NetGalley

Poll

Should authors be reporting miscategorized books in the Kindle Store?

No. It is unfortunate that some purposeful miscategorization occurs, but sometimes algorithms are responsible and reporting can lead to innocent authors being punished. Let Amazon sort out their store. Authors need to mind their own business.
No. Authors should not be reporting other authors as there's a conflict of interest there and the reporting can be predatory and used as a means of wiping out competition for their own financial gain, for engaging in schadenfreude or taking jealous s
No. Because there is no true objective measure of what book belongs to any given category, and no author can claim to be an objective arbiter of what belongs where. It's opening a can of worms.
No. It can foster a culture of distrust between fellow authors and that could lead to bullying, brigading and other unwanted behaviors.
Both A and B.
Both A and C.
Both A and D
A, B, C.
A, B, D.
A, C, D.
Both B and C.
Both B and D.
B, C, D.
Both C and D.
A, B, C, D.
Yes. Miscategorizing books is a purposeful, nefarious practice that must be called out at every opportunity for the damage it causes across the board. Clearly, Amazon isn't up to the task or they just don't care. It's up to us.
Yes. Authors should report miscategorized books to protect the sanctity of genres in the store which benefits all authors by rewarding those who play by the rules as opposed to allowing rule-breakers to profit off the backs of others.
Yes. Because authors are also readers and readers should be afforded every opportunity to let Amazon know when things are miscategorized. Plus, it benefits readers to have a clean store, books are easier to find, which also helps author visibility.
Yes. Authors stand to gain across the community by presenting the market with a clean store, clean categories. Looks more professional and leads to less confusion and frustration for readers making them less likely to shop elsewhere.
Both E and F.
Both E and G.
Both E and H.
E, F, G.
E, F, H.
E, G, H.
Both F and G.
Both F and H.
F, G, H.
Both G and H.
E, F, G, H.
I don't know.
I don't care. Do whatever you feel is right.
It doesn't matter. No amount of reporting will ever fix the store. Amazon doesn't care. Readers don't care as much as is stated on these boards. Worry about what you can control.
It doesn't matter. The large writing organizations and/or trad pub will wind up winning this battle in the end anyway. We have very little effect. Why bother with it?
Undecided.

Author Topic: POLL: Should authors be reporting miscategorized books in the Kindle Store?  (Read 1704 times)  

Offline kw3000

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 712
  • Rocky Mountains
    • View Profile
I see the merits in what folks have been saying on both sides of the debate, so I'd be interested to see the results here. Thanks.  :)

Ken Ward

Offline Anarchist

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2557
  • Methodological individualist
    • View Profile
First!

Now, that's a poll. ;)
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu

Offline kw3000

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 712
  • Rocky Mountains
    • View Profile
The sentence at the end of option 2 was cut off, it ends with "taking jealous swipes".

Ken Ward

Online cadle-sparks

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1096
    • View Profile
you don't have what I want to vote on there!

believe it or not, it's true.

My vote: Amazon should limit keywords to 10 characters each. That would help with the stuffing. And I betcha it's a simple bit of code.

Online Crystal_

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2358
  • Gender: Female
  • Portland, OR
    • View Profile
Way too many options.

As much as all the erotica in New Adult Romance gets on my nerves, I don't think we can really say what belongs where until Amazon gives us more clear guidelines about categories (the way iBooks does). Sure, everyone knows erom doesn't belong in Sci-Fi Fantasy (unless it's sci-fi erom), but the lines between different types of erotica, romance, and women's fiction are thinner.

There's also the issue of keywords putting you into categories that don't belong. Using the words "Cinderella Fantasy" gets you into the fantasy subcat of Women's Fiction, but it's a valid and important keyword. I'm not going to stop using it because it does something I don't intend.

Offline kw3000

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 712
  • Rocky Mountains
    • View Profile
you don't have what I want to vote on there!

believe it or not, it's true.


