I just started a new author page on Goodreads. Actually the page was already there as I am already a published author, but I had to apply to take control of it – to become, as it were, auteur as well as author.
As often with these fill-in-a-form excursions, I find endless things that don’t fit me, and wonder exactly what I should do. To start with, gender. I am allowed to choose male or female. I am not male or female. I am chelana. So I guess I’d better put “female” just to show I am not male. First compromise.
One site I signed up for had the question “Are you human” – the idea being that a bot would not understand the question and therefore could not answer it. So I put “no”. The answer was not accepted. Why? I clearly understood the question and that is all they needed to prove I am not a bot. Now I would consider “yes” and “no” a bit too guessable for a security question, but if that is your level of security, surely “no” is as good as “yes”.
But no, you have to declare yourself human whether you are or not.
Not very important, I agree. No one else sees the declaration anyway. Being publicly labelled “female” is a little more misleading, but what can one do?
Then come the genre declarations. Science Fiction/Fantasy is fine. That is definitely what I am writing at present. Young Adult? Certainly. Not only does my work fit the genre, but with my age-manifestation thing, I can never myself become, and therefore write convincingly as, an adult.
But then what about “Gay/Lesbian” and “Women/gender”. Both of those might be good signals or tags for people who might find my work interesting. But I do not write about lesbians. I write about intemorphi who are usually heterosexual (but for whom, in any case, the question of “sexuality” does not arise in quite the way it does for current Western Tellurians – we fall in love and bond in Amity quite regardless of any “sexuality”).
And I do not write about women – well very little. My main characters are intemorphi. On the odd occasions they meet women (or men), they find them as puzzling as I do. And yet, from a Tellurian perspective, my work does reflect on gender and may be of especial interest to women.
So again, I am wondering, should I choose genres that I feel accurately describe my work, or ones that don’t accurately describe it but may “tag” it for people who would find it of interest?
On Goodreads so far, I have taken the “purist” path. Science Fiction/Fantasy and YA are in, but no Lesbian or Gender thingeries. Maybe that is poor communication. Maybe I should be “flagging” for all the types of reader likely to be interested, even if it feels untruthful.
What would YOU do, dear reader?