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Serieses! > Short stories in a series

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message 1: by Chris (last edited Sep 04, 2010 11:08AM) (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 158 comments Here's a little thing I've been working on and I wanted to throw it out there for opinions.

What do we do to properly include stories from anthologies or collections, where the entire book in question isn't part of the series as a whole?

An example: Robert Silverberg's Legends anthology has several stories from many authors. Some belong in their respective series.

a. I've seen them added to a series list: Pern: Published Order and Sookie Stackhouse.

b. I've linked the anthology in question in the series which a story is from in the description field, with a link to the anthology: Earthsea and Alvin Maker.

My question is, doesn't "b" seem more user friendly? The problem with "a", while the series list is correct, is twofold. One, it becomes very long and cluttered. Two, the original anthology then has this series linked on its book page. If we add it to every series represented in the book, this series list will become huge and hard to work with easily.

Just thought I'd throw this out there so we can agree on a standard, hopefully.

message 2: by willaful (last edited Sep 04, 2010 11:28AM) (new)

willaful I think there's more of a risk of the description field getting huge and hard to work with. There are often numerous anthologies associated with one series.

Also, if the stories are listed as part of the series, they can be included in the numbered ordering--not always necessary, but sometimes useful.

message 3: by Chris (last edited Sep 04, 2010 11:38AM) (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 158 comments willaful wrote: "There are often numerous anthologies associated with one series."

That's true. This is actually why I'm bringing this up. The Legends book itself has 11 stories linked to 11 different series. If you add it to all 11, that's going to make the book page messy. This book just has two linked right now, which doesn't look bad. But they certainly can get clunky in a hurry. It also makes me stumble in the main series list to see an anthology thrown in the middle of an otherwise clean list.

The description field could become a monster, yes. But if we do it neatly, it hopefully won't be too bad.

The numbering inclusion can be useful, yes. Most times those extra stories are just that - extra. They aren't intended to be part of the main thrust of the series arc. They'd be little tidbits one could find later. There are exceptions, of course.

message 4: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 158 comments Here's another issue.

When I go to Legends, I see this:

Legends (Pern (Chronological Order))

This book is not about Pern. It has one story about Pern, and the rest are other works by other authors. If I was considering a purchase, I'd click away from this immediately if I didn't know better, because I don't like Pern. But some of these other authors are among my favorites.

What's more, due to the fact that Pern has two lists, it has both of them show up in the series field for this. That'll make 12 if all the others get added, assuming that none of the others are given multiple lists as well.

message 5: by willaful (new)

willaful I'm not seeing the problem. You see the series listing long after seeing the cover, list of authors, etc. It's clear that the book has multiple authors.

I also don't see a problem with multiple series listings.

message 6: by [ A ] (new)

[ A ] | 51 comments Personally, I think every single series that has a story included should be included.

Complete data (in the correct format-- ie, using the Series object and not just putting in the description) is more important to me than whether or not the series list will appear to be messy with so many entires. Since the book has that many series it is associated with, it only makes sense.

With regard to the current way the title at the top of the book page shows the very first series, I believe we will soon be able to choose which series show up as the "first"-- which means that, with the example of the Legends anthologies, the Legends series can be chosen as the first one.

message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 158 comments I definitely see your point, Amanda. I'm just trying to think of how to make a list that can be used easily. Having to scroll past 5 or 6 entries for books that include story 15.5 doesn't seem real user friendly to me. I do agree that users will need to know where to find these stories. Some of them are hard to come by.

And yes, that update should solve the title issue. I still think the multiple series listing for a single book will get cumbersome, but I probably need to really look at a complete example to tell.

Thanks for the input, y'all.

message 8: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 158 comments I will also note that the Legends books might not be the best example. They're already clunky, since there are umpteen versions of each one.

A normal anthology shouldn't be as problematic.

message 9: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 593 comments I thought the decision was already made to add them to the series list, but list them at the very bottom.

