Frequently Asked Questions

I would like to order a desk copy of a book.

Surprisingly, this is the most frequently asked question. And the unfortunate answer is "no" -- not being a publisher ISBNdb.com can not send desk copies of books. Please contact the book's publisher or author with this request.

Can you help me find an author or publisher?

No, unfortunately we cannot. We do not have any information beyond what we display for a given book or publisher. To be 100% positive, please check MARC records for the book to see if there any fields that might be of use to you and that are not yet displayed on the book front page.

How do you get the data?

ISBNdb.com gets the data in a unique way - it scans libraries all across the world for book information. The scanning is random and similar in a way to how general purpose web search engines scan web sites.

Scanned results are then parsed and stored in a searchable and browsable database that you see here on ISBNdb.com. An attempt is made at cross-indexing the database by author, publisher, category and so on. Cross indexing is still a work in progress and is likely to improve as the time goes on.

Starting late 2004 we also started scanning book merchants for best book prices. You will see best prices for new and used copies on all book pages below the left menu in most cases fraction of a second after you load the book data. Active and historic prices are also available through the data access API.

How can I use book data on my site?

We offer a free web services access to the data through the remote access API. The API strives to be simple to use in both on-line and desktop applications. It is based on standard HTTP queries and XML based responses.

How can I help?

You can contribute ideas and use cases, especially in web services area. If you have a project that would benefit from using ISNBdb.com's book data and you are ready to work with us developing and debugging interfaces -- please let us know.

Another way you can help ISBNdb.com project's efforts is by buying books through links to merchants provided on the site. A small fraction of sales generated this way goes to ISBNdb.com and helps to pay project expenses. Thank you!

Who's behind the project?

The ISBNdb.com web site is being developed by Price Network Inc, based in Billings, MT. Price comparison is provided by campusbooks.com.

I see a mistake in the data, how do I report it?

Check the MARC record for the book. If it's a mistake in the library's data please contact that library, when the library corrects the data ISBNdb.com will pick up the change and will update its record as well.

If the mistake is in how ISBNdb.com parses the library data we would like to hear about it, please contact us.

Where do I ask a question not answered here?

Visit the contact information page. If your question is answered on this page or elsewhere on the site we reserve the right to not answer (although in most cases we will answer anyway).

Thanks!