First, editing of metadata about a book in ADE is a long standing feature request that I really want to do, but is not something that you can do in ADE right now.
In the meantime (and unfortunately it will be a long meantime):
The best way to change the author, if the files are unprotected and you have a copy of Acrobat, is to go change the author in the Document Properties (Description tab). Unfortunately the publisher comes from the protection information for protected eBooks.
The metadata that ADE relies on comes from the manifest.xml file in your (My) Digital Editions folder. Carefully editing this file (close ADE and make a backup), will cause ADE to reflect these values in the UI on next launch.
Is there an easier way to correct it when using Acrobat doesn't work? aside from going into the manifest.xml file and correcting it that way?
I have 227 pdf files, 99.9% of which are e-books and of those probably 70% don't display the author or even the title of the book correctly. When I went into Acrobat and fixed probably 2 dozen or so of them they STILL showed up incorrectly in DE.
I did correct a couple of the entries in the manifest using word, but man what a total pain in the butt that is. And DE then gave me an error message next time I opened it. When I tried to use Excel to correct the information in an easier format it didn't work.
So ... help.
Okay on Author update using Acrobat Pro software. But Publisher? Cannot a step-by-step workaround be offered? More than a year has elapsed since the initial post. Even if the default were a blank entry for 'Publisher' in the DE listing that would work. But 'Publisher unknown' is totally errant behavior.
Please do help in offering a current assessment of this matter.
There is a free tool that works in windows - PDF Properites changer..but it does not handle Publisher..
Since u have a Mac..probably a long winded workaround, which will mean you will use a windows pc to change the property and xfer to Mac..or check if a mac equivalent too is available...