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 1655 times)  

Offline Phxsundog

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Too many options.

Offline Pandorra

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I think I will go with 'leave it up to the readers/consumers to complain when their categories are overrun'

As for me, I am too busy trying to keep up with my own cats that I really don't feel like chasing down other people's mistakes. When I stop to relax and just read a good book, however, and cannot find anything other than women in tight leather pants in my beloved Epic Fantasy, then I reserve the option of being the consumer and not an author... in which case the fires of hell will rain down on someone...  :P
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Offline OnlyTheGrotesqueKnow

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Part of the problem is that people don't write in the genre's they love. They're not immersed in the books of the genre or the rules that define it. Instead they write a book and try to decide where it fits. I'm not slamming anyone or anything, I just wish more people would write what they're passionate about. There is something to be said about writing what you know. And even more to be said about writing what you love.
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Offline TrishaMcNary

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I think authors and readers should report miscategorized books because there are too many books for Amazon employees to possibly check all of them. But I wouldn't report a competitor author's books that might be miscategorized. Just leave that.


Offline Jena H

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Darn.  My choice isn't winning.    :'(
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Offline Jeff Tanyard

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Part of the problem is that people don't write in the genre's they love. They're not immersed in the books of the genre or the rules that define it. Instead they write a book and try to decide where it fits. I'm not slamming anyone or anything, I just wish more people would write what they're passionate about. There is something to be said about writing what you know. And even more to be said about writing what you love.
That's interesting, but I wonder how often that happens. What I write just naturally flows in the direction of what I like to read. I can see someone writing something else for commercial reasons, but I would think that most people who weren't explicitly writing to market would end up in a genre they read.

That might be a fascinating subject for someone to study, but alas, probably no one ever will.


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Offline Jena H

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Part of the problem is that people don't write in the genre's they love. They're not immersed in the books of the genre or the rules that define it. Instead they write a book and try to decide where it fits. I'm not slamming anyone or anything, I just wish more people would write what they're passionate about. There is something to be said about writing what you know. And even more to be said about writing what you love.

 ???  I'm a little confused by this.  The two bolded statements aren't unrelated.  Often they're an obvious case of cause & effect.  I'm just one example of that:  I had stories that demanded to be written, that I absolutely had to put on paper and put 'out there' to the world.  Yet those stories don't fit neatly into one category or another.  I did find the two closest categories for them, per Amazon's rules, but still, they may not be typical examples of those categories.

So, to me, people who DO write "what they're passionate about" often end up with hybrid, not-easily-categorized stories which they then have to "decide where it fits."  So again, the two statements aren't unrelated, but usually go together.
Jena

Offline Crystal_

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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.

They do and they don't. Genre definitions aren't static things. And there's no one authority who can say exactly what any one genre is or isn't.

I'd call Me Before You a romance women's fiction mashup, but a lot of people would disagree on both counts. I don't consider all the sexy bad boy books in New Adult Romance to be New Adult Romances unless they're also coming of age stories about 18-24 year old characters. But if those are the books readers want to find in that category, I can't really say it's wrong. There are many other examples. I'm really only versed in different shades of romance.

There's clear categorization--putting erotica in urban fiction, for example--then there's stuff that's a judgement call.

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So, to me, people who DO write "what they're passionate about" often end up with hybrid, not-easily-categorized stories which they then have to "decide where it fits." 

When picking categories while publishing to KDP there is one labeled "Literature & Fiction>General Fiction", sort of a catch-all. I guess that would land you in the Literature & Fiction top 100 if you managed a storewide rank of #180 or better. It's the single top list where no one can claim a book is miscategorized.

My experience tells me getting a rank of #180 storewide is hard. "Contemporary American Fiction", a sub-cat of Literature & Fiction, tops out at #7000 storewide, so anyone writing near genreless-hybrids has a legitimate shot at gaining visibility in that category. I'm not a category maven so I'm just thinking out loud here.


Offline kw3000

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The masses: We want 137% moar pole!

Ken Ward: Hold my beer and watch this.  *cracks knuckles*

 8) ;D

 :P

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Offline notjohn

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As a rule, I think it's wiser to police our own behavior than to spend time trying to correct others'.
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Online AmesburyArcher

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'My' category on Amazon  UK has recently been overrun. It's biographical historical fiction but it is full, at present, with an 8 book  modern day semi-autobiographical series , a few angsty true-life stories, humour about getting pregnant, humour about childcare, histfic about invented characters rather than real people, plus the occasional historical fantasy and, yes, 'erotica' written about totally fantastical invented persons/places.
It's annoying but I am not the kind of person to report unless the content is offensive. Sometimes reporting crazes can cause trouble. I know it's not the same as books, but once on ebay I had a video wrongfully removed as 'adult.' It was a lecture and have no idea to this day why anyone thought otherwise.


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Offline monamorabooks

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With my latest book, it was in bizarre categories such as LGBT travel, LGBT gay studies. A fellow author b*tched at me for doing it on purpose. It was sad she assumed I did it on purpose, because I didn't.

I even contacted KDP support myself and told them to remove my book from those categories. Nope, it's still there. 

Someone else reported my book for being miscategorized. And the book is still in those categories in which it doesn't belong. I give up.

So before you go on a witch hunt, realize you may be hurting someone who has tried to get their own damn book out of the wrong categories too.

Offline Jena H

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With my latest book, it was in bizarre categories such as LGBT travel, LGBT gay studies. A fellow author b*tched at me for doing it on purpose. It was sad she assumed I did it on purpose, because I didn't.

I even contacted KDP support myself and told them to remove my book from those categories. Nope, it's still there. 

