GoodReads policy is to enter the names of authors as they themselves would spell them, including any special characters. Because the majority of our users and librarians speak English, they don't always know how to enter those characters when searching.
Sometimes, just entering the nearest English equivalent will allow you to find an author or title. For instance, typing "China Mieville" will sometimes bring up books by "China Miéville."
If that doesn't work, there are many ways to enter characters that don't appear on English keyboards.
First, Windows and some Macintosh operating systems include utilities to allow you to chose a character with your mouse and copy it to your browser. In Windows, that's the Character Map, which you'll normally find under Program Files > Accessories. Mac OS X has the Character Palette. Some versions of Linux have a similar utility.
Next, every Unicode character has been assigned a hexadecimal code that can be entered to call up that character. The method for doing so depends on your operating system and the software you're using, but this article offers a fairly good explanation for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux users.
Finally, if you use Mozilla's Firefox browser, you can use one of these extensions to easily access special characters.
If you know of other useful utilities, please let us know.
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