Editing book data

Since we first started building Bookhype, one of the challenges we faced was figuring out a way to accept book data form publishers, but also have the ability for site librarians to change that book data, without the publisher being able to change it back.

Although you’d think the publishers would always send the most accurate, up-to-date information about the books they publish, sadly that’s not always the case. This has particularly been true in 2020 due to COVID, with so many books getting their release dates changed.

Take this scenario as an example:

  • A book first comes into Bookhype with a publication date of December 1 2021.
  • After a time, the author announces it’s been pushed back to January 14, 2022. A Bookhype librarian updates the record accordingly.
  • A few weeks later, the publisher sends us an update on the book record — they’ve added a synopsis! However, they also still send us that old publication date of December 1, 2021.

This is a tricky situation and always has been. Sometimes we want to allow the publisher to make edits to data. Other times, we want our changes to take precedence.

We’ve had a system in place to handle this since day one, but we recently found some flaws in the implementation with regards to publication dates. On Saturday, we took the site down for a maintenance period where we worked on some database structural changes to help improve our ability to override publication dates in cases like this.

If you see a publication date that’s incorrect, you can click the “Report” link on any book record and let us know!