One Little Period Screwed the Pooch

I am an indie author who publishes as Steven L Campbell. The venues where I sell my books have no problem that I do not put a period after my middle initial. Neither do my faithful readers and followers. Why should they care how I wish my name to appear on my books or at my websites? It’s no big deal. Right?

Well, for some websites, it is a big deal. And a deal that seems close to being a criminal act.

When I set up my Shelfari account so I could add Book Extras at my Amazon Author Page, they said “No. You cannot be Steven L Campbell. You must be Steven L. Campbell.” Unfortunately, this created chaos when I added Book Extras to Steven L Campbell’s books from my Steven L. Campbell Shelfari account.

When I added an author page to my Goodreads account 22 months ago, I was Steven L Campbell, Goodreads author. Then the librarians there decided I had to be Steven L. Campbell, Goodreads author. Naturally, this created chaos similar to what I dealt with at Shelfari.

I think we Americans (in the USA, at least) make too big a deal about periods after initials. I have read many European authors who omit periods after initials, and who spell Mr, Mrs, and Dr without periods. Even some American authors, including Stephen King, have omitted periods in the titles I mentioned.

I was taught in high school not to abbreviate President Harry S Truman’s middle initial because it did not stand for a name. But some librarian got her panties in a bunch and almost all references to the man have a period after the S.

Whether I like it or not, I am Mr. Steven L. Campbell, author … at least in the USA … I mean U.S.A.

3 thoughts on “One Little Period Screwed the Pooch

  1. Well, I clicked Like to be supportive, but I felt like an idiot, because I certainly don’t like any of what those fussbudget sites put you thru. Very sorry, my dear fellow! Steven Leo Campbell has a strong, definitive ring to it, however, so perhaps things will work out for the best– let’s hope so, anyway! Hang ye in there!! 🙂


    1. Thanks, Mark, it was bad timing on their part as I was trying to finish my edits before publishing my book. I will probably delete my Goodreads page since they do not allow authors the freedom to control their pages. They are more of a library site like Shelfari where librarians control book information. I do not find either site useful for my needs.


  2. I have taken to a typed signature of “Edi…Shott”—-haven’t noticed any problems yet—-I started doing that when a German Lady artist friend of mine spelled my nickname “Edi”–I have used it ever since.
    They just added periods, I only type 3 of them.


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