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Author Topic: Category Pollution: Next Battleground  (Read 7492 times)  

Online Rose Andrews

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #75 on: June 11, 2018, 05:58:00 PM »
Fifty Shades, Bared To You -- and other similar, mass-selling books -- have no real woman's journey or sisterhood present. They were written by women, primarily for women, and bought mostly by women. The books are little more than romances with a lot of sex.

But in your view they aren't really Women's Fiction.

I think at least the 125+ million people -- most of them women -- who bought the above-named books would disagree with you.

As for these romance writers shoehorning their offings into all sorts of categories merely to boost visibility and earn a few extra bucks -- you have no argument from me there.
Well, sorry but no. Women's Fiction is a genre defined by what Seven Days said. It can have romance in it, but I think people get confused.

Romance= happily ever after or happy for now, with the original love interest(s) ending up in a committed relationship at the end.
Women's Fiction= can have romance as define per genre ^^ but it doesn't have to. Women's fiction has to do with a woman's journey of discovering herself, learning who she is after/throughout and during a difficult time in her life.

They are not the same thing.

Often, publishers will put WF books in romance. By definition 50 Shades is erotic romance. They end up together at the end.
One example of a WF book that is NOT romance but classified as such is The Champagne Queen. There is not a happy ending though the book is under 20th Century romance (and years later I'm still p*ssed about that). Also, Brooklyn, classified as LGBT but it's NOT that! Now, I don't read LGBT, but I would be pretty offended if I did and then ended up that the only LGBT scene is basically forced upon the main character who isn't even gay.

So yeah, I think publishers and Indies alike miscat on purpose and on accident, often because the lines are blurry, or so people think. All one has to do is go on Google or Goodreads and get a clear definition of what that specific genre is.

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Offline jb1111

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #76 on: June 11, 2018, 06:01:17 PM »
They aren't. They're erotica. At best erotic romance.

Women's fiction isn't any and all fiction for women, it's a genre called "women's fiction."

And that genre never changes? What genre doesn't change over time?

Fifty Shades and the Fifty Shades trilogy are in Women's Fiction on Amazon (Fifty Shades is now #21). Is Random House polluting the category?

Offline jb1111

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #77 on: June 11, 2018, 06:04:35 PM »
Well, sorry but no. Women's Fiction is a genre defined by what Seven Days said. It can have romance in it, but I think people get confused.

Romance= happily ever after or happy for now, with the original love interest(s) ending up in a committed relationship at the end.
Women's Fiction= can have romance as define per genre ^^ but it doesn't have to. Women's fiction has to do with a woman's journey of discovering herself, learning who she is after/throughout and during a difficult time in her life.

They are not the same thing.

Often, publishers will put WF books in romance. By definition 50 Shades is erotic romance. They end up together at the end.
One example of a WF book that is NOT romance but classified as such is The Champagne Queen. There is not a happy ending though the book is under 20th Century romance (and years later I'm still p*ssed about that). Also, Brooklyn, classified as LGBT but it's NOT that! Now, I don't read LGBT, but I would be pretty offended if I did and then ended up that the only LGBT scene is basically forced upon the main character who isn't even gay.

So yeah, I think publishers and Indies alike miscat on purpose and on accident, often because the lines are blurry, or so people think. All one has to do is go on Google or Goodreads and get a clear definition of what that specific genre is.

Thank you for your well thought-out explanation.

I still wonder if somehow the genre is changing, just by looking over some of the offerings, especially on the Zon. But I'm not really into that genre, so all of your comments here help.

That said, I agree with you and others here that there is a lot of pollution of categories by some merely to gain more visibility and more sales. And it probably hurts more honest authors to a certain degree.


Offline kw3000

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #78 on: June 11, 2018, 06:31:18 PM »
And I'm not disagreeing with that. My question is more, where does it end? When is enough going to be enough? Because soon it will be complaining about a font used on a cover or an image (yes, I am using hyperbole). This is the slippery slope. Once you let the genie out, it's very hard to get him back in the bottle, especially when you can justify your actions because you're "doing it for the readers".

Again, I am asking who gets to be the judge, jury, and executioner, and what are their qualifications? Are they a librarian who understands how the categories were set up? Or are they some person who thinks they know? If a group of individuals with their Masters in Library Sciences said they would go through and make superficial recommendations, I would trust them. Mostly because it wouldn't be subjective, but objective, based on their experience and knowledge and not how they want it to be.

