Book Blurbs Discussion

Let’s discuss the new book blurbs feature!

I started a new thread rather than continue the previous product request as I think it’s cleaner :slight_smile:

I expect there will be lots of general discussion and questions around this, so let us know your thoughts!


A few things to note:

  • I am not show changelogs for the blurbs, but I am storing that data
  • I have not backfilled any data yet from amazon
  • Currently, by default, we do not allow individual blurbs for volumes in a series. Rather, I only surface the series blurb on the volume pages. Is this confusing?? See よつばと! 1 as an example.
  • If you think a series should have individual volume blurbs (very little narrative connection), then simply issue a feedback report and I’ll update it.

General observations:

  • What do we think about using the summaries for translated versions of books for the English description? For example, よつばと! (series) | L18, i went to and found the translated yotsuba version and put in the description.

Edit: Clarifying things.
Edit: Added process for specifying series with individual blurbs


The question is confusing, but if I understood it, then that’s perfectly fine… However I’m not sure I understood it :sweat_smile:

That seems fine, and personally I often prefer EN summaries. JP summaries usually just tell you the beginning events in chronological order, whereas EN tend to talk about the broader picture, themes, etc. I’m sure there’s exceptions to that, vut that’s generally what I’ve seen


Oh no haha. I simply mean that I do not currently allow individual volume blurbs for series. Rather the individual volumes only show the series blurb.

There will be needed exceptions to this, but currently that’s how it’s working and will probably work for almost all series.

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That’s what I thought.

It’s exactly the same as when I click on the MAL or anilist link for something, so it doesn’t seem like a huge deal for now. It would be great to have volume blobs eventually, but I don’t think it matters too much


Nice! The series thing makes sense, I believe. One blurb for the whole series. But I don’t read series much, so I’m curious what others think.

Will the blurbs be added automatically where available, or do we go around and do it manually for our books? And I expect user-submitted blurbs will need approval before appearing publicly? Or not?


I will be able to do some backfilling for Japanese blurbs for a lot of amazon books (I think). But English blurbs are very much needed! Even the Japanese blurbs, I won’t overwrite with the autogenerated ones from Amazon, so they’re still appreciated. TBH, just perusing a few Japanese blurbs from Amazon, they often have a lot of promotional stuff which I hope users will cull in time.

Right now we’re going wild wild west, but recording all the changelogs. So no approval needed. May change in the future, but we’ll see.


Ok! I’ve fixed up some bugs and have begun work on the backfill for Japanese descriptions (although it has not begun yet). Again, don’t let that stop you from filling in blurbs :slight_smile:

Secondly, I can now specify certain series to have individual volume blurbs, rather than to have only series blurbs. For series where they’re more collections of novels with very little narrative overlap, this makes more sense… such as something like ガリレオシリーズ (series) | L32 ?

I’m not sure, but let me know of any series where separate blurbs make sense!


Another update! I’ve backfilled blurbs from Amazon what I can easily… namely, series that are ‘syncable’ and usually tend to be newer. So we now have around 6350 series non-english blurbs out of 8150 series (~77%).

Unfortunately, the remaining series are some of the most popular since they’re the ones that were added first to the site. I will try to resolve over the next week or so, we’ll see.

As for individual novels, I haven’t backfilled any and it too will be somewhat difficult. We’ll see if I can figure out a solution.

In other news, I must say… I am somewhat tempted to auto translate all of these using DeepL for the English blurbs (DeepL’s API is super cheap).

I know @omk3 was super opposed and I do feel similarly in the sense Machine Translations are sad. However, if I have a little preamble like ‘(Machine Translated)’ to start it off, would it be more acceptable? Then you could always quick switch to the Japanese version if you see that.

What do we think?


Surely someone should go over the wording and so on, make sure it makes sense? Names are often wrong, and genders are assigned randomly. While these are the most frequent mistakes, there are often more.
I assume we can all edit the automatic translations to correct them, but to what extent are changes acceptable? When does it stop being “machine translated” and becomes “written by reader”?


Yes! Everyone can edit. This is just for prepopulation.

As for ‘machine’ vs ‘human’ I don’t really think it matters if it’s a good translation. I bucket it all under ‘publisher blurb translated’. In the ‘translator’ field, I show an example with ‘DeepL With Edits’.

That’s my initial thinking, but also why I wanted to get it out, so we can discuss

So, all ears on what you all think :slight_smile:


I’m against machine translating everything. They can be so inaccurate or misleading. Maybe you should open a poll instead of just asking for opinions.


I’m planning on adding any official English summaries I can find for the moment, if that’s all right. I don’t think they’re generally spoilery, especially since the English series blurbs that are given are typically really short.

Re: machine translations… I’m not sure; they’re convenient, but come with all the downsides of machine translation…

Should we prepopolate with Machine Translation?
  • Yes (with a preamble for ‘Machine Tranlated’)
  • No, Machine translation is terrible!
  • I don’t care
0 voters

I think we should be able to change in what languages we want to see the blurbs on the whole site. I will never care about the English blurbs, I would only need the Japanese ones. So it doesn’t make sense that I have to switch to the Japenese one every time. A toggle in settings would be helpful


You are absolutely right. Yeah I will make it so if you toggle to Japanese it will default to japanese. Just need to do it :sweat_smile:


I don’t know how to answer this. I’d want to say “Yes, but after they’ve been approved by a real person”, otherwise No, or “Yes, but show only to registered members (or even only people who have read the book) until approved”.


I’m also doing this for every book I have that I know is translated.

@brandon Doing this, I realized I’m not sure about the series thing. For manga I believe it’s mostly alright, maybe even for light novels (unsure), but novels would probably benefit from their own blurb. For example take 「リング」シリーズ (series) | L34 ( The blurb of the first book that I can find is very specific, and I don’t think it applies to the other books in the series. Unless there are publisher descriptions for the whole series somewhere that I don’t know about?
(上 and 下 volumes obviously get the same blurb though)


@brandon: I’m hitting a server error when I try to save this source URL to a book blurb -

Edit: another error with this one:


Maybe the link is too long? You can keep only the initial part, before the /ref.

@brandon and everyone: How do we handle aozora stories? Most aren’t published on their own, so no publisher blurb. Would a wikipedia summary be okay?