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Policies & Practices > House Authors and Series Creators

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message 1: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 1767 comments Is there a policy about author order / primary author with these?

The Doc Savage series is a big mess, but it's nearly impossible to fix up currently.

There are three competing authors, and most of the books have been published and reissued with different combinations.
- Creator: Lester Dent (created the series and title character)
- House name: Kenneth Robeson (aka Kenneth Robeson, Lester Dent and Kenneth Robeson (House Name)).
- The actual authors. For instance Will Murray wrote 9 of them), some of which have his name on the title.

The problem is the various reissues have had all sorts of combinations, so the books are spread all over the place and many aren't combined - and there's 150 of them. (There's also multiple series numberings going on, but that's another issue.)

A similar situation but without the house author involved, The Destroyer series was created by Warren Murphy and Richard Ben Sapir, and their names are the only ones on most of the covers, but the books are currently almost all listed under their actual authors.

The Vampire Diaries after the L.J. Smith books has similar issues. That one used to be all under "Actual author, Series Creator", but now it looks like they've all been reversed to "Series Creator, Actual Author".

So should the books be:
House Name, Series Creator, Actual Author (How most of Doc Savage is)
Actual Author, Series Creator acting as house name (How most of The Destroyer series is)
Series Creator acting as house name, Actual Author (How the Vampire Diaries is)

I don't have a strong preference myself, I just want a consistent rule to apply/point other people to. That said, obviously most people would file them under whatever name is on the cover, which is most often not the actual author, so this is my suggestion:

Where a house name is in use:
House name, Creators, Actual Author

Where a house name is not in use:
Actual Author, Creators (if listed on the cover)


message 2: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41701 comments Mod
Krazykiwi wrote: "Where a house name is in use:
House name, Creators, Actual Author

Where a house name is not in use:
Actual Author, Creators (if listed on the cover)"


This seems reasonable to me, and is consistent with our policies on pen-names and books being republished under different author names.


message 3: by Krazykiwi (last edited Feb 01, 2017 11:53PM) (new)

Krazykiwi | 1767 comments Sorry to follow myself up, but some covers might help clarify why this is a problem.

The Vampire Diaries:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... has the actual authors on the cover, but has the series creator's name first. These books used to have the actual authors as primary, but don't anymore. They seem to flip-flop regularly, depending on which librarian is attacking them.

The Destroyer:
Most of the covers are like this:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...
only the creator's names are listed. But most of the books (and there are 185 in this series!) have the actual author as primary (except for a whole lot of random editions which don't, yet.)

Doc Savage:
Most of these don't even have an author on the cover:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...
Some have the actual author and creator: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
But this is another edition of that same book, with only the house author on: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...
This series is also up near 200 books total, so it's a complete mess.

Search for "Will Murray Doc Savage" and you'll see utter chaos, same books in all possible name combinations, uncombined.
https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8...


message 4: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 1767 comments Oops, sorry, we crossposted.

Thanks Rivka. It seemed to fit in with those policies to me too.

Is there any chance of getting this added to the official policies? For instance, if I go change the Vampire Diaries ones, I imagine someone will just go change them back (again). Or shall I just point to this thread? Not that I am going to touch those just yet, they are at least organised right now, the other series mentioned are a huge mess.


message 5: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 1767 comments *sigh* Sorry. I ran immediately into a third situation, so:


Where a house name is in use:
House name, Creators, Actual Author
(Doc Savage is mostly like this)

Where a house name is not in use and real author names are on the covers:
Actual Author, Creators (if listed on the cover)
(The Vampire Diaries Books, and the newest Doc Savage Books)

Where a house name is not in use, but the covers only list the series creators as house names:
Creators, Actual Author

(The Destroyer is mostly like this)


message 6: by Ayshe (last edited Feb 02, 2017 02:47AM) (new)

Ayshe | 3032 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "...The Vampire Diaries:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... has the actual authors on the cover, but has the series creator's name first. These books used to have the actual authors as primary, but don't anymore. They seem to flip-flop regularly, depending on which librarian is attacking them..."

Who is the actual author? I don't see it on the cover (someone has also asked on Reader Q&A, so I'm not the only one :)


I had searched and previous answer on L.J. Smith was that she is to be listed first: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 7: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41701 comments Mod
Krazykiwi wrote: "Is there any chance of getting this added to the official policies?"

Start a new thread in the Additions to Librarian Manual folder with the suggested language, and I'll make sure the right people see it. (You might not get a response immediately though.)


message 8: by Mike Briggs (last edited Feb 10, 2017 08:41AM) (new)

Mike Briggs (mikebriggs) | 188 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "...The Vampire Diaries:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... ... has the actual authors on the cover, but has the series creator's name first. These books used to have the actual authors as primary, but don't anymore. They seem to flip-flop regularly, depending on which librarian is attacking them..."

Ayshe wrote: "Who is the actual author? I don't see it on the cover (someone has also asked on Reader Q&A, so I'm not the only one :)"


As far as I can tell, all the names on the covers that I can read (some are too blurry to read, some are in Russian), seem to suggest that all of them are 'creator' types. Except for a few covers that just list LJ Smith or Lisa Jane Smith without that 'based on the novels by' comment before the name.

So, like the cover linked, many of the covers have three names on them.
As so:
'based on the novels by' L.J. Smith
'and tv series developed by' Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec

The actual author doesn't appear to be on the cover.


message 9: by Mike Briggs (new)

Mike Briggs (mikebriggs) | 188 comments Regarding the vampire book mentioned in this thread - question: how are names supposed to appear? All three names on the cover are listed as authors on Goodreads, but only L.J. Smith has 'Creator' by her name. Should the other two also be listed with 'Creator'? Or . . . something?

Should it be as it is now:
L.J. Smith (Goodreads Author) (Creator), Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec

or:
L.J. Smith (Goodreads Author) (Creator), Kevin Williamson (Creator), Julie Plec (Creator)


message 10: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 1767 comments Ugh, sorry, I had notifications issues with this.

Ayshe: I didn't realise until I dug out a bigger copy of that cover that they weren't the actual authors (I know some of the spinoffs from that series do have the actual authors in the front matter, but I guess not that one.)

Mike: Maybe Series Creator on L.J. Smith, and Creator on the other two?

I'll try to get back to this over the weekend and write up a proposed policy wording for the other folder.


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