Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

Diary of a Zombie
This topic is about Diary of a Zombie
Questions > Should I add new version for EPUB, if Kindle ed. already exist (different ISBNs)

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sergi (new) - added it

Sergi Llauger (sergillauger) | 15 comments I am an author and just added my new book soon to be released. In the ISBN field I entered that of the Kindle edition. The EPUB version has another, but features the same cover and content (slight format differences aside), and is the edition that will be sold in ebook retailers different from Amazon.

I have no idea how Goodreads does to populate the drop-down buttons "Get a copy: online stores | book links" in the book's Goodreader page. I would obviously like it to list all ebook retailers where the book is sold.

So I do not know if I should be adding a new edition for the EPUB version with identical data except for the ISBN. As an author, my purpose in participating and having my books in Goodreads is obviously creating awareness, for the new book even before it is released (I will also be doing giveaways and uploading an excerpt of almost 1/3rd of the book).

But I am afraid that having two editions of a same book that still has to earn any interest might see the potential hype diluted as reviews, if any comes, may go to one or the other. On the other hand, I am afraid that having only the Kindle edition's ISBN number will prevent Goodreads from being able to list ebooks retailers where the book is available different from Amazon.

What do you suggest an author with a soon-to-be-released book should do?

message 2: by Yzabel (new)

Yzabel Ginsberg (yzabelginsberg) | 8 comments If there are two different ISBN, then you can simply add another edition and combine both. Reviews would be seen by GR members no matter the edition (meaning a review posted on the Kindle version's page would also appear to someone who's reading the EPUB version's page). In other words, there won't be any "dilution". Reviews won't go to one or the other, they'll go to both editions. The only thing is that those have to be combined.

I'm not 100% sure if authors can do that, but if there's any problem, just ask, and a Librarian will be able to combine the editions and fix the problem.

message 3: by Melaslithos (new)

Melaslithos | 1356 comments Hi,

The Kindle Edition should have an ASIN.
The other ebook editions (including EPUB) should have an ISBN.
Paperback/Hardback should have an ISBN.

GR will use those numbers to find the books on retailers websites.
From the Kindle book page on GR, you will only be able to find the Kindle Edition. On the ebook page, other ebooks, etc.

When you combine all the different editions, all the reviews for all the different editions will appear on each edition's page, so no risk of dilution.

You should also combine different languages of a same book. Basically, when books are combined, they appear as one book, you just get to see all the different versions in which they were published.

Authors can combine their own books.

And finally, as the author, you can choose the default edition of a book by following the instruction below. It's the version that will show in searches and on your author page.

I hope I was clear enough. If you have any questions, do not hesitate, librarians are here to help you.

message 4: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Jul 23, 2014 07:40AM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) As to the purchase links:

Having accurate isbn and asin numbers means that the get-a-copy/purchase links will work provided that site carries that book edition.

Making sure the book data is accurate, particularly isbn/asin, is all librarians or authors can do to get the links working. Every reader on goodreads can customize their get-a-copy links for the vendors and the searches (isbn, title, etc.) wanted so that's going to be out of author/librarian control.

(Exception: the leftmost get a copy button is a sponsored ad/link that changes as paid by different booksellers—but, again, outside of author/librarian control.)

message 5: by Sergi (new) - added it

Sergi Llauger (sergillauger) | 15 comments Melaslithos wrote:

"The Kindle Edition should have an ASIN.
The other ebook editions (including EPUB) should have an ISBN.
Paperback/Hardback should have an ISBN.

If for the Kindle Edition I should be registering its ASIN instead of its ISBN-13 (its metadata at Amazon has both), what URL should I be using to link to the book? Goodread's API page ( states that the URL I should use to a link to the book must use:

* either the ISBN (
* or the title (, which is not necessarily accurate if there are other books with the same title, which is the case with this book.

But what then in the case of books that have an ASIN instead of an ISBN?

message 6: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Aug 01, 2014 07:43AM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) Do you mean for purchase links? (Otherwise the url of your book on goodreads is just the same as a url anywhere: visit book page, copy what's in your briwser's address bar at top so your kindle edition is without the spaces and quotes " htt ps ://w ww.good reads .com/book/s how/22781010-diary-of-a-zo mbie")

There is no url or link or coding for you to enter to create a purchase link for your book; just the isbn/asin field.

