With all the buzz about Amazon lately (and I’m not rehashing any of it’s old and played out), I’m trying to lead by example. I may only be one reader, but I can take my money away from Amazon since I do my reading on my iPad most of the time. As an author, I can make sure my books are offered on all outlets, even though that certainly means taking a hit on my paycheck. And today, I may have figured out at least part of why that is.
Since today was going to be a low key day, I decided to see what books were out there. I fired up my iPad, opened iBooks, and started trying to figure out where the m/m books were. When I clicked on the categories, there was nothing listed for LGBT. At all. Thinking this might be one of those mobile vs. desktop issues, I switched to my Macbook. Surely, there had to be something I wasn’t seeing, right? Wrong. Same list of categories, still missing what I was looking for.
Okay, so I clicked on Romance. Surely, there would be something there, right? Nope.
I was about ready to give up, when FINALLY, I saw the browse by genre buttons when I started scrolling down the main page. And there it was. Once you stop at browse by genre and scroll to the right, there’s an LGBT button.
It is somewhat easier to find LGBT books when you go through the Fiction & Literature category, but only marginally. And if you’re looking for m/m romance, it’s unlikely that you’d think to go there.
Everyone says that we need to pull away from Amazon. We need to take away the stranglehold they have over our careers. The problem is, if they’re the ones who are giving readers what they want in terms of making our books easy to find on their site, ways to know which books are hot, etc, then how is that supposed to happen?
I wonder how many authors were as clueless about this as I was. The way it looks on the back end (quit laughing, you damn kids), one would think that everything would be neat and tidy for the readers. After all, we have the option to choose these as categories for our books, so why would we think you’d have to go on a scavenger hunt to find a way to sort through the listings?
Apple has some great products. Personally, I love the overall interface of their site so much more than Kindle. However, if they want to have any hope of continuing to compete with Amazon and the Kindle, they’re going to have to step up their game to give the readers what they want. Because honestly, as an m/m reader, I’m not sure how many books I’d buy from them given the current state of their front end structure.