This page will keep you posted as to our current and future plans, bookseller software under development, and upcoming events and activities in the bookselling world which may be of interest to booksellers and book lovers alike.
Exciting eBay Bulk Upload features in Bookzangle Database
Posted 09 Nov 2017 @ 05:45 UTC
Notes to Version 11.00.00 of the Bookzangle Database (BZ-DB)
1. New HTML Routines for eBay
These have been substantially upgraded, primarily to create a full RESPONSIVE HTML array at eBay in the Description text block. ["Responsive" means that the display will alter subtly depending on whether a customer is browsing via a Mobile Phone, Tablet or Desktop PC, so as to maximise market impact. Test have shown dramatic increases in eBay sales when this new responsive HTML is activated]. Users who have trialled this much-enhanced HTML upload from our database are reporting dramatically increased sales therefrom – not surprising given that eBay has for some time been advising that purchases via mobiles and tablets are now out-stripping purchases from desktop/laptop PC platforms. Members upgrading to new version who have listings already at eBay should immediately send up a bulk REVISE on all of them, so as to take full advantage of this database enhancement. All new listings (ADDS) will of course contain the upgraded HTML.
2. Improved automation in Upload Routines for Amazon
Your Amazon files (for Amazon US and/or UK) will now auto-create and auto-name, exactly as do your eBay upload files. Files will lodge in the new UploadsAZON folder in the convention AZUS_[date/timestamp] or AZUK_[date/timestamp] which means they will be auto-sorted chronologically and by exact time. DAILY DELETES auto-files for Amazon will work to the same convention, except they will have a DELETES in the filename for easy identification. Uploads can be created for any number of other Amazon sites (e.g. Canada, Mexico etc) by changing the Currency Converter field for Amazon US at your Amazon Global page, and creating files in sequence for each “new” site.
3. VIEW LISTING buttons at Main Menu - Bookzangle and eBay
Two new buttons at right-of-screen central allow a single click view of the record on display, either at Bookzangle or eBay. Clicking these buttons will take you straight to your listing at either site, for quick checks, lookups, looking at picture(s) attached to aid with "gets" from storage etc. On Entry or other pages where these buttons do not exist you can select either quick-lookup using GO TO menu (top toolbar) and either of the View Listings options there at the top of that drop-down menu.
4. Check BZ listings Script
In the Scripts (top menu) menu there is now an entry called Check BZ Database. Running this script will create a file in the root C:WBMBB directory called "check_bzdb.WBX". When that exact file is uploaded to Bookzangle, our fileserver will send you back a report showing which listings are marked "For Sale" in your database but which are NOT at Bookzangle, and vice versa (marked SOLD in your database but still showing FOR SALE at Bookzangle. A handy mini-audit tool to maintain your BZ-DB listings in exact kilter with what is showing at the BZ fileserver.
5. Protection on DUPE button – activate/deactivate
Some members have complained that accidental hitting of the DUPE button causes problems. So the DUPE activation is set to OFF and the following message will appear when that button is hit: "DUPE button is turned off by default - you can turn it on globally by going to your Admin Page and changing NO to YES in the Activate Dupe field there. Or you can force a one-off DUPE by using the command in the RECORDS Menu (top of screen)." If you use DUPE often set your button to YES, otherwise leave it at NO.
6. All users (with FMP software v. 8.5 through 11.0) can now use LAYOUT MODE
NB: This feature only applies to those who have installed a copy of Filemaker Pro (FMP) v. 8.5 or higher – these are available at eBay and elsewhere for $80 or so. Do NOT install version 12 or higher, which use a different format]. By clicking "Layout" in the little toolbar extreme bottom left (defaults to "Browse) your database will enter LAYOUT mode. In this mode you can change field colours and sizes to your exact design preferences. You can copy field from one layout across to another, remove unwanted fields from existing layouts, and generally design your database to your exact specifications.
