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Search guidelines
In general, the more information you enter into the search fields the fewer matches you will receive. More is not necessarily better. The most important thing to remember about entering your search criteria is that AbeBooks searches for books that match all the words you enter. In order to maximize your chances of a match, you should enter a minimum amount of information. You can always refine your search further if you are receiving too many matches. The key is to start small.

The AbeBooks search engine is streamlined with features permitting flexibility of search results.

  • AbeBooks has a Boolean search system. To learn more about Boolean search please view our Boolean Search Help.
  • Use the "tilde symbol" (~), as a "not" to refine your search results
  • Search for book attributes using the correct bookseller terminology and codes located here.


Search hints to remember:

  • More is not better; our system searches for books matching all the words you enter.
  • Match totals shown are only an estimate.
  • Our Search Engine will only find books matching the exact spelling in your request.
  • Keywords are created by the individual booksellers and not by AbeBooks.
  • The precision of an attribute’s extraction in a book search depends upon the following limiting factors:
    • AbeBooks is multilingual so attributes are searched in multiple languages.
    • Conditions are kept loose to be reasonably inclusive.
    • Typographical and logical errors in bookseller’s listing descriptions can cause the listing to be errantly returned in your search results.

Please confirm any details, characteristics or other attributes of a listing not explicitly stated in the description with the bookseller. You can contact a bookseller from the [Ask a bookseller a question] button on the “Ordering Information” page.

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Sorting search results

Yes, you can sort your search results. At the top of the page you will see a "Sort by" pull-down menu. You can sort your search results by:

  • Newest, the newest books added to our database appearing first
  • Lowest Price, the books with the lowest price appearing first
  • Highest Price, the books with the highest price appearing first
  • Author A-Z, the books appearing in alphabetical order using the author's last name
  • Author Z-A, the books appearing in reverse alphabetical order using the author's last name
  • Title A-Z, the books appearing in alphabetical order based on the title
  • Title Z-A, the books appearing in reverse alphabetical order based on the title

Just select the sort by method you want to use and click the [Go] button.

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Searching a specific Bookseller's inventory

You can search a specific Bookseller's inventory from the search results screen, the book details screen or the Bookseller Information screen. Each of these links will take you to an Advanced Search screen for that particular Bookseller.

  • Search Results: Click [Search this Seller's Books] link
  • Book Details: Click the [Search Seller's Books] button
  • Bookseller Information Screen: Click the [Search Sellers Books] link

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Is spelling important?

AbeBooks finds books matching the exact spelling in your request. Capitalization won’t affect the search results, but apostrophes will, so make sure to use them when you’re looking for a title that includes them.

 

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How can I use keywords?

When you use the keyword field to search, you are searching the title, author and description fields. Therefore, when using keywords, it is a good idea to be as specific as possible.

 

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How to search by price?

You can limit your search for books to only those listed within a specific price range.

To search by Book Price, next to the "£ Price" on the Book Search screen, enter the price range in the "Min" and "Max"' fields. For the "Order Results by" radio buttons, select the appropriate button that you wish to have your results displayed. Once you have chosen the price range you wish to search, click on [Start Search].

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How I can find something other than books?

When searching for anything other than books, try conducting a "keyword search".

From within the search screen, use the "Keyword" search to locate records, videos, audio books and almost anything else you can think of. Simply type one or more of the related words in the "Keywords" field:

 

Music

Visual

Printed

 

 

Cassette Tapes

Maps

Comics

 

 

CD's

Playbills

Paper Ephemera

 

 

Record Albums

Post Cards

Periodicals

 

 

Sheet Music

Prints

Etcetera

 

Enter any other search criteria (title, author) then click on the [Start Search] button.

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AbeBooks' book terminology

A list of these attributes and their various abbreviation codes are listed here and an explanation of how AbeBooks determines first editions is available here. AbeBooks uses certain attributes, or codes, to describe the condition of a book.

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How can I start to search?

To search the AbeBooks online database of used, rare and out-of-print books, use the "Books & Search" option available from the homepage.

Enter the book information you are looking for (e.g., "TITLE: Unbearable lightness of being" and/or "AUTHOR: Milan Kundera") and click on the [search] button.

A search by publisher can include the name of a publishing company, the place the book was published and even the year of publication. To search by date, type in a particular year, for example "1965", or you can use a wild card and search for all the books published in the 1960's by typing "196*".

The "Keyword" field is used to enter search words that may relate to the book or item you are seeking. One of the most important things to remember about keywords is they are generated by the individual Booksellers and not by AbeBooks. It is up to the Bookseller to determine keywords that will be attached to the books. This means occasionally books have no keywords attached to them. This must be kept in mind when using the keyword field for your book searching.

You can also search by ISBN. In the field provided, simply enter the ISBN, either with or without dashes or spaces.

Examples of acceptable ISBN entries:
0670451932
0-670-45193-2
0 670 45193 2

If a bookseller has provided an accurate ISBN with their book listing, it will be displayed at the end of the book description. Also, AbeBooks attempts to match ISBNs to books that do not have one entered by the bookseller. We cannot guarantee that this will be an exact ISBN match. Please read the book description carefully to ensure that it is the correct item before placing the order.

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AbeBooks policy

We have developed the following policies as an extension of the AbeBooks Program Guide. These policies further explain our Code of Conduct and lay out what will happen if there is an infringement of a policy.

Copyright

This section covers Bookseller item descriptions and photocopied materials (e.g. dust wrappers and excerpts).

We consider any work produced in a tangible form of expression and associated with an original authorship to be covered by copyright.

If the original author, holder of copyright or the publisher notifies AbeBooks of a copyright infringement, we will take the following action:

Step 1: We will contact the Bookseller and request the listing be removed from the AbeBooks Web sites within a specified time period.
Step 2: If the Bookseller does not remove the listing within the time period, we will remove the listing.
Step 3: If the Bookseller uploads the listing back onto the AbeBooks Web sites after being contacted by us to remove the listing, we will remove the Bookseller from AbeBooks.

If you are the original author of the work or are the holder of copyright for the work, and if you wish to contact us regarding a copyright infringement, please contact us here, or mail us a note to the following address:

Advanced Book Exchange
#4 - 410 Garbally Road
Victoria, BC V8T 2K1
Canada

For more information on copyright in your country, please contact your Copyright Office. (It may be called Patent and Trademark Office.)


Promotional Items

Promotional items are goods that are distributed, free of charge, for the purpose of advertising an event or good, such as a movie, book, etc…. Promotional items can include advanced reading copies, unproofed copies, posters, etc…. The publisher, author or producer of the event or good usually distributes these items.

Promotional items can be restricted from sale. If the distributor of the promotional item notifies AbeBooks of an infringement of this restriction, we will take the following action:

Step 1: We will contact the Bookseller and request the listing be removed from the AbeBooks Web sites within a specified time period.
Step 2: If the Bookseller does not remove the listing within the time period, we will remove the listing.
Step 3: If the Bookseller uploads the listing back onto the AbeBooks Web sites after being contacted by us to remove the listing, we will remove the Bookseller from AbeBooks.


If you are the original author, publisher or distributor of the Promotional Item, and if you wish to contact us regarding an infringement of the Promotional Item policy, please contact us here, or mail us a note to the following address:

Advanced Book Exchange
#4 - 410 Garbally Road
Victoria, BC V8T 2K1
Canada


To find out if a Promotional Item is available for sale, please contact the original author, publisher or distributor of the Promotional Item

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