My publishing goal…

…is to totally own this Amazon book category:  Kindle books>Literature and Fiction> Religious & Inspirational Fiction>Women’s Fiction. I’m setting off the warning shots now; I intend to claim the top spot on that list for my very own Wives of the Saints.

Now, my book is not really religious, all those Catholic references notwithstanding. And I wouldn’t call it inspirational, although it could be… But neither is the current #1 book in that category, which is basically a piece of erotica, what I’d call priest-porn.  I took a lot of flak for my erotic scenes in Secret Vow and The Novice Master, but I had some real spirituality and serious subjects mixed in there, too. This book, which I’m not even going to name, (because I don’t want you running out and buying it, you craven hussies) is simply Fifty Shades of Gray with a Roman collar, and frankly, even as a sinful Catholic myself, I’m offended by it. It uses Catholic culture  only to shock and titillate; for example, using the altar as a physical trysting place. Not only that, but it verges on anachronistic fantasy, since we all know there really aren’t many hardcore heterosexuals left in the priesthood these days. Which makes the Church’s condemnation of homosexuality really amusing, I have to say…

But I digress…I don’t want to see this book be a bestseller anymore. I’d rather see MY book be a bestseller! And to ensure this, I may just drive over to St. Anthony’s in Paterson and push a few dozen buttons in that nifty electronic-candle-lighting shrine they have there.

All of this just proves how weird and messed up Amazon’s categories are. Remember that blog piece I did last year, when Novice Master ended up in Erotica? And look what turns up in Religion and Inspirational Fiction!! Now most of the other books in R&I are nice clean Christian books, and I have no objection to those. I think those authors would appreciate seeing something a little more edifying on the top of their list. I would think if you turned to this list as a reader, you’d be looking for something with at least some redeeming value.

Why am I going on and on about this? Because unfortunately, after the cover and blurb, the category you choose for your book is one of the most important marketing decisions you can make. And for a while there I was at a loss with WOTS: I didn’t want it to get lost in that huge amorphous pile known as Contemporary Women’s Fiction. I wanted a nice little category where I might have a chance at being a big fish, at least for a few minutes. But as I was describing the book on one of the writer’s forums, it struck me that it might just belong in one of the religious fiction categories. I’d been fighting that, not wanting it to be pigeonholed. I also worried how all the sex talk (no explicit scenes in this one) and occasional profanity would go over. But then I saw the top of the list: My book is like the actual LIVES of the Saints compared to that one!

And so, onward Christian soldiers, to the very top of Amazon’s defiled Religious and Inspirational Women’s Fiction List. Of course, realistically, I don’t expect to get anywhere near the #1 spot, but I will try like hell (sorry) to get there.

Wives of the Saints hits NetGalley this week, in the form of an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy), which is a little laughable since I’m publishing it next week. Unless you have a NetGalley account, the rest of you will just have to wait until December…

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