NetGalley

Author Topic: Category Pollution: Next Battleground  (Read 7503 times)  

Offline ........

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 139
    • View Profile
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #150 on: June 13, 2018, 06:10:47 PM »
Deliberate and blatant miscategorization should be reported because it has a negative financial effect on authors who don't engage in this.

There's only the top 100 bestselling titles in a category. You want to appear in it but there are fifteen books that shouldn't be there. So instead of coming in at number 86, getting attention, getting more sales, getting new readers... you're at 101 and no one sees you.

There are so many contortions going on in this post to justify books being where they shouldn't be. This isn't "there is all this grey and it's just so hard and where do you draw the line?" and then we just throw our hands up and declare it's fine for erotica to be in romance because it's all just a big grey area anyway, right?

The people doing this know they're doing it. It's deliberate. Of course authors should report it. Your genre is your marketplace. Bad actors harm you directly. It's the same reason fake page reads are bad - it puts books in positions they shouldn't be in and pushes legitimate books down.

When you're part of a ranking system and your rank determines your income then yes, you should absolutely report books that are in the wrong category. Removing them results in a better experience for everyone, legitimate authors are rewarded and the ones doing it deliberately are removed from being able to profit from it.

What exactly is bad about that?

Online SevenDays

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2938
  • Gender: Female
  • PNW
  • Imagine something cool and witty here.
    • View Profile
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #151 on: June 13, 2018, 08:12:42 PM »
Yet with all this miscategorization, I've never had to report an adult thriller or SF book that ended up in young adult. It's always erotica.


Every single time.

Alex A. King | Website

Offline Ava Glass

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 400
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #152 on: June 13, 2018, 08:21:57 PM »
It's probably because of "teen" as a keyword.

Online DCRWrites

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 162
  • Gender: Male
  • Wentworth Hall, Tellus of Sol
  • A writer writes
    • View Profile
    • Welcome to Yesterday's Tomorrow
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #153 on: June 13, 2018, 09:28:55 PM »
Oh, good grief. No wonder poor Bella was so bored.

Yep, I keep seeing the turnoff for Forks when we go into Hoquiam or Aberdeen and thinking, "Nope, not gonna go there."

Welcome to the worlds outside my window
Dave Robinson | Blog | Twitter

Offline Rose Andrews

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 715
  • Gender: Female
  • Washington State, U.S.A.
  • Vintage Love <3
    • View Profile
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #154 on: June 13, 2018, 11:23:49 PM »
Yep, I keep seeing the turnoff for Forks when we go into Hoquiam or Aberdeen and thinking, "Nope, not gonna go there."
It's actually quite lovely but yeah, there's not much there. Klahanie was one of our favorite camping places until we moved to Eastern Washington (yay!).

It's probably because of "teen" as a keyword.
And this is the thing...some keywords place you in unfit categories anyway. I don't know, man. Some authors do it on purpose and others don't. There is so much crazy stuff happening in our Indie publishing community right now it just makes my head spin!

20th Century & Western Historical Romance
Rose Historicals Website | Pinterest

Offline Ava Glass

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 400
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #155 on: June 14, 2018, 12:02:05 AM »
And this is the thing...some keywords place you in unfit categories anyway. I don't know, man. Some authors do it on purpose and others don't. There is so much crazy stuff happening in our Indie publishing community right now it just makes my head spin!

Well, they didn't put themselves in erotica, which would have prevented them from appearing in cats like YA, so there is some purposeful miscatting involved.

Online jb1111

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 350
  • PNW US
    • View Profile
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #156 on: June 14, 2018, 03:39:10 AM »
Deliberate and blatant miscategorization should be reported because it has a negative financial effect on authors who don't engage in this.
-snip-

The people doing this know they're doing it. It's deliberate. Of course authors should report it. Your genre is your marketplace. Bad actors harm you directly. It's the same reason fake page reads are bad - it puts books in positions they shouldn't be in and pushes legitimate books down.

I don't know every category my own books are in unless I actually look at my own books as presented on Amazon, which I don't always do, as I have other things to do in life -- writing included.

I only designate two -- count 'em, two -- categories for every single book I write. And they're in my designated genre.

Yet the last time I checked a couple of my books there were other categories the Amazon bots placed them in. Fortunately, they weren't placed in categories like "Classic Literature" or YA or whatever, but they were placed there due to someone else's action, not mine.

I had no control over the extra categories. I only had control over the two categories I specified.

Unless one knows for sure that a particular author designated their books in the wrong category, or if there are books packed with sex included in categories aimed at kids, I see little point in being report-happy myself. But that's just me.


[Edited for clarity. woops.]
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 07:03:27 AM by jb1111 »

Online Speaker-To-Animals

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2796
    • View Profile
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #157 on: June 14, 2018, 04:31:18 AM »
Quote
Unless one knows for sure that a particular author designated their books in the wrong category, or if there are books packed with sex included in categories aimed at kids, I don't little point in being report-happy myself. But that's just me.

Now that you mention it, this "random" miscategorization is not only limited to erotica, but only to a relatively small number of authors who's books are miscategorized repeatedly. There's a slew of erotic romance authors who never seem to have this problem.

Shocking I know.

Offline Ann in Arlington

  • Global Moderator
  • Status: Shakespeare
  • *****
  • Posts: 65304
  • Gender: Female
  • Arlington, VA
  • Laugh Loud. Run Fast. Be Kind.
    • View Profile
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #158 on: June 14, 2018, 04:47:49 AM »
I think any Amazon customer (or customer of any other store whether B&M or on line) who finds items wrongly categorized/shelved certainly has the right to let the store know. I do not think they have the OBLIGATION to do so.

