Amazon’s algorithms don’t like the concept of General Fiction. If books are being sold more on the basis of genre than content, is content changing to suit genre fads? I think so. And if you’ve ever read a book which promised something it didn’t deliver, or seemed like two different plots or styles clumsily slapped together, you might think so, too.
I want to blow my mind with a book, but the publishing world is consistently offering me the literary equivalent of aspirin. Unfortunately, what I want doesn’t seem to fit into those narrow marketing categories which now dictate everything we read. Don’t they know that the biggest blockbusters of the last few decades didn’t fit in either, and that’s kind of the bloody point?
When it comes to selling your book, what’s the difference between marketing and shouting? Is it possible to promote through social media without your friends and family feeling like they’ve come under attack? I asked social media guru and non-fiction author Lorna Sixsmith – is it possible to market a book without annoying people?
There are certain classic novels which we all know, because they’re still widely read today. But what would they look like if they were being published for the first time this year? Would Jane Eyre fit the Domestic Noir genre profile? Would the numerous plot strands of Bleak House be dumbed down? Who would supply the perfect cover quote for Robinson Crusoe? And who would dare to pigeon hole Ulysses? I would, that’s who.
When customers want things, they want things now. They don’t want to wait for things to be manufactured or delivered or tested or marketed. If the fashion industry is now managing to get from catwalk to customer in six weeks, why does it take a year for a book which has already been written to get on the market? Also, naked men. Honest.
Why is Young Adult Fiction pigeon-holed into a daftly narrow age category? If so-called General Fiction is a mirror held up to society which helps us to cope with what we are – how better to do this, than to look at ourselves while we are becoming what we are? But don’t worry, it’s not all serious. Or perhaps it all is, except for that last sentence. Hmmmm.