Updated April 2022
Let’s say that you have a specific book that you wish to purchase, and it’s not easy to find a copy. Perhaps it is a rare book from your childhood or a particular edition of a book that you wish to give as a gift. A rare or out-of-print book can seem impossible to find, especially if you are shopping at a big-box bookseller.
But don’t worry – Biblio and our legion of independent booksellers are here to help! If you know the title or at least an author’s name, we can give you the tools to track down just about any book that you want.
A simple search on Biblio:
The home page of Biblio.com provides a basic search form with the following fields:
Author: This field is for searching by the name of the book’s author. You can use their full name, or even just their surname. It is important to ensure that you are spelling the author’s name correctly. Searching for “Steven King” won’t get you a copy of Carrie, but searching by “Stephen King” will.
Title: This field is for searching by the title of the book. You can use a partial title or even just a couple of words from the complete title. For example, if you search with the phrase “Hardy Boys” in the title field, you will end up viewing every single book with “Hardy Boys” in the title. If you used the phrase “Hardy Boys Skull”, you’d get results for the 27th book in the series, The Secret of Skull Mountain.
Keyword/ISBN: This is a wild-card field that searches the title, author, and descriptions of book listings to match your input. If the author and title search fields are not finding that perfect book, you can experiment with the keyword field. For example, if you want a complete set of a series, try putting the word “Set” or the words “Complete Set” in the keyword field. To specify a certain volume try entering “Volume 6” or “Volume Six,” or a description like “Third Edition” to narrow your search. You may also get good results with phrases like “Leather” or “Leather Bound.”
This field is also for searching by ISBN. Input the 10 or 13 digit number (with or without dashes) to find your book on Biblio. Learn more about ISBNs and how they work.
There are other options that you can use on this main search page:
Hardcover: This check box will limit your search results to hardcover copies only.
First Edition: Check this box to limit your search to “first editions” only. Read the descriptions carefully before purchasing to be sure it is the correct edition before checking out. Learn more about first editions.
Signed: Check this box to limit your search to signed copies. Please double-check the listing description to ensure that the signature on the book is the one that you want, as it could be signed by someone other than the author, such as the illustrator. Learn the difference between signed and inscribed books.
Highest Price: This check box will sort your search results in price-descending order. If you know the item you are looking for is scarce, this might be the quickest way to begin your search.
Advanced search on Biblio:
Your dream listing might be harder to find and require more specific details. What if you wanted to sort your search results by the number of books available, the year it was published, the illustrator involved, or the condition of the book? Find the advanced search options on Biblio by clicking on the words “Advanced Search” from the main search page.
The advanced search page on Biblio gives you the options we’ve already discussed and a whole lot more to play with:
Publisher: Do you want the Penguin edition of The Count of Monte Cristo? This field will limit your search results by the publisher that you key in.
Publish date between: Limit the years of publication to pinpoint the exact edition book you are searching for.
Price between: These boxes allow you to input a minimum price and maximum price that you are willing to pay.
Shipping From: Are you in a hurry to receive your book? Use this drop-down box to limit your search results to booksellers shipping from a particular country to avoid customs hassles or the perils of tracking international packages.
There are a few new attributes besides the ones covered above:
with Bookseller-supplied photos: This limits the search results to include only items with a photo uploaded by a bookseller, removing items with stock images or no images at all.
Dust Jacket: Click this box to ensure that your search results include books with dust jackets.
Large Print: Limit your search results to large-print copies, only.
Binding: This dropdown lets you choose from Hardcover, Paperback, or Any.
Condition: When shopping for used books, the condition can be what makes or breaks a sale! This drop-down box offers “New,” “Fine or new,” and “Very Good or Better” as options to limit your search results. The condition is added by the individual bookseller listing that book, so please read the description carefully and ask the bookseller if you have any specific queries beyond what they have provided on Biblio.
With Bookseller-supplied Photos: Biblio displays the stock images of books when available. Checking this box ensures that your search results include listings where the bookseller has provided actual images of the book being offered for sale.
Listed Within: If you are regularly hunting on Biblio for a particular title that is difficult to find, you can use these radio buttons to limit your results to listings that have been recently modified so that you only see the most updated books.
Sort By: Price, Relevance, Author, Title…this drop-down box decides how your search results appear. The default setting is Price (lowest first).
Results per page: This drop-down box allows you to choose how many results are shown per page.
There are a few more not pictured in the image above:
Within 50 Miles of Zipcode: This option allows you to search for books that may be available in stores near you! We encourage you to support your local brick-and-mortar, independent booksellers.
Minimum Copies on Hand: Do you have 5 people to whom you’d like to give the same book? Are you donating 30 copies of a novel to a local classroom? This option allows you to limit your search results to booksellers who have your ideal quantity on hand. This can save you on shipping rates!
Include Print-on-Demand or E-books: As we are primarily a source for books as a physical objects, we exclude most print-on-demand and e-books from our search results. If you wish to see them, click the boxes to allow them into search.
Only include Sale books: Click this box to limit your search results to books on sale.
“But I still can’t find my book!” Troubleshooting your Search
- Are you sure that everything is spelled correctly? Double-check the author’s name, the book’s title, and any other data entered to ensure that everything is input accurately.
- Is the author’s name in the title field? Don’t laugh – I do it all of the time. It is easy to accidentally put the title in the author field, and vice versa.
- Maybe your search is too specific! Try to search with the basic information first. Most of the other refining criteria (binding, dates of publication, country shipping from, condition) are easy to add from the toolbar on the right side of the search results page.
- If you are certain that all is correct and you still are not able to find your desired book on Biblio. we encourage you to add it to your Want List. If you are a registered user on Biblio you can set up email alerts to notify you if someone adds your desired book at any point in the future.
Amber is the marketing coordinator at Biblio. A lifelong love of the written word brought her to Biblio and she happily spends her days talking about books and delving into the wide world of antiquarian books.