Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Frequent Contributor
EltaninPub
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎05-08-2011
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books

Our samples typically have all the front matter and the whole first chapter, but it's not something that PubIT publishers/authors can change - I'm not sure why some books have such small samples.

 

Anyway, one solution is for anyone who wants to leave a review for our books to SAY that their review is only for Eltanin's version, and recommend our books in the section of the review where you can suggest other books (including the book you are reviewing, since the review will appear under OTHER publishers' versions of the book).

Distinguished Bibliophile
RHWright
Posts: 1,617
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books


EltaninPub wrote:

Our samples typically have all the front matter and the whole first chapter, but it's not something that PubIT publishers/authors can change - I'm not sure why some books have such small samples.

 


My (possibly wrong) understanding was that publishers set the percentage of the total file that was sampled. Don't know if this holds for PubIt. Considering how most publishers would probably pull that number out of nowhere, it doesn't surprise me that some samples are so small.

 

They would probably see a 10% sample of a 180 page book generous. But with single pages for cover, title page, dedication, other books by same author, copyright notice (5 pages), a table of contents (3-5 pages or more!)—when the actual text is less than 10 pages, I'm not surprised.

 

I've even had some cookbooks cut off in the middle of the TOC! On the other end, some samples have not only been the first chapter (about the right size, IMO), but have been 50 or 60 pages. Now that's a generous sample.

Frequent Contributor
EltaninPub
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎05-08-2011
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books


RHWright wrote:

EltaninPub wrote:

Our samples typically have all the front matter and the whole first chapter, but it's not something that PubIT publishers/authors can change - I'm not sure why some books have such small samples.

 


My (possibly wrong) understanding was that publishers set the percentage of the total file that was sampled. Don't know if this holds for PubIt. ...


Unfortunately, this doesn't hold true for PubIt - we can't set the sample size.

 

Just an update - I just noticed that sometimes, when someone is looking at our versions of the books and our versions of other books in the series appear under "people who have bought this have also bought", clicking on OUR books sometimes takes the user to OTHER publishers' versions. Unbelievable.

Frequent Contributor
EltaninPub
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎05-08-2011
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books

Here's another update - Barnes & Noble is still grouping books together inappropriately. If you search Nook books for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, you only get a handful of hits (and ours is not shown). Ours is shown under one of the others, as a version of the other book. So no one will find us. The reviews are unpredictable - in many cases, reviews for our books are showing up under other publishers' books (and vice versa), and in other cases they aren't.

 

B&N really needs to fix this, but I guess they just don't care.

 

Eltanin's Oz Series

Distinguished Bibliophile
RHWright
Posts: 1,617
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books

While I understand B&N's rationale for consolidating listings (easier to see available editions, comparison shop), at this point I think the negatives far outweigh the positives.

 

There was another thread where someone had bought a Nook edition of a classic, thinking it was the one pictured from Penguin. Actually, the picture was for Penguin's paperback edition (the first of the consolidated listing) and the Nook edition from someone else. Penguin doesn't even make an electronic edition, as it turns out!

 

Even better, B&N customer service then gave them the "sorry, no returns on ebooks song-and-dance."

 

This is bad website design, making for a bad user experience, and bad customer service on top of it when 1 & 2 create an issue!

 

I'm usually pretty supportive of B&N and think they do a good job as a whole, but this is ridiculous and 100% wrong.

 

How many new NOOK devices are going to be booted up in the next week? How many confused and angry customers do you want? Get with it! ASAP!

Frequent Contributor
EltaninPub
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎05-08-2011
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books

Thanks, RHWright. I was starting to think it was just me that was so upset by all this. The one thing readers CAN do, is if you ever review a public domain book, be sure to put in the review title AND the body of the review specifically what publisher's version you are reviewing. You can also "recommend" books when writing a review, and so (assuming you are writing a positive review), you can recommend the actual book you are reviewing, and a thumnail of the book and link to the book will appear next to your review. That way, if people see your review under a different publisher's version of the book, they might realize it before they buy.

