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Author Topic: Category Pollution: Next Battleground  (Read 7652 times)  

Offline Lefevre

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2018, 05:31:38 AM »
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Offline SevenDays

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2018, 05:34:27 AM »
I thought that sort of thing was Women's Fiction. Written for women, often by women, and purchased predominantly by women. Any time I've looked over the Women's Fiction offerings those sorts of books are always present, and they are often big sellers.



Absolutely not. Women's Fiction is the woman's journey. They normally involve themes of sisterhood, loss, divorce, family. But erotica and romance authors--the dodgy ones who DGAF about being in the right categories or even know what the categories are, at least--will shoehorn their stuff in anywhere.

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Online levz

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2018, 06:01:03 AM »
Any time I've looked over the Women's Fiction offerings those sorts of books are always present, and they are often big sellers.

Yes, but you could say that for many genres - including the genre mentioned in the original post.  That doesn't make it Women's Fiction.

I should also note that I don't view romance/erotica as synonymous with women's fiction, even though both are written primarily by and for women. When I think 'women's fiction', I think 'Jodi Picoult', for example. Or Kristin Hannah. These authors write books that primarily appeal to women, but they aren't writing bodice-ripper romances.

When a cover features a naked man-chest, or a couple embracing, it should (almost always) be in one of the romance/erotica categories.


This.


Women's Fiction was stories that followed a female protagonist through a life unheaval or change of some kind. It often had themes of family, career, marriage, divorce, health etc.

Also this.


Absolutely not. Women's Fiction is the woman's journey. They normally involve themes of sisterhood, loss, divorce, family.

And this.

Offline Dpock

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2018, 09:06:25 AM »
I don't think we need to get hung up on reader expectations in each and every genre. The blatant category offenders all have the same look and are mostly the same thirty or so "authors". They seem to own the top 40 in New Adult, so they're reaching out for new territory. You can find lists of these offenders on Twitter and David's FB page and blog (I appreciate that this is not the place to name names).

I guess it's fair to say Amazon leaves it up to us to police our genres and categories. With that in mind, if you see a CLEARLY inappropriate placement in your genre, use the feedback links near the bottom of the book's product page and report it.

It just so happens that most of the category offenders are also book stuffers. The more pressure we place on these offenders from all angles the better.

 


Offline Edward M. Grant

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Re: The consistent problem of erotica-romance polluting other categories
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2018, 09:14:30 AM »
This is even a problem in horror, of all things. Search for vampire novels, and you won't get Dracula, Salem's Lot, or I Am Legend. You'll get naked man-chests.

To be fair, that pretty much described the 'Horror' shelf the last time I was in a physical bookstore with paper books. So it's not just indies doing this category stuffing.

Offline RPatton

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2018, 09:55:50 AM »
I write both Romance and Women's Fiction. So, please tell me, who gets to be the judge, jury, and executioner and claim that I am "not good enough" for women's fiction because, *gasp* one of my covers has a couple about ready to kiss.

Despite the book being about a women struggling through a separation and divorce and surrogacy and, OH MY GOD a new relationship with sexy bits! Because, you know, she's a woman in her mid 30s and decides to throw all caution to the wind.

Is Fear of Flying not Women's Fic because it has very explicit sex scenes?

Not only that, Amazon miscats books all the time. I have a book that is clean and for the life of me I can't get it out of Inspirational. Amazon keeps on removing it (at my bequest) but whenever its little spider crawls through the keywords, I go back to Inspirational. I have another books that is thrown in space marines because it has a strong military theme. Again, I beg them to take me out, they do, and because I use military as a keyword, because you know, it's about militaristic society, I get tossed back in.

So what gives you (the general you) the right to ascribe motivations and reasons for what category books are in? Are there egregious categorizations? Yes. And I am the first one who says not to miscat. But don't tell  me that I am not writing women's fiction, books about a woman's journey and her growth, just because it's also a Romance.

There are some posts in this thread that makes me think I am back in the late 70s with Anita Bryant, orange juice boycotts, and pies in faces.

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2018, 10:14:36 AM »
What's amazing is those nasty old Amazon algorithms that keep spontaneously miscategorizing books always miscategorize erotica and erotic romance into other categories, but never seem to categorize physics textbooks into romance. In fact, even other genre fiction doesn't seem to get miscategorized.