The other edge of that sword is you could wind up with authors swearing that their book actually belongs in 'x' category and that they'd just missed in branding their cover appropriately even when it's readily apparent that isn't the truth.

You don't need a PhD to understand that a man-chest book called 'Bad Boy Lover, Book 5 of Ripped for Her Pleasure Series' doesn't belong in Literature: Satire. Nor should we require anyone to have an expected level of expertise to call out what are obvious manipulative plays.

Of course, allowing any and all to 'report' can lead to false reporting, but I'll take that over protecting purposeful obfuscation behind what would eventually become ever-increasing amounts of legalese and the requisite fighting over semantics akin to what became of the 'book stuffing' debates.

We can obscure a lot of less than ideal practices by nefarious parties behind 'slippery slope' arguments which only keep the store in its current messy state. Most of us know and understand purposeful miscategorization when we see it.

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Online Ava Glass

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #79 on: June 11, 2018, 08:59:49 PM »
The RWA and Authors Guild are talking to Amazon about miscategorization.

Quote
7. RWA staff participated in a conference call with individuals from the Author's Guild and a team of high-level executives with Amazon concerning erroneous categorization of romance novels. Staff is working with Amazon to provide them with examples of titles that are misca​tegorized and clarified the definitions of romance fiction and erotic romance to support our categorization concerns.​

Today, I saw a screenshot of an author claiming to routinely miscategorize because they "can't afford to advertise" in the proper categories. Others defending the author called miscategorization a "well-used marketing tactic."

Marketing tactic.

This is a problem. Glad to see the RWA tackling it.

ETA: Wow. "Drama and Plays" is a huge dumping ground for miscategorized books. Actually looking to read a stageplay? Pfft. Forget you. Authors need to be *visible*.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 09:22:35 PM by Ava Glass »

Online Rose Andrews

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #80 on: June 11, 2018, 09:23:35 PM »
The RWA and Authors Guild are talking to Amazon about miscategorization.

Today, I saw a screenshot of an author claiming to routinely miscategorize because they "can't afford to advertise" in the proper categories. Others defending the author called miscategorization a "well-used marketing tactic."

Marketing tactic.

This is a problem. Glad to see the RWA tackling it.
Interesting news. RWA is busy these days. :D

I don't understand why some authors consider this a marketing tactic. How do you find readers for a book placed in the wrong category? How do erotic romance readers find their books in the classic section? That makes little sense.

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Offline jb1111

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #81 on: June 11, 2018, 09:36:08 PM »
Interesting news. RWA is busy these days. :D

I don't understand why some authors consider this a marketing tactic. How do you find readers for a book placed in the wrong category? How do erotic romance readers find their books in the classic section? That makes little sense.

Because it gives it overall visibility. Even though I don't agree with the tactic, I can see why it is used, and also why it works.

Try finding a specific category on Amazon. There's a knack and a science to it that your average reader might not grasp all that well. I had to ask for advice here on KBoards on how to find the Top 100 easily. The people who gave me the advice here mentioned that sometimes it isn't so easy to find things like that.

Now, for readers of specific authors, perhaps there isn't a problem finding their work.

But if you're just looking for a specific type of romance, perhaps it takes a bit more keyboard work than your average reader can figure out. So the romance authors make it easier for them to find their books by plastering them everywhere.

Hence -- they have a higher chance of sales that way.

Not saying it's right. Just sayin'.

Offline C. Gold

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #82 on: June 11, 2018, 09:55:18 PM »
I watched the movie. SO glad I didn't read the book. I will not be picking up her novels ever after that!
Heh. The book blurb at least has a warning:
A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Greens The Fault in Our Stars...

If that doesn't tell you to run very far, very fast in the opposite direction if you expect a HEA, I dunno what else to say! I'm still scarred from watching Love Story as a kid.  :-X

Those are the types of stories I expect to see in Women's Fiction and the reason I usually avoid that category like the plague. True romance authors sticking their books in that category are doing their books a disservice I think.

Offline Key

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #83 on: June 11, 2018, 09:56:59 PM »
It is a specific tactic taught by certain experts.  It can feel harmless when you're doing it, especially if the category seems close to what you're actually selling.  "Stretching a point, my book can fit..."

However, getting into extra categories often seems to involve contacting Amazon and asking to be included in another category, then more and more. 

