda.it
    http://www.neripozza.it
    http://www.polilloeditore.it
    http://www.mulino.it
    http://www.sellerio.it
    http://www.skira.net
    http://www.fandango.it
    http://www.meridianozero.it
    http://www.garzantilibri.it
    http://www.iperborea.com
    http://www.fanucci.it
    http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/2...

    Japan
    Kodansha and Shueisha are a couple of the big publishers in Japan.
    http://www.bookclub.kodansha.co.jp/
    http://www.shueisha.co.jp/

    Norway
    http://websok.mikromarc.no/Mikromarc3/troms/default.aspx?db=nord-troms-felles&unit=6483

    Spanish
    http://www.mcu.es/webISBN/
    http://www.laeditorialupr.com/catalog...
    http://catalogo.bne.es/uhtbin/webcat

    Sweden
    http://libris.kb.se
    http://www.kb.se/isbn-centralen/svenska-forlag

    UK
    The British Library: http://explore.bl.uk/

    Rare, Old & Out of Print Books
    http://archive.org (Multi-Lingual)
    SC University Libraries Rare Books & Special Collections: http://library.sc.edu/spcoll/rarebook...

    Specialty
    RPG Game Index: http://index.rpg.net/ (for tabletop RPG gaming books)

    Cover Images
    http://www.tineye.com/ (Search for images similar to the one you provide)

    Sites that are not acceptable to use:

    Barnes & Noble
    Library Thing
    Shelfari
    Baker & Taylor
    Google Books
    Alibris
    Powells
    Indiebound
    Bol.com: http://www.bol.com/nl/index.html
    all other (non-publisher) bookseller sites

  • Using the book edit page: work-specific data

    Note: Replacing or removing the cover of an existing edition is in violation of Goodreads policy. Please see information on how to add an alternate cover edition if the book has been released with a new cover.

    (This topic has now been broken down into subtopics for ease in using and editing.)

    original publication date

    literary awards

    characters

    series

    setting

    change comment

    librarian comment - add a comment

    refresh book rating stats

  • Adding Cover Images


    Acceptable sources for cover images include author and publisher websites, library sites, and various other public archives. We cannot legally use any cover images from booksellers, with the exception of Amazon. Since Amazon has purchased Goodreads, their covers may now be used on Goodreads as well.

    Please review our list of acceptable sources for covers and book data before adding information to the database.

    An individual user's scans or photos, taken of books they own or have in their possession, are also an acceptable source for cover images.

    Note: Replacing or removing the cover of an existing edition is in violation of Goodreads policy. Please see information on how to add an alternate cover edition if the book has been released with a new cover.

    How to upload a photo

    This section of the book edit page is for uploading the front cover image of the book. The only image that should be uploaded is the specific cover associated with the ISBN of the book you are editing. If there is an existing cover that does not match your book, please see the section on ISBNs regarding multiple covers for one ISBN. Existing covers should rarely be deleted and only if you absolutely know that cover is in no way associated with that ISBN. When in doubt, you can always post a question to the Goodreads Librarians Group and ask for help.

    Cover images uploaded should only be an image of the actual front cover (which will typically have title and author on it), and should not be an image of the art used to later create the book cover.

    Cover image size

    Within certain ranges, the system will resize pictures that are too large. The optimal size is 700 x 933 pixels and up to 20% larger.

    Placeholder cover images

    There is only one exception to the rule about removing a cover from an existing edition: any obvious placeholder covers may be removed or replaced. Most placeholders will have a statement on them like "official cover coming soon" or "cover not yet available" or a similar notation.

    If you are unsure whether a specific cover qualifies for this exception, please start a thread in the Librarians Group for assistance.

  • Adding an alternate-cover edition

    If you find that a book with a specific ISBN is already listed with a different cover, it is likely the ISBN was reused for a later/earlier reprinting. If that is the case, you can manually add a new edition to the database that would be considered an 'alternate cover edition.' This policy is in place because it is not possible to upload multiple covers of a book, and changing the cover of an existing edition is a violation of Goodreads policy. Some people may have added the existing edition with that specific cover because it is the one they own.