Offline Dpock

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2018, 10:17:36 AM »
romance into other categories, but never seem to categorize physics textbooks into romance.

Makes ya think...


Offline Edward M. Grant

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2018, 10:17:59 AM »
So, please tell me, who gets to be the judge, jury, and executioner and claim that I am "not good enough" for women's fiction because, *gasp* one of my covers has a couple about ready to kiss.

Readers.

Genres exist so readers can find the kind of books they like to read. If your book doesn't meet the requirements of that genre, then it shouldn't be listed in that genre (no idea whether yours does or not, since I haven't read it and don't read that genre).

I no longer even look at genre best-seller lists on Amazon because they're so stuffed with books that shouldn't be there. And, since Romance is the largest genre in publishing today, it only takes a few decently-selling Romance writers to stuff their books into unrelated categories for them to take over the entire best-seller list for that category.

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2018, 10:32:35 AM »
I reported it, but then wondered that having clicked onto it, whether I will start getting recommendations of similar books  :o

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Offline Dpock

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2018, 10:37:04 AM »
I reported it, but then wondered that having clicked onto it, whether I will start getting recommendations of similar books  :o

In Chrome using incognito mode will prevent that from happening.


Offline idontknowyet

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2018, 10:54:47 AM »
I write both Romance and Women's Fiction. So, please tell me, who gets to be the judge, jury, and executioner and claim that I am "not good enough" for women's fiction because, *gasp* one of my covers has a couple about ready to kiss.

Despite the book being about a women struggling through a separation and divorce and surrogacy and, OH MY GOD a new relationship with sexy bits! Because, you know, she's a woman in her mid 30s and decides to throw all caution to the wind.

Is Fear of Flying not Women's Fic because it has very explicit sex scenes?

Not only that, Amazon miscats books all the time. I have a book that is clean and for the life of me I can't get it out of Inspirational. Amazon keeps on removing it (at my bequest) but whenever its little spider crawls through the keywords, I go back to Inspirational. I have another books that is thrown in space marines because it has a strong military theme. Again, I beg them to take me out, they do, and because I use military as a keyword, because you know, it's about militaristic society, I get tossed back in.

So what gives you (the general you) the right to ascribe motivations and reasons for what category books are in? Are there egregious categorizations? Yes. And I am the first one who says not to miscat. But don't tell  me that I am not writing women's fiction, books about a woman's journey and her growth, just because it's also a Romance.

There are some posts in this thread that makes me think I am back in the late 70s with Anita Bryant, orange juice boycotts, and pies in faces.

There is overlap between romance and chick lit. That being said many of the books being pointed out are eromance edging toward erotica. As a reader I will tell you nothing is more frustrating than looking for a chick lit and only finding erotica or barely eromance. Chick lit has more character development than relationship development there is a difference but I agree that there is overlap. I personally am writing books that could be categorized in both, though they probably skew more towards chick lit.
Look at life from the readers perspective spending an hour looking for a book that is what the entire genre is suposed to be about is frustrating.  Erom or plain old erotica in classics are just wrong and something should be done about it.  I think its the same for romance most any category. I am not nessarily looking for erotica and erom when i search romance, but most times it seems impossible to find anything but that when i search. I have no problem with any genre but as a reader when i search for something i want to be able to find it. If im in the mood for chicken salad, I dont want someone to hand me tuna fish and tell me its good enough cause the are similar.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 10:59:42 AM by idontknowyet »

Offline Jena H

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2018, 10:56:55 AM »
I reported four books with the most egregious titles / covers.  My message was:  "This book (Title) is listed on the Amazon page for "Fiction Classics."  Somehow I don't think [Title] belongs on the same page with Dickens, Austen, and the Brontes.
Can you PLEASE get rid of the crap on the Classics list??"

I copied+pasted the same comment for each book, changing titles as necessary.  I know it's just a teaspoon in the ocean, but at least it's action.
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Offline Mercedes Vox

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2018, 10:59:56 AM »
Here's David Gaughran's advice on reporting (boldface mine)

Quote
A lot of people asking how to report things. Two options:

1. scroll down to near the bottom of any book on Amazon and there is a light blue box with a link to report problematic content.

