READ TUESDAY CATEGORIES
It’s hard to believe that Read Tuesday (a Black Friday type of event just for book lovers) is only two months away. Read Tuesday 2014 falls on December 9.
Before we open submissions (listing your book is free and easy), we need to decide on the best way to help readers find the books.
Now we run into some of challenges of sorting through a long list of books:
- Customers don’t want to click on such a narrow subcategory that there are hardly any books on the page.
- Customers don’t want such a broad category that the list seems endless.
- Many authors feel that their book spans multiple categories, but if their books get into multiple categories, the books at the bottom get buried even further down.
- How do you organize the books on any given list in order to best help readers?
- There are many more issues like these. You can appreciate some of the challenges that Amazon faces in this regard.
We wish to address a few particular issues that customers raised in Read Tuesday 2013:
- There was some confusion regarding Children, Teen, Adult, and Mature sorting last year. Exactly what constitutes mature? There are different levels. Does adult mean not suitable for teens? Perhaps we’ll go with General rather than Adult. Now is a good time to share your ideas on how to clarify what is or isn’t mature, and whether we need to split mature up into two groups.
- It would be useful to see a brief description. There isn’t room for the full blurb. What you want is a short strapline. Just enough to make the customer want to go to the product page to learn more. We need to set a reasonable character count. How about 100 characters? (Too long and books further down the list will get buried too far.)
- We will sort books by Kindle, Smashwords, and the nature of the promotion. (There will be print book promotions, too.)
- We will add an age range for children’s, tween, and teen books. Parents shop with a specific age group in mind. Authors want to say that their books are for Ages 6 to 18, but parents often pass up books that don’t specify a much narrower target. We might do something like 5 & under, 6-8, 9-12, and teen.
To prevent other books from getting buried too far on any list, we’re leaning toward the “pick one” philosophy:
- If your book fits in multiple categories, pick one that you think is closest. Any exposure is better than no exposure, right? And today is your chance to suggest category ideas.
- If your book fits into multiple age groups, pick one to target.
For popular categories like romance, we can introduce subcategories, like historical romance, if we have enough books.
But for some subcategories, if there aren’t enough books, we really need to lump these into a larger category. We had this issue with nonfiction in 2013. There are many nonfiction books, but most of them were in a variety of dissimilar categories.
It would be easiest to organize the books if we could put a great list of categories together in a drop-down menu before we open submissions.
One possibility is to choose a category from the drop-down menu and write-in a specific subcategory. We’ll only sort by category, but the write-in option lets you clarify to help readers judge the book.
Then we have the issue of the dreaded Other. Maybe we can think of some cool alternatives. I bet Amazon would sell a ton of books that ordinarily are hard to find if they came up with some cool alternatives to Other. Just make a category called Bizarre and that would attract attention.
Ideas, please. 🙂
We’re at the stage where changes are easy to implement. We can’t implement every suggestion, but we’ll certainly listen and consider.
Once we open submissions, change is far less likely until 2015.
READ TUESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2014
Give the gift of reading this holiday season.
Chris McMullen, founder of Read Tuesday
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