Matching bookogs formats to bookbrainz

Beside the credit roles (see other thread) the formats need to match for a data import. At the moment bookbrainz contains only 5 edition formats. Bookogs had 46. Unlike for credits here I think that we need more formats. I don’t know if all those “Format + Media” types are relevant but I think we should at least add: Magazine, Journals, eZine, Board Book, Pop-Up Book, and Zine.

Here is the list of all bookogs formats with the number of uses in the database:

           format           | count 
 Incunable                  |     1
 Post-Incunable             |     1
 Codex                      |     2
 Manuscript                 |     3
 BARD Cartridge             |     3
 Broadside                  |     7
 Stamped/Die Cut Stories    |     8
 Padded Baby Book           |    11
 Soundbook                  |    13
 Paperback + Flexi-Disc     |    15
 Facsimilie                 |    16
 Paperback + Cassette       |    23
 Promo                      |    28
 Digest                     |    29
 Pop-Up Book                |    49
 Club Edition               |    62
 Printing/Uncorrected Proof |    70
 Chapbook                   |    72
 Loose-leaf/Binder          |   100
 Miniature book             |   100
 Flexibound                 |   104
 Spiral-Bound               |   122
 Other                      |   188
 Box Set                    |   216
 Board Book                 |   252
 Paperback + CD             |   303
 Hardback + CD              |   307
 Bedsheet Magazine          |   331
 Pamphlet                   |   378
 e-Zine                     |   474
 Pulp Magazine              |   480
 Journal                    |   553
 Audiobook                  |   701
 Monograph                  |   777
 Unknown                    |   874
 Sheet Music                |  1552
 Pocket book                |  2078
 Mass-Market Paperback      |  2804
 Trade Paperback            |  2891
 Zine                       |  2991
 e-Book                     |  3094
                            |  4310
 Soft cover                 |  8070
 Magazine                   | 29303
 Hardback                   | 36091
 Paperback                  | 50703

Thanks, that’s going to be very helpful!

I agree that we’ll have to decide if we want to transfer everything, but to my mind almost if not all of them would be useful (if only by definition because they were used on Bookogs).

All the Format + Media options make a lot of sense considering we can easily link with MusicBrainz, and have the accompanying media represented there.

With permission from the community, I’d like to exmplore the idea of transferring some elements of the Bookogs wiki to the very empty BookBrainz user guide. I mention it here because the definitions of the formats we decide to import would be very useful indeed to add alongside.

There is one item in the list (4310 used) with no name; is that missing or purposefully blank?


I’m only a small part of the community. But why not reuse, what could be helpful.
But to me, as a non nativ English speaker and a person not into book production, those explanations were not useful. I never found out when to use Paperback, Soft Cover, Mass-Market Paperback or Trade-Paperback. And I never understood what a Pulp or Bedsheet Magazine is. Maybe those terms are only related to the US market or they simply need a better explanation.

I checked some of those entries. There is no format defined. The field was not required during the first time of bookogs.


Go for it. I’m guessing someone used Wikipedia as their source of information, so I don’t think anyone is going to object.

They are all common formats for English language books, whereas something like pocket book is almost unknown. Some of these terms do overlap, for example: a paperback is also known as a softcover or softback.

That is the problem. In Germany the most common used terms for formats are “Taschenbuch” (paperback) and “Gebundene Ausgabe” (hardcover). So I usually used one of those two.


I was thinking about doing this for MB packaging types but it got bogged down in the weeds when I brought it up for discussion - I would be happy to do help-manual style illustrations of different book types, if that would be helpful (unsure if it would be - but in conjunction with text it might make it easier).

Ideally someone would supply photos of formats, taken at the same angle, but I could do that too.

Just thought I’d offer :slight_smile:


This might help:

Thanks for the information. But it means that, both are related to the US market, as I already thought. So we have some options:

  1. be very specific on formats and keep regional ones which might result in a long list
  2. keep the list of formats simple, so that Pulp and Bedsheet would be counted as “Magazine”
  3. Implement some kind of sub format (maybe free text): Format “Magazine” -> Sub-Format “Pulp”

My preference would be to eliminate these type of formats and stick with broader classifications.

The problem with detailed formats is that a lot of contributors use them incorrectly. For example: all of the books attributed to Incunable, Codex, Manuscript and Broadside don’t belong to these respective formats.

I’m guessing the same thing applies to many books that have been categorised as: Pocket Book, Mass-Market Paperback, Trade Paperback, Soft Cover which all relate back to Paperback anyway.


I would prefer the third option. Why not keeping the diversity from bookogs? Primary attribution should be as simple as possible, of course. I think most people wouldn’t bother about the sub, so it should not generate that much false entries as on bookogs if its not obligatory.
But what are candidates for sub or primary? There should be a way to “upvote” certain attributes as they grow popular.

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Me too. I guess a lot of editions will not have a subtype but for special ones an additional field could be helpful.

I would say:

  • Paperback
  • Hardback
  • Magazine
  • Journal
  • eBook
  • eZine
  • Board Book
  • Pop-Up Book (I would prefer Interactive book)
  • Audiobook
  • Other

as a starting point for primary and the rest as sub types.

Sorry I forgot to answer on this. I really would love to see such a manual. And I think it would be really useful.

I still don’t get the difference between “magazine” and “journal”. If it’s really just the way the pages are counted (see —> Magazine - Wikipedia), I think “magazine/journal” might be sufficient.

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The difference is, that a magazine is made for the general public and a journal is made for academics. A detailed view on it:

From the physical format it might be the same, but the articles, the distribution and the readers are different. So good question if it is something which should have different formats.

Hello :smiley:

I was always confused about the “Paperback’s” - Mass Paperback, Trade Paperback, Soft Cover
All I can say is that “for me” a simple Paperback will do


Welcome @splintered8080,
you’re right, same for me. The only one I thought to be different and useful was Soft Cover. In Germany that describes a book, you usually would describe as hardback (bigger format and often the 1st edition) with a flexible cover. But now I learnt that the English soft cover means the same as paperback.