Saturday, November 6, 2010

Maybe I pay too much attention to marketing distinctions

So…today I went down to the Barnes & Noble, not because I was looking for a particular book to pick up but because I like to wander the shelves and see what’s available. I’ve been contemplating starting up a new video review series on adaptions – as in, the adaption of stories originally found in books to other media such as movies, TV shows, comics and video games – and figured that I’d take a look at some of the possibilities, though I did eventually come to the conclusion that I’d rather borrow most of these from the library than actually put down money on them.

Still, as long as I was there I decided to indulge in one of my favorite book-browsing activities, which is locating the shelf where my books would reside were I already published. And there I stumble upon an odd little discovery: my local bookstore has decided to completely reorganize their teen fiction section.

It’s not that the action is particularly interesting or strange, but it’s their exact choice of reorganization that gives me pause. Instead for just “Teens” and “Teen Non-Fiction,” the Teens fiction category has now been split into three headers: “Teen,” “Teen Fantasy and Adventure” and “Teen Paranormal Romance.”

Not “Teen Romance.” Teen Paranormal Romance.

So, normal teenage romantic dramas like the works of John Green are crowded over to the side in the rather unimpressive “General” shelf and Scott Westerfeld’s collection is still where I have to stand on my head to see what new editions are out. (Oh, the torture of being a tall person with a favorite author whose name is in the last 10% of the alphabet…) Meanwhile, Twilight; the 1.5 million even-crappier-than-Twilight knock-off vampire romances; the overbearing fallen angel shite like the absolutely cringe-worthy new sequel to Becca Fitzpatrick’s incredibly bland Hush, Hush; and that really unappealing book written by Hillary Duff all get so much self-space that over half of them can be displayed lying flat against the back of shelf with their front cover in full view.

What. The hell.

I mean, I know the Paranormal Romance genre has been big lately, but this is overkill people! I can totally understand splitting the YA section into Fantasy/Sci-Fi, General and Romance like the adult sections, but this is just weird.

On the plus side, A House Divided’s new hypothetical lurking place is directly below The Hunger Games trilogy, rather than sharing shelf-space with Fitzpatrick. And I can totally live with that.

Current NaNo Stats
Page Count: 33
Word Count: 10,400
Story progress: Wandering through Chapter 4
Status: Should’ve written this conversation out before I started writing the scene. Oh well. This book’s gonna need one heck of a rewrite when I’m done, but at least I’ll have something to rewrite.


  1. They divided it out so the more popular books (typically paranormal romance) would be more visible and easier to sell... so far it's working.


  2. (sigh) I can see the logical outcome of that. It's still a little frustrating though. I suppose more of the blame lies on the readers who devour more cruddy things like that dumb fallen angel romance instead of the really engaging teen stuff. At least Hunger Games is winning out. That's a plus, right?

    But still. "Paranormal Romance"? "Fantasy and Adventure?" It just seems silly. I'm sure it works out just fine in the larger stores, like the B&N in Lewisville, but for smaller ones like the one here in Denton it just looks disorganized and silly.