Book Pet Peeves: Miscategorization on Amazon

Book Pet Peeves is a feature where I do a mini-rant about bookish things that annoy me. Feel free to join in!

pardontherantFor the most part, I’m pretty supportive of self publishing authors. I guess I’m supportive of the ones who do it right.

One of the more annoying things self publishing authors have been doing recently is miscategorizing their book on Amazon. What I mean by that is they ‘tag’ or use keywords on their books that really have no relevance to the book.

I’m not talking about a little debate on where a book might be placed (fantasy vs science fiction). I’m seeing some really obvious ploys for attention.

abCome on, recipe books really don’t belong in children’s books. They’re not even kid friendly!

Then there’s issue of placing books that are clearly not kids or Young Adult books in those sections that could be harmful towards readers.

cI’ve even seen some pretty steamy books in the YA section. I know New Adult books have blurred the lines of erotica and NA/YA but it’s still a bit unsettling seeing those books in the teen section (especially when the characters are over 18)!

This trend is annoying on so many levels. They’re ‘stealing’ a slot from an author who should be in that category. They’re wasting my time and completely missing their audience. I will certainly never give them my time or money when they’re trying to cheat the system. As a perfectionist and someone who likes order, it drives me crazy seeing something SO miscategorized. And finally it makes self published authors look really unprofessional and I’m starting to steer clear of their books.

I really wish Amazon would crack down on this or at least give readers a way to flag a book for them to look at and put in the right section. Honestly I’ve pretty much given up on browsing for books on Amazon because there’s so much ‘junk’ to much through to find what I’m actually interested in.


How do you feel about authors miscategorizing their books?

11 thoughts on “Book Pet Peeves: Miscategorization on Amazon

  1. There used to be a way to flag miscategorizations – I don’t know if there still is – if nothing else, I strike that author off my potential list of to-reads…

  2. I find it pretty annoying, too. Some authors do it to gain more exposure, but they could easily do that by advertising. Sure, it’s more expensive, but it’s still worth it in the end, right?

  3. I honestly had assumed amazon was at fault in this issue. I rarely browse as I am almost always looking for a specific kindle read. But when seeing titles in the wrong sections, I had believed that amazon had somehow misplaced it. Quite silly of me! I cannot believe that people would decide to lose focus on their intended audience for more exposure. Poor decisions all around. I hope amazon can get a better grasp on this situation.

    • No, it’s my understanding that self published authors can tag their books and then Amazon uses their tags to put them in the correct place. I know Amazon has their hands full but I wish we could at least let them know of the problems we see. :-/

  4. Pingback: Monthly Round Up: March 2015 | The Cheap Reader

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