GoodReads - Disambiguating Names

There are times that there are two authors in the GoodReads system with the exact same name. For example, my name Lisa Shea is not unique. There are now multiple authors in GoodReads with the name Lisa Shea. Here is how to handle this issue.

First, make sure that you have set up a GoodReads basic account, and that you have then enabled it to be an author account. The instructions to do that are linked to from the bottom of this article. So that's the first step. Make sure you are fully in their system, so they have someone to associate the entry with.

Second, once you have an author account, go to your author profile page. Do you see your books listed on your page? If so, you're mostly set. If you also have OTHER author's books on your page, those are the ones you'll want to change.

Extra Books Displaying on your Author Page
For each book which does NOT belong to you, but which is showing up as "yours" on your author page, click on its link to go to its full page description. Now, cut and paste that book's URL into a text editor. You select the URL in the top browser bar, use control-C (or apple-C for Macs) to cut it. Then open up a text editor or Word and click in a blank document. Use control-V (or apple-V on Macs) to paste it there. Do this for each book you want to move to another name. This process is so you have all the URLs in one place. You should end up with a text document that has a list of URLs.

Now, go to the Goodreads Librarians Group - the link is here - Goodreads Librarians Group - The librarians are the ones who can fix issues like this. Make a new post in the "book issues" thread. First, give them your author page URL so they know who you are. Then give them this list of URLs and tell them you need those books altered so they aren't associated with you any more. They will take care of it.

Here's what they will do, just so you know. Let's say your name is Lisa Shea. By default, your name is Lisa, then one space, then Shea. So like this: Lisa^Shea. The system automatically finds all books with an exact match to that and associates them with your account.

The librarian will change the other books' author names to have TWO spaces between the Lisa and the Shea so they no longer match. So let's say there are five books in the system:

Sworn Loyalty by Lisa^Shea
Creating Memories by Lisa^Shea
Lady in Red by Lisa^Shea
Strange Book 1 by Lisa^Shea
Strange Book 2 by Lisa^Shea

(The ^ symbols are just in there to make this clearer)

What the librarian will do is alter those last two books - the ones you want to disassociate from your account. The librarian will change the Lisa^Shea to Lisa^^Shea. On a browser screen it looks the same - the reader doesn't see any real difference between one space and two. But to the computer program, the names are completely different. So now, once that is done, the system has in its records:

Sworn Loyalty by Lisa^Shea
Creating Memories by Lisa^Shea
Lady in Red by Lisa^Shea
Strange Book 1 by Lisa^^Shea
Strange Book 2 by Lisa^^Shea

Since the bottom two books no longer exactly match your name, they won't show up on your listing page any more. They will be considered to be a separate author.

Books Missing from your Author Page
Let's take the opposite problem. A book is in the system. You can find it with a search. However, when you go to your author page, the book does NOT show up in the list of books you've written. This usually happens if someone else has already "claimed" the one-space-version of the name. That is, in our Lisa Shea example, the "other" Lisa Shea has already created an account called Lisa^Shea and has claimed all of her books with that entry. This means, as you are the second person, you now have claim to the Lisa^^Shea name. You are the version of Lisa Shea with two spaces in your name.

So first, as before, you need to gather URLs. In this case, get the URL of each book you WANT to show up on your author page. I.e. the URL of each book you wrote.

Next, go to the GoodReads Librarians group. Tell them your author URL and the URLs of your books. Explain that you are the second author with the name and you needs these books to be disambiguated. Explain that you need to become the two-space version of them name. They should understand what you mean.

They will then alter those books so the author name has two spaces in it. They should also be able to edit your profile so your author profile has the matching two spaces.

Once your author profile has two spaces, and all your books have two spaces, then they will match. Your books will show up on your author page as a perfect match. You can then edit and update them.

Let me know if you have any questions!

GoodReads Author Account - the basics
GoodReads - Getting Reviews for your Books

What Does It Cost to Ghostwrite a Book?
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