LOL! Well, I guess I should've expected that.  :P

Ken Ward

Online Ruairi

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 75
  • Gender: Male
  • Colorado
    • View Profile
    • Ruair Cinad Duncatlin
Very nice.   :D

Cheers,
Ruairi


Ruairi Cinead Ducantlin

Online Dpock

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 681
  • Gender: Male
  • North Idaho
    • View Profile
Indie publishers should keep an eye on their genres/categories and not be afraid to report a miscategorized book, whether put there intentionally by the author or algorithmically by Zon.


Online Edward M. Grant

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3271
  • Gender: Male
  • Canada (moved from UK)
    • View Profile
    • Edward M. Grant
Sure, everyone knows erom doesn't belong in Sci-Fi Fantasy (unless it's sci-fi erom),

As far as I remember, Amazon explicitly said a while back that you're not allowed to put a book in SF or Fantasy if it's also in a Romance category, because the category-stuffing had become so extreme that the bestseller list was absolutely useless for finding actual SF or Fantasy books.

I gave up on checking the lists long ago, so I'm not sure whether that's actually improved anything, or whether people still do it anyway.

Offline Becca Mills

  • Moderator
  • Status: Emily Dickinson
  • *****
  • Posts: 9251
  • Gender: Female
  • California
    • View Profile
    • website
Don't think I've ever been so glad to encounter the word "undecided."  ;D

Offline kw3000

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 712
  • Rocky Mountains
    • View Profile
Don't think I've ever been so glad to encounter the word "undecided."  ;D

LOL!  :P

Ken Ward

Offline Anarchist

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2557
  • Methodological individualist
    • View Profile
Don't think I've ever been so glad to encounter the word "undecided."  ;D

haha

My favorite one is "I don't care. Do whatever you feel is right."

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu

Online Shelley K

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2001
  • Does things wrong.
    • View Profile
I'm not even going to read all those options, but my answer is that they should if they choose to because it's what they feel is right, and hopefully not because they felt pressure from other authors trying to tell them what they should or should not do.


Online L_Loryn

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
    • View Profile
This poll gave me test anxiety.

My answer is "do what you feel is right" because that's what everyone should do, ultimately.

Online Dpock

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 681
  • Gender: Male
  • North Idaho
    • View Profile
Amazon explicitly said a while back that you're not allowed to put a book in SF or Fantasy if it's also in a Romance category

That is correct.


Online Bards and Sages (Julie)

  • Status: Harvey Chute
  • *********
  • Posts: 13653
  • Gender: Female
  • New Jersey
  • Her Royal Sithiness
    • View Profile
    • Bards and Sages Publishing
I don't think we can really say what belongs where until Amazon gives us more clear guidelines about categories (the way iBooks does).

The problem is that it is NOT up to Amazon to decide what the definition of each genre is. Contrary to the popular opinions, each genre DOES, in fact, have rather clear reader expectations and established tropes and themes. The problem is not that Amazon hasn't told authors what to do. The problems are:

1. Too many authors simply do not have the literary literacy needed to properly categorize their books. They don't know the history of the genres they are working in. Haven't bothered to read the classics in their genres. Don't really do any sort of academic research to understand the how and why of the genre. They just say "I liked Jane Doe's books. Her books were in X genre. My books are like her books so my books are in x genre."

2. Too many authors are ashamed of their genres. I know writers who are clearly writing romances, but put their books in fantasy because they don't consider themselves "romance" writers. I recently had an argument with a friend who put his book in epic fantasy when it was clearly urban fantasy, but he didn't want to put it in urban fantasy because "that is all shifter smut books written by women." (Yes. he is still alive...there is some slight bruising however).

3. Too many authors are too self-important and simply INSIST that they are some cross-genre marvel and their book really, really, OMG SERIOUSLY IT IS a thriller-horror-fantasy-science fiction-romance-family saga-time traveling memoir FOR REAL. Newsflash, a few scary scenes doesn't make your book horror. The existence of a romantic sub-plot does not make your book a romance. Adding one robot to a story doesn't make it science fiction. The fact that a crime occurs doesn't make it a police procedural. I can count on one hand the number of times an author told me their book was a "cross-genre" when it actually WAS cross genre and not just self-important wishful thinking.

