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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just found something very horrifying on this website: www.epubbooks.com. My real name was written as the publisher name! I cannot begin to tell you how disturbing that was to see that appear on my erotica titles...

Now, from what I can see this is limited to Kobo books, and only those with ISBNs. The titles I didn't register ISBNs on do not show up anywhere on the site, which leads me to believe that Kobo dropped the ball and has released very sensitive information about some of its authors. With the exception of a couple of my titles, I haven't included ISBNs on any other distribution channel, so by process of elimination I believe that Kobo is the culprit.

I urge everyone to go and check this site immediately, because through my short search I did come across a couple of authors on KB whose names have been compromised. There will likely be several more.

Edited to add: Removed Smashwords from this as I now realise this has nothing to do with them. Those who went direct with Kobo, do check your contact name field, because that appears to be where the problem lies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Okay, after further investigation, I'm now certain it's Kobo that's at fault here. They have used the contact name as the name of my publisher, even though I supplied a publisher name. As the ISBN cannot be removed, the only thing to do is delist the books and relist them without the ISBNs.

Kobo needs to be made accountable for this egregious error.
 

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This one reason why, when you register a ISBN, you register it under a company name. The ownership of the ISBN is set from the moment you buy it, and cannot be changed. Nothing to do with Kobo. It merely lists the owner of the ISBN.

This is why you cannot borrow someone else's ISBN, and why it's sometimes better to go without.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Patty Jansen said:
This one reason why, when you register a ISBN, you register it under a company name. The ownership of the ISBN is set from the moment you buy it, and cannot be changed. Nothing to do with Kobo. It merely lists the owner of the ISBN.

This is why you cannot borrow someone else's ISBN, and why it's sometimes better to go without.
My ISBN was free from Smashwords, and registered to Smashwords...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Patty Jansen said:
OK

You can't use Smashwords ISBNs elsewhere, by the way.
That's fine, and I stopped after my first books. Still doesn't explain why Kobo gave out my real name to this website.
 

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Lady Vine said:
That's fine, and I stopped after my first books. Still doesn't explain why Kobo gave out my real name to this website.
Lady Vine, I'm confused. (I'm really confused, not trying to be snarky! :) )
If you got your ISBN from Smashwords, and you think Kobo is responsible for letting the cat out of the bag via your ISBN...and you did not use your Smashwords ISBN at Kobo, how did this work? ???
 

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My $0.02:

Various websites have different way in which they deal with pseudonyms.

If you have two pseudonyms under one account, they may always remain linked in some way, and sometimes in a way that customers can possibly tell (do they care?). If you really, really, really don't want anyone to be able to find out, ever, you should open two separate accounts with two completely different sets of data and names on everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Masha du Toit said:
Lady Vine, I'm confused. (I'm really confused, not trying to be snarky! :) )
If you got your ISBN from Smashwords, and you think Kobo is responsible for letting the cat out of the bag via your ISBN...and you did not use your Smashwords ISBN at Kobo, how did this work? ???
Oh no, I did use my Smashwords ISBNs on Kobo, but on subsequent titles I opted out of getting ISBNs, free or otherwise. When I said I stopped I meant I stopped using ISBNs entirely, i.e. not registering my books on Smash. Once your book is published on Kobo you can't delete the ISBN.
 

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Lady Vine said:
Oh no, I did use my Smashwords ISBNs on Kobo, but on subsequent titles I opted out of getting ISBNs, free or otherwise. When I said I stopped I meant I stopped using ISBNs entirely, i.e. not registering my books on Smash. Once your book is published on Kobo you can't delete the ISBN.
Oh, Okay. Understand now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Patty Jansen said:
My $0.02:

Various websites have different way in which they deal with pseudonyms.

If you have two pseudonyms under one account, they may always remain linked in some way, and sometimes in a way that customers can possibly tell (do they care?). If you really, really, really don't want anyone to be able to find out, ever, you should open two separate accounts with two completely different sets of data and names on everything.
This has nothing to do with linking pseudonyms and everything to do with the fact that Kobo released mine and other authors' private information, contact information, to the public. Opening more than one account (I have 4 pseudonyms at the moment) is impracticable, to say the least. And really, why would I do that when they've made it clear that I can use pen names? And even if I had done that, what difference would it have made? They used my contact information - which would have been the same on all of my accounts - so the issue would have occurred either way.

