It was recently brought to my attention (thanks to the Sensational Christmas Sale Event) that Amazon has classified Shades of Gray as a Young Adult/Teen novel.
When an author/publisher uploads a book to Amazon they are allowed to choose a category to place their book in from a rather small list. Amazon then – apparently randomly – sticks the book in several other categories – like sci-fi shorts that you can read in two hours (This is a real category). And, as I said, they put Shades of Gray in the YA category. But why? How do they choose these seemingly odd extra categories for our books?
The question has been answered by Amazon help:
Thank you for contacting Kindle Direct Publishing.
I understand you’re concerned about the category of your book, “Shades of Gray.”
Looking at your account, I see that based on your keywords selection, the category was automatically assigned to your book.
For your convenience, I’ve removed the following category:
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult
It should no longer be visible on the website within 24 hours.
I hope this helps.
Thanks for using Amazon KDP. Have a nice day!
First, I do want to give them kudos for removing it quickly, but past that I want to say again, “what?!?!” because these are my chosen keywords:
- violence – doesn’t say YA to me
- dark – eh, still not really
- thriller – there are YA thrillers, but it’s not exclusive to the genre
- Amarathine – just a series name
- romance – doesn’t scream YA
- vampire & paranormal – aha.
And so we get to the crux of the matter. As an author I dared to use the keywords vampire, paranormal, and romance together, which must automatically mean the book is intended for teenage audience.
Can I scream now?
I don’t have anything against teenagers. I even LIKE many YA books, but why in the name of all that sucks blood does the word “vampire” automatically conjure the word “teenager”? No, don’t answer that. I know why. Because people have forgotten Carmella, and Dracula, and Louie, and Armand, and all the other ADULT vampires that came first, and all they can remember is the sparkling, high-school-attending Edward and his Twilight gang. And if that series was for teens, then that must mean that EVERY vampire series is for teens. Just as every animated show is for children (another tired stereotype that the anime Now and Then, Here and There, among others, has proven wrong), etc. etc.
Maybe it’s time to remind the world of that? Or at the very least, Amazon.