This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments I've been somewhat bothered by this general problem but don't have a great solution. In SOME cases (certainly not all), the short story in question has been published in independent those cases that is the only one that should be listed on the series page. For ones where this is not the case it's a bit murker to come up with a good solution.

message 11: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 593 comments This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For wrote: "In SOME cases (certainly not all), the short story in question has been published in independent form..."

Some authors also publish a book capturing all their previously released shorts.

message 12: by Phil (new)

Phil (notacat) | 37 comments mlady_rebecca wrote: "This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For wrote: "In SOME cases (certainly not all), the short story in question has been published in independent form..."

Some authors also publish a book capturing all their previously released shorts."

Indeed, Jim Butcher (an author who features in some of the above-mentioned anthologies) is releasing Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files next month, which includes most but not all of the already-published short stories. I added this to the "Dresden Files" series list near the bottom, and I've labelled it "(short story collection)" unless anybody objects violently. Would this make sense as a general policy?

message 13: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments The best solution for anthologies which contain short stories which are part of series but where the anthology itself is not part of a series would seem to be to have the anthology with no primary series -- no series that shows up next to the title -- but to still have the listing of the series available in the book details. I don't think that that's currently possible, though: I think if there are any series attached to a book, one of the has to be primary. Would it be a useful workaround to create some sort of dummy series in this case, a series which contains only that anthology and is named something like "Contains stories from various series"?

So a book like Get Off the Unicorn would have no real primary series, but a book like Legends 2 would have "Legends" as its primary series.

message 14: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 158 comments Makes sense to me, Phil. Single author collections are surely easier to visualize in the corresponding series.

Cait, that sounds like something we could work with. Might even call the dummy series "Anthology", which would be short and accurate in itself when one sees it on the book page.

For Legends, yes, a definite use for a "Legends" series. That would be nice all on its own, as the anthlogy series would then be represented.

message 15: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (narcisse) | 179 comments I like that idea, especially since, if the primary series is eventually to be displayed on things such as listopias, etc., having only one of multiple series inclusions displayed could mislead people who are looking for the short stories belonging to the other series in the anthology.

message 16: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 593 comments Phil wrote: "I added this to the "Dresden Files" series list near the bottom, and I've labelled it "(short story collection)" unless anybody objects violently. Would this make sense as a general policy? "

Yes, I did that with one series, although I can't recall which at the time.

message 17: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41665 comments Mod
Chris wrote: "Might even call the dummy series "Anthology", which would be short and accurate in itself when one sees it on the book page."

That's not a bad idea, although the series page for that "series" would get awfully crowded.

message 18: by Mountie (new)

Mountie | 17 comments I have read all the discussions in the series section while I have been sorting out two complex series that have short stories affiliated with them in anthologies. Not only that but one of them has a mini series inside the series. This series also has two books that are collections of most of the stories. There is an anthology that has a story from each series inside of it. Then a different anthology that is itself considered to be a loosely related theme series, and it has two stories inside that belong to different series so it has three different series attached to it.

Upon careful consideration I have chosen to do the following: The series that has the mini series within it now has two series in the detail section Pet Rescue . I have removed the original series designation from the title as it confuses where exactly in the larger series this book resides. I have left the "original title" with the designation as to where it originally fit. I have included a separate series in the detail area which covers the mini series itself and I have put in the mini series description details of how it fits into the larger series.

In the anthology that two short stories from different series in it, I have taken the series designation for the original series out of the title and have affiliated the book in the detail section to the two series it is involved with Cherry On Top This way people looking for one series will not be confused by the series designation for another series affiliated with the main title.

In the anthology Toy Box: Kitchen Sink with three series affiliated I also did not include any series in the title. I left the neutral series at the top of the series list which means it is the one that is displayed. The other two series can be found in the detail section.

Another thing that complicates both these series is that the reading order is not the publication date order. So in each of the series descriptions I have included the reading order as given by the authors and have numbered the books in the order they are to be read.

Finally, with the series that has the collections of stories associated with it, I have numbered these books 1 a and 1 b and placed them at the top of the series list. These books contain stories that are out of print and readers wishing to get the full story will need to purchase these books to do so.

