Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Two Cent Tuesday: Dot-Dot-Dash

Initials with dots!
Last month when I was changing prices on the Scarlet Knight books, a little problem finally hit me.  It's a very little problem:  Two dots to be exact.  The two dots on my initials.

See, on the covers there are the dots.  And that's how my "publisher" of the first one listed my name too.  But for the other ones I was lazy and forgot to put the dots in, so they were listed as "PT Dilloway" and not "P.T. Dilloway."  Well big whoop, right?

It turns out this is actually a problem as far as search engines go.  On Amazon and B&N if you type in "pt dilloway" then everything by me comes up.  However, if you type in "p.t. dilloway" you'll only get A Hero's Journey and We Are Now to come up.  D'OH!  So in the unlikely scenario someone were to read my book (yeah, right) and then say, "Wow I want to read more by this P.T. Dilloway guy!" (as if) and they go to Amazon or B&N and type in p.t. dilloway they won't get anything else.  Which in this fantasy world would mean I couldn't sell them the sequels.

Now I'm not sure how many people would put the dots into the search engine.  I'm lazy so I wouldn't bother to do it.  Some people who are less lazy might and since as I said it comes up with all the books if you don't put the dots in, it just makes sense to put the dots in to have full coverage.  So I had to spend a half-hour or so adding dots to my name on Amazon and B&N.  And then I have to update Goodreads too.  The problem with Goodreads is now that they have the dots, when you search "pt dilloway" it won't bring up anything.  I actually tried to add PT Dilloway as a co-author, but it wouldn't take.  Ugh, what an idiotic search engine if it's fooled by two dots!

I can't update Smashwords because their system is way too anal-retentive about that.  You can't just enter a name; you have to set up a "ghost account" for that person and since my "publisher" already used the P.T. Dilloway one I don't think I can.

Not like anyone buys anything from Smashwords anyway, so I guess I shouldn't be worried.  Anyway, this is the kind of little niggling bullshit you sometimes have to deal with as an author.  At least if you're an author stupid enough to use initials.  Do you suppose J.K. Rowling or EL James ever had this problem?  If they did, they probably had minions to fix it for them.


  1. I read your post.

    Then one of my staffers came in with a stupid comment/question.

    Then I pointed out (politely) that an email I sent 2 weeks ago (quote) "could not have been more clear."

    Then I got interrupted by several more people.

    Then I had to take a phone call, and the person on the other end of the line kept dropping the call.

    Bottom line? It's 8:40 a.m. and I'm annoyed with the world.

    Anyway: you're right. Why would they include the dots in the search? I tried it out and you're right. Then I tried the varying combinations of my name (w/ "jr", w/o, etc.) and got different results for each thing.

    It's even worse for you, because there are a lot of authors with the surname "Dilloway".

    Then again, search Amazon for "Pagel" and you get this Elaine Pagels, who apparently writes about demons and Satan. Not sure whether that's good or bad for me.

  2. Since it was Rowling's publisher that made her do the whole J.K. think, I am now wondering if there is some publisher conspiracy to do with periods.

  3. Go figure. Who knew it would be that complicated Pat.



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