    If you want to shelve an edition with your specific cover, it is accepted procedure to create a new edition with your cover art. However, since an ISBN can only be used once in the database, leave the ISBN fields on your new edition blank. Then in the Description field, list the ISBN of the original cover edition and state that it is an alternate cover edition. You can also use the Librarian Note feature found near the top of the book edit page to attach a note to the book (this helps prevent the book from accidentally being deleted by a librarian who thinks it is an invalid entry). Please do not use the edition field for information about alternate cover editions.

          Here is an example of an alternate cover edition of a book: LINK

    In the other case of duplicate ISBNs, it may be that an ISBN was reused on a completely different book. This shouldn't happen because ISBNs are supposed to be unique, but exceptions have been found. If that is the case, manually add a new edition to the database, leaving the ISBN field blank. Then in the Description field, add a note stating the issue with the ISBN and listing the actual ISBN. You can also use the Librarian Note feature found near the top of the book edit page to attach a note to the book (this helps prevent the book from accidentally being deleted by a librarian who thinks it is an invalid entry).

          Here is an example of a book where an ISBN was reused on a completely different book: LINK

    It is important never to alter an ISBN simply to get a book to save (if getting an ISBN error when trying to save). ISBNs are specific numbers associated with specific books.

    ARC Exception: Advance Readers Copies or book galleys are occasionally added to the site with the ISBN number of the future published edition listed in the ISBN field. In this case, the ISBN number should be removed from the ARC edition and shifted to the first published edition. To do this, delete the ISBN number from the ARC edition. Then add a Librarian Note stating that this is the ARC cover and the ISBN number is being moved to the published edition. You can then add the ISBN number to the published edition. Please note that this is the only case where an ISBN or ASIN should be removed from a published edition.

    Note: The publication date for an alternate-cover edition should be the date the book was released with the new cover, not the date the book with that ISBN or ASIN was originally published.

  • Author Field


    Adding or editing author names on a book record

    The first author field is for entering the primary author of the book. Be sure to properly spell and capitalize the name or the book will not link to the correct author profile and become harder to find in the GR database. Also, author names should be entered first name last name so they will link to the appropriate author profile on Goodreads. Only one author should be listed per author field.

          Correct examples:
          Suzanne Brockmann
          Catherine Anderson

          Incorrect examples:
          Brockmann, Suzanne
          Anderson Catherine
          Suzanne Brockmann and Catherine Anderson

    If an author uses initials in their name, the initials should contain NO spacing between them and be marked with a period. No spaces within the letters of a name.

          Correct example:
          J.D. Robb

          Incorrect examples:
          JD Robb
          J D Robb
          J. D. Robb
          J D R o b b

    If an author uses his or her middle name or middle initial for their publications, then this should also be included in the author name. Initials should be followed by a period.

          Example:
          Jayne Ann Krentz
          Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

    Authors with titles or degrees (such as Dr., Sir, Ph.D., Captain, Reverend, etc) should NOT be included in the author name (unless necessary to avoid confusion, or if part of a recognized pen name (e.g., Dr. Seuss)).

          Correct example:
          Phillip C. McGraw

          Incorrect Example:
          Dr. Phillip C. McGraw

    Authors with a relational suffix (Jr., Sr., III, etc) SHOULD be included in the author name separated ONLY by a space after the last name.

          Correct example:
          L.E. Modesitt Jr.

          Incorrect example:
          L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

    If the book does not have a primary author, and instead has an editor, list the editor's name in the author field and click on the "add role" link next to the text box and input the word Editor (or other appropriate title).

    Author roles should always be added using the "add role" feature next to the author name, and not by adding it in ( ) following the author name.

    For audiobooks or translated editions, this field should list the author of the original work.

    Regarding author pseudonyms or pen names - some authors write or have written under multiple names. When editing or adding information for a book written by an author with multiple names, enter the author's name as on the front cover as the primary author. The author's other names may be added in the other author fields. Original name or other pen names can added and linked via a Librarian Note in the description field, or using the Librarian Note feature located above the Title field.