I will note that my personal experience is that I occasionally see a book promoted to me that is, patently, NOT what I ever read or buy. When I do a very little bit of investigation, I generally find it's because I'd clicked through from something here for some reason and it's being counted as something I browsed for. Or, for example, I bought an edition of War and Peace and now they're suggesting every edition known to man. Kinda silly, but there it is. Periodically I go through and fix my amazon browsing recent history so I the books that I see are at least in the ballpark. It's actually worse with other things -- I buy a pair of shoes or jeans and for the next 2 weeks I'm encouraged to buy more. :D

I don't often just go browsing by category -- with several thousand on my kindle now, most not yet read, I don't need to go randomly looking for more books to buy/borrow/read -- but in the genres in which I'm most interested, I don't notice mis-categorization often enough that it's ever drawn my attention as a concern.

My Kindles
Nautilus (Voyage)
Oasis 2016
AquaKindle
Godric's Hollow (Basic)
S7Edge (KApp for Android)
Galaxy (KApp for Android)
(Make your own reading bar) | Ann Von Hagel | Arlington, VA | kboards  MODERATOR

Online Dpock

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 679
  • Gender: Male
  • North Idaho
    • View Profile
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #159 on: June 14, 2018, 08:00:26 AM »


The people doing this know they're doing it. It's deliberate.

It's usually the same group of authors doing it and they're easy to spot (it's not like there are hundreds of them doing it).


Online Speaker-To-Animals

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2796
    • View Profile
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #160 on: June 14, 2018, 09:33:49 AM »
Quote
I don't often just go browsing by category -- with several thousand on my kindle now, most not yet read, I don't need to go randomly looking for more books to buy/borrow/read -- but in the genres in which I'm most interested, I don't notice mis-categorization often enough that it's ever drawn my attention as a concern.

I live and die by the top 100 and top new releases. I have since forever, but even more with KU. So it really gets obvious.

Offline Athena Grayson

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 337
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Athena Grayson
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #161 on: June 14, 2018, 10:15:51 AM »
Deliberate and blatant miscategorization should be reported because it has a negative financial effect on authors who don't engage in this.

Obvious miscategorization (because you can't really know if it was deliberate or not. Artificial intelligence is here, but so is artificial stupidity, and the Zon Algos are full of both) should be reported because it has a negative effect on *customer experience.* We all know that Amazon doesn't care about vendors, but they do care about customers. If the customer is having a poor experience and can't find what they want, Amazon will act.

This isn't Joe's eggs complaining about Nancy's eggs. I wouldn't report a book just because it's another military SF shelved in space opera--that's genre-drift or an on-trend subset of a genre. But yes, I will report a stuffed western because it doesn't belong. It doesn't matter if I work for Joe's eggs or not, I'm still going to tell the store if I see pantyhose in the dairy case. (And bonus points to you if you get that analogy)

Space opera with sizzle
Athena Grayson | site | newsletter | facebook

Offline Fay

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #162 on: June 15, 2018, 01:06:42 PM »
In the children's categories at Amazon last year I saw many book titles with words that I probably can't even post on this board due to spam filters. Milder examples: "drunk" and "adult." No one is going to let their kid browse Amazon if that's what Amazon considers juvenile content.

I've also seen Harry Potter listed in every fiction category imaginable, even odd places like Humor where it really doesn't belong. I'm thinking that's done automatically by Amazon due to popularity, but it is unhelpful to shoppers and makes categorization pointless.

It surprises me that Amazon doesn't care enough to hire a few people at minimum wage to keep an eye on things. It shouldn't be possible for writers to list their own books as classics. At the very least, a book should be X years old before it can be called a classic. This is 100 percent Amazon's responsibility and failure. (But yes, when I saw a book cover with a close-up of a woman's chest and an inappropriate title in the children's category, I did report it. When I checked later, it was still there.)
When Hamburgers Fly by Fay Rye Castle

Online Dpock

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 679
  • Gender: Male
  • North Idaho
    • View Profile
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #163 on: June 15, 2018, 04:13:47 PM »


It surprises me that Amazon doesn't care enough to hire a few people at minimum wage to keep an eye on things.

You'd think their business plan from the get-go would have included a floor of library science graduates. Maybe they do have a few on staff (whimsical thinking), but there's no real evidence to indicate so.


Offline Crystal_

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2347
  • Gender: Female
  • Portland, OR
    • View Profile
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #164 on: June 15, 2018, 05:10:35 PM »
And yet here we are, with six full pages of authors announcing that they've done exactly that and encouraging others to join in.

Authors are customers too though. I don't report titles because I don't think it's my place, as an author, but I do see stuff that should be reported every time I browse for books, whether I'm browsing for trope research, general research, pleasure reading, etc. You don't have to actively look for a lot of this stuff.

Offline SalomeGolding

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 44
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #165 on: June 15, 2018, 07:41:16 PM »
Maybe I'm just a puritan or anal retentive or whatever. But I just hate seeing things where they don't belong. And yes, I will report them. No hate. No animus. No envy. Just, that should not be there.

And that wouldn't change if I became a 7 figure author. I'd still like order, fairness, even playing field and all that good stuff that warms my cockles.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 07:47:06 PM by SalomeGolding »

Author of Cross-Cultural Romances featuring black women
Salome Golding | Amazon | Twitter