Help:Getting Started:Enter a Novel

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Getting Started

General Help

Editing ISFDB

Editing the ISFDB Wiki

This page is a help or manual page for the ISFDB database. It describes standards or methods for entering or maintaining data in the ISFDB database, or otherwise working with the database. Other help pages may be found via the category below. To discuss what should go on this page, use the talk page.

If, after exploring the Help system, you still have a question, please visit the Help desk and let us know. We probably know the answer, but we need your help to know what we left out of the help pages.

If you are new to editing the ISFDB, please see Help:Getting Started.

For more on this and other header templates, see Header templates.


Next, find the link on the left navigation bar that says "New Novel", and click that.

Here's what you should enter in each field. For each field, there is detailed help available if you need it: see this page.

  • Title: enter the title of the book, from the title page.
  • Author: enter the author of the book as it is given on the publication's title page (see this page for details). If there's more than one author, press the "Add Author" button and you'll have another author field to enter the second name.
  • Year: the year this particular book was published (not the date of the first edition, so the copyright date is no help here unless it's a first edition). The format is YYYY-MM-DD, so March 1973 is "1973-03-00". If you don't know the month (which you often won't) then just put zeroes for the month. If you can't be sure of the date, put "0000-00-00" -- this happens a lot, with reprints in particular.
  • Publisher: the name of the publisher. "Signet", "Ace Books", "Sphere", or whatever it might be.
  • Pages: the last page number of the book. There are often unnumbered advertising pages at the end; you can ignore those.
  • Pub format: for a book, the three options are 'pb' for paperback; 'tp' for trade paperback, and 'hc' for hardcover.
  • Pub type: this should already be filled in with NOVEL.
  • ISBN/Catalog #: most books published since about 1970 have an ISBN number. It will look something like this: 0-812-53073-X. Try to find this number somewhere on the cover, and enter it without the hyphens. If the book has no ISBN you can enter a publishers reference number, if there is one; for example Ace used serial numbers such as "F-427".
  • Price: put the price in dollars -- if it's less than a dollar, do it like this: $0.95; for British prices use "L" or "£". For other foreign editions use the appropriate currency symbol; more detailed information is available here.
  • Artist1: if you can figure out who the cover artist is, put their name in here. If the cover is by two artists, press the "Add Artist" button and you'll get another artist field.
  • Image URL: if there's a picture of the book on the web at a website we have permission from, you can put the URL here. For more information please visit ISFDB:Image_linking_permissions.
  • Pub Note: this field is for capturing bibliographic information about the book, such as printing information from the copyright page or unusual information about the book. If entering information from a secondary source (a source that is not the book itself), the source should be stated in this field.

Once you're done entering the data, check it over, and then press the "Submit Data" button. This will put your data into the "submission queue". It won't immediately update the ISFDB. The submission queue is managed by the ISFDB moderators, who periodically look at the submissions and decide whether to approve or reject them. If you check back after a while you'll find you submission has been dealt with, and, most likely, approved. You can always check the status of the submission by selecting "My Recent Edits", "My Pending Edits" and "My Rejected Edits" in the navigation bar on the left. Once the submission has been approved, your book's data will become a part of the ISFDB and a search for your novel's title will pull it up.