Can one of the more experienced librarians please check my work out to ensure that a reader unfamiliar with the series would understand the reading order? The first series is Dr. John Fell: Lost and Found . The second one is Hammer


message 19: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 22739 comments Mountie,

As someone who hasn't read either series, my opinion is that Hammer is good, but I was confused with Dr John Fell. Should I be reading 1a or 1 first?

message 20: by Mountie (new)

Mountie | 17 comments Thanks Sandra for the feedback. Actually you can read either as 1 a contains the short story 1. Both 1 a and 1 b are collections of the short stories, including the ones out of print. Is there a better way I can use to designate the collections?

message 21: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Mountie, one thing I'd suggest is that when series are related (even just the minor relation of "this anthology series sometimes contains stories in this other series"), it might be a good idea to put a link to each series page in the description of the other series. So, for example, the Dr. John Fell series might have a sentence that says something like "Stories in this series are sometimes collected in the Toy Box anthologies" and the Toy Box series might have something like
Includes stories from:
* Dr. John Fell: Lost & Found
* Hammer

Finally, with the series that has the collections of stories associated with it, I have numbered these books 1 a and 1 b and placed them at the top of the series list.

Are these books collecting some of the other stories listed here or are these books containing additional stories? If they're additional stories, they should probably be numbered separately; if they're collecting the other stories listed, one way of numbering them would be "omnibus 1; stories 1-4" or just "1-4" if the collections aren't themselves numbered. Omnibus collections are usually put at the ends of the listing instead of the beginning.

message 22: by Mountie (new)

Mountie | 17 comments Thanks Cait. This feedback is really helpful. They are collections of all the short stories including the ones that are now out of print. Which would mean that they are not really Omnibus editions.

*scratches head*

If I number them 1 & 2 and the Cherry On Top story should be 3 (as it is only available that way) and so on. We then run into the issue of how the stories that are inside the collections, but may be purchased separately, should be numbered. Should they be listed as a sub number of the collection it is included in or as a separate number completely? If we do it that way then which one should be read in which order becomes very muddled. Some short stories are available are only in eBook, some ebook & print and the collections are only available in print.

Another solution is to leave the collections at the beginning but do not assign a number to them. Then add a note in the series description that says "the collections contain both stories that are available by themselves and ones that are out of print." This may work out best. That way new readers can choose to buy the collections and readers with a part series know where to find the stories they are missing as the reading order in the series description states which stories are only available in the collections.

I can contact the author and have them send me a list f the all the stories contained in the collections and include them in the details of each collection. Presently this information is not listed.

I am open to any and all suggestions. I won't change the numbers or the order till we come up with a solution that works for us librarians and hopefully the readers.

message 23: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Glad to help! Talking these things through with other librarians is helping me too. :)

It shouldn't really matter what is or isn't out of print, as far as cataloging goes; GR keeps all books listed regardless of their in-print status. Remember that this isn't just a list for new readers; people who've read these books already are also going to be looking at this and wanting to see the stories that they read in the proper order.

It sounds like the best way to go about this would be to get a listing of all of the stories in order -- which it looks like you have -- then number them, and then assign those story numbers to each book which contains them. So, for example, if Toy Box: Nipple Clamps and The Complete Dr. Fell Volume 1 both contain the 8th story, they should both be numbered 8. You'll probably end up with a number like "1, 4, 6-8, 11" on the omnibus editions, but that's fine!

message 24: by Mountie (new)

Mountie | 17 comments Thanks Cait :-) That would work well for the collections and then it makes sense to put the collections at the end and place all the story numbers included in them in the collection listing.

Since some of the short stories were published as free eStories and are no longer available on the publishers site, I can treat them as only stories available in the collections. If I go in and number the stories in the reading order then I can assign those numbers to the books themselves. The collections would then include numbered stories only found inside the collections.

That way if someone is looking for story #2 they will only find it in the second collection.

OK I am off to work, so librarians please feel free to make any suggestions.

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