4. And, yes, too many authors just want to cram their books into as many categories as possible because they think it will increase their visibility on Amazon.

Those of us who have the knowledge of specific genres should report miscategorized books in the interest of fans of those genres. At the end of the day, to me, it is ALL ABOUT THE READERS. We should do whatever we can to help readers easily find the books they actually want. Because when people can find what they want easily, they shop happy. And when they shop happy, they tend to spend more money. And when they are willing to spend more money, they buy MORE books or more expensive books. So it also benefits the entire community.

Writer, Publisher, Game Designer, Resident Sith
Julie Ann Dawson | Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eFesitival of Words

Online Jan Hurst-Nicholson

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 10769
  • Durban, South Africa
  • Don't let your emotions overpower your intellect
    • View Profile
    • www.just4kix.jimdo.com
The thread title should be "Should AMAZON CUSTOMERS be reporting miscategorized books in the Kindle Store?"

Authors are also customers.


 

Fiction, family saga, humour, short stories, teen, children's
Jan Hurst-Nicholson | author website

Offline DCRWrites

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 163
  • Gender: Male
  • Wentworth Hall, Tellus of Sol
  • A writer writes
    • View Profile
    • Welcome to Yesterday's Tomorrow
The problem is that it is NOT up to Amazon to decide what the definition of each genre is. Contrary to the popular opinions, each genre DOES, in fact, have rather clear reader expectations and established tropes and themes. The problem is not that Amazon hasn't told authors what to do. The problems are:

1. Too many authors simply do not have the literary literacy needed to properly categorize their books. They don't know the history of the genres they are working in. Haven't bothered to read the classics in their genres. Don't really do any sort of academic research to understand the how and why of the genre. They just say "I liked Jane Doe's books. Her books were in X genre. My books are like her books so my books are in x genre."

2. Too many authors are ashamed of their genres. I know writers who are clearly writing romances, but put their books in fantasy because they don't consider themselves "romance" writers. I recently had an argument with a friend who put his book in epic fantasy when it was clearly urban fantasy, but he didn't want to put it in urban fantasy because "that is all shifter smut books written by women." (Yes. he is still alive...there is some slight bruising however).

3. Too many authors are too self-important and simply INSIST that they are some cross-genre marvel and their book really, really, OMG SERIOUSLY IT IS a thriller-horror-fantasy-science fiction-romance-family saga-time traveling memoir FOR REAL. Newsflash, a few scary scenes doesn't make your book horror. The existence of a romantic sub-plot does not make your book a romance. Adding one robot to a story doesn't make it science fiction. The fact that a crime occurs doesn't make it a police procedural. I can count on one hand the number of times an author told me their book was a "cross-genre" when it actually WAS cross genre and not just self-important wishful thinking.

4. And, yes, too many authors just want to cram their books into as many categories as possible because they think it will increase their visibility on Amazon.

Those of us who have the knowledge of specific genres should report miscategorized books in the interest of fans of those genres. At the end of the day, to me, it is ALL ABOUT THE READERS. We should do whatever we can to help readers easily find the books they actually want. Because when people can find what they want easily, they shop happy. And when they shop happy, they tend to spend more money. And when they are willing to spend more money, they buy MORE books or more expensive books. So it also benefits the entire community.

This.

Too many people forget that the purpose of genre distinctions is to serve readers. The whole point is that it should be easy for a reader looking for a particular kind of book to find one that meets their expectations.


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

Online brkingsolver

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4162
  • Baltimore, MD
    • View Profile
Those of us who have the knowledge of specific genres should report miscategorized books in the interest of fans of those genres. At the end of the day, to me, it is ALL ABOUT THE READERS. We should do whatever we can to help readers easily find the books they actually want. Because when people can find what they want easily, they shop happy. And when they shop happy, they tend to spend more money. And when they are willing to spend more money, they buy MORE books or more expensive books. So it also benefits the entire community.

