Coming to a crunch

Do all new, excited enterprises face this? First, there’s no one else who would rather die than not do this, but you. So you get down and do it, hoping family and friends won’t notice you’re missing. Some time later, some long time later, you say, well, it’ll manage by itself if I go away just for a bit. Go away to see if anyone still loves you, if you can earn some money at last, to remember what you live for- for me, it’s writing, and creativity.

But few things manage by themselves.

MPS said just before i went away, that they’d look into a problem I identified and was shocked by and they’d tell us how long they’d take to fix it.

I got distracted. And, they didn’t.

This is the problem. Novelist are asked to categorize their books like this

African American fiction
Children’s books
Cultural & ethnic themes
Gay & lesbian fiction
Graphic novels & comics
Humor & comedy
Literary collections
Mystery & detective
Science fiction
Themes & motifs
Thriller & suspense
Women’s fiction

So what? you might say, if you’re a traditional publisher or a bookseller in a building; But if you’re an author…or a browsing buyer…

Then came the crunch. One of our very valuable authors couldn’t bring herself to categorize her work like this.

My absence was pivotal – last Sunday, we made a united decision to employ someone to sit as a desk to answer questions and negotiate with MPS, a someone patient, dedicated to this site, wired (at least, relative to me),able to work without immediate money until there’s a modicum of money in the bank, a pittance, AND most importantly, an author, a playwright, because that’s our deepest most essential belief, that we must be an author-run site for authors.

And, as for those hateful categories:

Isn’t wrongly categorizing our books what we writers of fiction dreaded in traditional publishing? To be categorized so booksellers knew what a shelf to put us on? Oh, I hated, how I hated, my books to be categorized as “literary fiction”! I hasten to say I was honored, blown out by the company I was on the shelf with, but I felt such a fake, I felt like a hoaxer. Why? I just helplessly write, and when it’s over I hope that you’ll read it. Literary to me implies learned, academic, intellectual, clever, knowing; it implies everything I don’t feel myself to be. Everything.

No one in my very un-literary family would even feel able to talk to me if they heard I was a literary author. Christmases would be worse than ever….

And I’m reminded of Gordon Graham in his video (on Home Page, worth watching) when his ironic books in bookshops went onto the “humour ” shelf, along with cartoons : “Being put in humour is no laughing matter”, he says, (though shyly), or on the Crime shelf, with the gold-embossed swastikas on the cover: Gordon says: “with epublishing, the book is what the writer says it is”.

Somehow, this time, my horror whizzed across the seas. They’ll fix in in a week and a half. I’ve asked for, in fiction:

General Fiction
Children’s Fiction
Genre Fiction (with its different categories0

Please post to me if you disagree.

And so we’re talking now about a launch in August, with someone at a desk courteously answering your questions.

So, sometimes good things come out of bad.

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