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Message started by Serena on Jun 4th, 2007 at 5:29pm

Title: Biblio Catalogs
Post by Serena on Jun 4th, 2007 at 5:29pm
Can someone provide some help with understanding how to set up catalogs for Biblio? I read another post here in the Forum from a while back where AOB said that the fields would be populated with either the ABE catalog or zShop browse path. Well, I don't list on ABE and never used browse paths. I see that I can request that Biblio do a catalog scan, but I think I would want to manage the catalogs in AOB. Any tips would be very much appreciated!

Copperfish Book, LLC

Title: Re: Biblio Catalogs
Post by John Sweeney on Jun 5th, 2007 at 9:23am
Biblio cannot do a scan or set things up unless you have already organized your own catalog.  

You set up your own catalogs in AoB just as you would for any venue.  Then, when looking at your own seller page at Biblio, these catalogs show up as a list, with sub-headings if appropriate.  This cataloging is entirely dependent on how you categorize your books.

What Biblio allows you to do, then, is to match each of these categories against their global catalog categories.  For instance, I have my New York State Books divided into two sections.  On my seller page ( this is how they are listed.  Many buyers never make it to my store page there, and Biblio has only one category for New York.  Thus, I match both my New York categories to Biblio’s one New York category, and they are then available to buyers browsing Biblios own catalog categories.

This is entirely optional, but it does increase your exposure on Biblio.

As your books stand on Biblio now, your books will show up in title and author searches, but if someone is browsing a Bilio category your books will not be there.  Nor can they go to your storefront and browse by category.

Another example from my own catalog is I have a category titled “Biology & Zoology.”  This is how it shows on my Biblio seller page.  Biblio does not have an exact match in their catalog though, so I have matched it to their sub-category “Science & Technology > Biology and Ecology.”

If you do not have a catalog or category field for your database, you can create one.  For my AoB uploads the field is titled “hb_catalog,” although the field categories are my own rather than anything directly form Homebase.  I just used the field title because that is what was compatible with uploads.   I do not believe that books are automatically assigned a catalog unless you have already done so according to this or the old z-shop browse paths (which I have eliminated form my uploads now that they are defunct, as they did not coincide with what I used exactly anymore anyway).

My main advice if you are creating a catalog system from scratch is to think hard about making it a long term appropriate as possible.  At this point, Biblio is really th only place it is used, as Half, Amazon and Alibris do not pay attention to youar categories. Look at your Alibris storefront (it will look similar to mine: and you will see that your books are categorized according to their own internal system (which is not perfect – my “A Room with a View” is categorized there as “Foreign Language Study / English as a Second Language.”  

Amazon, though, may eventually re-introduce the ability to catalog our storefronts. Also, if you ever get your own selling site, it will be nice to have the categories ready to go in the way you want.  It is also a pain to have to go and re-catalog everything if you decide you need to do a better job down the road sometime.

Title: Re: Biblio Catalogs
Post by Serena on Jun 6th, 2007 at 8:48am
Thank you for your very thorough response, John. I want to make sure I understand correctly. I need to add the categories (once I determine what they'll be) directly to my inventory spreadsheet in the hb-catalog field? I can just upload those items that I've adjusted, right? I don't mess with the spreadsheet usually -- I just manage inventory directly through AOB.

And when I list an item via the List Single Item page, how do I indicate what category to use?

I'd like to experiment with categories to see if they'll boost my sales on Biblio. I like the venue, but don't get many sales from them.

I really appreciate your time and help.


Title: Re: Biblio Catalogs
Post by John Sweeney on Jun 6th, 2007 at 11:40am
You need to either turn on the zShop Browse setting or the home base field settings on your “single page listing settings” page, depending on which field you chose to use for your categories.  I never list this way so I don’t have my homebase fields turned on here.  They upload just fine; they just don’t show on the single list page for me.

Depending on the number of items you have, the quickest way to build a comprehensive spreadsheet might be to download you inventory from AoB.  Twek the columns to get the heading you want, and just add your categories to the proper field.  I run everything off a spreadsheet on my computer mainly because I want my data on my own compute incase AoB ever goes down.  It is nice to know they have a copy for me if I ever crash, too.

Title: Re: Biblio Catalogs
Post by Serena on Jun 11th, 2007 at 5:33pm
Thanks so much for your help, John. I now understand how the catalogs work and I've set up some up. Let's hope they are worth the effort!  :)


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