Someone else reported my book for being miscategorized. And the book is still in those categories in which it doesn't belong. I give up.

So before you go on a witch hunt, realize you may be hurting someone who has tried to get their own damn book out of the wrong categories too.

If enough people (NOT authors, but readers) complained to Amazon, and got your book out of those categories, I assume you would consider that a good thing, no?  So, in instances in which miscategorization is not purposeful, chances are the writer would be glad to see it stopped.  And in instances in which miscategorization is deliberate, chances are that, even if the writer isn't happy to be caught about it, readers would be glad to see it stopped.
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Offline monamorabooks

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If enough people (NOT authors, but readers) complained to Amazon, and got your book out of those categories, I assume you would consider that a good thing, no?  So, in instances in which miscategorization is not purposeful, chances are the writer would be glad to see it stopped.  And in instances in which miscategorization is deliberate, chances are that, even if the writer isn't happy to be caught about it, readers would be glad to see it stopped.
True. And also don't attack the author for the miscategorization!

Offline Jena H

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True. And also don't attack the author for the miscategorization!

I understand it's not always the author's fault.  Somehow, one of my MG books got into a category of "Books > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Sea Adventures."  Never mind the fact that the book in question didn't even have a scene at a swimming pool, much less a sea or an ocean.  So...  yeah, it happens sometimes.   :-\
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Offline HopelessFanatic

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I understand it's not always the author's fault.  Somehow, one of my MG books got into a category of "Books > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Sea Adventures."  Never mind the fact that the book in question didn't even have a scene at a swimming pool, much less a sea or an ocean.  So...  yeah, it happens sometimes.   :-\

Took me too long to figure out that dragon shifter put me into sword and sorcery and strong heroine put me into superhero...

As for Amazon taking you out of categories, if you request new categories you can tell them which ones to take you out of as well. They'll usually do it.

Offline BGArcher

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Between this and everyone being "proud" they took down Chance, I can't help but shake my head. There's a lot of people on here with one or two books out there that are now busy destroying other hard working author's lives, instead of focusing on their own stuff. Yes, Chance and others shouldn't abuse the rules, but there's a lot of people thinking that these hit pieces are good thing, and it just shows how green and (unfocused) they are in terms of handling their own business. That being said, don't abuse the system, don't miscategorize your books, sure. But everyone on here thinking that it's great that Chance is gone for now? You should take a hard long look in the mirror. Chances are you'll enjoy being a rent a cop or TSA more than you enjoy being an author.

Offline Ava Glass

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There's a lot of people on here with one or two books out there that are now busy destroying other hard working author's lives, instead of focusing on their own stuff. Yes, Chance and others shouldn't abuse the rules, but there's a lot of people thinking that these hit pieces are good thing, and it just shows how green and (unfocused) they are in terms of handling their own business.

You want to send a letter to the RWA telling them to "mind their business" too? What about the Authors Guild?

They're involved now, and it's because people spoke up.

P.S. The RWA were pretty pleased to see Chance gone.

https://twitter.com/romancewriters/status/1004859578390056960
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 07:49:51 PM by Ava Glass »

Offline BGArcher

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You want to send a letter to the RWA telling them to "mind their business" too? What about the Authors Guild?

They're involved now, and it's because people spoke up.

P.S. The RWA were pretty pleased to see Chance gone.

https://twitter.com/romancewriters/status/1004859578390056960

I never said mind your own business, I said focus on your own stuff first. A lot of people who jumped on DG's bandwagon crusade are junior author's who think it's the big cats that are hurting them by some of their aggressive business practices. Yes, people should not be pushing it like Chance did in the end, but people are also enjoying tearing down somebody more so than they are working on their own stuff. You throwing the RWA's tweet, (which doesn't say Chance's name but it's obvious Chance is who they are talking about) is fine, but it doesn't make my point any less valid. Also, there's a huge difference in actual bot scammers (who should be reported) and people like chance who are legitimate author's who took it a step (or two or three) too far. Should he not do the diamond give away? Of course. Should the book stuffing stop when the rules changed, yes. Should literally all of his books be yanked from the store? Come on. The other thread that sparked this thread is titled :the next battleground. Again, come on.
I personally always am very careful about not pushing the rules too far. Let me put it to you another way. There are a lot of legitimate great author's that come here and then go away because they get sick of getting shouted down by greener author's. Many of them used to post here way more, until they realized it wasn't helping them the way smaller groups that were made up of equally hard working authors did. I'm so grateful for the handful of author's who are great that continue to post here, with great information and feedback. I've never noticed those author's getting on the find them and report them bandwagon. Why? I suspect it's because they are too busy working on their own stuff.

Offline Ava Glass

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I never said mind your own business, I said focus on your own stuff first.

This is telling people to mind their own business.


Also, there's a huge difference in actual bot scammers (who should be reported) and people like chance who are legitimate author's who took it a step (or two or three) too far. Should he not do the diamond give away? Of course. Should the book stuffing stop when the rules changed, yes. Should literally all of his books be yanked from the store? Come on.

If this is what you want to say, say this instead of being "concerned" for others' time and energy. You just don't think what CC and his group do is that bad, and wish people (including the RWA) would stop making such a big fuss about it.

"Real authors are too busy to care" and "focus on your own career" comes across as disingenuous. Plenty of successful authors have spoken out about this, like Suzan Tisdale with her video series.

And what happened to certain authors in this forum wasn't remotely the same thing. Don't put CC and his cohorts in the same category as those authors.


The other thread that sparked this thread is titled :the next battleground. Again, come on.

Quote
7. RWA staff participated in a conference call with individuals from the Authors 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.​

« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 09:33:16 PM by Ava Glass »