 

Also, last I checked, if you shop from your nook the books aren't grouped (although there is still the problem with reviews showing up for different versions). So that's ONE good thing...

Frequent Contributor
bga_reviews
Posts: 150
Registered: ‎10-24-2009
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books


RHWright wrote:

While I understand B&N's rationale for consolidating listings (easier to see available editions, comparison shop), at this point I think the negatives far outweigh the positives.

 

There was another thread where someone had bought a Nook edition of a classic, thinking it was the one pictured from Penguin. Actually, the picture was for Penguin's paperback edition (the first of the consolidated listing) and the Nook edition from someone else. Penguin doesn't even make an electronic edition, as it turns out!

 

Even better, B&N customer service then gave them the "sorry, no returns on ebooks song-and-dance."

 

This is bad website design, making for a bad user experience, and bad customer service on top of it when 1 & 2 create an issue!

 

I'm usually pretty supportive of B&N and think they do a good job as a whole, but this is ridiculous and 100% wrong.

 

How many new NOOK devices are going to be booted up in the next week? How many confused and angry customers do you want? Get with it! ASAP!


I'd just like to point out that this is something that both B&N and Amazon do.  This is especially annoying with PD books that were translated from another language.  While some of the editions are PD because the translation is old enough to be PD, there are often several new translations that have been done recently and it's next to impossible to find any reviews discussing the quality of the new translations.  Even for non-PD books, when all the reviews for all editions of the book are lumped together, you can't see whether the ebook formatting is good or bad.

Frequent Contributor
EltaninPub
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎05-08-2011
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books

[ Edited ]

bga_reviews wrote:


I'd just like to point out that this is something that both B&N and Amazon do.  This is especially annoying with PD books that were translated from another language.  While some of the editions are PD because the translation is old enough to be PD, there are often several new translations that have been done recently and it's next to impossible to find any reviews discussing the quality of the new translations.  Even for non-PD books, when all the reviews for all editions of the book are lumped together, you can't see whether the ebook formatting is good or bad.


 

We don't have this problem with Amazon. Our reviews are distinct, and our books come up when you search on the titles. ONCE they did group one of our Oz books as an alternative format of another publisher's book of the same name, but one email to them, and it was fixed (and it just recently happened with our Wizard of Oz - I emailed Kindle Direct Publishing support and I have confidence they will fix it, as they did in the past). THIS is the major difference - it is possible to get in touch with Kindle Direct Publishing support, and they actually FIX problems.

 

Search Amazon's kindle books for "The Marvelous Land of Oz" and our book will be listed (sure, there are a lot, but at least our book is shown). If you search B&N for "The Marvelous Land of Oz" , we are not listed. To find our book, you have to click on a DIFFERENT publisher's book, and we're listed as an alternative version.

 

EDIT - I just checked email, and got this response from Amazon about our Wizard of Oz being linked:

 

"I'm sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you. I'll de-link these items on Amazon.com and the updates should be viewable across Detail pages in about an hour. We want our customer reviews to be helpful to our customers and appreciate that you took the time to write to us."

 

THAT'S what I'm talking about. They responded quickly (less than 24 hrs), recognized the problem, apologized, and will fix it. I want the same from B&N. I don't expect to get it. But I'll keep beating this dead horse. We just published The Road to Oz yesterday and it's got 80 reviews (not ours) and you can't find if it you search on the title.

