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Old 08-05-2012, 09:03 AM   #1
JoopvB
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Multiple stories, one book

Hi,

I am new to this forum and have been using the Great Calibre for some time now. The program is very versatile but I'am running into some problems that I don't see how to solve.

1) I have a lot of (e)books with multiple stories (and some of them with different writers). It seems the data-model of Calibre doesn't support this? And if not, could it be added?

2) I have a number of stories (sometimes as part of a book, sometimes as a book) in different languages. Is it (in the future) possible to link this information so that e.g. I have an original story and different "(e)prints" of it?

3) Translated stories of course have a translator (or more) as an attribute. Is it (in the future) possible to "upgrade" Author to say Person and have multiple relations between Books/Stories and Person (such as Author, Translator, Cover artist etc.)?

I hope these questions/suggestions are not complete nonsense, but I would appreciate any help in solving my "library management". From my point of view this would make the program triple A plus (to put it in modern economic terms ).
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:30 AM   #2
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Hi, I'm new to the forum and I can only really help you with your first question as I'm also sort of new to Calibre myself. But I have a few anthologies and if I add the & between each author's name the sort option separates them correctly.

Example:
The Mammoth Book Of Special Ops Romance has 20 contributing authors. I added them in the 'Author(s):' field like this:
Shannon K. Butcher & Sydney Croft & Laura Griffin & Cheyenne McCray & Marliss Melton & Charlene Teglia & Michele Albert & Gina Robinson & Shilo Walker & Jordan Summers & E.C. Sheedy & Caitlyn Nicholas & Liz Muir & Nicola March & Gennita Low & Debra Webb & Penny McCall & Rinda Elliot & Charllotte Mede & Rachel Caine
And they automatically sort like this:
Butcher, Shannon K. & Croft, Sydney & Griffin, Laura & McCray, Cheyenne & Melton, Marliss & Teglia, Charlene & Albert, Michele & Robinson, Gina & Walker, Shilo & Summers, Jordan & Sheedy, E.C. & Nicholas, Caitlyn & Muir, Liz & March, Nicola & Low, Gennita & Webb, Debra & McCall, Penny & Elliot, Rinda & Mede, Charllotte & Caine, Rachel
I hope this helps you.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:41 AM   #3
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Hi, Yes this is a possibility but... how do we now which author did what book and/or whether it was indeed an author (might have been a translator, cover artist etc.). And, how do we find the separate titles of the books (they may be the same as some single story books etc.).

Another solution for calibre might be to give the user access to a "book link". By this I mean a link (e.g. by name of the book) to a book containing multiple stories. That book could be indicated to be a "compilation" and the parts of the book (the stories) could be entered as is, just referencing them as part of that "compilation" book. When another compilation comes along with the same story, just ad that to the compilation reference(s) with the link to that book as well.

Seems to me that this only needs:
1) Creating one extra field accessible for the user that links to a book record in the database (preferable seen by the user as the title of the book). This field should be able to hold multiple entries.
2) Create a switch per book indicating whether the book is a book (one story, as far as the user is concerned) or a compilation (default = book).

To me this seems an elegant solution that doesn't touch the current user interface (the defaults are: no compilation, no reference) and it allows the user to expand his/her possibilities in a huge way.

Sense or...?
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:45 AM   #4
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I have found if you list the titles of all the stories in the summary, and also all the series of which said stories are a member, that when you sort by series name for instance you get a list of the entire series, including the stories in anthologies. Not necessarily in order though. I do not know of any other way to designate multiple series for a book, an anthology for instance.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoopvB View Post
Hi, Yes this is a possibility but... how do we now which author did what book and/or whether it was indeed an author (might have been a translator, cover artist etc.). And, how do we find the separate titles of the books (they may be the same as some single story books etc.).

Another solution for calibre might be to give the user access to a "book link". By this I mean a link (e.g. by name of the book) to a book containing multiple stories. That book could be indicated to be a "compilation" and the parts of the book (the stories) could be entered as is, just referencing them as part of that "compilation" book. When another compilation comes along with the same story, just ad that to the compilation reference(s) with the link to that book as well.

Seems to me that this only needs:
1) Creating one extra field accessible for the user that links to a book record in the database (preferable seen by the user as the title of the book). This field should be able to hold multiple entries.
2) Create a switch per book indicating whether the book is a book (one story, as far as the user is concerned) or a compilation (default = book).

To me this seems an elegant solution that doesn't touch the current user interface (the defaults are: no compilation, no reference) and it allows the user to expand his/her possibilities in a huge way.

