Most of you know my alter ego, Lorna, is a publisher. I don't format the book files or create covers, but I do market, categorize, advertise, deal with distributors and write checks.
Today I was poking around the new releases on ARE and saw a couple of self-published books that had some great covers. So I clicked on one to see what it was about.
The blurb was very non-specific. The hero was mentioned, and he falls in love, but they never tell us with whom. (who? I hate who and whom)
So I looked for categories. Um. Nope. Romance general, uncategorized.
So, I thought, maybe tags. Nope. Nada.
Okay, so the second book seems to indicate that these are m/f, right? Maybe. The love interest's name is unisex. Mainly girls, but who knows?
Y'all, can I share something I've learned in 15 years of romance work and 20 of library circ work? People want to know what they're getting. That's why library cataloging was invented. To make it easy to find what people want, or need, to read. Tell me if it's m/f or m/m or menage. Tell me, since it's clearly dystopian in this case, if it's futuristic, or alt universe, or steampunk. Tell me if it's bdsm or vanilla. Hell, give me a flame rating! Fill out your whole meta data! I'm not even going to go read the sample if I have no idea if this is something I want to read.
I'll pass right by and go for a book with just as cool a cover that tells me, "You like what I'm about!"
Take the time, y'all. Tags are so important, and so are categories. Ponder them for a bit. You're not narrowing your readership, you're helping your readers find you.
Gotta say, they were neat covers, though!