If you do customize your own profile's book links (which is where I think you saw that API info), that only customizes it for you. It does nothing for your book's purchase links nor for any other goodreads member's purchase links. Usually members customize their book links to add their local bookstores and libraries/book-databases.

If you put in the correct asin/isbn (or have a librarian do for you), that's all that can be done on a book page for purchase links. On the book page/data, you put accurate asin and isbn information. Then the get-a-copy/purchase links use that information—either the links goodreads presets for everyone or the ones individual readers tweaked to add their own local bookstores or other needs.

You don't put the API-mentioned url link in the book data; that only gets put when you or a reader customizes their own profile (not the book, their profile) to change what vendors they want to use. If you change those to add the title or isbn urls wanted for specific vendors, that only changes what sources you use when obtaining books from goodreads book pages (25+ million other readers on this site will never see those changes you just made; that's for your own shopping data/preferences and has nothing whatsoever to do with your book data or with your book's purchase links). You're only setting additional or duplicate stores you buy your book from; has nothing to do with a reader buying your book who will be using goodreads preset links (or their personally programmed ones you cannot access or determine or impact in any way other than making sure your editions have correct asin/isbn, title and author).

(You should not be seeing any API info on your book page; should be seeing info about API in only two places -- customizing your own vendors/book-links which once done only works for you and does nothing for your book or any other site member's purchase links on your book nor anyone else's books and a section for third-party developers trying to link to goodreads (again, nothing to do with your book data)).

The official url field is something else and absolutely not a purchase link and has nothing to do with the API nformation you were reading — that's in cases where there is an official publisher page or series page with more information on the book (genealogies, maps, etc.). I don't remember if an author can fill out the "official url" field or if only librarians can.

message 7: by Sergi (last edited Aug 01, 2014 09:25AM) (new) - added it

Sergi Llauger (sergillauger) | 15 comments My purpose is simpler, albeit two-fold:

1. I want users to be able to go to the book's page at Amazon by using the corresponding get-a-copy link. What I understood is that, in order for the autogenerated link to work is that I should provide the ASIN in the book data's page.

2. I want to hardcode a stable link to the book's Goodread page inside the ebook itself (in an updated version that will be resubmitted to Amazon).

I had assumed I could just copy the URL that the browser displays when in that page, but then I saw, in, that instead of simply suggesting that, the documented scheme for linking to books is different (please, see the aforementioned link). I assumed then that while the former URL works today, the latter is what I should trust to last longer (else, what is that URL scheme for? What does it exist for?). But then, the problem is that that latter scheme does not account for books for which an ASIN was declared instead of an ISBN.

Should I then simply asume that the info at is outdated and I can assume that the standard URL is reasonably stable?

message 8: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Aug 01, 2014 10:48AM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) The standard goodreads URL mentioning the goodreads book id (which 100% is stable/fixed) if you just want to link to the book page here on goodreads.

The api link information is if you are trying to code an api into your programming/website code to pull goodreads data into the app or program you are coding/writing/developing. It's not actually for book links. It's for programs and developers. Not to let readers go to the book page here.

You don't need to apply for the developer key to get access to goodreads data and third party api coding if you are just wanting to link to your book's page here. Very little of the api coding access will work for you until you do apply for the developer's key.

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) Also stable are the url's showing when you are on an author page or a series page if you ever want to link to those.

message 10: by Sergi (new) - added it

Sergi Llauger (sergillauger) | 15 comments I see. I guess a note in the API page for people like me that apparently insist on making things more difficult than need be would be useful.

I have already recorder the ASIN for the Kindle edition page and will use the standard URL for referring people to the book details. Thanks!

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) I'm not really sure how the API page even came into play when talking about data for a specific book. Maybe goodreads should take a hard look at help page search results if looking for how to link to your book brought that up.

I'm sure you did get frustrated; particularly if without obtaining your developer key you were trying to program something.

(An application-programming interface (API) is usually just considered a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing a Web-based software application or Web tool when developing your application/program/software.)

back to top