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Old 01-24-2013, 12:08 AM   #1
ltwally
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Question Series -> Omnibus style?

I have a few e-books that are "omnibus" style -- that is, they have multiple books in a series, all in one e-book. (It's cheaper than buying them all individually.)

Is there a way to get Calibre to list an e-book as more than one number in a series?

Thanks
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:18 AM   #2
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Unfortunately the answer is no, not in the way I think you mean. You cannot enter a single book record which could have multiple series index numbers associated to it.

Having said that, yes you can fudge things a bit and get some equivalent. You could enter the book record multiple times (ie, have three copies of the omnibus record each with it's own index value, but with book formats only for the first copy). Or enter the omnibus once, numbering it correctly for your personal collection only (so in a 5 book collection, with the omnibus including books 1-3, you would have omnibus [1], book 4 is [2], etc). You could use the fractional portion of the index to represent the book number range (so, as above, omnibus becomes [1.13], book 2 is [2], etc).

I am sure their are a bunch more. I haven't really dealt with any omnibuses as yet. I've got them, I just have them kind of sitting off on the side though until I can get other parts of my database better organized.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltwally View Post
I have a few e-books that are "omnibus" style -- that is, they have multiple books in a series, all in one e-book. (It's cheaper than buying them all individually.)

Is there a way to get Calibre to list an e-book as more than one number in a series?

Thanks
No but you can use epub split plugin to split each book into a separate ebook. I prefer doing that as many short story collections have stories from multiple authors.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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Also, sometimes the omnibus groups books by a different criteria than sequence. I might do it as I do with short story collections-list Omnibus in tags & the individual titles/sequences in the comments.

I'm starting to find that more-and-more Library Management via Calibre relies on comments. Too many situations that don't fit. I've now run into 'sagas' which is a series that contains other series and worse, a 'universe' which is a series that branches. (See Eric Flint's 1632 & follow-ons. I'm sure there are others but that's the one I've been lately untangling so it springs first to mind.) Even using comments I haven't found a decent way to untangle that. Especially when I try to include the short stories in the collections.

And a further problem are series with 'outliers'. In the case of H Beam Piper's Fuzzy Sapiens series he left it incomplete at his death. At least two 'posthumous' books have been written in the series-and the contradict each other. I've taken the one sanctioned by his estates as 'real' and the other as the outlier. (Can't remember the titles offhand-and even if I looked them up I'd need to figure out which is which again since I lost my notes on that one before I figured out how to handle it.)
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by calvin-c View Post
I'm starting to find that more-and-more Library Management via Calibre relies on comments. Too many situations that don't fit. I've now run into 'sagas' which is a series that contains other series and worse, a 'universe' which is a series that branches. (See Eric Flint's 1632 & follow-ons. I'm sure there are others but that's the one I've been lately untangling so it springs first to mind.) Even using comments I haven't found a decent way to untangle that. Especially when I try to include the short stories in the collections.
Use custom columns to manage these unique situations.

I created a separate custom series column labeled Universe to order books across multiple series that are part of the same universe.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:33 PM   #6
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Multi-article publications of all types (anthologies, short story collections, omnibuses, magazines, etc) are a bit of a nightmare and every user has to come up with a methodology that works for themselves. As far as I can recall seeing, the possibilities are:
  • Copy: Keep complete copies of the ebook for each story, including covers and metadata. Highest amount of duplicated files and metadata.
  • Split: Cut the original ebook into separate files. While it duplicates covers and metadata, it provides the best and easiest means of searching.
  • Comments: The ebook is entered once and a list of articles/stories is placed in the Comments field. Libraries with lots of records supposedly take a performance hit when searching.
Assuming dealing with records has less of an impact than Comments, Split might be the best option as it provides the least amount of duplication of metadata and files. But at the expense of more work (data entry and splitting the ebook).


Universes and sagas are tougher as they must handle a variable amount of data. Possibilities include:
  • Separate Multiple Series: Simply add multiple series columns (series name and index) to account for each level of detail required. But it tends to clutter up the Book List as well as the Edit Metadata screen.
  • Custom Multi-Series Column: Basically as above, but placed into a single custom column to help save space on the Book List. Might lead to a performance hit.
  • Numerical Pathing: Use numbers in a specific format to account for series position. Various output methods: "Universe 1, Saga 3, Book 12", 001-003-012, or anything else that works for you. Three or four digits, with preceding zeros to force correct display, can account for the longest running publications (mags, comics, etc). Note the text between numbers is a "divider" and consistently displayed, allowing no variability (null values are not displayed).
  • Numerical Subgrouping: Basically as above, but subgrouping might deal with forking better as it allows data to be a cross-section of the records. Appears as: 001.003.012.
  • Top-down: Books are simply placed in publication or reading order and numbered accordingly. This method does not deal with forks well.
  • Previous/Next Book: Each book record shows the name of the previous and next book in the series. It's wiki style. Could be awkward updating records if the author keeps filling in the back-story.
  • Tags:Use one Series field normally, use Tags for Universe, Saga, etc.

If you know, or can think of, any other techniques I would certainly appreciate hearing about them. As well as results from using or testing any method. My Library structure is a WIP right now so changes are easier to implement.

Last edited by Sabardeyn; 01-25-2013 at 12:07 AM. Reason: Added Tags to list
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calvin-c View Post
Also, sometimes the omnibus groups books by a different criteria than sequence. I might do it as I do with short story collections-list Omnibus in tags & the individual titles/sequences in the comments.

I'm starting to find that more-and-more Library Management via Calibre relies on comments. Too many situations that don't fit. I've now run into 'sagas' which is a series that contains other series and worse, a 'universe' which is a series that branches. (See Eric Flint's 1632 & follow-ons. I'm sure there are others but that's the one I've been lately untangling so it springs first to mind.) Even using comments I haven't found a decent way to untangle that. Especially when I try to include the short stories in the collections.

And a further problem are series with 'outliers'. In the case of H Beam Piper's Fuzzy Sapiens series he left it incomplete at his death. At least two 'posthumous' books have been written in the series-and the contradict each other. I've taken the one sanctioned by his estates as 'real' and the other as the outlier. (Can't remember the titles offhand-and even if I looked them up I'd need to figure out which is which again since I lost my notes on that one before I figured out how to handle it.)
Calibre supports series hierarchy so you can have universe as well as series just use a period between a universename.seriesname
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:42 AM   #8
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Dopedangel: I replied in a thread where you have an example of what you're talking about.

Sabardeyn: Thanks for the suggestions. I've printed them out so I can think about which I prefer to use. Best to get it right (for me-others may have different 'right's) while I'm still setting up my library. One thing I'm not worried about is performance. Probably comes from being a non-commercial programmer. If the computer's too slow then I buy a faster computer.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:42 AM   #9
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We're at similar points then as I am also trying to work out a viable database structure. I've made a couple of attempts over the years. Unfortunately some efforts have failed as theory meets reality.

Hey, does this mean I can borrow your computer indefinitely!
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:54 PM   #10
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Sabardeyn: Probably not-I recently moved & got rid of all my old computers. Try again next year after I've maybe run into something that makes this one slow.

Dopedangel: I think your suggestion of splitting the omnibus books might be the best for those. Thanks-I didn't know about the split plugin.
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