7. Backload data from Turbolister and import into BZ-DB: new Easy Edit Page
If you have listings at eBay which are not in your database, then a backload of data via Turbolister can be massaged into BZ-DB importable shape by our fileserver [NB this latter still under development, but available shortly. In the meantime anyone in this position should contact us privately and a manually-derived file will be organised for them]. Once so massaged by either the fileserver or manually, an Import File will be created which you will import using one of the existing Import Scripts [details to be advised later]. Once imported, you then have an [existing] Layout Option called TURBOLISTER EDIT which is accessed via the EBAY menu (top menu bar]. This edit page allows a simple edit and clean-up routine for the (not always complete or coherent) data returned from Turbolister backload.
8. Export eBay Upload List
New Script in EBAY menu (top toolbar). This will generate from any Found Set (usually SHOW ALL TO UPLOAD from the EBAY Menu at top) a 6-field tab-delimited file for inspection in a spreadsheet or text editor of your choice. The 6 fields exported are:
Action Type: one of End, New, Revise, Quantity Differs, Price Differs, Number of Pics differs
Price Differs between eBay and BZ-DB(by this amount)
Pic Count Differs between eBay and BZ-DB(by this amount)
eBay Item ID (if a Revise or End Listing and if stamped in your database after an eBay backload. Will be blank for NEW items.
9. New USE UPC per-listing fields at eBay Entry Page
A YES/NO button (Blank = NO] called USE UPC, extreme right at top of EBAY ENTRY Page. Allows a per-listing uplift of the EAN (13-digit ISBN) in the Universal Product Code (UPC) field for eBay. You can set this to happen globally as well, but this is not really recommended, since triggering the UPC generates a whole mass of frequently-wrong"generic" data for each listing with EAN as UPC. But there are some listings which eBay "rejects" on the grounds in error report that "there is no ISBN" even when there IS an ISBN included. A great many of these rejects can be got to eBay by selecting YES on this per-listing button, which will insert the EAN for that listing only (or group of listings in a Found Set with a Replace Field Contents routine) into the eBay UPC field. A re-upload of that listing/those listings will see most of them "take" at eBay after an initial failure for "lack of ISBN" as given reason.
10. Create Full Upload Script
Script number three in SCRIPTS menu (top toolbar) will create a full purge file of all listings which can then be uploaded to BZ server - via ordinary upload dashboard, or via FTP (if over 50 megabytes in size, as will often be the case - check before choosing upload method. The file created is always called "full_upload_purge.tab" and is always placed in the UploadsWBM sub-folder of C:WBMBB main database folder. Recommended that members run this script and upload purge file at least once every month. Will flush out any and all "missed" listings at BZ server and also at most other sites to which it is auto-forwarded by the BZ server.
11. New BOOK TYPE drop-down menu list complies with ABE's new system
The new Drop-down menu list for Book Type contains at its head the 6 new "Collectibles" sub-categories at ABE, these being:
Fine Art Print
Abebooks' BZ-DB filter has been updated to recognise these entries in this field (where relevant) and when used the record will be included in Abebooks' sub-category Advanced Search list for Collectibles. Definitely a market-enhance there, and worth updating whole database to stamp relevant items in this field, after which a full upload purge file to Abebooks will trigger the inclusions there automatically. You can use Replace Field Contents routines to auto-update whole Found Sets of relevant items.
12. Pic Count box Find Options enhanced
You can now search for Variables in the PIC COUNT box e.g. PIC COUNT = >0 or >1 or range of 1 .. 3 etc. Formerly you could only do a find in this box of any digit 0 through 9.
13. Former bug in Keywords Auto Add fixed
This very useful routine was malfunctioning slightly in previous versions - that is now fixed. Use GO TO Menu (top toolbar) to access this page. You can Find whole sets of listings types and then auto-add a Keyword or group of keywords across the whole Found Set with a single click. For example, you might want to find all your Category "Ships & the Sea" and auto-add something like the following string to Keywords field in all those listings: "Nautical Marine Ocean Seafaring Boat. Common mis-spells by searching buyers should also be auto-entered here: Steven/Stephen, Phillip/Philip in Author and Title, or Artic/Arctic and Antartic/Antarctic (in all cases both ways). Sidney/Sydney, Leslie/Lesley are some others worth mentioning. Cunning use of variable-spelling Keywords will definitely increase your sales at all sites. The procedure is swift: using a pre-prepared list, an update of 20-30 auto-add Keywords across a database of 30k or so listings will take less than half an hour.
