I see that Amazon UK is now defaulting to a really dumb wide-spectrum search, when one clicks on the author-name link on a book page. For instance, a click-search for the Tolkien scholar J. S. Ryan plunges one into quack-pot ‘health cure’ books and trash sci-fi trilogies by similarly-named authors. It’s done on the basis of ‘confusion marketing’ I guess.

The spectrum gets extremely wide half way down the results page, when it seems that any author with “J. S.” in the name is being shovelled in.

The U.S. version of Amazon appears to have the same name-authority problem on search. For now, one can instead manually paste-search for “J. S. Ryan”, which does give correct results. But that’s not going to be much use for someone with a less distinctive name.

This new problem comes on top of Amazon’s foul new practice of lumping all book reviews for a book title under all editions of that book. Thus, for instance, one arrives at the page for a critical edition of a classic work but reads a peeved review of a cheap shovel-ware reprint ebook of the same title.

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