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Somehow I have managed to have several 'authors' that are an amalgamation of different names. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get them split up to how they are supposed to be.

When I browse the Authors, it will just have a couple of entries like:

David Mack, Keith R. A. Decandido

David Mack, Marco Palmieri, Dayton Ward, Kevin Dilmore

listed under the D, whereas I obviously expect the former to be two separate authors, and four authors for the latter.

I have tried removing second author completely from the books that had the former author, but the moment I re-add them it becomes its own unique category yet again. I have tried this through grid editing and the individual metadata screen with no result.

How do I convince Calibre to treat these authors right?

Note that I use the default author split settings, which should be capable of splitting those author strings just fine.

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The comma (,) can be part of the name (e.g. in names having the suffix , Jr), but also when they are in reverse order: Mack, David. So you cannot use that to separate names and because of the second use, if a comma is already there the name doesn't get split and reordered, as Calibre thinks that has already been done.

I use the word and between names, but IIRC you can also use the ampersand (&), to separate the names:

 David Mack and Marco Palmieri and Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore

If you put that in Calibre's Authors field and click the right arrow next to it the resulting Author sort field will be:

Mack, David & Palmieri, Marco & Ward, Dayton & Dilmore, Kevin

and your book will be under M

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