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  • Format - This is the format of the publication. Select one of the following choices from the drop-down list:
  • Print books
    • hc - hardcover. Used for all hardbacks of any size. A book is a hardback if it is constructed so that the cover is intended not to be flexible. (There exist leatherbound paperbacks, for example, which should not be designated as "hc".) Unlike other formats, this designation takes preference over "dos" for the case of hardcover dos-a-dos publications, such as Up to the Sky in Ships / In and Out of Quandry.
    • tp - trade paperback. Used for any softcover book which is larger than a standard paperback, except when the format is either "dos" or "ph" (see below), in which case those designations take precedence. Any other book that is at least 7.25" (or 19 cm) tall, or at least 4.5" (11.5 cm) wide/deep, and is not a hardback, should be entered as "tp". 7.5" × 5" is a common size, but there exist many variant sizes larger than this, including large format artbooks with paper covers, for example. (For the purposes of this database "height" and "width/depth" are the dimensions of the cover; neither should be understood to mean the "thickness" of a book.)
    • pb - paperback. Typically 7" × 4.25" (18 cm × 11 cm) or smaller, though trimming errors can cause them to sometimes be slightly (less than 1/4 extra inch) taller or wider/deeper. For books as tall as 7.25" (19 cm) or as wide/deep as 4.5" (11.5 cm) use "tp". Low-height paperbacks such as Ace Books from the fifties, and similar publications can be about half an inch shorter. Such variations in size below the typical 7" × 4.25" do not need to be noted unless significant. If a book qualifies as a "dos" or "ph" (pamphlet), those designations take precedence over "pb". (For the purposes of this database "height" and "width/depth" are the dimensions of the cover; neither should be understood to mean the "thickness" of a book.)
    • ph - pamphlet. Used for short (in page count), unbound, staple-bound, or otherwise lightly bound publications.
    • digest - Used for books which are similar in size and binding to digest-formatted magazines, using the standard digest size of approximately 7" × 4.5".
    • dos - Used for dos-a-dos or tête-bêche formatted paperback books, such as Ace Doubles and Capra Press back-to-back books. This format is not to be used for hardcover dos-a-dos books.
  • Audio books
    • audio CD - Compact disc with standard audio tracks
    • audio MP3 CD - Compact disc with mp3-encoded audio tracks
    • audio cassette - Cassette tape
    • audio LP - Long-playing record (vinyl)
    • digital audio player - Player with a pre-loaded digital file of the audiobook
    • digital audio download - Digital recording in any format that is downloaded directly from the Internet. This category includes podcasts.
  • Print magazines
    • digest - includes both standard digest size, at about 4.5" x 7" (11.4 cm x 17.8 cm), and also large digest, such as recent issues of Asimov's, which are about 5.125" x 8.25" (13.0 cm x 21.0 cm).
    • pb - paperback-formatted magazines, i.e. periodical publications which otherwise would qualify as paperbacks (see "pb" in the Print books section), e.g. the 1964-1967 issues of New Worlds
    • pulp - the common pulp size: 6.5" × 9.5" (16.5 cm x 24.1 cm). For ISFDB purposes this may also be used as a designation for the quality of the paper. There are some untrimmed pulps that are as large as 8" × 11.75 (20.3 cm x 29.8 cm)"
    • bedsheet - 8.5" × 11.25" (21.6 cm x 28.6 cm), e.g. early issues of Amazing; or the 1942-43 issues of Astounding
    • tabloid - 11" × 16" (27.9 cm x 40.6 cm), usually newsprint, e.g. British Science Fiction Monthly
    • A4 - 21 cm × 29.7 cm or 8.3" × 11.7", used by some UK and European magazines
    • A5 - 14.8 cm × 21 cm or 5.8" × 8.3", used by some UK and European magazines
    • quarto - 8.5" × 11" (21.6 cm x 27.9 cm), usually saddle-stapled, instead of side-stapled or glued
    • octavo - 5.5" × 8.5" (14.0 cm x 21.6 cm), usually saddle-stapled, instead of side-stapled or glued
    • tp - trade paperback magazines, usually perfect-bound, i.e. periodical publications (often POD) which otherwise would qualify as trade paperbacks (see "tp" in the Print books section)
    • Note: If a magazine is between the sizes of these categories, use the one with the closest description, and add a note in the record. Small variations do not need to be noted.
  • Electronic books and periodicals
    • ebook - Used for all electronic formats, including but not limited to EPUB, eReader, HTML, iBook, Mobipocket, and PDF. Specify the particular formats available in the record's note field. If unknown, specify the reader: iPad, Kindle, Nook, etc. This designation is also used for downloadable electronic issues of Internet-based periodical publications, aka "ezines".
    • webzine - Used for Internet-based periodical publications which are otherwise not downloadable as an "ebook". Not all webzines are eligible for inclusion in the ISFDB. Initiate discussions about inclusion/eligibility on the Community Portal.
  • other - Choose this value if a publication can not fit comfortably into any of the above categories. This includes publications distributed via e-mail, on CD-ROM and other uncommon formats. Make sure to describe the details in the Note field. Assistance for clarification can be requested at the Help Desk.
  • unknown - Choose this value if you're creating or updating a record from a secondary source and the publication format is unknown. This is the default choice when entering new publications.