    In some cases, a book may be originally published under a pen name, but then later reissued under the author's original name. When this happens, the author listed for any and all editions should be the author name the book was originally published under - so the reissued edition would need its primary author name changed to the originally published pen name, with the additional name added as secondary for all editions with it on the cover. Doing this will allow the various editions to be combined.

    Authors with books published in multiple languages should have their names dealt with similarly to those with pen names. All editions should have the primary author name as the standard or most common Roman (that is, English-language) version of the author's name. Editions published under another spelling of the name or the name in another language should have that name listed as the secondary author.

    Different editions of a book not having the same primary author can cause quite a few distinct problems. Please keep the primary author for all editions of a work the same.

    add new author (add role)

    If there are multiple authors of a book, or persons with other roles*, click on the "add new author" link below the first author field and a new text box will appear. Enter in a second author's name - or editor's, illustrator's, etc name - being sure to use correct spelling and formatting.

    For audiobooks or translated editions this field can be used to list narrators or translators.

    To label the role of the person listed, click the "add role" link to the right and input the role of the person.

    If there is a third author/editor/etc, click the "add new author" link again and input the necessary information. Follow this procedure until all pertinent people are listed.

    When a book has multiple authors they should be listed according to the order they show on the cover, if possible. The order also needs to be the same for any/all editions of the same book. This will allow for editions to be combined. If two editions of the same multi-author book do not have the same author listed first, the books can not be combined. So it is important to list multiple authors correctly.

    Cover artists should NOT be listed in the author fields. Cover artists may be noted in the description field.

    *Please note that editors should only be added for records like anthologies and reference materials. Novels and other works of fiction should not have editors listed.

    **Also note that adaptations should not be combined with their parent work. The adaptor’s name should be listed as the primary author.

    Initials in author names

    * There should be a period after each initial.
    * There should be no spaces between consecutive initials.
    * There should be one space (excepting disambiguation) between an initial and a non-initial.

    Examples:

    * J.K. Rowling
    * J.R.R. Tolkien
    * Philip K. Dick
    * F. Scott Fitzgerald
    * George R.R. Martin

    Books with multiple authors

    Goodreads currently allows up to 50 authors per book. Authors should be listed in the order they appear on the book cover. If there is no cover or covers of various editions differ, use alphabetical order.

    For compilations that include both editors and authors, please list the editors first and then other contributors.

    Please note that editors should only be added for records like anthologies and reference materials. Novels and other works of fiction should not have editors listed.

    Suffixes and prefixes for authors names

    Only social suffixes are used. This includes Jr., Sr., and Roman numerals. There is no punctuation between the name and the suffix.

    Examples:
    Frank B. Gilbreth Jr.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
    Andre Dubus III

    Other suffixes and prefixes are not included with author names:
    *Academic degrees (BS, MS, PhD, MD, DDS, Prof, Dr. etc.) should not be used
    *Honorary degrees (KBE, LLD, Sir etc.) should not be used
    *Professional (Esq, CPA, CFA etc.) should not be used

    Examples:
    Diana Derval (not Prof. Diana Derval)
    Robert C. Atkins (not Dr. Robert C. Atkins)

    The only exceptions are those where the author is known primarily by a name that includes the honorific:
    Example:
    Mahatma Gandhi (not Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)

    Separating authors with the same name

    Occasionally you may come across an author profile that encompasses two or more authors of the same name. In order to separate these authors and their respective books you will need to identify which books belong to which author. Once you have, leave one author alone and for the second, go into the edit page of each of their books and add an additional space between their first and last name.

    This will create a new author profile for the second author.

    If by chance there is a third author of the same name (which has happened), simply add a third space between the author's first and last name.

