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Old 08-31-2010, 04:12 PM   #1
Ben Thornton
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Sorting by Author

Perhaps everyone knows this, but I discovered it by experiment, and thought someone might benefit.

If you sort Amazon's books by author, the appear in surname order, but are displayed with christian name or initials first. For example "J.R.R. Tolkien" comes after "Robert Sheckley".

However, if you side-load a book with the author set to "J.R.R. Tolkien", it sorts before "Robert Sheckley". The kindle seems to ignore the Author Sort metadata.

The solution is to set the metadata to "Tolkien, J.R.R", which the kindle then sorts into the right place, but displays as "J.R.R. Tolkien".

In short:
set your authors in Calibre to "last, first" and they will display properly.

Apologies if you all know this already.
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:31 PM   #2
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It's actually all based on the metadata, and the sorting will vary, depending on who did the original e-book and how much care they took with it.

Conversions from ePub usually need fixing, especially if the dc:author element in the OPF doesn't have a "file-as" attribute.

You can also add additional authors by separating the names with a semicolon, e.g. "Author, First; Author, Second", and they'll show up on the Kindle as "First Author & Second Author" and sort under "Author".
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for that. Now I've looked at more files, half of them don't work

For example, I have Flatland, by Edwin Abbot (from here at Mobileread)
it insists on showing up as Abbot_Flatland with no Author, even though I've changed the metadata in Calibre. It does the same in Kindle for PC too, so it's not the device.

How do I set the metadata for the file so that the Kindle sees it? Do I need to use the command line tools?
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:52 PM   #4
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I've answered my own question - I think I needed to get Calibre to generate a new file. In any case, I converted the prc file to mobi, and that worked.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:55 PM   #5
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You can also use the Mobi2Mobi tools (there's a GUI version for Windows). From the command-line, you can change stuff in place by doing:
Code:
mobi2mobi --outfile SAMENAME.mobi --author "Lastname, First" SAMENAME.mobi
Though it gets a bit trickier with DRM-ed Amazon-supplied files, which use the -exthtype headers which have to be changed in a way better described in the MR wiki.
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Thornton View Post
How do I set the metadata for the file so that the Kindle sees it? Do I need to use the command line tools?
In Calibre, highlight the book you want to transfer and click the metadate icon. You will see two author fields - "author(s)" and "author sort". The kindle only uses the "author(s)" field, and it only likes the form "Last, First (Middle)". It doesn't do much in the way of error correction. Here are a couple of examples:

"John Wilkes Booth" displays OK but sorts as a "W".
"Booth,John Wilkes" sorts OK but displays as "Booth,John Wilkes".
"Booth, John Wilkes" sorts and displays OK.

Just as a side note Calibre sorts on the "author sort" field and displays the "author(s)" field exactly as entered (the way it was intended to work). So, if you wanted to sort last name first you would enter "Last, First".

If you want to use this method for DRMd books you need to download the file from "Manage your Kindle" to your computer and then import it into Calibre.

Regards - John

Last edited by Jabby; 08-31-2010 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:03 PM   #7
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It is my impression that you always have to convert prc to mobi in Calibre in order to get the metadata changes to work on the kindle. Is that correct?
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