Help - 2. Important hints on searching
2.1. Always search for as few words as possible
Type as few words as possible and leave some boxes empty. Entering too much information will likely produce no results at all.
The search looks for ALL the words you enter in ALL the fields. So filling something in every field to do a search is a waste of time. The more you enter, the less likely it is that individual booksellers will have provided exactly the same detail as you are looking for, resulting in you getting no hits at all.
2.2. Searching for a specific title - 'two word search' technique
If you are looking for a specific title, don't enter anything in the Publisher/Date and Subject(s) fields unless absolutely necessary for your search.
Also don't look for the the author's full name and the full title. Most of the time the author's main name and a single word from the title is sufficient.
For example, entering Ellery Queen in the author field and The Spanish Cape Mystery. A Problem in Deduction in the title field is providing far too much detail. This search would miss any copies of the book where the bookseller has typed merely E. Queen or omitted the second part of the title.
In this case, entering merely Queen as the author and Spanish as the title will restrict the hits to the title you are looking for.
This simple two word search technique works most of the time and will improve your search success rate tremendously
2.3. Repeat a search using different search words
If a search returns no results, try using different words. It's possible that either you or a bookseller has mis-spelled or mis-typed one of the words you're searching for.
2.4. Use of Publisher/Date field
Don't enter anything in the Publisher/Date field unless it is absolutely necessary. Many cataloguers don't mention the publisher's name or, if they do, only in abbreviated form.
If you search for any name or word in this field which the cataloguer hasn't provided then you won't find the book.
2.5. Use of Subject(s) field
The Subject(s) field on the search page enables you to locate selections of books by keywords. For example, entering Asia will locate any books where the booksellers concerned have included Asia in their own database's keywords field.
However, DON'T use this field if you are searching for a known specific title. Any bookseller with a copy may not have included the book in the same subject area as you are looking for.
Also remember that the search looks for ALL the words you enter. Searching for Asia and Anthropology will locate only those titles where by chance booksellers have decided to include BOTH the same two keywords.
2.7. Using wildcards to enhance your search
The symbols * and ? can be used as wildcards to enhance your search. This is particularly useful when searching for subject areas or dates.
Adding ? searches for a single letter in the middle or end of a word, and for any letter which may or may not be present. For example colo?r will find any examples of both color and colour; in similar manner travel? with find both travel and travels.
Adding * searches for any number of letters at the end of words. For example, art* will find art, artistic, artistry, artificial, etc.
? may also be used in date or number searching. 191? in the publisher field will find any date between 1910 and 1919 for example.
2.9. How do I see all of an individual bookseller's books?
Having found any single title from an individual bookseller, and clicked on the bookseller's name to open up the contact details page, a link on that page enables you to browse or search through all that bookseller's books.