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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019) and AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My name is NOT "Russel Blackford"

Publishers take note. My name is "Russell Blackford". That's "Russell" spelled in the ordinary way with two L's.

For the third time in the past year or so, I've just had a publication of some importance - and that I would otherwise have taken pride in - ruined when the publisher, for some totally unknown reason, decided to spell my name as "Russel Blackford" ... despite my name being spelled correctly on all the correspondence, the copy, etc. I have no idea how this happens, but I'm fed up with it. I'm not going to name the culprits, but PLEASE, from now on, all publishers, spell my goddamn name correctly.

I do not want my hard work thrown away. I don't want it attributed to some other person who does not exist; I do want my work to be discoverable if somebody googles for my name; I do want my name to come up correctly if somebody searches on terms relevant to the subject matter; I don't want confusion about my identity (or whether there may be two people with similar names, or whatever people are thinking by now).

It's just not that difficult. It's not as if it's a rare spelling or that unusual a first name. Is it asking too much for professional people in the publishing industry to get such an important and easy thing right?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Google shouldn't present too much of a problem for you, people will still find your work through Google because Google's search algorithm checks for entries with slight (and even quite radical) spelling variations. The real concern will be with academic databases which require exact spelling. And I'm assuming that its academics ( who more often than not will be using academic databases rather than Google) that are your target audience. I'd be quite furious too if I was in your position.