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Book blurb

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message 1: by Absynthe (new)

Absynthe | 5 comments Perhaps I'm missing it, but I was looking through the API tonight and I found fairly straightforward functionality for everything I want to do except for book blurbs. By book blurb I mean the book description as posted by the publisher or author, the kind of stuff you find on the back cover describing the contents of the book.

On the book pages, it's at the very top, right next to the cover picture.

I noticed that the search.books api ( http://www.goodreads.com/api#search.b... ) returns all the info I would be looking for with the exception of the blurb. And I don't see any other api calls that would specifically retrieve it.

So far the only way I'm seeing to get at the book blurb is to go to the book's page and parse it out of the page source.

That just doesn't seem right. Am i missing something?


message 2: by Adam (new)

Adam (jademason) | 66 comments book.show includes a description field. Is this the blurb you are looking for?


message 3: by Absynthe (new)

Absynthe | 5 comments That's exactly what I'm looking for! Thanks Adam. :)

I didn't even think to look at that call because the description reads:

Get the reviews for a book given a Goodreads book id
Get an xml file that contains an excerpt (first 300 characters) of the most popular reviews of a book for a given internal Goodreads book_id. The reviews are from all known editions of the book. To get the full text of the reviews please contact us.


I thought reviews meant community reviews.

Thanks again Adam!


message 4: by Michael (last edited Sep 08, 2010 09:55AM) (new)

Michael Economy (michaeleconomy) We only give out descriptions that are entered by users, we're not allowed to redistribute descriptions we get from b&n or amazon.


message 5: by Absynthe (new)

Absynthe | 5 comments That's ok, most of the books that I want to look up are from smaller publishers who often don't sell on Amazon or B&N. I've found that Goodreads is the best centralized source for getting details on those more obscure books.


message 6: by Absynthe (new)

Absynthe | 5 comments More questions. :)

I'm using book.show ( http://www.goodreads.com/api#book.show ) to try and get the description of a book. This works probably 2/3 of the time. But not always. Is there a way to always get the description?

Here's an example. I'm search for the description for this book: Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt Revealed. If you look at the page for the book, there is a description. But if you look at the api call, http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41... then there is no description in the XML that's returned.

Is there something else I should be using?


message 7: by Michael (new)

Michael Economy (michaeleconomy) More ToS issues. I think we're gonig to try and do another big pull from B&N soon (who allows us to redistribute descriptions) but that might take a month or so.


message 8: by Absynthe (new)

Absynthe | 5 comments Michael wrote: "More ToS issues. I think we're gonig to try and do another big pull from B&N soon (who allows us to redistribute descriptions) but that might take a month or so."

Sounds great Michael, thanks.


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