Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

Two authors, who goes first?

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message 1: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:51AM) (new)

rivka | 41014 comments Mod
Generally speaking, I've been assuming it should be the order on the book cover (when there is one). But sometimes, the author order is different on different editions! Case in point, Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe. Or is that James and Deborah Howe? Some covers say one, and some the other. What about the editions with no cover uploaded?

And of course, there's no way to link editions that have a different primary author. Which is the real problem -- how can I have the version my friend read (which lists Deborah first) show up as the same book I read (which has James first)?

message 2: by Matt (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:52AM) (new)

Matt Mazenauer (provlear) | 11 comments That's a good question. My guess would be to, as we have been, honoring the order listed on the cover in most cases, and in the rare ones like what you suggest where various covers differ, simply list them alphabetically. If they don't care enough to list one as primary then it shouldn't bother them to be listed alphabetically.

message 3: by Otis, Chief Architect (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:52AM) (new)

Otis Chandler | 315 comments Mod
Interesting point Rivka! It is definitely kind of a flaw, but I think if we are consistent about which author is primary on all editions then we are ok. So I agree with Matt, lets use cover order, then failing that alphabetical. I will add that to the Librarian Manual.

message 4: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:52AM) (new)

rivka | 41014 comments Mod
Sounds good to me. Thanks! :)

message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Series authors, when there are multiples, can be a problem when trying to see all the books. (You can't sort by Title & there is no separate 'Series' field.)

For instance, the 'Destroyer' series is primarily written by Warren Murphy. He is the only author who has had a part in writing every book & is listed as the primary author on most, the only author on some. Richard Sapir often the secondary author & is occasionally listed as the primary author. At least one other author is a secondary author.

If I understand the rules correctly, the author listed first should be the primary author. This messes up trying to see the entire series in my books when searching by author. I also don't think it is correct in all cases. For instance, Sapir is listed as the primary author on Destroyer #125, originally published in 2001. That's quite a trick since Sapir died in 1987.

My question is - would it be OK to go through all the Destroyer books & make Murphy the primary author?

I originally posted this in the Feedback Group not knowing there was a Librarian group. I was informed today that I am now a Librarian & am trying to learn, so please bear with me.

message 6: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41014 comments Mod
The Feedback group may actually be a better place for this, since you are essentially requesting a change in existing policy.

message 7: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Well, it's still there in 'Suggestions & Questions' under 'Series Naming & Authors'. Hopefully one place or the other will get an answer. Thanks.

Petra X is addicted to BoredPanda cat pics (petra-x) Jim - whatever you do alter, I think if anyone hits the Amazon button it will change the info to whatever Amazon has, or at least I have found this, so its a bit more complicated. I think it would be good if the librarians had a way of 'locking in' information so that Amazon could not at some later stage reload the original information.

message 9: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41014 comments Mod
Petra, do you mean the "Refresh book data from Amazon" link? Only librarians can use that, and most do so sparingly.

message 10: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) I can test one book & see if the author change sticks. Warren Murphy is also listed under several names (Warren, Warren D, Warren D.), if the export of my books is any indication. Some of the names look like it's a combination of both authors, too.

I only want to fix them once & I'd prefer to put Murphy first, especially since Sapir can't be the primary author in some cases where he is listed so. He'd been dead 14 years in the previous example.

I'm more interested in not goofing everyone else up because of my desire for neatness & convenience in dealing with this series. I'm too new at this to feel comfortable just changing it, especially given the first listed rule.

message 11: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments My leaning is to say that it's more important to have the individual book records correct than to have the series unified, especially since we've been promised that someday an actual series field will be available. If it's just a question of author order, that can be fudged, but I'd rather not list an author on a book where s/he shouldn't be credited.

Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan (lisavegan) | 2409 comments I agree with Cait and think the authors should be listed the way they are on the various covers.

message 13: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41014 comments Mod
Good points, Cait.

message 14: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) OK, will do. Thanks. I still think it's weird that Saphir can be the primary author 14 years after he died, especially with this series which makes fun of current events.

I hope we get the series field soon, though. This particular one is up to 150 books or so. I only have the first 100 & it's a pain to try to get them all listed.

message 15: by Kathrynn (new)

Kathrynn | 189 comments Can we work on updating this part of the Librarian Manual, please? The manual now states:

books with multiple authors
Goodreads currently allows up to 3 authors to be listed for a book. There are plans to expand this limit soon. Authors should be listed in order they appear on the book cover. If there is no cover or covers of various editions differ, use alphabetical order.

message 16: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41014 comments Mod

Oh, Otis?

message 17: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41014 comments Mod
I think that's fine, now that we have the option of listing multiple authors. Certainly I've seen many other librarians do the same thing.

This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments The only issue is that the number of authors is now limited to...30...I think. For a large short story collection/anthology this will still be exceeded, so there is still some limiting factor.

And make sure the editor(s) is(are) the first the author(s) since it is their name under which the book would be shelved.

message 19: by Kathrynn (new)

Kathrynn | 189 comments Editor goes first. Gotcha.

message 20: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 69 comments Just updated the help manual. Thanks, Kathrynn! I will also be updating other help items that are out of date since the redesign. Let me know next week if I miss anything!

message 21: by Sherry (new)

Sherry (ssaccoliti) | 457 comments So as I was editing this afternoon and cleaning Bernard Cornwell - one of my husband's favorite authors - (who knew how many ways to misspell this authors name!), I went to his website and found this "Q: You did write under another name for a while so could you let me know what that name was and what books you wrote?
A: My wife and I co-wrote some books years ago until she got fed up with the process, and they were published under the name Susannah Kells - A Crowning Mercy, Fallen Angels and Coat of Arms (Aristocrats in the US). The first two are being republished this year and next by HarperCollins in the UK (where the cover will say the books are by Bernard Cornwell and Susannah Kells)."

On his website as well, he lists himself as first author.

What do we do when the order of authors changes on the same books?

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