14 Replies Latest reply: May 22, 2012 8:37 PM by MichiHenning
rockinyp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I'm a published author and a while back my publisher added an ebook version of my book to iTunes. I'm about to self-publish a few ebooks now and would love to have my self-published ebooks appear under my author (artist) listing in iTunes so I can cross promote them and give people an easy link to see all my books in iTunes. Is this easy enough to do through the normal iAuthor publishing process or do I need to work with my publisher to figure out how to get access to my existing author list in iTunes? How can I ensure that all my published and self-published show up under the same author list?

 

I also have another ebook that's published by a different publisher, but it isn't on iTunes yet. When they publish it to iTunes, will they be able to list my ebook under my same author listing, as well? How does this work? Thanks in advance for your help!


Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • 1. Re: How do I list my ebooks under the same author listing as my published books?
    MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)

    Any book by a particular author will show up when people look for that auther. Who the publisher is doesn't matter. (It is common for an author to have been published by more than one publisher.) So, just put your name as the author for your digital book, and that's that.

     

    Note that other authors with the same name will show up too if they search for you. But that's exactly as you would expect it to be. If you want a listing that shows all books by you (say "John Smith") as opposed to all books written by all John Smiths in the world, just make a web page with all your books and point people at that.

     

    Michi.

  • 2. Re: How do I list my ebooks under the same author listing as my published books?
    K T Level 7 Level 7 (23,700 points)

    All books submitted to the store under your account will show up and be grouped together when someone looks at any of your books and bothers to drill down on you by name and or searches on the name attached to that account.

     

    Books submitted by another author will show up under that author's name/account. If that author wishes to do so, they might be able to include your name as a string in the keywords - thus if that matches the name on the account for your other books, all would show up in a search.

     

    The best way to have your books all grouped together in the store is to have them all submitted using one account, of course.

  • 3. Re: How do I list my ebooks under the same author listing as my published books?
    rockinyp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your help, guys! Unfortunately, it sounds like I'm getting conflicting responses. MichiHenning says that the author's list is basically a search query (although the author listing URL doesn't seem to contain a search qeuries in it -- it appears to be a direct link to an author ID) and KT says that author listings are specific to the account that submitted the ebook.

     

    If the former is true, then that makes it easy for me to list all my ebooks under one author listing, but if the latter is true, then the only way for me to do this is to figure something out with my first publisher who put me on iTunes and then give that info to my other publisher, as well.

     

    Hmmm...

  • 4. Re: How do I list my ebooks under the same author listing as my published books?
    MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)

    rockinyp wrote:

     

    Thanks for your help, guys! Unfortunately, it sounds like I'm getting conflicting responses. MichiHenning says that the author's list is basically a search query (although the author listing URL doesn't seem to contain a search qeuries in it -- it appears to be a direct link to an author ID) and KT says that author listings are specific to the account that submitted the ebook.

    Hmmm… Suppose a customer types "Pratchett" into the search box in the book store. That'll of course bring up all books that have Terry Pratchett as the author, or in the title, or anywhere else in the parts of the metadata that are used for a search. When you try this, you find that mostly books of Terry Pratchett show up but, if you look through the search results, you'll find that they also include a book called "Cultural Palimpsets: Terry Pratchett's New Fantasy Heroes", by Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts.

     

    The books that are shown can be from different publishers. For example, "I Shall wear Midnight" is published by RHCP, but "Snuff" is published by Transworld, and both show up in the same search for "Pratchett".

     

    You can click on the "Author Page". Doing this will bring up books by Terry Pratchett, no matter what publisher published the book.

     

    There is no concept of a unique "Author ID" in the store, as far as I can see. I don't see how there could be one because, when you submit a book to the store, the metadata contains the author's name, no more, no less. There is no unique ID that would allow the store to distinguish between two different authors called "John Smith".

     

    So, it appears unavoidable that, if you, as an author, have a name that is not unique, books from authors with the same name will be shown as well when customers click on the author link.

     

    Michi.

  • 5. Re: How do I list my ebooks under the same author listing as my published books?
    K T Level 7 Level 7 (23,700 points)

    Call it what you like, uploads are associated with an account. Work out from there....don't be distracted by speculation on maybes and what ifs

  • 6. Re: How do I list my ebooks under the same author listing as my published books?
    MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)

    K T wrote:

     

    Call it what you like, uploads are associated with an account. Work out from there....don't be distracted by speculation on maybes and what ifs

    So, if there are two authors with the same name, will or won't they show up in an author listing?

     

    Michi.

  • 7. Re: How do I list my ebooks under the same author listing as my published books?
    K T Level 7 Level 7 (23,700 points)

    Check your email

  • 8. Re: How do I list my ebooks under the same author listing as my published books?
    MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)

    K T wrote:

     

    Check your email

    Please see this post.

     

    Michi.

