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Old 08-06-2008, 03:27 AM   #1
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Author sorting

Does anybody have any info on how the Kindle sorts the author field? It seems to be pretty random on mine. Sometimes it seems to use the first name, sometimes the second and once in a while the middle initial. I thought perhaps it was related to entries made with Lastname, Firstname, but it isn't even consistent with Firstname Lastname. I can't immediately see any rhyme or reason here. The titles sort OK.

Very strange. For example, I click on Sort by Author and get this:

Andre Norton
Arthur Conan Doyle
Simon Beckett
Bill Crider
Leigh Brackett
Stephen Brust
Charles Mathes
Aaron Elkins
Fred Saberhagen

I just don't see the pattern here. Is there a protocol for entering the info in the author fields that isn’t being followed?
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:20 AM   #2
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I think it depends how the author is entered in the metadata. I don't think the Kindle itself does anything more complicated that sort the string it finds in alphabetical order.
If you have nonDRM books, it is not uncommon for the author metadata to be inconsistent.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:50 PM   #3
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Well, I guess that was really the question: how is the information the metadata intended to be interpreted? is it Lastname, Firstname or Firstname Lastname? Does the program see a comma and then invert the order?

I'm looking for some guidelines to determine how to format the author name when I use Mobperl to add this info to books I get. The results seem to be inconsistent.

Without doing a lot of experimenting, natch.

There does seem to be confusion, as I see books on Amazon listed as (for instance):

Leigh Brackett
Leigh, Brackett
Brackett, Leigh

So I'm not the only one confused, heh.

Last edited by JMikeD; 08-06-2008 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:45 PM   #4
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Amazon expects Last, First. All the commercial books I have from the Amazon site are in that format if they come from a standard hardcover publisher. I expect that this is less consistent for self-published material.
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:17 PM   #5
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Is this info actually listed anywhere? The book publishers don't seem to be following the rules.

I'm going to see if standardizing on Last, First will fix the problem.

I suspect you are right, the protocol isn't being followed, but it's not obvious what the protocol is, exactly.

I even have a book sort by an author's last name of "Jr."

The reason I’m interested in all this is so my Amazon purchases and PD stuff will be consistent. I have a batch file for mobi2mobi set up so I can go through and easily change authors on all my books to be whatever the standard is.
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slm View Post
Amazon expects Last, First. All the commercial books I have from the Amazon site are in that format if they come from a standard hardcover publisher. I expect that this is less consistent for self-published material.
You are quite right. I went in and re-author-named all my PD books (and one purchased book, just to see if it worked OK). Things now sort correctly, except for a large number of books I got from Amazon that have the info entered incorrectly. Which I shall fix.

This is going to be a pain in the butt to fix every time I buy something done incorrectly. I've dropped Amazon a note on the problem.
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMikeD View Post
You are quite right. I went in and re-author-named all my PD books (and one purchased book, just to see if it worked OK). Things now sort correctly, except for a large number of books I got from Amazon that have the info entered incorrectly. Which I shall fix.

This is going to be a pain in the butt to fix every time I buy something done incorrectly. I've dropped Amazon a note on the problem.

this is the biggest problem I have with books from them. If you buy a 'famous' author, say Janet Evonovich, you have no problem. But if you buy say, sir author conan doyle........watch out! Mine sorted under "Sir"........Go figure. I sent them notes, they replied that it was out of their hands, that the formatting was done by the publisher. So now, thanks to Mobi2Mobi I can sort them like they should be!
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:10 PM   #8
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Unfortunately, I've found several Amazon books that seem un-changeable with mobi2mobi.
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMikeD View Post
Unfortunately, I've found several Amazon books that seem un-changeable with mobi2mobi.
Have you tried posting your specific problem to the "Kindle Troubleshooting" thread? Tallmomof2, Leep, and others have lots of knowledge of taking care of these bothersome details!
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:07 PM   #10
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I tested a few ways of entering of Charles Dickens. From mobils (spaces added for clarity):

Code:
Dickens, Charles:       A Tale of Two Cities (D,C)    (./Dickens_TTC_DcC.mobi)
Dickens:                       A Tale of Two Cities (D)         (./Dickens_TTC_D.mobi)
Charles, Dickens:       A Tale of Two Cities (C,D)     (./Dickens_TTC_CcD.mobi)
Dickens Charles:        A Tale of Two Cities (DC)      (./Dickens_TTC_DC.mobi)
Charles Dickens:        A Tale of Two Cities (CD)      (./Dickens_TTC_CD.mobi)
Dickens, Sir Charles: A Tale of Two Cities (DcSC) (./Dickens_TTC_DcSC.mobi)
dickens, charles:         A Tale of Two Cities (d,c)       (./Dickens_TTC_d,c.mobi)
Dickens was not a Sir but I added that as a test.

See the attached screenshots in sort by author mode. The rules appear to be simple (but I may be missing some end cases):
  1. Sort order is from the Author text string, upper and lower case are equivalent
  2. YYY, XXX displays as XXX YYY
  3. All others display "as is"
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:40 PM   #11
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Yours was the name I was trying to think of but couldn't in my earlier post! Thanks!

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Old 08-06-2008, 10:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
I tested a few ways of entering of Charles Dickens. From mobils (spaces added for clarity):

Code:
Dickens, Charles:       A Tale of Two Cities (D,C)    (./Dickens_TTC_DcC.mobi)
Dickens:                       A Tale of Two Cities (D)         (./Dickens_TTC_D.mobi)
Charles, Dickens:       A Tale of Two Cities (C,D)     (./Dickens_TTC_CcD.mobi)
Dickens Charles:        A Tale of Two Cities (DC)      (./Dickens_TTC_DC.mobi)
Charles Dickens:        A Tale of Two Cities (CD)      (./Dickens_TTC_CD.mobi)
Dickens, Sir Charles: A Tale of Two Cities (DcSC) (./Dickens_TTC_DcSC.mobi)
dickens, charles:         A Tale of Two Cities (d,c)       (./Dickens_TTC_d,c.mobi)
Dickens was not a Sir but I added that as a test.

See the attached screenshots in sort by author mode. The rules appear to be simple (but I may be missing some end cases):
  1. Sort order is from the Author text string, upper and lower case are equivalent
  2. YYY, XXX displays as XXX YYY
  3. All others display "as is"
Exactly. You have two of the Charles Dickens files that get indexed with the C's instead of with the D's. That's my point. I have books from Amazon that are getting indexed incorrectly. And two of them can't be fixed with mobi2mobi, while a number of them could.

I went through and fixed 50 or so files I got from here, Feedbooks, and so forth, and now everything is getting sorted correctly except for those two files. I looked at them with a hex editor, and they don't seem have the metadata in the same form or near the same place as others I've looked at.

Last edited by JMikeD; 08-06-2008 at 11:18 PM.
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