Frequent Contributor
readley
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎06-15-2010
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books

I don't blame you for being upset. As a reader, this kind of thing drives me crazy. When I'm trying to buy a "classic" book, I rely on the reviews to tell me which editions to avoid. It's not a matter of whether the book is free vs. $3.99 or whatever, it's a matter of whether the book is readable or not. Many editions are full of OCR errors or strange line breaks and they aren't worth the trouble. At least I have had good luck with BN customer service. Once I downloaded an ebook where everything (description, reviews) matched the paperback. Unfortunately, the paperback was a collection of short stories and the ebook was just a single story from the collection. To make things worse, I already owned the single story (purchased from fictionwise). I complained to BN customer service, and they said "We never give any refunds on ebooks" but then they gave me a refund anyway. Still, far better to eliminate the website errors that cause the problems in the first place. I'm very sad to hear that BN is not fixing this problem. All I can think is that the problem is harder to fix for BN than it would seem to us on the "outside." I will certainly make a point to describe the edition exactly in reviews from now on.
Frequent Contributor
bga_reviews
Posts: 150
Registered: ‎10-24-2009
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books


EltaninPub wrote:

bga_reviews wrote:


I'd just like to point out that this is something that both B&N and Amazon do.  This is especially annoying with PD books that were translated from another language.  While some of the editions are PD because the translation is old enough to be PD, there are often several new translations that have been done recently and it's next to impossible to find any reviews discussing the quality of the new translations.  Even for non-PD books, when all the reviews for all editions of the book are lumped together, you can't see whether the ebook formatting is good or bad.


 

We don't have this problem with Amazon. Our reviews are distinct, and our books come up when you search on the titles. ONCE they did group one of our Oz books as an alternative format of another publisher's book of the same name, but one email to them, and it was fixed (and it just recently happened with our Wizard of Oz - I emailed Kindle Direct Publishing support and I have confidence they will fix it, as they did in the past). THIS is the major difference - it is possible to get in touch with Kindle Direct Publishing support, and they actually FIX problems.


I was just looking at the Robin Buss translation of The Count of Monte Cristo (ePenguin) at both Amazon and B&N, and they've both linked various other editions all together as well as all of the reviews. Ditto Cervantes' Don Quixote, anything by Tolstoi, etc.

 

Frustratingly the B&N edition is several dollars more expensive than at Amazon, even though I believe Penguin is an Agency 6 publisher.

Frequent Contributor
EltaninPub
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎05-08-2011
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books


bga_reviews wrote:


I was just looking at the Robin Buss translation of The Count of Monte Cristo (ePenguin) at both Amazon and B&N, and they've both linked various other editions all together as well as all of the reviews. Ditto Cervantes' Don Quixote, anything by Tolstoi, etc.

 

Frustratingly the B&N edition is several dollars more expensive than at Amazon, even though I believe Penguin is an Agency 6 publisher.


bga_reviews,

 

It's true that Amazon sometimes groups public domain books. But the difference is that with one email to Amazon customer service, they fixed the problem for our books. B&N won't even reply to my emails.

 

So here's the latest update: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz [Illustrated] , The Marvelous Land of Oz [Illustrated]  , and Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz [Illustrated]  are still appearing as an alternative version of other publishers' books, and all the reviews for different books are showing for ALL the books. So no one would find them without clicking on the other books and then clicking on a little plus sign next to "Nook Book" under "All available formats", and there's no way to tell which review is for which book.

 

Ozma of Oz [illustrated]  isn't linked to any other versions, and all the reviews are ours! Yay! This proves that it can be done, if B&N would just fix them all.

 

The Road to Oz [Illustrated]  is linked with other books, and shares reviews with other books, but at least OUR books seems to be the one that appears in searches, and other publishers' books are listed as alternative versions of ours. Better for us, but still wrong and needs to be fixed.

 

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
RHWright
Posts: 1,617
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books

It is ridiculous that you are still going around and around with B&N about this.

 

There are many things I like about B&N. (One of the reasons I have a Nook, I suppose.) But their capabilities at designing and running a website are not among them.

 

In addition to the odd grouping of editions from multiple publishers, we currently have, among many site flaws:

 

1) wishlists are pretty much broken and don't sync from devices post-N1E

2) advance search that is flawed and doesn't produce results it should

3) titles constantly mis-categorized

4) less than robust recommendation engine

5) separate reviews for B&N profile and My NOOK

6) etc, etc, etc

 

Is it any wonder I browse and research elsewhere before I buy at B&N?