    Example:
    Catherine^Anderson
    Catherine^^Anderson
    Catherine^^^Anderson

    When separating authors with middle initials in their names, please place additional spaces after the middle initial:

    Catherine^H.^Anderson
    Catherine^H.^^Anderson
    Catherine^H.^^^Anderson

    NOTE: The ^ = 1 space and is just used to demonstrate the number of spaces.
    Also please note that any new books by the authors of that name will be entered into the main profile by default. They will have to be edited once they are added to Goodreads to shift them to the right profile.

    ALSO NOTE: If an author has a common name, they may choose to differentiate their names from other authors in the database in other ways. Acceptable options include:

    * inserting a middle initial or middle name
    * lengthening a first initial to a full first name

    These minor changes are accepted practice for ease of maintaining accurate book lists on each author profile.

    Combining editions with more than one author

    In order to combine editions that have multiple authors listed, the editions must have the same author listed in the first author field. Once that is done, you can then combine from the first listed author's combine page, and ONLY the first author's combine page.

    How to merge two author profiles

    Each author name is unique and has its own profile. Sometimes various data sources use slightly different spellings of an author name (eg JK Rowling vs J.K. Rowling vs Joanne Kathleen Rowling). To merge two author profiles, edit the data for the profile that should be discarded, and change the name to be the exact same spelling (copy/pasting helps here) of the profile that it should be merged into. All books will be associated with the new author. If there is doubt as to the correct spelling, we recommend checking The Library of Congress.

    Librarians can only merge unclaimed author profiles. To merge a Goodreads Author profile, request staff assistance by posting in this thread. It’s especially important to do this when there are fans or quotes attributed to the unclaimed author account. Renaming the author on each book page will not merge the profiles; it will only move the book to the correct profile and leave the other profile intact on the site. Merging the profiles will also merge quotes and fans.

  • How to combine, separate, and merge editions


    Rules for combining books

    The rules for combining book editions are listed below, and are also posted on the right side of the combine page for each author. These rules have been decided as a collaborative effort between the Goodreads staff and the members in the Goodreads Librarians Group.

     do combine:

  • Different publications of the same book.
  • Different formats of the book (hardcover, paperback, audio).
  • Editions/translations of the book in other languages. Even though many translations differ significantly, we've made the decision to combine them all, and have people note the differences in their reviews.

  •  don't combine:
  • 2-in-1 books or boxed sets that include the given book.
  • Cliff notes or other works about the given book.
  • Adaptations. The book should remain separated from its parent work, with the adaptor listed as primary author.

  • How to combine editions

    1. Navigate to the author’s profile page and click on “combine editions” next to author’s book list.
    Note: You can only combine books with the same primary author. If a book has multiple authors make sure the primary author is consistent in each edition so they can be combined.

    2. Check the box next to the titles that need to be combined.

    3. Click “combine editions.”

    How to separate editions

    1. Navigate to the author’s profile page and click on “combine editions” next to author’s book list.
    Note: You can only separate books with the same primary author. If a book has multiple authors make sure the primary author is consistent in each edition so they can be separated.

    2. Click on “separate tool” on the bottom right side of the editions that are incorrectly combined.

    3. Check the box under the “separate” column for the edition that should be separated.

    4. Click on “separate editions.”

    How to merge two identical editions

    If a particular edition is listed twice, it is appropriate to merge the two entries into one. Please do not delete an edition of a book just because it does not have an ISBN. Some older books that members manually add will not have ISBNs. Please check carefully and err on the side of not deleting a book edition.

    Note that merging two editions deletes the less popular edition and merges all reviews into the more popular edition. This is different from combining editions, which is where you can mark one version of a book as the same as another.

    When you find a duplicate and you know which edition it was meant to be, this is how to merge that duplicate with the actual edition:

    1. Separate the duplicate and its actual edition from any other editions of that book.
    2. Combine them just with each other.
    3. Click 'delete this book' at the bottom of the edit book page. Note that this only works for books shelved fewer than five times. It will merge with its actual edition because this is the most popular (only) other edition available in that combination.
    4. Re-combine the actual edition with the other editions of the book.

    Combine versus merge

    While combine and merge are generally considered synonymous, Goodreads Librarians often use the two words to mean distinctly different things.

