Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

62 views
Policies & Practices > Descriptions

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 6590 comments Some further direction on what is and is not appropriate for the book description would be appreciated.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 6590 comments Recently, a description:

Soon to be a major motion picture from Merchant Ivory productions starring Naomi Watts and Kate Hudson!Called "stylish...refreshing...genuinely wise" by The New York Times Book Review, (name of author/book) has delighted readers since its publication in (date).

Followed by a more content-based description, but also includes more NYT quote.

None of this seems appropriate - do we care that there is an upcoming movie, and is it still upcoming or long since passed?

I also find references to awards in the description. Do these stay in the description even after the award has been entered in the award section?


message 3: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13665 comments #1 Do you mean for librarians, or for authors and everybody else who adds books? As a librarian, I think it is pretty clear what is and isn't allowed. Everything you mentioned in #2 should be removed except the content-based description.

I always remove references to awards. If the award isn't yet mentioned in the awards field I try to find out if it's already in the database and if not, if it should be.


message 4: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited May 02, 2015 01:06PM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 6590 comments lethe wrote: "As a librarian, I think it is pretty clear what is and isn't allowed. "

I guess if it were, I wouldn't be asking. ;-)

Is the movie stuff not allowed? That particularly isn't clear to me from reading the manual on descriptions, which I did before posting. It also isn't clear to me that the award stuff should be removed. I stumble on these things while adding awards, but I'm often - usually - working on a different award than the one mentioned. It seems wrong to me to delete the award information in the description that hasn't been entered in the awards section.


message 5: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13665 comments I delete the award, but I add it to the awards field if it is indeed a valid award according to GR standards. If it isn't, too bad. In my opinion mentioning the award in the description is sort of bragging/praising, which is not allowed.

A neutral film reference such as "Filmed as {film title}" is OK, I suppose, but it doesn't really say anything about the book. Personally, I would remove it.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 6590 comments Entering the award requires a bit more research than relying on the description, and if I'm working on adding several years worth of awards - sometimes 30 years or more - I'm not about to stop and look up a stray one.


message 7: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13665 comments I understand that. Personally, I make a note of the book and the award and check it when I have time.


message 8: by Empress (new)

Empress (the_empress) Can I remove excerpts from description? I think those should not be there but want to make sure we are on the same page about that.


message 9: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited May 03, 2015 08:44AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 6590 comments Ellie [The Empress] wrote: "Can I remove excerpts from description? I think those should not be there but want to make sure we are on the same page about that."

I hope Rivka and other experienced librarians will weigh in here. I think excerpts should be allowed, but perhaps on a case by case basis. I've been seeing some poetry books lately some of which include excerpts, which seem entirely appropriate in this context.


message 10: by Empress (new)

Empress (the_empress) Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Ellie [The Empress] wrote: "Can I remove excerpts from description? I think those should not be there but want to make sure we are on the same page about that."

I hope Rivka and other experienced ..."


I agree about poetry, but not about general fiction.

I think a link to the excerpt should be put in the link section not the excerpt itself in the description.

Some books also have "frequently asked questions" such as "When the book will be out?" or "Where can I pre-order it?" and other things that do not describe it. I think those should be removed as well I think.
The author should be adding those in his/her review/blog/author page IMO.

I will wait for someone else to weight in. Thanks Elizabeth.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 6590 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: " It seems wrong to me to delete the award information in the description that hasn't been entered in the awards section. "

I just made a compromise for myself and will be moving the award language found in a description to the end of the description when it is found at the beginning. That way it isn't lost, but also isn't the lead.


message 12: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 42044 comments Mod
Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Soon to be a major motion picture from Merchant Ivory productions starring Naomi Watts and Kate Hudson!"

Ok to leave. If appears to no longer be relevant, ok to remove.


Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Called "stylish...refreshing...genuinely wise" by The New York Times Book Review,"

Quotes from reviews, so no.


Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "I also find references to awards in the description. Do these stay in the description even after the award has been entered in the award section?"

They can stay, but it's not critical if they are also listed in the award field.


Excerpts should not be removed, unless they are exceedingly long.


None of the following belong: information about price (including "free") or sales outlets; publication date, unless it is broad and an exact date is not yet known (e.g., Spring 2016).


message 13: by Lobstergirl (last edited May 05, 2015 10:45PM) (new)

Lobstergirl My preference is for movie references never to be in book descriptions; however, if they do stay, they should only be in the data of the movie tie-in editions, which have the relevant actors on the cover. Example:

Thérèse Desqueyroux by François Mauriac

Audrey Tatou is in the description of that tie-in edition.

Also since the fact that there's a movie version of the book is really the least relevant item in the description, it should be moved to the end, after the plot is described.


message 14: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13665 comments #13 And I think the words masterpiece, astonishing, daring, and ravishing should be edited out.


back to top