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Policies & Practices > Having Pseudonyms before the author's real name

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message 1: by Joe (new)

Joe | 11 comments According the Libranian's manual: Regarding author pseudonyms or pen names - some authors write or have written under multiple names. When editing or adding information for a book written by an author with multiple names, enter the author's name as on the front cover as the primary author. The author's other names may be added in the other author fields. Original name or other pen names can added and linked via a Librarian Note: in the description field, or using the Librarian Note feature located above the Title field. In some cases, a book may be originally published under a pen name, but then later reissued under the author's original name. When this happens, the author listed for any and all editions should be the author name the book was originally published under - so the reissued edition would need its primary author name changed to the originally published pen name, with the additional name added as secondary for all editions with it on the cover. Doing this will allow the various editions to be combined.

I've adhered to this rule when editing/adding editions. However, I find that the pseudonym overrides the authors real name when you search for his/her books on your own shelf.

For example, I have the following book by Richard Laymon under his pseudoymn Richard Kelly, which it was first published under.Tread Softly

However, the book was later re-issed as "Dark Mountain" under Richard Laymon. Dark Mountain

The two are combined as you can see via the links.

But when I include the edition I have on my 'to-read' shelf (by Richard Kelly) I cannot find it under Laymon.

Seeing as how Laymon's name is listed as the secondary author to the text with adherence to the Libranian manual. Shouldn't the book appear under Laymon, as well as Kelly, on my shelf?


message 2: by Paula (last edited Nov 06, 2014 02:03AM) (new)

Paula (paulaan) | 7027 comments In that case, all editions of the book that where published first under the pseudoym should have Richard Kelly as the primary author, with Richard Laymon as the secondary author. This does not seem to be the case and the books need sorting out.

As for the search on shelves I think it is only set to look for the primary author.

Edit: Tread Softly editions fixed


message 3: by Joe (last edited Nov 06, 2014 02:13AM) (new)

Joe | 11 comments Interesting, cos there appears to be a lot of confusion surrounding this.

A quick search of Stephen King's books that he originally wrote under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, for example, reveals that they are (the majority at least) listed under Stephen King, with Richard Bachman as the secondary author.

I can see how this would lead to confusion with users who are not libranians and familiar with the manuel when it came to searching for books by these authors.

Personally, I think it would work better if the pseudonyom was secondary. What do you think?


message 4: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulaan) | 7027 comments I agree with the policy that the name the book was first published under is the primary author, in some cases this is not a pseudonym but a real name and books are later published under a different name.


message 5: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulaan) | 7027 comments As for the Stephen King books, the automated import scripts import under the name published, Librarians need to go in occasionally and clean up the imports to match GR policy.

Looking at The Regulators, the books have a mix / match due to the import process and a number of the editions are set up correctly with Richard Bachman in primary position.


message 6: by Joe (last edited Nov 06, 2014 11:40AM) (new)

Joe | 11 comments Ah yes I understand now!

Would be good if in the future the search on the shelves was set to secondary author also.

Then at least when it came to something like your most read authors section, for example, a book by an author who originally published the book under a pseudonym will still be counted. (For example, I checked Richard Laymon's "Dark Mountain" and it is no longer attributed to him when I do a search for Laymon on my shelves, after your edit in accordance to the guidelines)

I might just suggest this on the Feedback board at some stage.


message 7: by Scott (new)

Scott | 17312 comments I just wish the secondary names counted towards our "most read" authors.


message 8: by Joe (new)

Joe | 11 comments Yeah definitely. Dean Koontz for example has numerous pseudonyms!

It's quite bewildering actually. I just think that it would be a lot easier if all the works by an author were listed under his/her name as the primary author.


message 9: by Scott (new)

Scott | 17312 comments J.A. wrote: "Yeah definitely. Dean Koontz for example has numerous pseudonyms!

It's quite bewildering actually. I just think that it would be a lot easier if all the works by an author were listed under his/h..."


I agree. Or, have the name on each edition be the primary author. It's annoying to have one of my Koontz books keep coming up under "Brian Coffey" when that name is nowhere on the book.


message 10: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 42062 comments Mod
Scott wrote: "Or, have the name on each edition be the primary author."

Having different editions with different primary authors screws things up pretty royally. Things like automatic recalculation of book stats, search indexing, all kinds of things.


message 11: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (notemily) | 469 comments J.A. wrote: "I just think that it would be a lot easier if all the works by an author were listed under his/her name as the primary author."

How would you choose which name, though?


message 12: by Z-squared (new)

Z-squared | 8580 comments Sophie wrote: "J.A. wrote: "I just think that it would be a lot easier if all the works by an author were listed under his/her name as the primary author."

How would you choose which name, though?"


I'm actually in favor of letting Goodreads authors do this themselves, if they so wish. Like setting the default cover. Then in the absence of a claimed profile, just stick to whatever was the original. Just a suggestion.


message 13: by Joe (new)

Joe | 11 comments Sophie wrote: "J.A. wrote: "I just think that it would be a lot easier if all the works by an author were listed under his/her name as the primary author."

How would you choose which name, though?"


Good question. But I would suggest using the name that they write under the most. Using Dean Koontz again as an example, as far as I'm aware but I could be wrong, he publishes most frequently under his real name, so that would be the 'primary author name' in his case.

But I am starting to see now how awkward all of this could get. Many authors choose a pseudonym because they are crossing genres, etc. so I my suggestion might not work.


message 14: by Esme (new)

Esme | 17 comments There is something weird with the first mentioned book by Richard Laymon aka Richard Kelly. I found under Richard Laymon's books Montaña siniestra, the spanish translation of Dark Mountain and added a Richard Kelly into the first author field but this goes to another author Richard Kelly. I added three spaces for a new author profile https://www.goodreads.com/author/show....

And there is already an author profile for the pseudonym of Richard Laymon https://www.goodreads.com/author/show... and it uses only one space but just the most added edition is linked to this profile and all other editions are linked to the film director.

I don't get it.


message 15: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulaan) | 7027 comments DisambiguAtion was needed, merged a couple of profiles so they are now under Richard^^^Kelly


message 16: by Joe (new)

Joe | 11 comments Scott wrote: "I agree. Or, have the name on each edition be the primary author. It's annoying to have one of my Koontz books keep coming up under "Brian Coffey" when that name is nowhere on the book"

Here's a solution I'm gonna use. Make a shelf for Dean Koontz or whoever it might be and just group all of his books there for yourself. At least that way then you can keep a more accurate track of the books you have read by that author.


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