  • 9. Re: How do I list my ebooks under the same author listing as my published books?
    rockinyp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Okay, after digging around a bit it appears that author titles are indeed tied to an account, not to just a search qeury. For example, if you search iTunes books for "Jim Lacey," there are currently 6 results. However, if you click on their individual "Jim Lacey" author links you'll notice that there's only two books in each listing. Either there are three different Jim Laceys (and thus they each have a different author listing tied to different accounts) or it's the same Jim Lacey and his different publishers are listing his books in a different author listing accounts. Either way, if I click on "Jim Lacey," not all of the books with that author's name show up as a search query would. That's exactly I I don't want to happen for the books I upload. I want them all to be tied to the same author account so people who like one of my books can easily click my name to see the other books I've published, regardless of if they're self published or published by different publishers.

     

    So, does anyone know if that's even possible? And if so, how would I go about doing that? I've talked with both of my publishers and so far one hasn't responded and the other one has no idea how that works. They outsource their electronic publishing to someone else. Any help? Or should I just forget the whole thing as being a possibility?

     

    Just for the sake of clarity, this is what a search query URL for iTunes looks like:

     

    http://ax.search.itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZSearch.woa/wa/search?entity=ebook &media=all&page=1&restrict=true&startIndex=0&term=Jim+Lacey

     

    This is what an author listing URL looks like:

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/jim-lacey/id292104507?mt=11

     

    With "id292104507" being a part of the "artist" link, it really looks like author titles are tied to an account ID, an account that I'm trying to figure out how to gain access to as the author of that ID even though my first publisher set it up.

  • 10. Re: How do I list my ebooks under the same author listing as my published books?
    MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)

    I downloaded samples of all six titles. Clicking on the Author Page links in the store groups them as follows:

     

    - The First Clash Author Page points at The First Clash and La Scrittore

     

    - Pershing Author Page points at nine additional titles, none of which are among the six returned by the search.

     

    - Double Trouble Author Page points at Double Trouble and Serendipity

     

    - La Scrittore Author Page points at The First Clash and La Scrittore

     

    - The First Clash (Greek translation) Author Page points at The First Clash (Greek translation) and Pershing

     

    - Serendipity Author Page points at Double Trouble and Serendipity

     

    Reading up on the biographical information in the samples, and looking around on the web, there are certainly different Jim Laceys involved.

     

    It turns out that The First Clash, The First Clash (Greek translation), and Pershing are written by the same person. (You can see this by looking at the "Also by Jim Lacey" section in The First Clash.)

     

    La Scrittore is by a different Jim Lacey.

     

    Double Trouble and Serendipity are by yet another Jim Lacey.

     

    So, there are three authors involved, but the iBookstore groups them incorrectly and inconsistencly in the Author Pages:

     

    - First Clash, First Clash (Greek translation), and Pershing should be grouped together but are not

     

    - La Scrittore and First Clash are shown on the same author page but are actually by different people

     

    I have no idea what all this means, other than that authors are not identified by an author ID, but by something else. The strange results from the Author Page links might well be just an artifact of how the database is organised and searched. At any rate, in the absense of a unique author ID that unambiguously identifies a person (rather than a name), confusion among books by different authors with the same name appears to be inevitable.

     

    If you want to make sure that readers get to see a complete and accurate list of your books, I would create a web page with your bibliography and point them at that.

     

    Michi.

  • 11. Re: How do I list my ebooks under the same author listing as my published books?
    rockinyp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, MichiHenning! That's really helpful. I didn't look into it that closely.

     

    If I was pointing people to my website then yes, I could just list all my books there. However, I'm thinking about the person who likes one of my books in iTunes and wants to see what else I've published. I'm assuming they'd naturally click on my author link? Is that an accurate assumption or not really?

  • 12. Re: How do I list my ebooks under the same author listing as my published books?
    MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)

    However, I'm thinking about the person who likes one of my books in iTunes and wants to see what else I've published. I'm assuming they'd naturally click on my author link? Is that an accurate assumption or not really?

    I'd say that's a reasonable expectation. I guess it's unavoidable that, if you have a name is the same as that of other authors, people will see other authors' books too. One thing that might help is to add a page to the front matter of your electronic books, saying: "Other books by John Smith" or some such. You could even make each title a link to the relevant page in the store. Unfortunately, this means updating each of your published titles every time you add a new one, with the concomitant risks.

     

    A better approach might be to just have a link to your home page or some such in each book. That way, you can update the list of titles without having to update each published book. Be careful though not to run afoul of Apple's rules about linking to competitor sites or competing products.

     

    Michi.

  • 13. Re: How do I list my ebooks under the same author listing as my published books?
    rockinyp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yeah, I was thinking that same thing, too. It may just have to be my best option at this point. Was hoping iTunes would naturally list all my works together, but that may be a lot more work than it's worth if it's even possible in the first place.

     

    Thanks for all the help! I think I'll go with that route unless my original publisher gets back to me with a solution, in which case I'll be sure to update this thread for others.

  • 14. Re: How do I list my ebooks under the same author listing as my published books?
    MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)

    I think I'll go with that route unless my original publisher gets back to me with a solution, in which case I'll be sure to update this thread for others.

    In the absence of a unique author ID (similar to the publisher ID inside an ISBN), it is impossible to distinguish between different authors with the same name. I think it is a certainty that there is no solution to the problem, given the information that Apple collect when a book is submitted.

     

    Michi.