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Old 04-22-2013, 02:53 PM   #1
LisaAlissa
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Multiple Series in 1 Volume w/ mutiple Authors/stories

Ok. I've tried to search, and have found several threads that deal with multiple series. And I started to put this question at the end of one of them, but the forum software suggested a separate thread. So I've started a separate thread with it instead.

I don't know that I need Calibre to change, but I simply don't know how to get the results I'm looking for.

If I'm following a series, I'd typically sort by the Series tag to see what I have--or to find something in that series.

What I'm looking for is to get the same result from a search when one of these books has a part of a series. I've noted a trend for series stories from several different authors to be bundled in a single volume typically with at least one "popular" author. (BTW, my take on them is that while they are typically built around a theme, I think the real idea is to drive traffic to the various authors' series. And it works!)

It sounds (from the threads I've read here) like having multiple entries in the Series field wouldn't be a good idea (even if it were possible--I'm not clear on that). I saw the suggestion to use a custom column, but am not clear how this would work. Could you help?

To be really concrete, assume this book:

Volume name: "Anthology" (which has 3 stories by 3 authors from 3 series)
Authors: "Writer" (who has a series of books/stories called "Mystery")
"Hack" (who has a series of books/stories called "Horror")
"Scribbler" (who has a series of books/stories called "Fantasy")

In each case, the author has written a story which is part of their own series of books/stories.

When I want to see what I have in the series "Mystery," I'd like "Anthology" to be included in the list. Similarly, when I want to see what I have in the series "Horror," I want "Anthology to be included there too, and of course I want it to be included in the list of books in the "Fantasy" series as well.

I suppose I could simply choose one of the Series for the "official" series entry. And then list the other two series in the Comments (or a custom column of some sort?). And whenever I'm searching for a series, use the "Advanced Search" for "This Exact Phrase" instead of searching in the Series Search. (Seems like that would work.)

But is there a better way? How should I go about this?

Thanks for your help.

LisaAlissa
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:08 PM   #2
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There has often been the case of a book being part of more than one series - and in this case the use of custom columns to allow for multiple series columns seems to be the favoured approach.

However you seem to want a more open ended approach than that? If so maybe the Series name should be a tag as the tag field can contain multiple values.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:16 PM   #3
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Calibre doesn't really support anthologies. In your case the default suggestion is to split the anthology into separate books - one for each story. Than you can put each story (book) in its own series. Of course, for crossover stories you are back to square one and the multiple series columns approach.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:33 PM   #4
LisaAlissa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itimpi View Post
There has often been the case of a book being part of more than one series - and in this case the use of custom columns to allow for multiple series columns seems to be the favoured approach.
I noticed that, but I don't know just what sort of custom column I should set up, to allow me to get the output I'm looking for. I feel like a bit of an idiot asking for such specific help, but I don't understand either how to set up a custom column for this purpose or how to use it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by itimpi View Post
However you seem to want a more open ended approach than that? If so maybe the Series name should be a tag as the tag field can contain multiple values.
Possibly. I had guessed that series names used to be part of "Tags" and had been pulled out to their own separate field at some point. Just a question, but if I put all of the Series names in the tag field (so that I can apply more than one Series name to a single volume), what does the separate "Series" field do for me that the Tag field doesn't?

Thanks again,

LisaAlissa
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:04 PM   #5
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If you are mostly interested in knowing that a book is part of a series but are not fussed about keeping the position (the index) of the book in the series, then there is a way forward.

One of the problems with using multiple columns to keep the "same" information is searching. If you search for the series "horror" you want to find books with that value in one of the multiple columns, but not in comments or title. To solve this problem, calibre can combine columns together for searching purposes. Using this feature, you could assign a book to a "major" series, one with an index, and any number of "minor" series, those without indices. The major series would go into the "series" column and the minor series would be entries in a tags-like custom column. In your case, given that you haven't mentioned series numbers, the series field might be empty and the minor series column would contain "mystery, horror, fantasy".

To accomplish this you would do two things:

1. Create a "text, like tags" custom column. For this example I assume that the lookup name is #other_series. You create custom columns by going to preferences -> add your own columns.

2. Create a special 'search column' that merges series and #other_series. To do this, go to preferences -> searching. In the "Grouped Search Terms" section, enter the lookup name you want (e.g., all_series) in the "Names" box, then enter the real columns that are to be merged (e.g., series and #other_series) into the box next to the "Names" box.

Once you have done this you can search for series using search expressions like "@all_series:horror". This will find books with "horror" in either the series or the #other_series column.

If you use the tag browser (the pane on the left) to search, then you can tell calibre to put the merged series information there by entering "all_series" into the "Make user categories from" box in the searches preferences dialog.

Yes, this is a rather complicated and advanced calibre feature, but it could help you solve your problem.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:14 PM   #6
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The big thing that a series type column gives is that as well as the series name it also allows a series index to be stored.

Tags have always been different to series in Calibre. Calibre's origins was support for Sony devices which have always supported Series (collections) unlike most other devices of the time.
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