Friday, May 6, 2011

UPDATE: Amazon Has Re-Categorized Spoil of War - Again!

I'll certainly honor any purchases made this week, but I'd like to push my 5-page crit offer out another week to give Amazon time to respond to why they've gone in and re-categorized Spoil of War as erotica again. I thought we had that resolved (also, see comments in both posts for full wording of letters to and replies from Amazon). Re-categorization means the book does not show up in general searches, such as folk looking for Arthurian or medieval fiction. I was feeling a little silly for leaving the disclaimer in the Product Description that the book is not erotica, but now I'm glad I didn't take it out.

Question For You (especially for those of you who have read the book)

I have a note in the Product Description about the mature subject matter in the book. I simply don't want someone who isn't comfortable with such matter (rape and, in a subplot, child sexual abuse) picking the book up and being surprised. I do believe it's sensitively handled and neither gratuitous nor condoning, but I respect that some people don't want to read about it in any form. Should I continue to run the disclaimer or let some folk potentially be surprised?


Sarah Laurenson said...

Not the right time for me. Still haven't finished setting up this laptop and the Kindle app is one of those things waiting on the to do list.

Life has been interesting since March when I took on a big volunteer commitment, my laptop died and I went gallivanting around the country (sort of).

Am in a "your writing sucks" phase and thinking about taking a few weeks off to recharge. New books are awesome companions during such times, so I will be getting both soon enough.

Chelsea P. said...

Did it. Yay! Can't wait to read them both.

I'll now be prepping those five pages to send (muahaha!)


Slush said...

Gotta wait until the next paycheck before I purchase any more books. Honestly I will be nabbing Spoil of War on B&N. Not a fan of the kindle I'm afraid and have already planted my haunches into Nook for PC.

Chelsea P. said...

Oh, also, I haven't read the book yet but I very much appreciate disclaimers about sexually violent content.

fairyhedgehog said...

They really are idiots and they ought to make up their minds and classify it as historical fiction once and for all.

What a pain keep having to deal with this.

Maye the disclaimer could be worded just as part of the blurb? It might make it sound less sensational.

Jo-Ann said...

The disclaimer may be read as hype and sensationalism, and that's what got it bounced back into the erotica section.

So - you want us to wait until it's back to Hist Fic before we buy it?

Phoenix Sullivan said...

@Slush: Not a ripple of a problem with B&N so far. I like their website design better, too ;o)

@Chelsea: Thank you for buying and for commenting on the blurb bit.

@FHH and Jo: I do think I need to rewrite the blurb entirely and, as you suggest, carefully work in the subplots to suggest rather than being blatant.

vkw said...

I've read enough of Spoil of War (sorry phoenix - I've really been snowed under with tons of stuff and it ain't going to get better for another three weeks) to know the reclassification is wrong.

The Girl with the dragon tattoo had a very graphic rape scene . . . and I don't think Spoil has anything in it that graphic. Was tattoo reclassfied by Amazon?

I don't think so. Use that as a reference on how to market Spoil.

I hope that makes sense. I'm in a rush.


Beckah-Rah said...

Ugh, that's so annoying. I'm sorry you have to keep dealing with that. :(

Wilkins MacQueen said...

Man alive. With FHH and the others supporting you. I can't imagine you writng anything NOT tastefully written or handled.

I dislike this powerless author thing. At the mercy of... Oh darn and crap, did they even READ the book?

Hang in, this could be a marketing opportunity. An interview and send out the interview to many spots on the internet. Huh?


Wilkins MacQueen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah Laurenson said...

Finally got the Kindle App straightened out and just bought them both. Did not pay attention to how Spoil was labeled.

Just checked and in the Kindle Store, they hide the fact that it's classed as erotica. I found it by searching for your name.

It does have multiple tags associated with it that are more relevant, but I don't know what effect those have.

Phoenix Sullivan said...

Thanks vkw, Beckah and Mac. I haven't heard back from Amazon yet, but should tomorrow. I'll see where to take it from there.

@Sarah: Thanks! Don't forget to send over 5 pages, if you want!

The decision engine for including a book in the "general catalog" is based on the Category tag. Each book is allowed two Category tags, which appear under the "Look for Similar Items by Category" near the bottom of the page (they changed the limit to two recently, so most books have more). Based on my choices, I input them as Fiction > Historical and Fiction > Romance > Historical. Amazon changed them to:

Books > Literature & Fiction > Erotica

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Erotica

All the other tags are ones I've input. BUT the search engine looks to whether a book is listed as Erotica first to determine whether to include it in a General search under any of the additional tags. Sigh.

Chelsea P. said...

So, basically, where you look at your cover and see a man making a protective gesture, Amazon sees a man stimulating a woman's nipples. Even though his hands are flat and neither of them are smiling and . . . oh dear . . . *headdesk*

This has got to be incredibly frustrating.

But never fear! I come bearing ideas! Haha. Idea number one is to specifically use the disclaimer to point out that this is Historical Fiction. Something like:

"As this is Historical Fiction, the story does not gloss over the sexual abuse prevalent during this time period . . ."

My second idea is to round up the people who've bought "Spoil of War" and have each of them (us) write to Amazon complaining that the so-called "erotica" we purchased is NOT erotic and IS Historical Fiction. If they get enough complaints, maybe they will feel compelled to give this the correct classification.