    Combining means taking two or more editions and linking them into one work. No editions are deleted, so you have the same number of editions before and after a combine.

    Merging means combining two editions that are actually duplicates, and then deleting one. An edition is deleted, so after a merge, you will have fewer editions than before. If a merge is performed correctly, all ratings, reviews, and shelvings of the deleted edition will be moved to the edition with which it was merged (or the most popular edition, if it was merged with a group of editions).

    In both cases, the book page's cache may take a couple days to completely update.

  • Out-of-print editions

    Goodreads policy is to keep all editions, even out-of-print ones.

    Authors may wish to indicate that such an edition is out of print. That is acceptable, as long as all of the following guidelines are followed:
    1) The information should be listed in the description field, not the edition field or the title field.
    2) This information should be added to any existing description. It should not replace it.
    3) The information should be listed discreetly. No all-caps, italics, or bold, please.
    4) No sales links or other external links. A link to another edition on Goodreads is fine.

  • Primary (default) edition of a work

    The primary (or default) edition of a work is automatically set as the one that has been shelved/rated/reviewed by the most GR users. There is no way for a librarian to change the primary edition of a work manually. Authors who are members of the Goodreads Author Program may manually set an edition as default from that edition's edit page.

  • Not a book

    Just as not all books have ISBNs, not all ISBNs are associated with books. When an item which is not a book is imported via ISBN into Goodreads, it does no good to delete it: the item will only be re-imported as long as it remains on the feeder site. (Often these are book-related items which are assigned ISBNs by book publishers so that they can be tracked through their book systems.)

    These items should be transferred to the “author” NOT A BOOK. This can be done by editing the individual book record and replacing the existing primary author with the author NOT A BOOK, or, if all of the items on an author's list are not books, the author can be edited and merged entirely into NOT A BOOK.

    In the case of items currently credited to an author who is a member of the Goodreads Author program, proceed extremely carefully and contact the author for clarification if there is any question regarding the status of an item as a book, particularly in the case of calendars, workbooks, or blank books with additional content.

    These items are not books:
    * multi-packs of the same book
         *** dumpbin, dump bin, dumpb, dumpbi, dumpbn, dbin, d/bin
         *** mixed bin, mixed copy, copy bin, mxd
         *** prepak, ppk, stockpack, stock pack
         *** header
         *** shrinkwrap, shrink wrap, s/wrap, swrap
         *** x12, x24, x36, x48, 12c, 24c, 36c, 48c, 12cc, 24cc, 36cc, 48cc, 60cc
         *** awbc
    * promo materials (displays, etc.)
         *** counterpack, counter pack, cpack, c/pack, counter display
         *** floor display, floordisplay, floor disp, fd, f/d
         *** 18fl, 24fl, 27fl, 36fl (fl = floor display)
         *** mxfl
         *** easel
         *** clip strip
    * movies (DVD or VHS)
    * television episodes
    * theatrical production recordings
    * music (esp soundtracks) (but not bound sheet music)
    * stationery
    * calendars (unless containing additional content)
    * diaries and blank books (unless containing additional content)
    * posters
    * coloring books (except those for reference or which tell a story)
    * unbound maps (as opposed to bound maps in an atlas)
    * board games
    * tshirts
    * toys
    * stuffed animals/dolls
    * bookmarks
    * stickers
    * decks of cards (including Tarot)
    * puzzles (as opposed to puzzle books)
    * plaques (inspirational, or otherwise)
    * video games
    * zines
    * podcasts discussing books
    * untitled books where no verifiable publication information about the book exists (often these are titled "Untitled #3" and represent placeholder ISBNs that were never used)
    * "all book by an author" or "all books in a series" where no published collection of these works exists
    * story bundles

    The ones with numbers indicate #'s of copies, e.g., 24c indicates a 24 copy item...thus these are usually display or stock items of that # of books and not the correct ISBN for the actual individual books themselves. These are the most common numbers, but others also abound. Also, stray numbers in a title (as numerical digits rather than spelled out), even without the x, c, or cc, will often indicate copy number as well. A single year in a title (e.g., 2008) often indicates a calendar. Presence of one of these terms does not automatically indicate that the item is not a book, but in most cases you should be suspicious.