If it's a close fit, I can see stretching the point (from Amazon and author POVs), but if it's very clearly not the right category, I can't see why Amazon allows it. 

It seems likely that certain keywords affect the stage play thing because I can't imagine Amazon employees purposely adding novels to a plays category, even if requested by an author. 

It does seem very odd that newly published, non-public domain books, can show up in classics categories.  Are Amazon employees helping?  Can keywords so badly miscategorize what are clearly not classics?  I'm not going to experiment to see how far I can push it, but clearly many people do.

:(

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #84 on: June 11, 2018, 10:30:16 PM »
It seems likely that certain keywords affect the stage play thing because I can't imagine Amazon employees purposely adding novels to a plays category, even if requested by an author.


Drama and Plays is a checkbox under non-fiction. The author I mentioned upthread originally drew attention for being in nonfiction categories, but claimed that was Amazon's fault. Drama and Plays was on purpose though.



It does seem very odd that newly published, non-public domain books, can show up in classics categories.  Are Amazon employees helping?  Can keywords so badly miscategorize what are clearly not classics?

Classics is a checkbox. Why it is a category self-publishers can easily select is beyond me.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 10:34:42 PM by Ava Glass »

Offline Crystal_

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #85 on: June 11, 2018, 11:00:20 PM »
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.

There's no way Spanked By Daddy's Friend is women's fiction, but many romances do have elements of women's fiction. I regularly put my sexy romances in WF bc they are about the heroine's journey and experiences with sisterhood, family, health, mental illness, career, etc.

I'd be happy to change the category if Amazon offered stricter definitions that precluded the types of books I write, but as it is, I feel the category fits.

Offline ET

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Another example
« Reply #86 on: June 12, 2018, 03:40:12 AM »
To pick an example that many people will be familiar with: A few years ago I read The Help.

I don't think most people would dispute that The Help was primarily written for a female audience. And yes, there was a romance (sub) plot. But the book is mostly about Southern US society during the early 1960s, racial discrimination, etc. All these themes are raised within the context of one young woman's journey.

I'm a fortysomething, hetero male reader. While The Help was a little outside my usual reading parameters, I enjoyed the book, and I was immediately drawn to the book's description when I first heard about it.

On the other hand, there is no way that I would touch one of the bodice-ripper romance novels with a ten-foot pole.

Women's fiction might be described as literary fiction that focuses on female characters and their concerns.

Romance fiction, on the other hand, focuses on a subset of female sexual fantasies, usually involving a dominant alpha male.

To draw an analogy: Clive Cussler is 'men's fiction', in that it's targeted to a male audience, and has the sort of action and fight scenes that men typically like. But I know that women also read Clive Cussler, because you can find reviews from his female readers on Amazon and Goodreads.

On the other hand, you're unlikely to ever find a heterosexual woman reading Playboy, or hanging out in a strip bar.

This is a roundabout way of saying that romance/erotica fiction seems to serve the same purpose for women that pornography serves for men. The stererotypical (hetero) male sexual fantasy involves a troupe of nubile, endlessly willing women. The stereotypical (hetero) female sexual fantasy involves a tall, moody, broad-shouldered alpha male.

There is nothing inherently wrong with either of these.  But just as Playboy isn't "men's literature", romance/erotica fiction isn't 'women's literature', either. 

Offline idontknowyet

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #87 on: June 12, 2018, 06:11:58 AM »
Heh. The book blurb at least has a warning:
A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Greens The Fault in Our Stars...

If that doesn't tell you to run very far, very fast in the opposite direction if you expect a HEA, I dunno what else to say! I'm still scarred from watching Love Story as a kid.  :-X

Those are the types of stories I expect to see in Women's Fiction and the reason I usually avoid that category like the plague. True romance authors sticking their books in that category are doing their books a disservice I think.

I actually love The fault in Our Stars

The difference in the two is he made her fall in love with him then he chose to leave her because life was too hard. To hurt her that way instead of fighting for their love.
In Fault death separated them which was tragic, but at least they took all the time they had to loved each other.

Offline idontknowyet

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Re: Another example
« Reply #88 on: June 12, 2018, 06:16:14 AM »
Romance fiction, on the other hand, focuses on a subset of female sexual fantasies, usually involving a dominant alpha male.

Um no

Erotica is romance. Not all romance is erotica. There is a huge difference.