And then there are those of us who would pay for a service that told us what genre the confusing mess we just wrote belongs in. Because I would love to make it easier for readers to find me.  It's a business opportunity, Julie. :D

BR Kingsolver | Author website

Online Bards and Sages (Julie)

  • Status: Harvey Chute
  • *********
  • Posts: 13653
  • Gender: Female
  • New Jersey
  • Her Royal Sithiness
    • View Profile
    • Bards and Sages Publishing
And then there are those of us who would pay for a service that told us what genre the confusing mess we just wrote belongs in. Because I would love to make it easier for readers to find me.  It's a business opportunity, Julie. :D

I always miss the opportunity to exploit my fellow authors for profit. I tend to do this stuff for free lol

https://bardsandsages.com/juliedawson/2011/08/09/writing-clinic-defining-genre/

Writer, Publisher, Game Designer, Resident Sith
Julie Ann Dawson | Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eFesitival of Words

Offline Rose Andrews

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 716
  • Gender: Female
  • Washington State, U.S.A.
  • Vintage Love <3
    • View Profile
There are too many options. I'm having a hard time choosing.  :'(

The problem is that it is NOT up to Amazon to decide what the definition of each genre is. Contrary to the popular opinions, each genre DOES, in fact, have rather clear reader expectations and established tropes and themes. The problem is not that Amazon hasn't told authors what to do. The problems are:

1. Too many authors simply do not have the literary literacy needed to properly categorize their books. They don't know the history of the genres they are working in. Haven't bothered to read the classics in their genres. Don't really do any sort of academic research to understand the how and why of the genre. They just say "I liked Jane Doe's books. Her books were in X genre. My books are like her books so my books are in x genre."

2. Too many authors are ashamed of their genres. I know writers who are clearly writing romances, but put their books in fantasy because they don't consider themselves "romance" writers. I recently had an argument with a friend who put his book in epic fantasy when it was clearly urban fantasy, but he didn't want to put it in urban fantasy because "that is all shifter smut books written by women." (Yes. he is still alive...there is some slight bruising however).

3. Too many authors are too self-important and simply INSIST that they are some cross-genre marvel and their book really, really, OMG SERIOUSLY IT IS a thriller-horror-fantasy-science fiction-romance-family saga-time traveling memoir FOR REAL. Newsflash, a few scary scenes doesn't make your book horror. The existence of a romantic sub-plot does not make your book a romance. Adding one robot to a story doesn't make it science fiction. The fact that a crime occurs doesn't make it a police procedural. I can count on one hand the number of times an author told me their book was a "cross-genre" when it actually WAS cross genre and not just self-important wishful thinking.

4. And, yes, too many authors just want to cram their books into as many categories as possible because they think it will increase their visibility on Amazon.

Those of us who have the knowledge of specific genres should report miscategorized books in the interest of fans of those genres. At the end of the day, to me, it is ALL ABOUT THE READERS. We should do whatever we can to help readers easily find the books they actually want. Because when people can find what they want easily, they shop happy. And when they shop happy, they tend to spend more money. And when they are willing to spend more money, they buy MORE books or more expensive books. So it also benefits the entire community.
YES. All the way yes. Some here don't agree that we shouldn't be reporting miscat. books and I understand where they are coming from. I also understand the other side of it and lean more that way, although I've only reported one miscat. book ever in READER interest because the darn thing was clearly not a romance. It was a trad book btw and it is still in 20th Century romance so...*shrugs*.

It kind of blows my mind still that some authors do this on purpose, mainly because readers aren't looking for those particular books in categories that the book doesn't belong in. Idk. At the same time, it works, clearly, because these books have more visibility. Amazon does put books in the wrong categories as well, and in that case I understand why there is hesitation at reporting books. One of my books spent months and months in the Inspirational Romance category even though it is not that at all. I emailed Amazon numerous times and they kept 'fixing' it but the book was still in that category. It didn't sell there, clearly. I finally got angry enough and sent them a mean letter and finally they changed it.

