What’s in a name? Apparently a lot! I just discovered that some of my books were attributed to another author on Goodreads.
How did that happen?
Well…we have the same name.
In 2012, before I published my first book as an Indy author (My FINAL Quit — How I quit smoking and broke a 40-year addiction), I search online to see who else named PAM YOUNG was out there.
I found a rock star, a medical doctor, and a children’s author.
The only one that concerned me was the children’s author. Because we write in different genres, I didn’t think that would be an issue. And my writer friends agreed: no worries.
Today, in responding to an email invitation to answer a reader’s question, I ended up on Goodreads where I noticed that only two of my five books were listed on my Author Page!
So I spent the next two hours trying to figure out how to add my books to my author page… No Luck! And I could not find the answer on the Goodreads site.
I tried to recall what I had done five years ago to build that author platform. Seems like I found my book in their list or added it to their list, clicked on my name as author, and then scurried back to my author profile to answer the question, “Is this your book?”
I tried that just now. It didn’t work.
I searched online, “How does an author add her book to her Goodreads Author profile?”
Two responses. The first was the same as what I had already done. The second one said to “Go to Goodreads Librarians and add a comment.”
But the rules must have changed because when I tried that I got the message, “You can’t add a comment because you are not a member of the group.” I assumed that group must refer to the “Librarians” — a volunteer group that edits the Goodreads web page, because I was already logged in as an author.
Sticky wicket. In a pickle. Between a rock and a hard place. Stuck in the muck!
Hmm. What to do.
I understand the difficulty in placing books if there are now THREE authors with the same name, “Pam Young.” Perhaps they could let the author add their own books — as they did in 2012 when I joined Goodreads. If they believe they do let the author add their own books, perhaps they could investigate what the issue is with this author trying that method. Or, if they believe the information is already on the Goodreads site for authors, perhaps they could include “How to add your books to your author page” with that information so even I could find it.
Re’ the single book I authored with a pen name, P.R. Young instead of Pam Young, (Rethinking the Law of Attraction) Goodreads isn’t the only site that has to contend with “aka author names.” Amazon and Smashwords both figured out how to let an author add their own books to their profile. Amazon leaves it to the author and they provide HELP if there is an issue — by phone or by email. (I totally understand that Goodreads is a volunteer gig and isn’t equipped to answer phone calls. And I have already raised some alternatives especially for them in the paragraph above).
While Smashwords lets the author handle their own Author Profile, there’s a bit more to do than just adding the book if their book is under a different name than the one used to set up that profile.
What could I possibly do to mitigate the challenge?
Here’s what I’ve done so far:
- Edited several of my “Answers to readers questions” adding the missing titles in clarifying examples. At least those who read the “Q & A” for authors will know I have those books even if they aren’t listed on my Author Profile. Maybe they’ll pass the word.
- Did everything this geek knows how to do to solve the problem and came up empty. But I didn’t stop there.
- I sent an email to the LIBRARIANS requesting that the other three titles be added to my profile page.
- I wrote this blog post — not only to educate the readers on Goodreads who follow it, but also as a plea for help from that community of authors.
Whew! I’ve satisfied my need to “do my part” — a concept mentioned in MY next book, #3 in the Burnout to Bliss series.
The working title for this book is still SURRENDER, but that won’t be the final title. Having learned a lesson (“What’s in a name?”), I will take the time to research and then select the title carefully. Who wants their book to compete with one written by a “wealthy software businessman turned popular yoga retreat owner with thousands of loyal followers?” YIKES!
Why don’t I just change the author name for all five of my books?
- Change it to what? Every permutation of my birth name, Pamela Rose Young, was researched before I built my social media platform in 2011. (I will not use Pamela Rose Young for personal reasons.) The names selected were “the best I could do at the time with the information and resources available to me” (quote from my book, Rethinking the Law of Attraction).
- COST: changing my name on those five books involves a hefty cost — book covers and interior would have to be changed.
- Nah… that’s going backwards and I really don’t like going backwards. Same reason I won’t have NIGHT SOUNDS edited again after paying $500+ to the first editor. (That, and I’m following the Sterling Brothers on that issue of redoing old stuff.)
- I’ve lived with PAM YOUNG as my name for 72 years. It’s mine.
Just so you know: these are MY five books:
(Oops! Another aka! “Tzaddi” is my Tarot name.)
See you next time!
Pam Young aka P.R. Young aka Dr. Pam Young aka INDU, aka Tzaddi
If you haven’t yet published your book, but think you will, please choose your author and social media name carefully. ‘Nuff said?
UPDATE re’ Goodreads Snafu:
I got an email from Carlos, one of the Goodreads LIBRARIANS. He said he had corrected the listings (put them on my profile) and added this:
Librarians normally fix issues like this, so you can always feel free to post in the Librarians Group, where our volunteer librarians will be happy to help you out with any librarian requests like this. To do so, just join the group by clicking on “Join Group” under the group profile photo. From there, you can simply post a request by starting a new discussion thread here.
Thanks, Carlos! Whew! And now I know how to contact them if ever I need their service again. And so do you!