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Re: Another example
« Reply #89 on: June 12, 2018, 06:21:54 AM »
To pick an example that many people will be familiar with: A few years ago I read The Help.

I don't think most people would dispute that The Help was primarily written for a female audience. And yes, there was a romance (sub) plot. But the book is mostly about Southern US society during the early 1960s, racial discrimination, etc. All these themes are raised within the context of one young woman's journey.

I'm a fortysomething, hetero male reader. While The Help was a little outside my usual reading parameters, I enjoyed the book, and I was immediately drawn to the book's description when I first heard about it.

On the other hand, there is no way that I would touch one of the bodice-ripper romance novels with a ten-foot pole.

Women's fiction might be described as literary fiction that focuses on female characters and their concerns.

Romance fiction, on the other hand, focuses on a subset of female sexual fantasies, usually involving a dominant alpha male.

To draw an analogy: Clive Cussler is 'men's fiction', in that it's targeted to a male audience, and has the sort of action and fight scenes that men typically like. But I know that women also read Clive Cussler, because you can find reviews from his female readers on Amazon and Goodreads.

On the other hand, you're unlikely to ever find a heterosexual woman reading Playboy, or hanging out in a strip bar.

This is a roundabout way of saying that romance/erotica fiction seems to serve the same purpose for women that pornography serves for men. The stererotypical (hetero) male sexual fantasy involves a troupe of nubile, endlessly willing women. The stereotypical (hetero) female sexual fantasy involves a tall, moody, broad-shouldered alpha male.

There is nothing inherently wrong with either of these.  But just as Playboy isn't "men's literature", romance/erotica fiction isn't 'women's literature', either.

There is so much about this post that is just so, so wrong.


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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #90 on: June 12, 2018, 07:09:18 AM »
There's no way Spanked By Daddy's Friend is women's fiction, but many romances do have elements of women's fiction. I regularly put my sexy romances in WF bc they are about the heroine's journey and experiences with sisterhood, family, health, mental illness, career, etc.

I'd be happy to change the category if Amazon offered stricter definitions that precluded the types of books I write, but as it is, I feel the category fits.

I don't think Women's Fiction precludes heroine's journeys that include sex. If it precludes Romance I don't know. I'm sure there's some legitimate crossover between the genres but I'm not the one to make that call, generally speaking.

But blatant, INTENTIONAL miscategorization is fairly easy to spot, particularly in other categories such as Classic Fiction. Someone stated it shouldn't be a clickable option when publishing, and they are correct.

Most of the random genres I looked at this morning are pretty clean. The fact that Classic Fiction took a big hit tells me collusion is involved, like a private FB group of stuffers/schemers is roaming vulnerable categories for opportunities.


Offline Edward M. Grant

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #91 on: June 12, 2018, 08:44:22 AM »
The other problem, of course, is that Amazon doesn't let you select all your categories, but puts books in what often seem to be random categories based on keywords and who knows what else. Books should only go in the categories we select (and we should be able to select more than two).

That's presumably not happening in this case, where people are intentionally putting their books in the wrong categories. But it's another reason so many books are in the wrong categories.

Offline jb1111

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Re: Another example
« Reply #92 on: June 12, 2018, 11:02:45 AM »
Erotica is romance. Not all romance is erotica. There is a huge difference.

The difference often isn't huge at all. It's just a matter of preference concerning the labels used.

Erotica may or may not be romance. Romance may or may not be erotica. There really isn't that much difference between them in many cases. A lot of the bad boy romances aren't much different from erotica, except for the label and the fact there's a guy on the cover instead of a chick.

They're like Tinder hookups in a 50 page (or 500, if it's stuffed) eBook. A lot of real deep emotion there. Oh, but if they get married and have a baby or something gazzzzing! It's "romance" and not "erotica". It doesn't matter if the sex is explicit, the marriage and baby are just memes used to give it a pretense of depth and if you took the sex out of it you'd have no sale. Not much difference from your average erotica book in that case.

Either way, it is just another reason the categorization on the Zon is often so mucked up. There are fine lines between some genres, and as another poster here said, the bots see certain keywords and place your book where the bots think it will gain Amazon (and you) sales.