14. Auto-add filtered Titles and Authors to Keywords
Some sites have difficulties with apostrophes and other “noise” entered into listings by either the seller or the searching buyer. The new BZ-DB now auto-adds to Keywords an Author and Title text string stripped off all bar alphanumeric characters e.g. Author: “Patrick O’Brien” TITLE: “O’Connor’s Irish Legacy” will auto-insert the string “Patrick OBrien OConnors Irish Legacy” into Keywords, which will help get you “hits” from searchers wrongly entering the “noise” (which is a common event). This will be particularly helpful for you at eBay, which handles such “noise” fairly badly in searches.
15. Bug in RESTORE routine fixed & eBay fields now included in Restore
A small bug prevented SHIPPING COSTS at the INVOICE page/layout being properly restored in the Restore backload from the fileserver after a computer crash or loss of data. This has now been fixed. All Over-ride and eBay-specific fields are now also included in a RESTORE routine.
16. All picture references changed to "https" from "http"
A required change by eBay - the BZ-DB will now auto-reference all .jpg files at Bookzangle as "https" instead of the former "http". Existing users of eBay need to upgrade to this version ASAP to prevent listings failing there under the old routine.
17. Some ancient "wrong" Categories fixed automatically on upgrade
Some members still have an old "formerly permitted" BZ category called "Music Scores & Sheet" and "Engineering, Industrial & Trades". These were changed some time ago to "Music Sheets & Scores" and "Engineering, Industrial, Trade". Upon upgrading to this version the two "offending/non-compliant" categories will be automatically updated to the correct ones.
Increase online sales with the Bookzangle BZ-DB database
Posted 19 Apr 2016 @ 10:29 UTC
The Bookzangle desktop database (BZ-DB) is a sophisticated bookseller listing tool designed to help maximise your sales at all your sites.
It contains many powerful features, most of which are increased-sales focussed, others of which are designed to increase your efficiency of listing and records management, and save your valuable time.
Immediate revenue increases by using the BZ-DB database come primarily at Amazon and eBay, but clearly exist at other sites as well.
At Amazon, close to 100% acceptance rate and carefully-designed Amazon-specific text modifications outperform many other databases currently in use.
At eBay, the bulk upload and cross-referencing options detailed below tend to significantly increase revenues for those already listing their books there, or else introduce an easy-to-handle whole new market environment for those who are not.
Here's an unsolicited survey or "product review" by one Bookzangle member who recently converted to the BZ-DB from Homebase:
I just thought I'd update on how I'm progressing with my conversion from Homebase to the Bookzangle database with the ultimate aim of bulk uploads of my books to eBay. With the assistance of the Bookzanglers I have managed to convert from the old Homebase 2.3 to the more elegant BZ-DB. I've completed 'site configuration' for the 2 sites I use, Abebooks & Bookshops.com.au: I intend to add my listings to IOBA/Biblio in the near future.
We spent a fortnight increasing our 'books with photographs' percentage from just over 50 to around 80 on our small inventory of about 3500 books (That's about 1000 additional books photographed) and intend to increase this percentage to 100 when time allows. We have mostly successfully uploaded to eBay over 2000 of our 'books with photographs'. In our first month since we've had our bulk uploads of books to eBay listed we have achieved sales of about $800 with direct eBay fees of about $150 ......
I am happy with the return for work and cost provided by the BZ-DB. The BZ-DB interface is mostly intuitive and the associated documentation and forum assistance helps where the users technological limits have been exceeded. The Bookzangle Database allows me to upload to Bookzangle all my new listings and photographs in short time. My additional book-sites are then forwarded these uploads automatically, saving me considerable time. I have been able to upload quickly and moderately successfully a large proportion of my inventory to eBay and achieved, so far, good sales. I would say that the conversion from Homebase 2.3 to Bookzangle database has, this far, been successful. Thanks, Rod
The BZ-DB operates equally well on either PC or Mac, and is easily networked across multiple machines.