    Note that any of these items packaged with a book count as a book, if the specific book edition with which they are packaged is not otherwise sold separately.

    These items are books:
    * repacks
    * F&C Sheets
    * bound sheet music, scores, librettos, etc.
    * atlases
    * reference books (including books on CD-ROM)
    * book group discussion guides
    * workbooks
    * calendars or something-a-day books with additional content
    * "blank" books with additional text or collectible artwork
    * advanced reader copies (ARCs)
    * boxed sets (sold as a boxed set with one ISBN)
    * multiple distinct volumes (sold together as a set with one ISBN)
    * book-length fanfiction which is complete (no WIPs, please), and self-published. Note that we do remove fanfiction at the author's request.
    * forthcoming books with only partial information
    * books withdrawn from publishing if enough information was ever provided to make a book record a useful resource
    * periodicals and bound comic books with ISBNs
    * periodicals without ISBNs but substantially similar to books (eg, perfectbound literary magazines), although they should be typed as "periodical" in the work: media type field
    * serialized, web-only editions that have been subsequently published as completed works
    * short stories published online (the format should be "ebook")
    * audio productions, not recordings of theatrical productions (the format should be "audiobook")
    * podcasts of books


    When shifting an item onto NOT A BOOK (this is usually referred to as "NABbing" the item, NAB standing for NOT A BOOK), follow this process:

    1. If the item has been shelved by any users and has an ISBN or ASIN number, follow these instructions:
         a) Copy down the ISBN of the not-a-book.
         b) Follow the instructions for merging two identical editions to merge the not-a-book into the actual book.
         c) Search for the ISBN/ASIN of the not-a-book. Once the editions are merged in the above step, this search should result in no hits.
         d) Create a new book record with the not-a-book ISBN/ASIN.
         e) Click on “edit details.” On the right side of the page, click on “mark as not a book."

    Following these steps ensures that the not-a-book record has been recreated in the GR database with no users shelving it; all of the users were transferred to the actual book when merging editions. This procedure also prevents future additions of this not-a-book to the Goodreads database.

    Note: If the item has zero shelvings, simply follow the instructions in 1e.

    2. If all of the items remaining on an author's list of books are not books, the author can be merged into the NOT A BOOK author profile. If the author has associated fans, quotes, quizzes, or other author information and it can be determined that this is an incorrect profile for an actual author, the individual items should be NABbed and the author merged into the profile of the actual author in order to preserve the fans and other author information.

          * Any secondary authors should be removed from all books' records.
          * The author profile should be edited and the name replaced with NOT A BOOK. When prompted, be sure to merge into NOT A BOOK's profile.
          * If working in bulk, it is not necessary to edit each individual (not-a-)book record to edit the title or other fields.

  • Goodreads Authors: How to Edit Your Books


    How to Edit Your Books

    As a Goodreads Author, you have the ability to manage much of your own book data. This guide will show you the right information to put in each field of your book page. For more information about each field listed below, click on the links to be taken to the Librarian Manual.

    Please remember to be accurate in your edits! If you’re concerned about particular edits made to your book, please contact the Goodreads support staff here.

    To edit your book, navigate to the book page and click on the “edit data” link. This is on the lower right side of the box containing your book information.



    title

    The title field is used for your book title. The title and subtitle should match the title shown on the cover of the book, if that information is available. (Please note that “A Novel” is not considered a subtitle in the Goodreads database.) If a title includes accented characters, apostrophes, quotation marks, or punctuation, include these in the title field. The title should be capitalized according to standard title capitalization for the language of the edition.