And then you have authors tweaking it in a certain direction to get more sales -- and then you have some few authors downright working the system to get more sales. Can't say it isn't interesting watching it all play out. I look at my own books and just try to play honest, even if it might deny me a few extra sales.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 08:41:09 PM by jb1111 »

Offline RPatton

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Re: Another example
« Reply #93 on: June 12, 2018, 11:47:41 AM »
The difference often isn't huge at all. It's just a matter of preference concerning the labels used.

They are actually very different.

Romance's main conflict is the relationship, specifically the courtship part of the relationship before the heroine realizes the quirky habits are annoying as all get out and no one needs to make that much noise eating watermelon.

Erotica's main conflict is the sex.

If you take every sexy bit from a romance, the story should still stand.

If you take every sexy bit from erotica, you should have a bunch of scenes that don't make any sense whatsoever.

This isn't a case where a genre has evolved, at the heart of a cozy there's a body, at the heart of a romance there's a relationship, at the heart of a thriller there's a briefcase, and at the heart of erotica, there is sex. The expectations might change over time and the tropes might shift around, but the core of a genre will continue to exist as it always has.

Have the two been conflated? Absolutely. And I would go so far those who are doing it either don't know better or don't care. (Trying to be generous with the don't know better, but let's face it, they are in the minority.) But it doesn't change that erotica is not romance and romance is not erotica.

Offline Alix Nichols

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #94 on: June 12, 2018, 12:23:38 PM »
Romance fiction, on the other hand, focuses on a subset of female sexual fantasies, usually involving a dominant alpha male.

Stories focusing on "sexual fantasies involving a dominant alpha male" are a subset of erotica. A romance story is about a heterosexual or homosexual couple finding love and going from "hole-hearted" to "whole-hearted." Sex, by the way, is entirely optional. When present, it's never central. It's absent in Sweet Romance, YA romance and most of Inspirational Romance.
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Offline Elizabeth Barone

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #95 on: June 12, 2018, 12:24:53 PM »
I have to add my voice to the "this isn't a good idea" camp. You suggest that reporting someone's book is harmless. However, we've seen all too many times how "harmless" it is when a brigade comes in and reports a book. Amazon yanks it, no questions asked. Sometimes accounts get banned and innocent people lose their livelihood. The thought that Amazon will look into the miscategorization is idealistic and naive, considering their ban first, ask questions later policy lately re: reviews and other issues.

Look, I'm a firm believer in speaking up when something is wrong. When an author bullied other authors and scammed both authors and readers over a decade using reviews and box sets, too many authors were afraid to speak up for fear of her crew coming in and steamrolling them. When we all got together, though, something was finally done. That was an example of an author clearly out of line and causing damage to the community and industry.

Lately, though, it seems to me that the indie community is entirely too concerned with what other authors are doing and overly self-policing. An author got trademarking wrong and instead of letting the courts handle it, the community decided to chase her out, calling her awful, unprofessional names. Another author writing romance under a female pen name just got chastised left and right for being male IRL. (Since when is it a crime to use a pen name, people?!) I saw a lot of nastiness from the side claiming to be doing it for the readers, in both instances. It turned my stomach and still the thought of it makes me uncomfortable. We're supposed to be writing books for the readers, not taking sides and duking it out in the digital ring.

We need to be careful how we're handling things. RWA is investigating the category issue, as someone mentioned up-thread, which is excellent! Obviously enough authors and maybe even readers complained to them, and now something will be done. I have faith in RWA.

I think that for the most part, our time is better spent writing and interacting with our readers rather than shaking fingers at each other. None of us love that there are entire categories that have gone completely from their roots. But that's not up to us to control. Aside from people purposely trying to market an apple as an orange, you have to take into consideration that genres evolve over time. Who's to say which book is the "wrong" one and which is the evolution? It may not be all that obvious which is which. I don't think that's up to us to decide, and I don't think any author has any business reporting another author's book, for any reason. Like RPatton said, it's a slippery slope. You might think you're doing good, and maybe you are, but maybe you're also doing harm.

I think it's more productive to email KDP and RWA and let them know that you definitely support this being investigated. Better safe than sorry.

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Re: Another example
« Reply #96 on: June 12, 2018, 01:01:57 PM »
They are actually very different.

Romance's main conflict is the relationship, specifically the courtship part of the relationship before the heroine realizes the quirky habits are annoying as all get out and no one needs to make that much noise eating watermelon.

Erotica's main conflict is the sex.

If you take every sexy bit from a romance, the story should still stand.

