Ask the Goodreads librarian

Goodreads seems to inspire questions from clients lately! Here’s another: Amy called to ask why her boss’s two other books aren’t appearing on his new author profile. Also, another book he didn’t write was listed on his profile. add a current book to goodreads1 When Amy looked for a way to add his other books, she clicked the link (arrow) and got the page for listing a book that wasn’t in the catalog yet. add a current book to goodreads2Whatever you do, don’t list a book again that already in the database! What you have to determine is why the book is perceived by the site as being by  different author. When you have a fairly common name – Amy’s boss is Ronnie Johnson – you might consider whether it’s appropriate to add your middle name when you start publishing books. Ronnie is transitioning over to using Ronnie Lee Johnson as his website URL and on his books.

But not everything has caught up. He has two books with Ronnie Johnson listed as the author. For the book to show up on an author’s profile, the names need to match up. If one has a middle name or initial – there’s a mismatch. In Goodreads, when there is more than one author with the same name, extra spaces are automatically inserted between the first and last names. They only show in edit mode. (See the example below.) Any books imported to the database need to have extra spaces added to the name in the listing in order for the work to show on the correct author’s page. add a current book to goodreads2aThe fix for Goodreads is to contact a librarian for help. Goodreads librarians are members of the site who are dedicated to improving the data. While they’re not employees and don’t represent the company, librarians do have the authorization to edit book and author information.

To contact a librarian, post your question in the Goodreads Librarian Group. (Non librarians can join this group too.)  To become a librarian yourself, (why not?) you need to have at least 80 books listed on your bookshelves of your profile and just apply.