Help:How to enter a new novel

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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.


For a quick introduction to entering a new novel, see the Getting Started help page, which walks you through the basic process.

The key steps are:

  1. Check that this particular edition of this novel is not already entered in the ISFDB. If it's already in, you don't need to enter it, though you can check it to see if it's been accurately entered.
  2. Check to see if another edition of the novel is entered. If so, you want to make sure your edition is "connected" to the editions already entered. This is done by using "Add Publication to this Title". Note that you can use this method even if the title on your copy is different, so long as it's really the same book. The same applies to pseudonyms -- you can use this link for a pseudonymous work too.
  3. If no other editions of the novel are already entered, use the "New Novel" link.

Once you are at the right screen, you can use the detailed help page for that screen to help you fill out the fields correctly.

When you've entered the data and clicked Submit, a moderator will review it and approve or reject it. When the update has been approved, if you review the publication you just added you'll see that it shows a NOVEL publication that includes a NOVEL title as its content. This is how the ISFDB handles all publications and titles; a NOVEL publication just means it's a physical book that contains a novel; the NOVEL title is the work in the book.

There may be other contents to the novel, such as an introduction, interior artwork, an afterword, or an excerpt from a forthcoming novel. All of these can be entered: you can either do this in one of two ways. First, you could create the novel with no other contents, as described above. Then display the publication and choose "Edit This Pub" once it's displayed. This will bring up an edit screen that allows you to add or change the contents of the book. See the Edit Publication Help for detailed information on that screen. Second, you could choose one of the other "New" links and change the publication type to NOVEL from (e.g.) ANTHOLOGY. That will allow you to enter contents directly. See the detailed help on publications with content for reference with that approach. Don't forget to include the novel itself as part of the contents!

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