If you take every sexy bit from erotica, you should have a bunch of scenes that don't make any sense whatsoever.

This isn't a case where a genre has evolved, at the heart of a cozy there's a body, at the heart of a romance there's a relationship, at the heart of a thriller there's a briefcase, and at the heart of erotica, there is sex. The expectations might change over time and the tropes might shift around, but the core of a genre will continue to exist as it always has.

Have the two been conflated? Absolutely. And I would go so far those who are doing it either don't know better or don't care. (Trying to be generous with the don't know better, but let's face it, they are in the minority.) But it doesn't change that erotica is not romance and romance is not erotica.
X1000. Thank you. Very well explained.

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #97 on: June 12, 2018, 01:18:28 PM »
I have to add my voice to the "this isn't a good idea" camp. You suggest that reporting someone's book is harmless. However, we've seen all too many times how "harmless" it is when a brigade comes in and reports a book. Amazon yanks it, no questions asked. Sometimes accounts get banned and innocent people lose their livelihood. The thought that Amazon will look into the miscategorization is idealistic and naive, considering their ban first, ask questions later policy lately re: reviews and other issues.

Look, I'm a firm believer in speaking up when something is wrong. When an author bullied other authors and scammed both authors and readers over a decade using reviews and box sets, too many authors were afraid to speak up for fear of her crew coming in and steamrolling them. When we all got together, though, something was finally done. That was an example of an author clearly out of line and causing damage to the community and industry.

Lately, though, it seems to me that the indie community is entirely too concerned with what other authors are doing and overly self-policing. An author got trademarking wrong and instead of letting the courts handle it, the community decided to chase her out, calling her awful, unprofessional names. Another author writing romance under a female pen name just got chastised left and right for being male IRL. (Since when is it a crime to use a pen name, people?!) I saw a lot of nastiness from the side claiming to be doing it for the readers, in both instances. It turned my stomach and still the thought of it makes me uncomfortable. We're supposed to be writing books for the readers, not taking sides and duking it out in the digital ring.

We need to be careful how we're handling things. RWA is investigating the category issue, as someone mentioned up-thread, which is excellent! Obviously enough authors and maybe even readers complained to them, and now something will be done. I have faith in RWA.

I think that for the most part, our time is better spent writing and interacting with our readers rather than shaking fingers at each other. None of us love that there are entire categories that have gone completely from their roots. But that's not up to us to control. Aside from people purposely trying to market an apple as an orange, you have to take into consideration that genres evolve over time. Who's to say which book is the "wrong" one and which is the evolution? It may not be all that obvious which is which. I don't think that's up to us to decide, and I don't think any author has any business reporting another author's book, for any reason. Like RPatton said, it's a slippery slope. You might think you're doing good, and maybe you are, but maybe you're also doing harm.

I think it's more productive to email KDP and RWA and let them know that you definitely support this being investigated. Better safe than sorry.

Amen to everything you just said. People playing Amazon Police & reporting books for things they personally think are wrong or should be wrong are undoubtedly going to end up on the receiving end of a report against which they are innocent. Also I believe in the community guidelines it says authors are not allowed to do things that hurt the competition & I think someone playing morality police & reporting books could certainly be guilty of breaking the TOS there.

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #98 on: June 12, 2018, 01:24:10 PM »
Amen to everything you just said. People playing Amazon Police & reporting books for things they personally think are wrong or should be wrong are undoubtedly going to end up on the receiving end of a report against which they are innocent. Also I believe in the community guidelines it says authors are not allowed to do things that hurt the competition & I think someone playing morality police & reporting books could certainly be guilty of breaking the TOS there.
Um...it really depends. I've reported stuffed books before in the western mail-order bride category because they were truly against Amazon TOS. I had also spent money on them, thinking they were one story, and instead got a million short stories (which I had not signed up for) that weren't very good anyway. We as authors are also consumers. That doesn't change because we write books.

To just jump out and call others scammers and frauds because of xyz reasons...yes, I believe that is wrong and agree with you there. But to say that authors shouldn't, in general, report other authors for breaking the rules has to do with the whole "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke"

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Re: Category Pollution: Next Battleground
« Reply #99 on: June 12, 2018, 01:44:20 PM »
Honestly...is being able to slap "Best Selling Amazon Author" next to your name really worth being scuzzy about achieving it?