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Old 03-08-2010, 03:05 PM   #1
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Question about publisher info

I am trying to update my metadata in Calibre so I can sort more easily as my collection grows, and I am wondering about some of the listings I have seen under 'publisher' at Fictionwise. When there is more than one entry, does it mean the second one is a sub-division of the first one? Why would some books not have this, some books have it, and books by the same author be published under different ones?

The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich has all sorts of different variations even though they are by the same author and have the same cover design and are part of the same series. For example:

MacMillan by itself
Macmillan/St Martins
Holtzbrink/St Martins

If these are all variations on 'MacMillan' than why not list them all as 'MacMillan' and be done with it? And why would two be by 'St Martins' but with something different in front of it?

My whole purpose is to streamline my tagging a little so that I can separate out, for example, self-published titles at Smashwords versus titles at Smashwords from a publisher. So having six billion different variations of 'MacMillan' in there isn't going to help me. Is there a reason for all of these sub-names? Should I just go buy whomever is listed first? Or might it be best to just tag all such books as 'Big 5' and leave my dedicated publisher tagging to the indies, where I really might want to follow a certain imprint?
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:41 PM   #2
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It has to do with the way the publishers are organized. Macmillan is the big US publisher, which is in itself owned by the Holtzbrink group. Macmillan runs, with several levels of directness, several imprints/brands. AFAIK they mainly do this for historical reasons (they bought formerly independent publishers) and to make clear in which market they publish a book (literature, romance, sf, etc.). A better explanation of the structure of publishers has been done by Charles Stross.

I tend to tag with any of the publishers, but use separate tags to indicate type of book/genre.
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