    Series information may be included in the title field as well, so feel free to add your series title in. You should follow this format:

    Title (Series, #1)
    The White Queen (The Cousins’ War, #1)

    However, to create a new series or edit an existing series (which will then appear on your author profile under “Series by”), you’ll need help from one of our volunteer librarians or a staff member. Post in the Goodreads Librarians Group here or reach out to the Goodreads support staff here.

    sort by title

    This field excludes articles like “A,” “An,” and “The” so that users can sort their list of books alphabetically on their shelves. To enter your sort by title, just leave out any articles at the beginning of your title. Here's an example:

    title: The Lawman
    sort by title: lawman, the

    author

    The first author field is for entering the primary author of the book. Author names should be entered first name last name so they will link to the appropriate author profile on Goodreads. Only one author should be listed per author field.

    Correct examples:
    Suzanne Brockmann
    Catherine Anderson

    Incorrect examples:
    Brockmann, Suzanne
    Anderson Catherine
    Suzanne Brockmann and Catherine Anderson

    If you use initials in your name, the initials should not contain spacing between them and should be marked with a period.

    Correct example:
    J.D. Robb

    Incorrect examples:
    JD Robb
    J D Robb
    J. D. Robb
    J D R o b b

    If you use a middle name or middle initial for your published books, this should also be included in the author name. Initials should be followed by a period.

    Correct example:
    Jayne Ann Krentz
    Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

    Authors with titles or degrees (such as Dr., Sir, Ph.D., Captain, Reverend, etc) should not be included in the author name (unless part of a recognized pen name, such as Dr. Seuss).

    When a book has multiple authors, they should be listed according to the order they show on the cover, if possible. The order needs to be the same for all editions of the book on the site, as this allows the editions to be combined.

    Editors should only be added for records like anthologies and reference materials. Novels and other works of fiction by a single author should not have editors listed.

    isbn/isbn13/asin

    An ISBN or ASIN is a number that identifies your book. When editing book data, it is almost never necessary to alter the ISBN. This should only be done if you are absolutely, positively sure there is an error in the listed ISBN. If you are unsure, you can post to the Goodreads Librarians Group for assistance.

    This field will mostly be used when manually adding a new edition to the Goodreads database. When doing this, enter the exact ISBN/ASIN into the appropriate field.

    upload photo

    Here you can upload the front cover image of your book. The only image that should be uploaded is the specific cover associated with the ISBN of the book you are editing.

    To add a photo, browse an image (.jpg or .gif format) on the top right where it says "Add a cover image for this book." Then click on "upload photo." If you are adding other book data while adding the cover image, just scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "save."

    delete photo

    When it comes to editions that have already been published, we can’t actually delete or replace the existing cover images. This is because we don’t want to delete an image that a member might have on the book they purchased. Instead, you can create an alternate cover edition and set this as the default edition. That way, anyone visiting your author profile or searching for your book will see this edition first.

    To add an alternate cover edition of your book, you can navigate to your book page and click on “add a new edition.” This will prepopulate several fields for you, and you’ll only have to add the cover image. Or you can navigate here here to add a new record of your book and take care of entering the details.

    Since an ISBN can only be used once in the database, leave the ISBN fields on your new edition blank. Then in the Description field, list the ISBN of the original cover edition and state that it is an alternate cover edition. You can also use the Librarian Note feature found near the top of the book edit page to attach a note to the book (this helps prevent the book from accidentally being deleted by a librarian who thinks it is an invalid entry).

    publisher

    In this field, list your book’s publisher, such as Bantam, Jove, Berkley, etc. Be sure to properly spell, punctuate, and capitalize the publisher name - it is not necessary to use ALL CAPS for the publisher name even if that is the way it is written on the spine. Capitalizing the first letter is best. When there is a choice between a publisher and an imprint, the general rule is to choose the most specific rather than more general.

    published

    This field is for noting the date each specific book edition was published. If you publish a new edition of your book, you should add the new publication date into this field when adding your new edition to the database. The “original publication date” field can be listed with the book’s original pub date. So for example, if you’re publishing a 3rd edition of your book in 2015 that was originally published in 2009, the “original publication date” will be 2009 and the “published” date will be 2015.

