Buyers have two ways to browse on Abebooks:

  • The [Browse] link on your storefront and on the Listing Details page uses the catalogs you attach to your books. We refer to these as catalogs.
  • The Browse feature on the homepage and in the red banner uses the AbeBooks categories, also referred to as subjects.

Catalogs vs. Categories

Catalogs are intended to be used for your sales and inventory specials: you might call them "Holiday Specials" or "New Spring Listings," for example. You can continue to attach your catalogs to your listings, and buyers can browse your unique catalogs through your storefront or the browse links in the search results. There are no changes to your catalogs.

We've launched an expanded Abebooks category list based on bookseller specialties; for example, there are categories for Art and Health. We have a new categorization tool in our online listings manager to make your books browsable from our homepage. HomeBase 3.0 contains the Abebooks categories, and booksellers using custom conversions can also start assigning their listings to categories.

Categorization Using the Online Listings Manager

You can view the expanded category list from the Members Menu.

  1. Sign on to your Abebooks bookseller account.
  2. Select [Your Books] in the Members Menu.
  3. Click [List and maintain your books].
  4. Enter criteria to search for some of your books and click the [View Items] button.
  5. Select a book (or several) and click the [Categorize] button.

The category list is displayed on the right side of the page. You can click any of the [+] symbols to expand the list to view sub-categories, or click the name of a sub-category to assign it to your listing(s).

If you already assign catalogs to your listings, you can map each of them to one of our categories. In step 4, above, select one of your catalogs from the drop-down list when you do your search. Use the [Select/Deselect All] button to select all of the listings in that catalog, and then categorize them to the corresponding category. You could use a similar system to categorize all books by a specific author, or listings with a particular keyword.

You can assign categories to your books now using the online system even if you use a custom conversion or HomeBase and they won't be overwritten. If you want to switch to HomeBase 3.0 later, you can download a copy of your listings from the Members Menu to import into the program, and that report will include the categories you've already assigned.

Categorization Using HomeBase

HomeBase 3.0 includes the expanded category list too, so you'll be able to categorize your books from there. If you are using HomeBase 2.3 or earlier, please categorize your books using our online tool as described above.

Categorization Using Custom Conversions

You can download a copy of the Browse Categories list and then use the Category IDs in a Category field in your inventory program. Make sure to contact our Customer Support team before you upload a file to us with the new field!

  1. Sign on to your Abebooks bookseller account.
  2. Select [Downloads] in the Members Menu.
  3. Click [Download Abebooks Browse Category List].
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to download the file.

The file includes the following fields in this order: Abebooks Category ID, Parent ID, Category Name, Category Path, BISAC code, Muze code, and "is leaf." You can't assign listings to top-level categories, so "is leaf" will be False (F) for these categories.

You can assign up to 10 Category IDs to each of your listings.

Beta-Testing Browse

The Advisory Group has provided their feedback on the Browse Categories and we've implemented their suggestions. [View the list of changes.]

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I use the Abebooks Browse Categories, will my catalogs still be displayed on my storefront and from the search results?

A: Yes. You can continue to use your catalogs so buyers can browse your bookstore's unique specialties.

The Abebooks Categories are browsable from our homepage, and include all booksellers' listings.

Q: Some of my listings have already been categorized. How did Abebooks complete these categorizations?

A: Categories are assigned one of three ways for each listing: by the bookseller, based on your keywords, or ISBN-matching. You can remove any categories you disagree with, or add more to the ones automatically assigned.

Q: Will the Abebooks Browse functionality take advantage of my current catalogs?

A: No; however, you can search for your listings by catalog and then multi-select them and assign them all to the corresponding Abebooks Browse Categories. For example, you could search for all of your Diet books, select all of them, and then assign them to our Health and Fitness>Diets category. You can easily do this from our online listings manager now..

Q: What is the difference between the previous Abebooks Browse and the new one?

A: The previous Abebooks browse used keyword searching, which is not always accurate. The new Abebooks Browse categories allow you to assign your listings to sub-categories in a comprehensive subject list. Buyers can browse books within very specific subjects. Check our homepage for the current Browse feature, and the online listings manager to see the full category list available for your listigs.

Q: If Abebooks Browse doesn't depend on keywords anymore, should I still use keywords?

A: Yes. Buyers can search by keywords, so we encourage you to continue adding keywords to your listings. If you assign your books to Browse Categories too, buyers will have more ways to find them.

If you use keywords now, they might make it easier for you to assign your books to categories. You could do a keyword search to find all of your cookbooks, for example, and then select all of them to assign to the Cooking>General category.

Q: Where can I view the new Category list?

A: You can see the new categories from the Members Menu. Sign on to your account and select [Your Books] in the Members Menu, and then [List and maintain your books]. Do a search for any of your books, and then select one using the checkboxes to the left of the listings in the results. Click the [Categorize] button at the top of the page, and the new category list will be displayed. Click the [+] symbols to view sub-categories. You can also view the list by clicking [Downloads] and then [Download Abebooks Browse Categories List] in the Members Menu.

Q: What is the difference between browse and search?

A: Buyers will always be able to search for listings based on title, author, keyword, ISBN and more.

Browse allows buyers who aren't sure what they're looking for to look through lists of books by subject. For example, a beginner chef looking for a cookbook might browse through our Cooking category, then refine by Regional & Ethnic Cooking, then Italian.