The Surreal Killer

The Surreal Killer
Machu Picchu. Peru

Saturday, November 23, 2013


           It’s a strange and incomprehensible world out there when you start wondering how Amazon’s computer decides what category to put your new novel into.  Sometimes [cue the Rod Serling music], that pesky computer can do weird things.   Let me give you a couple of examples from real life.  Of course, this has implications on whether real book readers and buyers will find your book.

Because “The Deadly Dog Show” has a dog in it (actually, several dogs), the Amazon computer decided the right category for the book is “Mystery-Cozy-Animal”.   I wouldn’t describe my style as cozy---especially as we examine body count, violence, the slightly dark world things are happening in, and other parameters that make me call it “Hard-boiled” or “Noir”.   But what do I know?  The book is selling very well in the cozy category and there really haven’t been any serious complaints about the excessive violence for the genre.   Although a couple of reviews have mentioned one particular scene!

            "The Surreal Killer" is currently ranked #19 in Books > Travel > South America > Peru, and #27 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Travel > Latin America > South America as I’m writing this paragraph.  It has consistently ranked high in both of these categories since it was first published 1.5 years ago.  What makes assignment of the book to these two categories worthy of note is that it’s a novel, as in a work of fiction.   I haven’t hid that fact from Amazon; in fact I emphasized it in my selection of categories and keywords.   There’s that Amazon computer overruling the author again.  

            Does it matter?   It probably does not in the cosmic scheme of things.  But maybe it does, and it seemed a fun thing to highlight for this week’s post?   Does anyone else have some strangeness by the Amazon computer to share?

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