Publishers and Merchants: Please Provide a Datafeed

By , January 5, 2011

Publishers and Merchants: To insure that the products you publish or resell are included on this site, please arrange to provide a “datafeed” that provides the following information for each product (SKU) that you offer:

Required Information:

  • Literature Title (e.g. “Invisible Man”)
  • Literature Author (e.g. “H. G. Wells” or “Ralph Ellison”)
  • Product Title (e.g. “Invisible Man: A Teacher’s Manual”)
  • Publisher (do not list yourself as the publisher of a work that you merely resell)
  • Merchant name
  • Link URL for the product-information or “buy” web page. This URL should be for the specific product, not for a category or list of many products.
  • Price for each version offered (e.g. Print, CD-ROM, PDF download, enhanced-PDF, editable documents, software, bundles with audio or DVD, etc.) For free items, the price should be either zero or “free” (not blank).

Desired (Optional) Information:

  • Product Author (and/or Editor, Illustrator, Translator). Clearly identify each distinct role!
  • URL for a thumbnail image
  • URL for a PDF “sample” of the specific work, if offered
  • Length (number of pages, or number of days or weeks of instruction)
  • Grade Level (e.g. “Grade 7,” “Grades 2-4,” “High School”)
  • isbn-10, isbn-13, and/or UPC
  • Publisher’s SKU(s), Merchant’s SKU(s)
  • Product Description (specific details, not flowery language or vague praise).

Some Preferences and Suggestions:

  • I prefer to receive any “person-names” as separate “first-name” and “last-name” fields (especially for your “product author”).
  • I prefer to store title-prefixes (A, An, The) as a separate field from the rest of a title, but this problem is easy to deal with.
  • Please do not rename other publisher’s products which you resell.
  • Czech you’re speling (“Dairy of a Young Girl,” “Elie Weisel,” “Julius Ceasar“).
  • Please don’t truncate or compact literature titles (“Lion Witch Wardrobe” or “Huck Finn“).
  • Be very clear in identifying the contents of your products.
  • Be very careful in identifying any works which have similar or identical titles:
    • The Invisible Man (H.G. Wells) or Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison)
    • Monster (by Walter Dean Myers, or by Christopher Pike, or Jonathan Kellerman)
    • Hamlet (Shakespeare’s tragedy), or The Hamlet by William Faulkner
    • Ulysses (by James Joyce) or The Adventures of Ulysses (by Bernard Evslin) or The Odyssey (by Homer, translated by…)
    • Beowulf, the epic poem, or Beowulf: A New Telling (by Robert Nye)
  • Also be careful when identifying persons’ roles:
    • Harper Lee wrote the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Horton Foote wrote the screeplay adaptation.
    • Don’t identify an editor, illustrator, or translator as the “author” of a work.
    • Make clear if your materials are related to an adapatation (e.g. the commonly-anthologized play about Anne Frank is not the same thing as her autobiography), an excerpt, or an abridged version of a work.
  • Be specific for “series” literature:
    • There is no book called Harry Potter; identify the specific book(s) which your materials cover.
    • Is your study guide about The Fellowship of the Ring (a single novel) or is it about “Lord of the Rings” (the trilogy)? Might it also cover The Hobbit (the prequel)?
    • Does your Literature Circle Guide cover Twilight (a single novel) or all four “Twilight” books?
  • Identify all literary works that are “covered” by a product (but don’t include works that are merely mentioned).

I can accept datafeeds in a variety of formats, including text files (comma, tab, or pipe-delimited) or an Excel spreadsheet. I would always prefer to receive data in a format that you regularly use, so you’ll be able to send me updates without any extra work or delay.

5 Responses to “Publishers and Merchants: Please Provide a Datafeed”

  1. Some of my teaching material is already listed on your site through my store on TeachersPayTeachers. I would like to list the rest from my website at Please let me know what I need to do.

  2. Erica Warren says:

    Can I just send you the information for each product listed in a words or pdf file?

    • markwelch says:

      The information must be in a clear format that I can easily import into Microsoft Excel, so that I can merge it into my database.

  3. Mark Welch says:

    For more advice for education-product sellers, see “Mistakes that Lesson-Plan Sellers Make.”

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