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Old 02-08-2011, 04:04 PM   #1
GaelicForce
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Newbie ? How do I turn My Library to Calibre Library

My Ebook library is in a folder with all my authors in individual folders with their books inside in multiple formats. There are over a thousand authors, so I am hoping I don't have to open every folder to access the books.
Also the books are listed "last name, first name - title of book". Will there be a problem with their order in the calibre library. I am not exceptionally computer literate and am confused by the "order of author name discussions".
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:42 PM   #2
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By your Ebook Library, are you referring to the one created by calibre or is this a library you have created yourself that you want to put into calibre?

Btw, you aren't the only one confused by the "order of author name discussions".
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaelicForce View Post
My Ebook library is in a folder with all my authors in individual folders with their books inside in multiple formats. There are over a thousand authors, so I am hoping I don't have to open every folder to access the books.
Also the books are listed "last name, first name - title of book". Will there be a problem with their order in the calibre library. I am not exceptionally computer literate and am confused by the "order of author name discussions".
Welcome to MR

You can use the little arrow next to Add Books (look at the 'dirctory' choices)
I don't believe Calibre can use folder names, only file names, to generate 'Author metadata'
Before you import, look at Preferences:
1) Adding Books: Swap Author...
2) Tags to add (I suggest that you make a unique tag for each group you add to allow grouping for a BULK Metadata change, later. You can bulk delete the tag later.)
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:43 AM   #4
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Thanks,
I tried the little arrow by add Books and it pulled the books right out of the folders.
I checked the swap author. I did 29 books. On 10 it put first name last name on 4 it put last name, first name and the rest it put the title of the book as the author. Any idea on that?
I don't understand about how to tag and why. I really am new to this.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaelicForce View Post
Thanks,
I tried the little arrow by add Books and it pulled the books right out of the folders.
I checked the swap author. I did 29 books. On 10 it put first name last name on 4 it put last name, first name and the rest it put the title of the book as the author. Any idea on that?
I don't understand about how to tag and why. I really am new to this.
To tag (Meta-data) or Not is your choice.

Think of tags as a Post-it note on 1 or more books.

Later searching for (and selecting) all books that have this note will allow you to bulk edit. Say the Author name is not consistently done (very common with Amazon supplied metadata)

Example: Robert Asprin, Robert Lynn Asprin, Robert L. Asprin (with and without a period after the initial). Any differences may affect how sorts by Series and other happen. So you simply select all variants and use bulk to make them all the same.

The automatic 'Tag' I suggested, is 1 or more keywords separated by commas that only happen on adds. There is a box you fill in on the Preference for ADD Books. (These tags are no different from the other tags that may be attached to a book. They just only happen IF you add a book)

Calibre has different ADD BOOKS preference settings that affect how the metadata gets populated (and updated). Hover you mouse over a setting to see additional tips. If the book contains metadata, that might overide your file naming. If a add is allowed to fetch metadata, the author-title overwrite is an option.

Your random title<->author swap tells me that your file naming has variations (see the pattern match section of add books preference.
I don't use this fully and prefer to use the 'new book' tag I was suggesting, to review and fix all the metadata for the latest batch imported.

This may not be feasible if you add 100's of books at a time.
You might want to set a tag that matches your work flow, import a group of folders, change the tag and do another group.
We all have ways that we do things. what works for you.

Taking time now, will show in results at the end.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaelicForce View Post
Thanks,
I tried the little arrow by add Books and it pulled the books right out of the folders.
I checked the swap author. I did 29 books. On 10 it put first name last name on 4 it put last name, first name and the rest it put the title of the book as the author. Any idea on that?
I don't understand about how to tag and why. I really am new to this.
As our feathered friend mentioned, it appears your original books are not consistantly named so you might be better off adding one book at a time, unless you have several hundered or more books to add, and edit the metadata of each one as you add the book.

Tags are search words that you provide to enable you to search for books. For example, an individual book may be classifiable as fiction, Science Fiction, and Fantasy. Instead of having a folder for each genre and dropping a copy of the same book in each folder, you make tags which are the names of each applicable genre. If you want a list of all your Fantasy books, calibre will search through all your books and pull up a list of every one that has the Fantasy tag. If several of your books take place in, say, New York, if you add the tag New York to those books, you can later search for New York and calibre will list every book that has the tag New York.