Sense or...?
Or you could use the epubsplit plugin to seperate anthologies to individual books I mostly use that as in many anthologies the individual stories are from different series that way I can sort them accordingly
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=178799
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:25 PM   #6
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Yes, there are ways to get something like what we want. But it is messy and incomplete. My point is: here we have a great program, very versatile and only 1 link field and a switch could/would solve a very broad range of generic situations. My question: sense (if so, how do we propose it as a request?) or nonsense (if so, why?).

Of course I am very open to any other generic solution.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:08 AM   #7
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There is not going to be any support in calibre for cross record links. IMO the increase in complexity is not worth it. Simply use a custom column or a tag and set it to the same value for all the books you want to link. You can have n tags to express n relationships. You can even have the books in an relationship ordered in a particular order by using a custom series column for this.

Similarly, adding support for author metadata, i.e. describing the role of every author of every book is more complication than it is worth. You can add a note tothe comments field about the role of the individual, but there is not going to be database level support for it.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopedangel View Post
Or you could use the epubsplit plugin to seperate anthologies to individual books I mostly use that as in many anthologies the individual stories are from different series that way I can sort them accordingly
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=178799
Thanks! That's another useful and relatively new plugin that I missed. I need to pay more attention to what's new in plugins...
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:38 AM   #9
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Hi Kovid,

Thanks for your reply and believe me, I (beeing a long time developer) concurr with your opinion. Nevertheless... I was not suggesting cross record links. What I am suggesting is database support for:
1) a system colum to denote the type of book (like in tracks on a music album) to make a distinction between a (real) book (album) and a storie (track). User interface: something like a switch or a menu.
2) user access to the books already in the database by whatever link you like. User interface: a) a field like the tag or author field that allows one to type the name(s) of the "compilation" book(s); usually one, might be more; b) a lookup facility (can be added as a plugin I assume) that shows the compilation books on the left an by clicking one the books/stories (tracks) that are in that compilation book in the normal book list (as with authors, tags, publishers etc.).

So, IMO no real support for cross links (it's all up to the user), but only system support to distinguish between the type of books and making books already in the database available to the user on field level. No worries about maintaining integrity etc. since it will just give the name (or internal refrence if you will) on the moment of linking. A plugin can at display time do the lookup; if it can't find the compilation or books/stories within it, no problem, display only the one(s) it can find.

I hope I explained a bit better now and again I completely agree on keeping thing simple. But that also goes for the user and calbre is to great a program to be hindered by the lack of generic support for someting so generic as this (again compare music organization).
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:29 AM   #10
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You can already do what you are asking for (and a lot more)

1) Create a custom series type column. Set the series field for the book you want grouped.
2) This column will show up in the tag browser giving you access to the books belonging to each value by clicking on the series name.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:23 AM   #11
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I'll give it a try.

Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:58 AM   #12
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I'm not completely happy with my setup, but that's what I have so far:

Tags to mark the type (novel, short, omnibus, collection, anthology): easily accessed from tag browser or searching tags-omnibus
You can assign a color to any column, so for example tag 'short' makes the title blue, tag 'novel' makes it teal...

ToC in the Comments field: so if I type name of the story into search, I'll get the book with the story - doesn't work well, for 'Who Goes There' I get 42 books, even novels. Still better than thousands. I'm sure some search wizard could get it pinned.

Custom column In: For a short story, I can list all collections and anthologies there (Or omnibus name, if I have a novel in there too). I thought about splitting Epubs but it's too much work, empty book is easier. But one collection can give birth to 20 empty books...no thanks. My library is growing fast enough without artificial help.
So mostly that column=Title, but sometimes there's two titles. Don't know how to search for the novels/stories that appear in several books. For example I have 2 collections by E.R. Burroughs and I want the search for 'Chessmen of Mars' to find them both.

I don't think I have lots of books with duplicated stories, but I have no idea how to find them either. For all I know some story could be in every second anthology.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:55 AM   #13
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Thanks for your support (at least that's how I recognize it ). It's a lot of work and computers were invented for one and only one purpose: to move that work from people to them.

In essence any datamodel about books that represents reality more or less has to take into consideration that there are numerous books (omnibus, collection etc.) that are reprints of collections of other (single story) books. Each of the originals has it's own data (exactly like the one story book). The collection, omnibus or whatever is just another book (with it's own data) but also referencing the part-books. Thus in terms of the datamodel, a simple book is a book containing one book (the story). This beeing the default seems to solve things (from a datamodel point of view).

Nevertheless I agree with Kovid that implementing this datamodel is not a simple matter; most certainly not in an existing program.
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