We believe our BZ-DB database to be the best desktop database available to booksellers, for the following specific reasons:
Entering Books and Other Data
Data entry is streamlined and supported by user-optional and user-editable drop-down lists to save endless re-typing of essentially similar description phrases (also minimises or eliminates typos in descriptions)
You can edit and change entry layout screen, or create a personalised new one, or change existing field colours, sizes and field order on page
Bulk edits include changing all or selected field data in a single one-click pass e.g. change all "VG" in Condition Field to "Very Good Condition" etc
Every field in the BZ-DB has an in-built (user-editable) Spell Checker
A bulk one-click "add Keywords" tool can be applied to any selected group of books e.g. add "Antarctica Antartica" to all Keywords fields in that category, which captures searches for both the correct and incorrect spelling by buyer
Entering any 10-digit ISBN will auto-populate the equivalent 13-digit EAN field for you
Importing your "old" data from Homebase, Bookhound, Booktrakker, Book List or other current storage is a simple and fully-automated import affair.
You can store up to 9 pics inside the database, along with specific explanatory captions for each one.
Captions will show against each pic at eBay and Bookzangle, and can be optionally included in your block description text at sites like Abebooks, Biblio etc
On backload/import from the Bookzangle fileserver, the BZ-DB automatically stamps your listings as "Has Picture" or not, and stamps quantity of actual pics if more than one
Same backload/import stamps each listing's pic with longest/shortest pixel size of actual pic, important for eBay's minimum size pic acceptance/rejection
Uploading to your "Ordinary" Sites & Amazon
You can upload manually to each site, or use the Bookzangle server auto-forwarding tool to upload your books and pics just the once to service all your sites
Variable forwarding options enable you to set different "rules" for each site: price increase/decrease per site, add text for some sites but not others etc
Separate site-specific upload files are created for eBay, Amazon.com, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble and Fishpond.
The BZ-DB calculates carefully-programmed defaults for all those separate files according to your global settings for each (which can be over-ridden on a per-listing basis where required)
The BZ-DB is programmed to guard against Amazon's sometimes queer "rules" for acceptance, and most using it report a +99% "acceptance" rate at both Amazon US and Amazon UK
If uploading to both UK and US Amazon sites, the database auto-converts your "standard" price data into $US for the one site and pounds sterling for the other
A one-click DAILY DELETES button will send all books marked as Sold since your last upload to all your sites, including a special End-Listings-Only deletes file for eBay
Uploading in Bulk to eBay via the BZ-DB
You can bulk upload thousands of books at a single upload via the BZ-DB, including any mix of Add, Revise or End listings in the same upload file
The BZ-DB automatically converts your "ordinary site" data entries into what we call "eBay-speak" and sends a compliant file to eBay with an elegant HTML layout constructed for each listing from your global eBay settings inside the database
You can set all or some of your listings to be plus or minus price at eBay, by percentage or dollar/pound value (or both)
The BZ-DB auto-constructs your all-important 80-character eBay Title Heading, using rules set by you (e.g. auto-add "1st Ed" or "Signed" to Title where relevant)
The BZ-DB auto-calculates postage/shipping charges on each book according to its weight as entered and the destination country, as per a multi-zone matrix which you set globally inside the database (which you can change at will)
You can auto-add BEST OFFER button to all or some of your listings using global or manual options inside the BZ-DB
There is a page for NON-BOOK items (prints, postcards, LPs, collectibles or whatever) which will upload to eBay but not your other book-specific sites like Abebooks etc
Automated backload from eBay and auto-import to BZ-DB stamps your database with all books actually listed at eBay and flags all those listed there which have been marked "sold" in your database, for an instant tidy-up there
Your pics at eBay are auto-drawn from your pic store at Bookzangle, so no need to upload them to eBay separately
The BZ-DB automatically suppresses any listing from going up to eBay which does NOT have a pic, or which has a pic but an unacceptable-to-eBay undersize one, or which you have marked "No Ebay" in your database
