You may recall that, back in May, I wrote about Amazon’s god-awful search engine issues which would not reveal any of my books despite putting “David E. Gates” in full in their search windows.
Now, it seems, Audible have a similar, but strikingly WORSE issue. If you look up my audiobook, Access Denied, it shows “More from the same Author” beneath my book, detailing a number of works relating to religion by an author called “David Gates”:
Now, ordinarily I’d welcome any additional cross-referencing and exposure I could get. But, in this case – because I’m an atheist – I don’t want to be associated with any religious works.
I contacted ACX, the people “behind” Audible and they gave me the following response:
website is an Audible feature for which we have little information or
insight. From what we’ve been told, the results in the “More from the Same”
section are related to a smart search function and relates products based on
keywords and other factors. If someone has the same name as you, you will
most likely find their works listed as well. Similarly, this other
individual will have your product showing on their book page which will give
you additional exposure as their listeners will discover your content as
Since this is a smart search type of function it is an automatic
process that cannot be manually manipulated. Unfortunately neither ACX nor
Audible have the ability to manually add or remove products to the ‘More
from the Same’ section. We have expressed concerns to Audible regarding this
search functionality and hope to see this addressed and improved.”
you requested that someone assist you. I looked back and found that you are
trying to find somebody to fix what shows in the “More From the Same Author”
section of your title profile. There isn’t anybody that you can speak to to
have this section corrected. I reached out to Audible’s metadata team to see if this could be corrected.
Unfortunately, Audible’s metadata team let me know that they don’t have
control over the “More From The Same” section. It’s a website issue that
they hope to fix down the line. Currently the “More From The Same” section
is controlled by a general search. The algorithm will try to determine the
best matching titles based on that search. It’s possible that the algorithm
will choose to display only one entry, whereas sometimes the search will
yield two or three entries. It will also choose names that are similar. This
is all at random.”
“That is an absolutely ridiculous suggestion. As is the suggestion that you cannot manipulate the code so it reflects the actual author of the book rather than a random search. I work in IT and know that any code can be manipulated or changed. I would suggest you escalate this further to your developers.
My name is my brand and I shouldn’t have to change it because your crappy system cannot work out the difference between the actual author and one found through a search of similar words.
Maybe you can change the words “more from this author” to “more from authors with similar names?”
Either way it’s farcical. Imagine if you wrote a book and created an audiobook from it and then somebody with a similar name created an audiobook about something you found extremely distasteful and that was suggested as one of your titles? How would you feel given the days and hours you invested in creating the book and the audiobook only to find that it was cross-referenced with something entirely inappropriate?