Required Data Structure for Inventory Uploads

If you are creating your inventory files in a spreadsheet or database program, in order for your uploads to be successful, the structure of the file must remain consistent and the headings must not be modified.

The format of your file must be communicated to AbeBooks prior to your first upload. You must also notify AbeBooks Customer Support in advance if you plan to change the format or layout of your inventory files. If notification is not provided, the AbeBooks system will not recognize the changes and file processing will fail.

If you already list your books with Amazon, you may export an inventory file from your Amazon account and upload it to AbeBooks:

Click here for instructions on downloading your file from Amazon

To optimise the way your inventory appears in the search results, certain fields require exact terms, which we have provided in the Notes section of the table below. These fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

We recommend that you refrain from using abbreviations, which are not generally understood by most buyers when searching for books.

The fields in red are mandatory. Any additional descriptive information should be added to the Description Field.

The following requirements apply to all inventory files:

  • The delimiter must be tab.
  • The file must be saved as a text (.txt) file.
  • Each listing must have a unique numeric, alpha, or alphanumeric ID (listingid). Each listing ID cannot be re-used.
  • Each listing must include a Quantity field. Use a quantity of 1 or more to tell us the listing is available for sale; use 0 when the listing should be removed.

Field Names and Descriptions:

Field Header Maximum Characters Description Notes
listingid 40 Unique code for each item Important: this code should never be reused for a different item
title 750 Title (and sub-title)
author 750 Name of the Author Recommended Format: Surname, First Name
illustrator 255 Name of the Illustrator Recommended Format: Surname, First Name
price 10 Price (numeric value) Enter the price in numeric format (without text or currency symbols). The minimum required price on AbeBooks is US $1.00 or the equivalent in other currencies. Any price below this minimum will be automatically updated by our system.
quantity Qty max.: 999 Number of available items Qty > = 1: available for sale

Qty = 0: unavailable (will be deleted from the site)

Important: an empty field will be interpreted as a field with the quantity of 1

producttype 30 Type of product This field allows you to assign a listing to one of eight available product type search refinements. You can only assign each listing to a single product type and you must use one the following keywords to make sure the listing will show up under the corresponding search refinement:

Refinement on Search Result Page / Keywords to use:

Books: Book, Buch, Libro, Livre, Libro
Maps: Map, Karte, Mapa, Carte, Mappa
Manuscripts & Paper Collectibles: Manuscript, Manuskript, Manuscrito, Manuscrit, Manoscritto
Comics: Comic, Cómic, Bande dessinée, Fumetto
Magazines & Periodicals: Magazine/Periodical, Zeitschrift/Periodikum, Revista / Publicación, Magazine / Périodique, Rivista/periodico
Art, Prints & Posters: Fine Art Print, Druckgrafik, Grabado, Gravure, Opera d’arte stampata
Sheet Music: Sheet Music, Noten, Partitura, Partition de musique, Spartito
Photographs: Photo, Foto, Fotografía, Fotografia

description 4000 Description of the item Include any information that could not be entered into other fields. (i.e. condition notes, provenance, binding, etc.) Information must be related to the specific item being listed.
bindingtext* 30 Binding of the item Terms to use: Hardcover/Hardback
No binding (eg. If the item is an e-book)
bookcondition* 30 Condition of the book Terms to use:
As New
Very Good
publishername 750 Name of publisher
placepublished 80 Place where the item was published
yearpublished 4 figures Year of publication This field should only contain the year in a 4 digit format (eg. 1989). Any other date format should be added to the description field.
isbn 13 10 or 13 digit ISBN, without spaces or hyphens


350 Name of the catalog which the book belongs to. Each listing can be associated with up to 3 catalogs and each catalog should be entered in it’s own unique field. The catalogs are visible on the AbeBooks bookseller Storefront. To help buyers navigate catalogs easily, sellers should have no more than 100 catalogs in total.
abecategory 100 Number of the AbeBooks category which the book should be associated with. The maximum categories per book is 10. The categories are visible on the AbeBooks bookseller homepages. These categories can be downloaded from the Members Menu.
keywords 2000 Keywords to help buyers to find the book Try to use words that are not already included in any of the other fields but which buyers may be using to search for the book.
jacketcondition* 30 Condition of the dustjacket Terms to use:
As New
Very Good
No Jacket
editiontext* 50 First edition, second edition, etc. Terms to use:
First Edition
2nd Edition
3rd Edition
4th Edition
5th or later printing
printingtext* 20 Printing of the item Terms to use:
1st printing
2nd printing
3rd printing
4th printing
5th or later printing
signedtext* 50 Signed book, inscription… Terms to use:
signed by author
signed by authors
signed and inscribed by author
inscribed by author
signed by illustrator
inscribed by illustrator
volume 50 The volume of the book, if applicable
size The size of the book
imgurl 2000 Image URL URLs from Amazon, eBay, or other sites where you are unlikely to hold the image copyright are not permitted and will be blocked upon upload.


You may wish to use an Excel template that we have already set up for you:

Download Template.xls

Note: If you decide to use the template to catalogue your books, please remember that before you upload to us, the file must be saved in a tab delimited text (.txt) format:

  1. Open the Excel sheet
  2. Select [File]
  3. Select [Save as]
  4. From the [Save as type] menu select “Text (Tab delimited)(*.txt)”

Sending Your First Inventory File