Monday, March 18, 2013

Book Categories & Sassy Surveys!

I've always loved taking fun quizzes (not school quizzes).

Like back when I used to get my Sassy magazine (I had a subscription), I always liked filling out those surveys that told you if That Boy Was a No! or a Go!

I saw him first.
Neener neener.
Or if I had a Bookish Betty personality or a Bubbling Brooke...

(I made those up in case you're wondering. #nerdalert)

So anyway, I've bumped into a Burning Question, and I've decided to turn it into a fun survey for YOU, reader-friends! (whee!)

Here, sit down. I'll French braid your hair while I explain it to you.

It's about Amazon Categories and buying books from online bookstores...

Background: On Sept. 4, 2012, when I hit "publish" on my very first indie book The Truth About Faking (link), I was pretty ignorant about how to reach readers.

I mean, we're talking about a place where there's no bookstore, no clerk, no nothing. How do I let people know what to expect? Well, write a good blurb, and then there's this...

Where do I belong?
Amazon gives indie authors two choices for where to put their books, taken from pre-established BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications) categories.

The Truth About Faking is a light romantic comedy in which a 16-year-old girl falls in love with one guy while chasing another. Several things happen, and by the end of the story, she realizes things aren't always as they appear and not to judge books by their covers.

That's the short version. So I say...

Category 1: Juvenile > Fiction > Love & Romance
Category 2: Fiction > Genre Fiction > Coming of Age

There's no "Teen" or "YA" category, so my additional search terms (Amazon allows seven) are: romance, teen, clean, romantic comedy, chicklit, contemporary, young adult

Easy peasy, yes?

Well, it was in September. Readers found the book, it was exactly what they expected, and they either liked it or didn't. Lucky for me, most of them liked it--yaaay!

Fast-forward six months, and along with the 5-star (happy!) reviews, I've been seeing more 2- or 3-stars that complain either, "I didn't expect this to be so innocent." Or simply, "High school." Or this recent 2-star review: "Honestly, this was not a bad read, it was just too young for me. But there were some good messages."

Me = *head scratching*

[Important Note: The reviews are NOT the point. I am NOT slamming these reviewers.]

The Point is finding our intended audience in this new bookstore setting.

I don't want people buying my book expecting one thing and getting something that makes them feel... frustrated. But even more importantly, I want to connect with the readers I'm writing for. I want them to find the book I wrote for them.

So here's the Sassy Survey! Answering the Burning Question, "How do you buy books on Amazon (or online)?" (Whee! Let's see what we learn~)

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

And please tell me in the comments your thoughts. Is there some other method I haven't thought about? For example, some people only buy books recommended by friends. Is that you?

Thanks for playing, and have a great week, reader-friends! <3


Leigh Talbert Moore is a wife and mom by day, a writer by day, a reader by day, a former freelance editor, a former journalist, a caffeine addict, a chocoholic, a beach bum, a lover of any great love story, and occasionally she sleeps.

THE TRUTH ABOUT FAKING (link) is her debut young adult romance.
-ROUGE (link) is her mature-YA/new adult romantic suspense novel.
-THE TRUTH ABOUT LETTING GO (link) is her newest book available now!

Leigh loves hearing from readers; stop by and say hello:
Blog * Facebook * Amazon Author page * Goodreads


  1. Good post! Thanks for sharing.

    Hugs and chocolate,

    1. Thanks, Shelly! I'm probably the only one who thinks about Amz categories WAY too much. I blame my background as a chatty ex-bookstore-manager--LOL! But maybe we'll learn something new here! Thanks for participating~ :o) <3