Those who have met me either in person or online know that I love researching things, and I probably spend way too much time combing the web for random facts. All that
procrastination research, has always led to some great conversation. I’ve been having a lot of fun adding new segments to RNIC since I took over the site in January, and extending those conversations in the new “On My Mind” segments here on RNIC.
It has been great having a broader discussion about things I learn or things I come across. I also know that the moment you post a comment in a public forum it can be subject to discourse. That is the truth of things. Believe it or not, that is also my favorite part :). Discussion is good. Conversation is good. Being exposed to all sides of an issue is important.
All of that being said, every now and then I want to open up the discussion passed my opinion on things. Because I want to hear your opinion 🙂
I joked recently that I want RNIC to be a “bastion of discourse”. However, the moment I said it, I realized it was true. There are so many conversations that need to be had within the publishing industry. Some involve diversity, while others involve pricing, agency, tropes and a slew of other things.
In the hopes that we can all have a conversation that will help expose all sides of these types of issues, I’m starting another new segment here on RNIC, LET’S TALK. The format will go as follows:
- Issue – An issue or topic will be presented
- Question – A question or questions will be asked regarding the topic to hopefully guide the discussion
Today’s Let’s Talk issue is one I’ve come across frequently: Bait & Switch Categorizing.
Bait and switch categorizing… If you check out several of the romance sub categories on Amazon or Barnes and Noble today, you’ll notice that there are many books listed (and top ranking) that do not fit the category. Some publishers and authors realize that categorizing their books in a popular or “upcoming” genre gives them greater exposure. Unfortunately, that has led to books being placed in categories that do not fit the book. Examples:
- Urban fiction books in the African-American romance and interracial romance categories that do not feature an actual romance.
- When searching for romance, erotica (not erotic romance) titles are often found in the regular romance categories to gain better visibility
- Stories with no HEA or HFN or a central romance are being placed in romance categories/genres and they are most definitely NOT romances
1. Should distributors like Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc. be more strict regarding what books are allowed to be published in certain categories?
2. Should more publishers and self-pub authors be held more accountable for miscategorizing their books?
3. Does this even matter? Why?
So let’s talk 🙂 Add your thoughts to the comments below and please remember to be be civil and courteous to others.
Laurel Cremant is an opinionated author and reader of romance with a wicked sense of humor. RNIC was smart (or crazy) to bring her on as a blogger. In 2016 she took over the management of this site and relishes her new title of “Overlord of Awesome”