The database has an EBAY CATEGORY MAP page where you can auto-assign all your existing Categories to a matching or chosen Store Category you currently have at eBay, or which you set for this purpose - once set it will apply automatically to all future uploads
Readerware Interface: Bulk "ISBN-Lookup" Option
The very powerful and "world's best" Readerware third-party bulk-ISBN lookup/report software has been fully integrated with the BZ-DB
You can upload text lists of hundreds of ISBN numbers to Readerware and get back a BZ-DB compliant import file which auto-populates all relevant fields in your database, hundreds or thousands of new entry records at a single pass
You can set Readerware to draw its data from credible sources such as Library of Congress or various national library databases, rather than the rather murky data available in various ISBN lookup packages which rely on Amazon or other unreliable data sources
Once you have your file back from Readerware, the BZ-DB auto-imports this for you, and provides Readerware-specific editing and tidy-up tools where required
Invoices, Print Lists, Catalogues and Auto-Email
The BZ-DB has a per-listing Invoice page which auto-populates all relevant data, and includes your logo and contact detail auto-inserted at the top.
Multiple in-built print lists allow all sorts of customised printouts of all or selected lists of your books
You can actually create your OWN customised print list combining any of the 2000 data fields in the database in whatever output order you want
A powerful Print Catalogue feature generates a neatly typeset print catalogue of any selected group of books, including your logo and contact details auto-inserted at the top
You can also export a special full-layout (Author, Title, Description, Price) Catalogue field for selected records to a simple text file, then add your pictures if you wish, and either print catalogue or send as an email to selected customers
A one-click Email Customer button will generate an email to the nominated address with auto-construction of full-layout catalogue field for any single listing (or you can quickly copy/paste two or more listings catalogue field into the one email)
The email customer feature includes a clickable link to the book's picture at Bookzangle (if one exists) auto-inserted into the email text
Other Special Features of the BZ-DB[/size]
An ENTER By TEMPLATE page allows you to set any number of Templates for often-recurring book types and save these for later use - entering by Template means you only have to change the minimal variable data across a whole set of very similar listings (sets of magazines or journals etc)
A one-click button will convert all your old 10-digit ISBN's into their 13-digit EAN equivalents, and both will thereafter upload to all sites. Another one-click button will auto-convert all your lower-case "x" ISBN entries to capital "X" - important for Amazon uploads which can reject the "x"
A DISPLAY ERRORS page will report across your whole database any listings lacking Price, Author or Title, and will also report any missing Binding, Edition, Publisher and other key fields
A one-click search is available across your whole database to identify any Duplicate Serial Number listings you may have
A Special Characters page allows swift entry of Cyrillic, Greek, accented letters and other foreign material into your listings
A special MARK SOLDS button allows you to swiftly bulk-enter a list of recent sold items in a form of "loop", saving hunting down each one manually
You can issue user-defined, tab-delimited Export Files of any selected fields in the database in user-defined order - this enables external massage of data in other environments (e.g. spreadsheets)
You can Import any tab-delimited or CSV file into your database with user-definable matching fields to add new records in bulk (or update existing ones) from any foreign data source
New eBay books database a huge success
Posted 29 Sep 2013 @ 10:00 UTC
The new bulk-upload to eBay modules inside our Bookzangle bookseller database are proving a huge success for members using or converting to our bookseller-specific database.
Some have reported new sales or sales increases of several thousands of dollars per month simply by using this eBay tool alone across all their existing listings.
The main principle of our eBay bookselling module is that you enter all your books and bibliographic data for all your other ("ordinary") bookselling sites (or already have them entered in some other database in most cases), and then our database auto-converts that into eBay-speak language without further input or attention from yourself (unless you want to over-ride the defaults, which is usually not required or even desirable).