2. email ecr-kdp@amazon.com to get straight to the right people.

(Source: https://twitter.com/DavidGaughran/status/1005882968408240128)
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Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2018, 11:02:05 AM »
In fact, even other genre fiction doesn't seem to get miscategorized.

Not actually true. I've seen quite a few sci fi and fantasy books that were miscategorized. I forget where I used to see Game of Thrones that would make me roll my eyes every single time, but it does happen elsewhere. It's just that people seem to be especially sensitive to the steamier side of romance showing up in their categories.


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Offline Herefortheride

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2018, 11:03:27 AM »
I don't think "I banged his brother" belongs in literary classics. It isn't even edited. :-X
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Offline kw3000

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2018, 11:18:49 AM »
Why should any of us bother reporting this?  They don't care.  Amazon doesn't care if their so-called bestseller lists are anything but.  That's been obvious for some time.  No matter the category.  It's not what's selling; it's what's being borrowed or botted, and frequently miscategorized.

Exactly. This has been going on for a long time. There are miscategorized books all over the shop. There's man-chests and other books showing up in multiple incorrect subgenres.

If reporting it ad nauseum, as I had, back in 2015/2016 didn't do anything, what's going to suddenly cause Amazon to care now? I appreciate the sentiment in wanting to clean up the store, but it's tilting at windmills in my estimation. Amazon ain't listenin'.

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Offline RPatton

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2018, 11:26:43 AM »
There is overlap between romance and chick lit. That being said many of the books being pointed out are eromance edging toward erotica. As a reader I will tell you nothing is more frustrating than looking for a chick lit and only finding erotica or barely eromance. Chick lit has more character development than relationship development there is a difference but I agree that there is overlap. I personally am writing books that could be categorized in both, though they probably skew more towards chick lit.
Look at life from the readers perspective spending an hour looking for a book that is what the entire genre is suposed to be about is frustrating.  Erom or plain old erotica in classics are just wrong and something should be done about it.  I think its the same for romance most any category. I am not nessarily looking for erotica and erom when i search romance, but most times it seems impossible to find anything but that when i search. I have no problem with any genre but as a reader when i search for something i want to be able to find it. If im in the mood for chicken salad, I dont want someone to hand me tuna fish and tell me its good enough cause the are similar.

And I agree with all of that. But that's up to the reader, right? I am asking why another author feels that they should report a book that they THINK doesn't belong in a category because it doesn't fit THEIR definition of the genre. If the readers aren't complaining, you know the paying customers who are at Amazon for the experience, why should an author?

I've long felt that authors shouldn't report other authors. Even in the worst of circumstances, because it's a slippery slope. But most of all, it assumes that somehow one person is the arbiter of what is and isn't. And if trad publishers stick Sparks books in Romance (even Sparks says they aren't Romance), are they dirty miscatters who should have a war waged against them? Because that's what the OP said. This is a Battleground. This is war. They are the allies and everyone who isn't in a category that they think they should be in are part of the axis.

I got back to Fear of Flying or Looking for Mr. Goodbar or even Lace (there is a scene with goldfish that is mind-boggling). All of these are considered women's fiction, yet they contain all of the things that the brigade is saying doesn't belong in women's fiction.

I can get behind the blatant miscatting. Sticking a book in Classics or horse racing or medicine, yeah I can see pulling that book out. However, when a book can be more than one genre, it should go into both. I have a high fantasy romance. Do I not put it in fantasy, even though it is clearly fantasy with a romance, because I am worried that someone will go on reporting spree because OMG, there's a romance between two characters while they try to solve the current crisis, avoid assassination attempts, and learn how to manipulate the magic of the land?

And this is the slippery slope I mentioned. When does blatant stop being blatant and become an author genuinely trying to place their book where it belongs even if it doesn't fit with someone else's idea because of an element on the cover?

Offline L_Loryn

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2018, 11:33:40 AM »
And I agree with all of that. But that's up to the reader, right? I am asking why another author feels that they should report a book that they THINK doesn't belong in a category because it doesn't fit THEIR definition of the genre. If the readers aren't complaining, you know the paying customers who are at Amazon for the experience, why should an author?