    number of pages

    This field is for entering the number of pages of a book. Page numbers should match the page numbers as listed in the book, and should include all content except for advertisements and preview chapters for other books. Included end material may include acknowledgments, afterwords, appendices, glossaries, indexes, notes, and suggested discussion questions. For audio books, the number of hours rounded up should be used in lieu of number of pages.

    format

    In this field the format/binding type of the book can be added (hardcover, paperback, Nook, Kindle, etc). The format field has a drop-down box with the most common formats. Select the one that matches the book you have. If there is not an appropriate format, click on the "other" link next to the format field. The field will then turn into a text box where you can type in the format of the book. But in most cases we should have your format available to select right in the dropdown menu.

    edition

    This field is for such things as "2nd edition", "Film Tie-In Edition", "Large Print", "Special Illustrated Edition" and other edition-specific data that belongs neither in the title nor the format fields.

    The following should not be added to the edition field:
    * information regarding alternate covers
    * information regarding audiobook length
    * information regarding cover artists
    * information regarding printing number
    * retailer-specific information, such as “Nook,” “Kobo,” “Amazon,” etc.

    description

    The description field is for entering a summary of the work. This field should not include any images, links to external sites, or reviews of your books. Generally, the best description to enter is one found on your book’s back cover or dust jacket. You can also enter descriptions of your book directly from your publisher’s website, or summarize it yourself.

    primary (default) edition of a work

    The primary (or default) edition of a work is automatically set as the one that has been shelved/rated/reviewed by the most Goodreads users. You can manually set an edition as default by clicking on “Set this book as the primary edition for this work” - you might want to change the default edition if you’ve released your book with a new cover image, or if you’re running a promotion with a specific retailer.

    refresh book rating stats

    Clicking this link will recalculate the statistics for your book (number of reviews and average rating). This is helpful to do if you notice the statistics don’t seem right, which occurs occasionally due to book page caching.

    edition language

    This field is for selecting the language for each specific edition of your book. If the book record you’re editing is a German translation of a book originally written in English, the language should be listed as German.

    literary awards

    In this field you can list any literary awards the book has won. List each award in this format:

    * for awards with no categories: Name of Award (Year)
    * for awards with categories: Name of Award for Category (Year)

    To list an award for which the book has been nominated, use the keyword "Nominee" after the award name.

    Correct examples:
    Edgar Award for New First Novel (2013)
    Newbery Medal (1985)
    Goodreads Choice Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2010)
    Man Booker Prize (2000)
    Hammett Prize (2000)

    While you can add awards to your book page, you cannot edit or remove them. For assistance with this, post in the Goodreads Librarians Group here or contact support staff here.

  • Non-book Items

    The following is a list of items that should not be added to the database:

    * Magazines
    * Zines
    * Individual comics (unless they have an ISBN or ASIN (Kindle only))
    * Shorts:
         ***Short stories only published in an anthology or magazine
         ***Deleted scenes
         ***Extras only published at the back of a specific book edition
         ***Incomplete and in progress works (this is different from "forthcoming" works, which are considered completed but as yet unpublished)

    Shorts are retained in some cases.  Shorts that belong are those that are:
    * Published separately
    * Published online as a specified short story (i.e. not a 'bonus')
    * Complete flash fiction

    Please note that items that do not meet Goodreads policies for inclusion in the database may be deleted without warning.

  • How do I fix stray editions with no data?

    When you find a stray (duplicate) edition with no data except author and title, or just an invalid ISBN:

    1) If necessary and appropriate, merge authors.
    2) Combine the incorrect edition with the edition it should be merged with. If it's not the default edition, this will mean separating it out from any others.
    3) Delete (merge) the incorrect edition. This will move over any shelvings to the edition you have combined it with. If there are more than 5, this step requires a superlibrarian. Post in the Please delete this book thread in the Librarians Group for assistance.
    4) If you separated in step 2, recombine.

  • Sacred texts

    Sacred texts with unknown or ambiguous authors are to be listed with the author "Anonymous". Please list any editor(s) or translator(s) in secondary slots. Publishers should not be listed as authors.