where the writers are
The potentially unclothed A Genie in the House of Saud

It's almost two weeks now that my novel's detail page on Amazon has become populated by randy elves (that's right, the guys with the pointy ... eh ... ears) and glistening torsi (that would be the plural of torso and not an adorable nomer for a particular appendage).  If you visit the Amazon listing for A Genie in the House of Saud: Zubis Rises (no intentional double entendre there) -  a supernatural thriller; a winner in Religious Fiction (for God's sake) from the 2008 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; a tale fit for my father (although his favorite author is Jerzy Kinski) - you will now be treated to dozens of thumbnail images of books with titles like Menage a Magick, Nauti Dreams (studies show a hyperactive libido linked to poor spelling?)  and Sex Me .   

Ah, the vagaries of categorization. I never even tagged my noble tale of djinni and human as "erotic."  But somehow, an Amazon programmer somewhere deep in the forests of the Amazon Technology department decided that these lusty tales shadowed that of Zubis and joined them in the grouping netherworld of "Customers Who Bought Titles Like This Also Bought."  My previously pleasant affiliation in that same spot with authors like Tahir Shar, Daniel Silva, James Rollins, Sherrilyn Kenyon have dropped out of sight.  No doubt from modesty. Or, more nefariously, as one Customer Service rep I spoke to in one of my many frantic communications related, "You may have an enemy.  You wouldn't believe some of the things authors are willing to do to each other."  Huh?  Where do we categorize a statement like that?  Mystery.  Suspense.  Erotica.

One of the novel's tags is paranormal.  Well, because it's about a genie.  And I believe there's even a "paranormal romance" tag, which extends (giggle) to some trans-djinn-human sex in Chapter 19.  But it's one scene!  Of course, it's absolutely essential to the thrust and driving motivation of the plot!!  Eh-hem.  Primarily, it's a thriller that pits the pre-Islamic myth and intrigue of the genie against modern beliefs, as one woman struggles to gain control of the third wish before Zubis is released.  Okay.  Enough snickering.   Let me clarify that I love Amazon - with a virtuous, high-minded ardor, nothing lustful at all.  I think their literary mega-reach is a boon to readers and writers everywhere.  But there's a chink in the Amazonian breastplate somewhere when one programmer (I refuse to accept the "attack of the jealous author" theory) has egregiously decided to overload a site with inapt affiliations.  On top of that (another giggle), I have nothing against erotic titles.  They can be entertaining, stimulating, informative, and well-written.   But it's a misleading affiliation for my potential readers and for real fans of erotica.  Heavy sigh.  (As opposed to heavy breathing.)

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labels...sticky subject

I see your point Kellyann. Labels are a disadvantage to authors, the language of labeling is narrow and uninteresting. I worked with labels, in a label factory, and it was quite boring, I assure you. People who worked in labels for many years were very boring. Labels when they stick are as hard to remove as tattoos.

Books should be labeled by emotional content, not dry pishforks.

I like the paranoid Amazon comment, blame a writer, don't blame us. 



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Not exactly genie-ous!

I fell about in absolute hysterics when a brand new edition of one of my books first went on Amazon.com on New Year's day. The publicity bar underneath said: Readers who bought this also bought Tropic of Cancer. The book? My Mother Bids Me, a Novel of Jane Austen's England on the Eve of Waterloo!  True, the story does venture into territory Jane Austen wouldn't, but it observes all the conventions of the time.

What's more, I hadn't even sold a single copy!