Making my own CSV for importing

I’m working on creating my own CSV to import books from my kindle collection. I’m using the ASIN in place of the ISBN and the books get listed on my shelf but have no picture. I’m providing columns for
ISBN, Title, Author, and Bookshelf with that simple format the books get imported and put on the right shelf.

I’m guessing I need a proper ISBN in order to get the cover photo?

I’ve tried to find a good ASIN to ISBN API but not having much luck. Does anyone know of a good one? Doesn’t even have to be free as this is going to be 2000 books max.

Correct-- ASIN is an Amazon only identifier that cannot be used by API sources for book data. uses several APIs for cover images and look ups, including the Google Books API. ASIN is completely non-portable outside of the Amazon ecosystem.

As far as I know, you’d have to be an Amazon affiliate to use their product advertising API to possibly get an ISBN lookup (among other things) from ASIN.

TIL. Thanks!

It seems that a huge number of Kindle books do not have ISBN numbers. I exported a bunch from GoodReads and that was the case, and they all have Kindle eBook as their publisher.

I paid a little bit for a service that said they could convert ASIN to ISBN but I only got about 10% converted – In the detailed product info provided by this API they all had a Kindle publisher as well.

It seems the best way forward might be to use a title+author service to get the ISBN number for a print edition. Clearly that is what @manton must be doing in the search / add this book field.

It would be awesome to just import the books and then come back to the bookshelf and click a button next to the title to have it search and allow you to select the correct book. I was thinking about writing a little scraper to use the search for something just like that for myself.

Feel free to write a scraper that uses our search, just be kind about how often you hit. :slightly_smiling_face: About once a second is fine. The reason we don’t have an official search API is that we are using other people’s search API (one of which we pay for, ISBNdb) and I expect it’s against their terms for us to expose that data to other apps on purpose.

One other thing that may or may not be helpful: the CSV from Goodreads has a “Book Id” field. If that field is present and there is no ISBN, will scrape Goodreads using that ID to find the ISBN. Maybe something similar could be done for ASIN in the future, I’m not sure.

Thanks @manton. I could also just pay for a month of Basic ISBNdb. I’m perhaps getting a little obsessive about getting as much of my collection converted as possible. :smiley: In any case if I do scrape I will be very polite.

Yes, I’m fairly convinced Amazon does this on purpose with ebooks to make data less compatible. It’s common in Goodreads exports for books recorded through the Kindle integration. It’s atrocious and I hate it and I just manually fixed this one time for about 250 books for my own import.