First off, let me say, I love Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Allromance and all other online bookstores. What’s not to love? They sell books and I love books, BUT… of those 4 stores mentioned, only ONE has categories made to help romance readers shop properly. AllRomance, hands down, understands that romance readers don’t want all their stuff lumped together in a mishmash that makes it annoying to shop and buy. And trust me, that’s a shame, because romance readers are voracious so you’d think they’d want to make it easy for us to feed our addiction.
Now for my confession, while I occasionally buy from AllRomance, I freely admit to being addicted to Amazon’s one click option. I hate sideloading. I hate having to log in and jump through hoops to get a new book. That said, while I love buying books from Amazon, I hate using their website to shop for it. Why? Because their romance categories are woefully inadequate. Actually, they suck. Readers know what they like, or at least I do. For example, I am a big paranormal romance fan and yet, there is no way to get to a paranormal romance listing directly from the menus on Amazon, B&N etc… If I type it in the search box, I get some results, but not all the books I know belong there. It makes me want to scream. And I’m not even going to talk about the books in the romance category that don’t belong there. That is a whole other pet peeve.
I sometimes have to wonder how these bookstores class books at times too. Despite repeated requests, do you know Bunny & the Bear is classed under Horror and Erotica at B&N? Horror?!! Like seriously lol. And that’s just some of the wtf-ery us authors deal with when it comes to categories.
Having moaned about this on numerous occasions to my hubby, who watches me get frustrated trying to shop to feed my reading addiction, I’ve come up with some must have romance sub categories that Amazon, and others, really should add under the romance category. (Please note I am only going to mention the ones missing that I want to see lol. Feel free to comment and tell me which ones you’d like!)
- Erotic romance, not to be mistaken with erotica. I am not going to delve into the difference. We readers already know the difference.
- BDSM/Alternative Lifestyle romance, again not the erotica type but the long term commitment versions.
- Science Fiction Romance which could (make that should) be subcategorized into Alien Romance, High Tech Romance, Futuristic Romance, Galactic Romance — and yes, they are different!
- YA Romance. This one drives me nuts. I am an adult. I want to read romances about adults. All the teeny bopper romances cluttering the romance category drive me insane. I wish they’d put them in their own category or have a way to weed them out.
- Paranormal Romance. I can’t believe this one doesn’t have it’s own listing. Sure, they have Gothic and Vampire (which by the way as an author I’ve never seen as an option to list my book in) but when I choose Paranormal Romance to list my books I end up in a general category titled Fantasy, Futuristic & Ghost — all I have to say is WTF?
- Fantasy Romance not to be mistaken with Paranormal. Again, very different! Fantasy romance has a setting outside of our world with elves, or magic, dragons and swords, you know fairy tale type settings.
- Shapeshifter Romance. When I want a werewolf or bear to fall in love, I don’t want to have to wade through tons of vampire novels to find it. Give me a hairy beast! lol
- Multi partner romance. This one gets misclassified so often it’s not funny. Yes, some people think it’s kinky and automatically relegate it to erotica, BUT not all MFM or more stories are erotica. Some truly are about the romantic journey to get there, not just sex (even if it’s fun lol). It deserves it’s own spot.
- Romantic Comedies. Sometimes I don’t want a book filled with angst or drama, and the blurb isn’t always adequate to decipher if a book is going to be funny. Humorous romance is a class of its own and should be recognized as such.
Okay, I’m sure I’ve forgotten some important ones. So let’s hear them. What categories would you like to see when you hit that romance menu?