So yeah, a lot of it is Amazon's category system. I don't think it can be fairly stated that ALL miscategorized books are that way on purpose. I'd wager a good deal of them are there by accident, too. Like fantasy romance, for example. That's a tough one. It's fantasy but also romance. I've seen fantasy romance books also in the medieval historical romance category. Well, the time age was medieval and it was a historical fantasy setting. So what is an author to do in that scenario? Some books are just tricky.

The best approach imo is to do it the way a library would: romance in romance, science fiction in science fiction, fantasy in fantasy, mystery in mystery, etc, regardless of setting and plot. Maybe it seems the clearest and easiest.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 01:47:52 PM by Rose Andrews »

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

Online Atlantisatheart

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
    • View Profile
If amazon could be helpful and tell me which keyword/s throw my bare naked man chest pen name books into certain horror sub-cats I'd be grateful. I even changed one keyword at a time and nothing. I cringe when my guy is staring at a Stephen King book like - you tell me what I'm doing here - and then try getting amazon to change the cat - I stopped asking when they tossed my book in erotica! Erotica?

Now, I let the chips fall where they may. Sometimes, it's just not the author's fault.

Offline munboy

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 150
    • View Profile
Somebody make a flowchart for this poll. I don't have that kind of attention span to read all that and play connect the dots.

Offline David VanDyke

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1783
    • View Profile
Somebody make a flowchart for this poll. I don't have that kind of attention span to read all that and play connect the dots.

This.


Futuristic Thrillers, Mysteries and Science Fiction
David VanDyke | Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter[/

Offline MClayton

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 294
  • Gender: Female
  • Florida
    • View Profile
    • Website
The problem is that it is NOT up to Amazon to decide what the definition of each genre is. Contrary to the popular opinions, each genre DOES, in fact, have rather clear reader expectations and established tropes and themes. The problem is not that Amazon hasn't told authors what to do. The problems are:

1. Too many authors simply do not have the literary literacy needed to properly categorize their books. They don't know the history of the genres they are working in. Haven't bothered to read the classics in their genres. Don't really do any sort of academic research to understand the how and why of the genre. They just say "I liked Jane Doe's books. Her books were in X genre. My books are like her books so my books are in x genre."

2. Too many authors are ashamed of their genres. I know writers who are clearly writing romances, but put their books in fantasy because they don't consider themselves "romance" writers. I recently had an argument with a friend who put his book in epic fantasy when it was clearly urban fantasy, but he didn't want to put it in urban fantasy because "that is all shifter smut books written by women." (Yes. he is still alive...there is some slight bruising however).

3. Too many authors are too self-important and simply INSIST that they are some cross-genre marvel and their book really, really, OMG SERIOUSLY IT IS a thriller-horror-fantasy-science fiction-romance-family saga-time traveling memoir FOR REAL. Newsflash, a few scary scenes doesn't make your book horror. The existence of a romantic sub-plot does not make your book a romance. Adding one robot to a story doesn't make it science fiction. The fact that a crime occurs doesn't make it a police procedural. I can count on one hand the number of times an author told me their book was a "cross-genre" when it actually WAS cross genre and not just self-important wishful thinking.

4. And, yes, too many authors just want to cram their books into as many categories as possible because they think it will increase their visibility on Amazon.

Those of us who have the knowledge of specific genres should report miscategorized books in the interest of fans of those genres. At the end of the day, to me, it is ALL ABOUT THE READERS. We should do whatever we can to help readers easily find the books they actually want. Because when people can find what they want easily, they shop happy. And when they shop happy, they tend to spend more money. And when they are willing to spend more money, they buy MORE books or more expensive books. So it also benefits the entire community.

I have to agree with this. I teach a genre class and every term starts out with students saying they write romance but don't believe in a happily-ever-after, or they write contemporary but it's set on the planet XYZ. It's actually quite fun to see them begin not only to understand genres, but also understand where their own writing fits in. 

Buy Scrivener for Windows or Mac