Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cataloguing my books!

Camy here! Thanks to my friend Dream, who’s also the eHosty at the Love Inspired forum boards, I found a cataloguing program for all my books. I used to use an Excel file, but I wanted something a bit more robust which would also have a matching iPhone app so I can take a copy of my catalog with me on my phone, and that way if I’m at a store and I don’t know if I already have a particular title, I can look it up really quick.

She actually gave me several programs to look at, and I eventually decided on Booxter, because it works on a Mac and the other programs I looked at didn’t quite do it for me. One was made mostly for music, so the item descriptions were stuff like “label” for publisher and “artist” for author’s name, which confused me!

Booxter is neat because you input the book’s ISBN number (I’ve been using Goodreads to help me with that) and Booxter searches Amazon and the Library of Congress and the British Library databases for the ISBN. Then it automatically fills in all the fields for you, like title, author, publisher, etc. It will even bring up a thumbnail of the book cover sometimes. I can fill in the other fields as I want. I can put location--where the book is on my shelves, which are numbered so that I can find a book easily--and also notes if I read the book and anything I wanted to comment on. It’s so awesome!!!

Booxter isn’t without it’s glitches. I found out that when you input a book’s ISBN number, and Booxter pulls the information from the web, it will input the price the book is selling for on Amazon or any other bookstore which sells books through Amazon. Many of my books were out of print, and the used prices for some of them was WAY high, like in the billions of dollars!

I found out that it’s because many online bookstores have a program that scans the web for the same book being sold by another online bookstore, and the program automatically increases a book’s price a little higher than the next highest price available. If you have two bookstores with the same program, the two programs play price leapfrog and the price of the book skyrockets to insane amounts.

The problem is that Booxter automatically adds up how much your collection is worth. I had a few books in the billions of dollar range, and it overloaded Booxter’s price summary, causing the program to not save my catalog even when I hit Save. I would input books and try to save it, but the next time I opened the catalog, the books had disapepared. I finally figured out it was the astronomical prices and when I deleted the prices, Booxter was able to save my catalog fine.

I have to admit my complete geeky side because I love cataloguing my books! I think I should have been a librarian. I love making sure the series line is inputted correctly and that I have the series number down. I have been inputting how much I paid for a book (for each book, there are two fields--how much the book is selling for online, and how much I paid for it). I also input any name in the copyright that’s different than the name on the cover, which enabled me to find the pseudonyms of some old Regency authors. Cool!

Booxter has also enabled me to input all my ebooks, which were not completely catalogued on my old Excel file. The only problem is that Booxter searches Amazon and the Library of Congress, but they don’t necessarily have the (non-Kindle) ebook ISBN in their databases. I have been using Goodreads to find alternate ISBN numbers for the same book to input into Booxter so the program can find my books in the databases and fill out the fields for me, and then I will usually change the ISBN later to reflect the actual ISBN of the ebook I own. (Yes, I know I am anal.)

Sometimes I will use the Kindle ASIN number for Booxter because the program almost always will be able to pull up the book information from a Kindle ASIN. Actually, since I’ve been searching on Amazon so much lately, that’s how I found out that my January Love Inspired Suspense, Stalker in the Shadows, is not available for pre-order! There’s no picture yet, but at least it’s available for people to buy. (Go and order your copy today! :)

So how do you catalog your books?

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Out now is the fourth book in her Sushi series, Weddings and Wasabi. She is a staff worker for her church youth group, and leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she ponders frivolous things like knitting, running, dogs, and Asiana. Visit her website to sign up for her quarterly newsletter.

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