Look, you obviously don't have this problem, so that's fine, you don't need to be worried about it. Some authors do, so I thought they would have appreciated knowing that this was happening.
 

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Lady V,

Yikes!  A good heads up reported here and the replies offer solutions. Can you unpublish the ISBN titles, (will you need to change the names?) and republish without the ISBN?

Can you contact the website and have them change the "incorrect information?"

It would be great for you to report how you resolved this for others here. Erotica writers want to protec their pen names, but any writer with a pen name would be interested in this information.

Li
 

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Thank you for posting this. I too have found my name under my books for both pen names as well, but not for all. Some of them have Smashwords as the publisher (which is fine), which makes me wonder whether it's something I'm doing wrong (which is what I'm assuming for now until).

All my ISBNs are tied to a company name I set up as MyLit Publishing before I even published, so if anything should be there it's the company name, not my name. The ISBNs are also registered to the company name.

I wrote an email to KOBO asking for explanation. What scares me is if it's not KOBO from whom the information has leaked. How is epubbooks tied to KOBO? Are we assuming because it's epub?
I've checked some other books as well for other well known authors. They either have their pen name as the publisher or Smashwords or publishing company.

My next email is to epubbooks.

I'm not liking this at all. There goes any anonymity an author would like. I hope it's nothing I've done, and if it is, perhaps someone can shed some light on this.
 

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You know, that web site has problems (Epubbooks.com)

I just checked my books. I have a small press and that small press owns all the ISBNs. I use ISBNs on every book at every retailer, and they are always entered the same way.

But on THAT web site, my publishers are listed as

Casey Shay Press (correct)
Deanna Roy (not correct)
Smashwords (what? I have never used a Smash ISBN, ever. I have hundreds of my own. But I do list books on Smash.)

So, yes, word to the wise is that pen names are probably not as protected as you think, if you match them up in any way--accounts, ISBNs, home address, bank account, copyright holder--something.

ETA: Epubbooks.com is not related to Kobo. It serves up links to all the retailers. I'm guessing the problem comes when it aggregates data from multiple retailers. The publisher field is pulling willy nilly. They are definitely letting you know your pen name isn't as secure as you think.
 

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That is disturbing and I'm glad I haven't gotten around to publishing my erotica on Kobo.  So even if I get ISBNs under a DBA it will still reveal my real name? 
 

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That is disturbing and I'm glad I haven't gotten around to publishing my erotica on Kobo.
I don't think it's necessarily a KOBO problem, but it could be. It could be a number of factors, including incorrectly filled out fields at the distributors by the author (which I tripple checked and couldn't find an answer to) or truly private information that has been compromised by one of the distributors. Epubbooks states in their privacy policy they pull information from different distributors so we can't assume it's just KOBO.

I'll post the reply I receive to my emails when I get them.
 

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this probably has nothing to do with it, plus it's something everybody probably knows, but your real name is most likely listed under properties in the Word file. And depending upon what kind of file you uploaded...  I always forget to go into properties and change the information.
 
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I've just checked mine, and I'm listed as the author twice on each. (literally by vhfolland, vhfolland). Something is seriously screwed up with that site's metadata.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Right, what I did was change my contact name on Kobo to my publisher name, but it won't be helpful for those titles that are published under different publisher names. I had to delist those ones, set them back up without the ISBN so that at the very least that book will be removed from that website (hopefully). If the information changes on epubbooks.com then I'll know for sure that it was a fault on Kobo's side. But I'm already pretty sure it came from them, seeing as with one particular title I didn't provide the ISBN anywhere other than Kobo, and that site is also only listing the book as available through Kobo. It could very well be Smashwords, but I don't distribute to Kobo via Smashwords, so that doesn't make sense. Those are the only two places I use that have epubs and ISBN numbers.

I honestly don't know how this could have happened. That isn't information that should be readily available for anyone; it's contact information. What will they give out next, our addresses? It doesn't sit well at all.

Basically, you have a couple of options: delist, then relist omitting the ISBN, or change your contact name to your publisher name (but as I said before, this only works if all of your books are under the same publisher's name). And well, I'm not even sure if any of that will work, and it's certainly not something that will show up immediately.

My advice to anyone affected is to send an email to Kobo. If it really is a problem on their end they have to fix it pronto.
 
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