I am having a panic over my latest book.
It’s written, beta’ed, edited, proof read, and formatted to within an inch of its life. The cover is done and approved by my editor. It’s all ready to self publish. Actually, it’s been ready for about a month. And I still love the characters.
So what, you ask, is the problem?
The problem is both simple and insoluble: the right tags for Amazon and Smashwords.
Here’s the planned blurb:
The Seekers follows a group of people on a quest in a fantasy world. It’s a quest to escape rather than to seek. Twin fairy princes and their sister are fleeing their abusive and manipulative father. A dark elf is tired of the humdrum nature of his job as manager of the family mines. A young goblin on his travelling year needs to sell the contents of his pack before returning home. They meet almost by accident and have no idea where they are going. There is one unexpected m/f marriage in the desert and another in the hall of the mountain king. There’s an ACE character who falls in love with travelling and journeys on alone. There’s a slow burn m/m romance that ends in a HEA by the last chapter. So the novel asks what people really want, and gives them their sometimes surprising hearts’ desires.
OK. With me so far?
I get to fiction/fantasy and then get stuck. I want to stress the mm romance but can’t play down the mf ones. None of the romances are particularly explicit and are more interesting in terms of character development and family/friendship group reactions than in terms of sex. And yet – there’s at least one sex scene. It’s a quest rather than a romance and there are no thriller elements though there are moments of extreme danger. But it isn’t by any means a high fantasy quest of the usual kind.
The tag trees on the publishing sites simply don’t allow for much of this.
Any advice welcome!!
I feel your pain and also often struggle to categorise my books on Amazon. Sometimes I think particularly the US site chooses its own tags anyway as they seem different on there to what I pick on the UK site. In the end I guess you need to decide who’s most likely to read and/or least likely to be squicked by the book. Will m/m fans tolerate the m/f relationship? Will m/f readers tolerate the m/m? As to fantasy, maybe just leave it as ‘fantasy’ and let Amazon decide? But please don’t NOT publish your book…
Well, precisely – I feel as if I might be wading into some kind of civil war!! I will publish – Marg has done some brilliant editing and Gynn has done a fab beta so they won’t let me not publish!! I would just like to think it might reach interested readers!!
Well, I don’t know about the tags at amazon or smashwords. From what I’ve read above I would use ‘Romance’. I mean, I’m mostly an m/m reader but when the romance book is well written I’m happy to read m/f romance as well.
I mean, most people read the summary of the book before they buy it. So there is the opportunity to give a ‘warning’ about the m/m and m/f relationship in the summary.
And by the way, I love the cover.
I’m so glad you like the cover! I might just go with romance but then I think it wouldn’t reach mm readers and the slow mm romance is at the heart of the story. I know people read the blurbs – I do too – but they first have to find the book! I tend to write ‘cross genre’ quite a bit, but the tagging is usually more obvious than it is here!
Just a thought – who is the MC of the book, and is their romance m/m or m/f? You should probably go with that as the main tag, and mention anything else in the blurb…?
There are 2. One has mm romance and the other has mf. They narrate alternate chapters…
Gotcha. That is a bit tricky then…
Hence the plea for advice! Probably punishment for writing outside narrow genres but the story told itself to me…