Frequent Contributor
EltaninPub
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎05-08-2011
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books

Then there is the fact that they moved this thread from Nook-> General Discussion (or something - the forums got changed around) to the Nook 1st Edition forum. It's as if they said to themselves, "What forum is looked at the least?"

Contributor
TS21
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎09-19-2011
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books

Okay. Mine is not a public domain work and it's linked with somebody's book just because we have the same title. We're two different people, yet they have all of the page information as mine, the URL with her name instead of mine, and her reviews. They're great reivews, but they have nothing to do with my book. And nobody at B&N will do anything. I don't know if I need to take the book out of circulation and start over, or if they'll ever fix it. If I'm cross linked with another author's work is this affecting either of our sales because this has never happened to me before and I'm confused. Anybody know anything about non Public Domain work issues here on B&N and whether or not they ever get resolved?

Frequent Contributor
EltaninPub
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎05-08-2011
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books

TS21, did you ever get your book sorted out? It's awful that it's happening to our versionsn of public domain books, but I can see where it would be even worse if it happened to a book I wrote myself. On the plus side, B&N isn't mixing up the royalties - that all seems fine. But I did try taking some books down and republishing them - even with different titles such as "Eltanin Publishing's Wonderful Wizard of Oz fully illustrated" and it didn't matter - the still got grouped together. If only I could figure out why our Ozma of Oz isn't grouped...

 

Eltanin Publishing's Oz Series

Frequent Contributor
EltaninPub
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎05-08-2011
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books

OK, here's my monthly (or so) update - books are still linked and sharing reviews with totally different versions. One very interesting development, though, is that our version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz [Illustrated]  is linked together with B&N's own "Barnes & Noble Classics Series" version of the same book! I guess I'll try emailing PubIt support, though I never get a response from them, or they say "this is how we intended it". Really? You intend for reviews to show up under the WRONG book?

Distinguished Bibliophile
RHWright
Posts: 1,617
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books

Keep fighting the good fight.

 

If you get to a live person, maybe you should point them here. Let them see how many paying customers are annoyed at your issue in particular and just the messed up grouping of reviews in general.

 

I've pretty much given up on B&N's review system altogether.

Frequent Contributor
EltaninPub
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎05-08-2011

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books

OK, another update. To recap, B&N stupidly groups together ALL the various versions of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and other classics. They share reviews, which is totally stupid because reviews that say, "Hey, this book doesn't have the images" appears under our book which DOES have the images, as well as under the different version that the review is referring to, etc. 

Well, B&N had just come out with the ability to look inside books before buying them. It turns out that when someone clicks on OUR book to "read instantly" or "open this book", they see a different version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - one that looks like crap and has no images. *sigh*. Time to fruitlessly email PubIt support again...
(and in case anyone is curious what I'm talking about: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz [Illustrated]  )

Frequent Contributor
EltaninPub
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎05-08-2011

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books

After pushing and pushing via email to PubIt support, explaining the problem, I got the following response:

 

Catherine,

Thank you for contacting us.  We understand your concern and will work
with the appropriate teams to address this issue in the coming months.

Best wishes,
The PubIt! Team

--------------------

 

MONTHS?? At this point, I just gotta laugh. Amazon can fix it in minutes, when books are incorrectly linked. B&N takes months (if it fixes it at all). Way to impress me, B&N.

Distinguished Bibliophile
RHWright
Posts: 1,617
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
0 Kudos

Re: B&N inappropriately grouping reviews for public domain books

And this is one of the numerous issues that has forced me away from B&N as a source for reviews, recommendations, product information, etc.

 

Luckily, the hardware is still my favorite, otherwise it would be so much easier to buy elsewhere. And with the Nook, I do have choices for content. And if they lock us in (like Amazon) I'll have to explore my options elsewhere.

 

Pay attention to these issues, B&N. You are slowly, but inexorably, driving your core customers (and brand supporters/boosters) away.

 

If this effects this one determined publisher, I'm sure it impacts many who are less vocal.