Your approach to layout and punctuation makes it a little difficult to get an understanding of your issue:
but it seems with authors having a first name and a last name, series number,and tag data, calibre places them in no particular order.
i have tried tweaks,"none" "invert" author 0 title 0 series 0 i have clicked on every possible button such as manage authors sort, sort author .
If I understand you correctly, you are struggling with the author column in the book list and how authors are displayed.
The first step to take might be sorting out the file names before
importing into Calibre.
Using your example:
e02 alan bennett,then e03 alan bennett
Calibre is identifying "e02"
as part of the author name.
This would indicate a haphazard naming structure - either your book naming setup or the existing metadata isn't uniform.
I also had several thousand books to add to Calibre from many different sources. The condition of everything from layout to naming structure ran the gamut from execrable to excellent.
I used a renaming program
(there are plenty available online) to get my book naming in order. My layout was:
author (last name, first name) - series (name and number) - title.extension
Or, using one of your authors:
Woods, Stuart - Holly Barker 01 - Orchid Beach.epub
Before adding them to Calibre I set preferences:
Preferences -> Adding Books -> untick "Read metadata from file contents rather than file name"
This means Calibre will get its naming info from your file names rather than the file metadata (which might be a mess or, at least, not what you want).
Then you need to choose a regular expression to match your file naming structure - Calibre has several built-in, which will likely do for your needs.
Just below where you enter a regular expression is a built-in test area for these.
You can make up any names you like - just remember to include an extension for your test name or it won't work.
Once you have your books in good order, you might want to run a few tests before adding them to your Calibre library.
An easy way to do this is to a use text editor (Windows comes with Notepad) and create a few test files.
You can right-click in an clear area of a open window or your desktop and choose:
"New -> Text Document..."
Create a few and give them names matching several of your books - pick book titles that are currently giving you difficulty.
Add those to Calibre and try out a few settings to see what works best.
This way, you are only affecting dummy files and you can have as many "do-overs" as you like.
As you can see, I'm still new to this program and feeling my way.
I've found this a quick 'n dirty way to get a feel for some of the functions that make my head hurt.
I noticed that some of your authors are in "first_name last_name
" format, some are "last_name, first_name
In Calibre settings there is a tweak that can help:
Preferences -> Tweaks -> Author sort name algorithm
The default is "invert
" - change this to "comma
This enables Calibre to tell the difference between the two and add the author details correctly to the library.
Good luck with this and I hope my suggestions help.
Hopefully, one of the more experienced members will look this over and correct any erroneous advice on my part.