Generally speaking, readers won't complain. They'll just leave.

The author is complaining because it's hurting the user experience of THEIR (everyone's) customers. So think of it as a customer going to Walmart and frowning when she sees rotten eggs on the shelf. The stockboy sees it, right? The customer, rather than complain to a physical person, buys their eggs somewhere else. The stockboy, however, goes to his manager and says "Hey we've got rotten eggs on the shelf and we're losing customers."

As a reader, I'm not going to complain about erotica in the classics, I'm just not going to buy on Amazon. On top of that, I'm going to assume that most of the Amazon sellers are miscategorizing and mislabeling their books and it makes me feel like they're all shady. I'm not going to look at also-boughts, AMS ads, or open Amazon emails. I will only buy a book on 'zon if I'm sent there from an author's website or I know and trust the author.

As a writer, the fact that most customers are similar to me is bad for business.

Online Lynn Is A Pseudonym

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #44 on: June 11, 2018, 11:38:20 AM »
Generally speaking, readers won't complain. They'll just leave.

Good. The fact is, change is going to happen when Amazon wakes up to the fact that the shape of their store is driving customers away. Not before.

Online Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2018, 11:42:14 AM »
And I go to women's fiction and I find one of the same authors that are miscategorizing their books in the "classics" section. I'm shocked.

Offline L_Loryn

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #46 on: June 11, 2018, 11:42:38 AM »
Good. The fact is, change is going to happen when Amazon wakes up to the fact that the shape of their store is driving customers away. Not before.

Yep, pretty much. I'm just saying why it matters to authors. It matters to me because Amazon was/is a source of foot traffic. If customers don't feel like they can trust Amazon, they don't feel like they can trust the sellers using it either.

Is it breaking my heart? Nah. If you rely on Amazon for all of your traffic, you're not doing a very good business plan as a business owner.

Offline Dragovian

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #47 on: June 11, 2018, 11:45:41 AM »
What's amazing is those nasty old Amazon algorithms that keep spontaneously miscategorizing books always miscategorize erotica and erotic romance into other categories, but never seem to categorize physics textbooks into romance. In fact, even other genre fiction doesn't seem to get miscategorized.
Maybe because romances tend to sell well and rank highly, making them very visible on the top 100 lists when they're miscatted. It's much less likely a book from a lesser-selling genre is going to gain visibility on the romance lists, simply because romances tend to rank better.

So, not that it's not happening. Just that it's not happening in ranks where the books become visible.


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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2018, 11:47:50 AM »
Yep, pretty much. I'm just saying why it matters to authors. It matters to me because Amazon was/is a source of foot traffic. If customers don't feel like they can trust Amazon, they don't feel like they can trust the sellers using it either.

Is it breaking my heart? Nah. If you rely on Amazon for all of your traffic, you're not doing a very good business plan as a business owner.

The thing is, generally speaking, readers read. If they bail on Amazon, they'll find another place to buy their books. I know, because I'm a reader first. Always will be. I love reading. I ain't giving it up because Amazon sucks as an ebook store these days.

So maybe it's best for all concerned in the long run. If Amazon can't hold readers, someone else WILL pick them up.

Offline L_Loryn

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #49 on: June 11, 2018, 12:03:09 PM »
The thing is, generally speaking, readers read. If they bail on Amazon, they'll find another place to buy their books. I know, because I'm a reader first. Always will be. I love reading. I ain't giving it up because Amazon sucks as an ebook store these days.

So maybe it's best for all concerned in the long run. If Amazon can't hold readers, someone else WILL pick them up.

Die hard readers will find another place to buy books. Casual readers may shrug their shoulders and watch movies instead, or go to the library. I love reading, but I haven't purchased a book in four years. Why? Because I'm not willing to spend my coin and navigate through messed up categories or potentially be disappointed by the book. If I don't like a library book, I return it and move on. If I don't like a book I purchased, I keep it, because it's not the author's fault (barring bad formatting etc) that I didn't like the book.

Some customers could be like me. I don't want to take that chance as a business person. I kind of want to keep as many readers purchasing books as possible, so yeah I care about Amazon's reader experience.