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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a dilemma, and could use some advice. This may not seem like much of a "problem" to people struggling to get high rankings for their works, but....

...what do you do if your book is showing up with high ratings or rankings in the "wrong" category???

It's a serious question for me, because I don't want to mislead (and therefore tick off) readers by having the novel advertised by Amazon as something it is not.

Specifically: My newly released novel, HUNTER, is a thriller, a sort of hybrid of spy intrigue and crime suspense -- but more the latter. It also has a strong romance at its heart.

I especially want to target THRILLER fans. However, when initially picking categories, I couldn't find what seemed to be an appropriate subcategory under "Mysteries and Thrillers." There is no crime thriller subcategory -- only the "spy," "legal," "suspense," and "technothriller" subgenres.

"Thrillers -- Spy Stories and Tales of Intrigue" has just 2700 category competitors, but the subcategory seemed a bit off, since the book is more of a crime thriller. "Thrillers -- Suspense" is good, but has over 14,000 Kindle subcategory competitors. So, in a fit of STUPID, I left it listed under the more generic "Thrillers," where it's competing with over over 27,000 entries by some great thriller authors. Yeah, I was an idiot.

However, I also checked out "Romance" categories, and I listed it under the "Romantic Suspense" subcategory.

So, guess what happened?

HUNTER is barely on the radar screen under "Thrillers," but the book is showing up highly rated in the Amazon "Romance" category! Yep, right along with all the bodice-rippers!

In fact, it's #16 this morning in "Top Rated in Romance" ... http://amzn.to/qHfD60

...#3 in "Top Rated in Romantic Suspense" ... http://amzn.to/n8IQGR

...and #20 in "Hot New Releases in Romantic Suspense" ... http://amzn.to/qnYsa9

And while it's #18 in "Top Rated in Mysteries & Thrillers" ... http://amzn.to/pommNv

...it doesn't show up at all in "Top Rated in Thrillers" or "Hot New Releases in Thrillers."

In short, I'm worried that HUNTER is going to be seen by Amazon readers as a ROMANCE novel, not a THRILLER...thus targeting the wrong audience. That could upset buyers who are looking for conventional romances, but cause it to remain invisible to its real audience of thriller fans.

So here's my question to you: Should I try to recategorize at this point?

I'd be an idiot to want to lose the visibility the book is getting in the various romance lists. But I'd definitely like it to get more visibility in the thriller lists.

And if I recategorize it NOW -- say, having KDP stick it into a thriller subcategory such as "Suspense" or "Spy Stories & Intrigue" -- will that interrupt the listings, so that it loses its current positions on the "romance" charts?

I'd appreciate some advice, especially from those of you who have novels doing well on various Amazon lists. I don't want to do anything stupid here, but I would like the novel to find it's right niche audience.

Thanks much. Again, I know that some of you are probably rolling your eyes and saying "What's this guy complaining about?" -- but I truly don't want to upset "romance" readers...or have the book remain invisible to thriller fans.
 

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Robert Bidinotto said:
HUNTER is barely on the radar screen under "Thrillers," but the book is showing up highly rated in the Amazon "Romance" category! Yep, right along with all the bodice-rippers!
Again, I know that some of you are probably rolling your eyes and saying "What's this guy complaining about?" -- but I truly don't want to upset "romance" readers...or have the book remain invisible to thriller fans.
If you don't want to upset romance readers, you could start with not referring to the genre as 'bodice rippers' which is an outdated (and frankly insulting) term to describe a very different style of romance and has nothing to do with romantic suspense.

Let's be kind to everyone's genre, okay?

As for the category, my theory is that readers are smart enough to realize when looking at your book and at the description if it's something that will appeal to them - wrong category or not - and if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 

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"if it ain't broke..."  If you have good sales and good reviews and no complaints you might not want to change a thing.  I just checked and you have recent good reviews and zero complaints.  Any real romance reader will immediately see from your cover and blurb that it is not a standard romance.
 

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Robert Bidinotto said:
In short, I'm worried that HUNTER is going to be seen by Amazon readers as a ROMANCE novel, not a THRILLER...thus targeting the wrong audience. That could upset buyers who are looking for conventional romances...
The solution is simple: Just rewrite it as a romance. :p
 

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I personally like the idea of ripping off a woman's bodice.

Although I'm not quite sure what that is, exactly.
 

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I guess as a reader I am really confused why you would put your book into the Romantic Suspense category to begin with, when you say its not Romance. Romantic Suspense is still under the Romance umbrella. So why are you surprised now if it shows up on those lists when you initially put it there.  ???

If it is not a romance, you should never have put it there period. Maybe use the tags if it has romantic elements, which is not the same then Romance.

As a reader to be honest, these categorizing issues by self published authors are a bit worrisome. It muddles up the genres. They are there for a reason.

Personally, I would be peeved if I find a interesting sounding book in the romance category and then it turns out its anything but. And one cannot always go by cover, or even blurb as there is some hard romantic suspense out there. Still following of course the Romance genre. You wouldn't know that unless you read the book all the way through.
 

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I guess I'm in the minority with this opinion.  When you write, you have an idea what market you intend the work to connect with.  Sometimes it connects with a different market.  Which means the author targeted their audience poorly.

If all your romance ratings are better than all your thriller ratings, consider that instead of being "miscategorized" as romance, you are filling a niche in romance that is being under served.  Obviously this isn't true if you are getting a lot of negative reviews about not being romance.  But assuming you aren't don't worry about the possibility of poor reception.  If you are getting good reviews consider exploiting the niche you find yourself in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@ atunah:

Good questions and points. I put it under "romantic suspense" (as well as "thrillers") because, frankly, I found that my book was difficult to categorize. It bends some genres and subgenres. Yes, it's a thriller; but there is a very strong romance at the core of the book, a sort of "Thomas Crown Affair" thing. But how would you classify that story? As a straight romance? Not quite. As a crime story? Well, yes, but.... As romantic suspense?

I thought: "Well, HUNTER is a thriller, for sure. But also it's structured around this romance." So, I stuck it in both "thriller" and "romantic suspense" (a subcategory of romance). But now, all the listings are under "romance" and "romantic suspense."

I'm hoping that what some others have said here is true -- that once Amazon readers look at what's on the product page, they won't be misled. Still, I'm wondering if I should change the generic "thriller" listing to either "Thrillers -- Spy Stories and Intrigue" or "Thrillers -- Suspense." My worry is whether entering ANY editorial change like that will disrupt the current Amazon listings. Obviously, I don't want to do that.
 
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