Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This, right here, is what publishing needs to fix

(Thanks, Lisa)

Look at this: my novels for sale at iBooks.

Ammonite (1993): $11.99
Slow River (1995): $11.99
The Blue Place (1998): $9.99
Stay (2002): $9.99
Always (2007): $12.99

If there's a better way to show the lack of sense in ebook pricing, I don't know what it might be.

But it's not just the prices that are thoroughly confusing. Look at how each book is characterised:

Ammonite: 'Sci-Fi & Fantasy: Adventure'
Slow River: 'Fiction & Literature'
The Blue Place: 'Gay'
Stay: 'Hard-Boiled'
Always: 'Literary'

I can't make this make sense. Ammonite and Slow River are from the same publisher. They're both well-written science fiction with lesbian characters. Both have adventure (and sex). Both have extrapolative science. Both are novels of character. So why is one 'literature' and the other 'adventure'? How would you classify them?

The really mind-boggling bit, though, is the variety of description for The Blue Place, Stay, and Always. Three novels about the same character, Aud. Yet one is 'gay' (Aud is not a man, for those who are confused), one is 'hard-boiled' and one 'literary'. One day I'll get all the rights back and republish as 'Literature & Lesbian: series crime fiction' or somesuch. How would you describe them?

What's the most ridiculous book tag/description you've seen to date?

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