You can manually add your tags, let calibre go on line and find tags for you, or do both when you add a book. Probably the easiest way for you would be to do this, at least at first until you become more familiar with how calibre works, is to add on book, select it by clicking once on it so it is highlighted, then click on the Edit Metadata button. The window that pops up will show your title, author, tags, and other data about your book. Most likely, most of your fields will be empty or have the wrong data. You can correct and/or add the correct data and dream up your own tags but it is a lot easier to let calibre go online to find it.

The easiet way for a beginner to have calibre go online to find your metadata is to first make sure the author (not author sort) and title (not title sort) fields are correct. The author field will need to be first name first and last name last for now. If a title has "The" or "A" at the begining, leave it at the beginning. If the title and author have been switched, there is a button between the two that will switch them (hover your nouse pointer over each button so the name of it pops up to find the right one; it looks like two arrows pointing up and down). At the bottom of the column where the data fields are (title, author, tags, etc.) is a button called Fetch Metadata From Server. Click on it and calibre will go online and check sources like Amazon.com for the info. If it's out there, it will pop up a menu with a selection of entries you can choose to download to calibre (or there may be only one or, occasionally, none). Hover over each one to find the one that has the most/best meta data then double click on your choice. Calibre will then download the metadata.

Once downloaded, you can edit you metadata at will. To ensure the author and title sort fields are correct click on the button between the fields to add/correct the data (again, hover over the buttons in the area to find the correct ones; they look like little skinny, little triangles).

You can also have calibre use IBSNdb online to get your metadata from your books ISBN (International Standard Book Number) which is a 10 or 13 digit number used to ID books (that's what I use). You have to get a key from the ISBNdb website to use it (instructions are at calibre's website). However, unless you have the number as part of your book title, it may be more hassle than it's worth for you to dig it out of your book.

You will probably have more questions as you do this so don't hesitate to ask. If the gurus here get too technical for you, just say so (heck, I have to do that all the time). I also strongly suggest you watch Kovid's video on how to use calibre. It does a pretty good job of showing one how to start out using calibre the first time. I suggest downloading before viewing (see bottom of the screen of the link I gave you) instead of streaming it so you can watch it all at once, in sections, or back up and review parts whenever you want. It is a large download so if you are on a slow internet connection, it may take a while to download it but at least you'll have to download it only once.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:19 AM   #7
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One more Note:
Tags will appear in the "Jacket" section on Calibre converted (and sent) books.

Be careful what you document here

(I was avoiding the 'additional features available, for later) You can have other 'custom' tag columns that can be excluded from the Jacket.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:08 PM   #8
GaelicForce
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Thank you for the advise. I have several thousand books in multiple formats and spent a lot of time (not knowing anything of Calibre) typing each book with last name, first name - title. Calibre is reading it every which away which makes me think there is some data attached to some of the books overiding my file naming. I had hoped there was a magic button I could push and all the books would appear in Calibre library perfect and ready to go. I guess I will have to buckle down and learn and do a few at a time till I get it down.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaelicForce View Post
Thank you for the advise. I have several thousand books in multiple formats and spent a lot of time (not knowing anything of Calibre) typing each book with last name, first name - title. Calibre is reading it every which away which makes me think there is some data attached to some of the books overiding my file naming. I had hoped there was a magic button I could push and all the books would appear in Calibre library perfect and ready to go. I guess I will have to buckle down and learn and do a few at a time till I get it down.
That's what I had to do, too. What you're having problems with is the metadata of the files, which is "invisible" to you in Windows Explorer. I have to do it with new purchased books too, if the metadata in them doesn't match the way I prefer it. Sorry there's no magic button... I wanted one too, several months back when I started with calibre.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaelicForce View Post
Thank you for the advise. I have several thousand books in multiple formats and spent a lot of time (not knowing anything of Calibre) typing each book with last name, first name - title. Calibre is reading it every which away which makes me think there is some data attached to some of the books overiding my file naming. I had hoped there was a magic button I could push and all the books would appear in Calibre library perfect and ready to go. I guess I will have to buckle down and learn and do a few at a time till I get it down.
There are settings:


Remove the circled tick to force the filename to be used. set the other as needed for author name order .
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