What this means is that all your former records can be uploaded in bulk to eBay with the 80-character Title/Header auto-assembled in clever form, all the Item Specifics and Subjects/Categories auto-mapped to the correct matches at at eBay, your own Store Categories correctly (and automatically) populated, and so on.
Your postage rates to domestic and overseas locations are all auto-calculated as well, based on a global weight-based shipping matrix you set up within the Bookzangle database itself.
The eBay data upload requirements differ quite substantially for eBay USA, Canada, UK and Australia, and our database has separate upload modules for all four of those. Others will be added later.
For booksellers wanting to upload their existing 5000 or more listings to eBay in one fell swoop, and without endless tinkering/special scripting/labouring, our solution is the best and most user-friendly going down at present.
Automated and easy-to-trigger import routines of existing records in Homebase, Bookhound, Booktrakker, Book List and other common databases are all built into our database, and when you convert to it all your former bibliographic data and Descriptions are perfectly preserved, and thus can flow into the bulk upload of all your listings in smart form to eBay (and all your other sites)..
A detailed set of FAQ and Answers regarding our new eBay bulk-upload potential (and other FAQ about Bookzangle itself) may be seen by clicking the relevant link on the Homepage of this website.
And, of course, converting to the Bookzangle database gives you superior upload capacity to sites like Amazon, Abebooks and others as well as the eBay modules.
The Bookzangle bookseller database is just one of many online bookselling software routines which our members enjoy, and which tend to increase their sales at all their other sites, in many cases substantially.
These include a sophisticated Online Picture Proofing package; Variable Data Forwarding for sending different price and/or text data automatically to your different sites; customised, automated Spell Check routines which we run over your Title, Author and Publisher fields uploaded to us, and a whole lot more.
Full details of the benefits our members receive (both at the free, commission-only Bronze site membership level, or at the annual-fee, no commission on sales Silver level) may be seen by clicking the relevant link on the Homepage of this website.
New automated eBay upload routines now functioning
Posted 26 Dec 2012 @ 14:00 UTC
Bookzangle is now finalising its last testing of its exciting new automated upload routines for booksellers to eBay, using a large Australian seller as its beta-test bookseller for that exercise.
We have already auto-uploaded some 85,000 books for this Bookangle member to the eBay site, and will very soon be making this auto-upload-path available to all our other bookseller members.
The Bookzangle upload routines to eBay will be sophisticated ones, and will involve an auto-creation of the all-important Title-Header there to maximise promotion of such features as First Edition, Signed copies etc.
eBay is a site much-underutilised by many booksellers, primarily because of the awkwardness and time-consuming procedures in getting listings uploaded there in any quantity. It is likely that many booksellers will want to join the Bookzangle site primarily to obtain access to these automated upload routines.
New Bookzangle software tool: Auto-watermarking
Posted 10 Dec 2012 @ 12:00 UTC
Bookzangle has now released its auto-watermarking software module, which operates at fileserver level for Silver and Gold site members.
This automated tool permits Bookzangle Members to set a command on their Dashboard instructing our fileserver to automatically watermark all pictures uploaded, either with a simple storename or with storename plus copyright symbol (recommended).
The unwatermarked pictures uploaded are then stamped with the symbol(s) and text chosen by the Member before being placed on the Bookzangle site and before on-forwarding to all other Member sites set to pictures Forwarding by Bookzangle.
Stamping each pic uploaded with storename and copyright symbol serves several purposes.
It inhibits the outright theft of one's valuable scans and pictures by other, unscrupulous booksellers.
More importantly, it stamps one's own storename on the pic which can be a profound extra store-promotional tool, particularly at those sites which either suppress or only grudgingly permit your unique storename to appear on your listings there.
The Bookzangle system is extremely simple to set up and once that is done all your uploaded pictures will automatically show copyright symbol and your storename stamped neatly at the bottom of each pic on all sites you have set for pic forwarding at Bookzangle.
DATABASE COMPATIBILITY ASPECT FOR THIS TOOL: These features will be available in equal form to users of ALL databases currently uploading to Bookzangle.