Clean Romances discussion

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Group Concerns > Pg-rated romance category on Amazon

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message 1: by Cami (new)

Cami Checketts (camichecketts) | 9 comments We're trying to convince Amazon to add a category for PG or clean romances. As it now stands an author can include pg or clean as a keyword. As a category it would be much easier to find clean or pg romance, helping readers and writers alike. It would also be great if Amazon would include full disclosure on each books page, revealing if it contained violence, sexual content, or language.
If any of you would like to help, please go to amazon.com, click on help and then click on contact us. Also, I'd love to hear your thoughts and concerns on the subject. Thank you, Cami


message 2: by C. (last edited Nov 17, 2013 02:05AM) (new)

C. | 289 comments I think this is a great idea,but I would also like to see amazon include 'secular/non religious',to that search option and content advisory!

Many,many readers would love to be able to get clean/PG search results without that meaning they have to be Christian/Inspirational and full of religious proselytizing~ with God as a main character in the stories! :]

Also this should cover 'ALL' genres of books,not just romance,so I will not specify Romance[I will just say books] in my contact to Amazon.

ETA:Just sent Amazon my email via 'contact us'.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Cami wrote: "We're trying to convince Amazon to add a category for PG or clean romances. As it now stands an author can include pg or clean as a keyword. As a category it would be much easier to find clean or p..."

I posted a comment about this on my Facebook page and ended up having a huge argument between people on my page saying "great idea" to "that's censorship". Didn't know it was a hot subject. I for one would like a heads up but just like movie ratings you can't always count on them.

To my understanding a "clean" read can contain sex scenes between married couples and also some swear words. A "sweet" read contains no bedroom scenes and no offensive language. However, even my publisher disagrees with this.

I will comment to Amazon, but I hope whatever they decide will be clearly delineated.

Thanks, Cami.

Cindy A. Christiansen, Sweet Romance Author


message 4: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Deckert | 18 comments Cindy wrote: "Cami wrote: "We're trying to convince Amazon to add a category for PG or clean romances. As it now stands an author can include pg or clean as a keyword. As a category it would be much easier to fi..."

I find it surprising that anyone would consider advance warning of something many people find objectionable to be censorship, especially if it's a voluntary description.

If Amazon should decide to provide a box or two to check about content when the book is published, then the definitions should be clearly spelled out, because "clean" means different things to different people.


message 5: by Rachel (new)

Rachel John (racheljohn) | 10 comments I agree that a PG category on Amazon is a great idea. However, trying to somehow have them check content or add warnings or police whether the book has a religious message is an unrealistic expectation and would undermine the effort to make it happen. Please keep that in mind when you are sending your messages. It's up to the authors to choose a category they think their book belongs in and it's up to the customer to sort through and buy.


message 6: by Kara (new)

Kara I love your idea, Cami, and I totally agree :) Will contacting them help make this work? Wish EVERY retailer online worked like this! *also loved how you labeled it PG, I prefer every genre to be clean like this*


message 7: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 37 comments I sent my comment to Amazon and I also emailed anybody in my address list I thought might be interested. This is something I've wanted for such a long time.


message 8: by Cami (new)

Cami Checketts (camichecketts) | 9 comments Christine wrote: "I think this is a great idea,but I would also like to see amazon include 'secular/non religious',to that search option and content advisory!

Many,many readers would love to be able to get clean/P..."


Thank you, Christine! I appreciate the ideas and you contacting Amazon.


message 9: by Cami (new)

Cami Checketts (camichecketts) | 9 comments Cindy wrote: "Cami wrote: "We're trying to convince Amazon to add a category for PG or clean romances. As it now stands an author can include pg or clean as a keyword. As a category it would be much easier to fi..."

Thank you, Cindy! It is a problem that everyone disagrees and it's up to author interpretation, but I feel like every category on Amazon is that same way. I think it would be great if every author would just say, contains ...
Thanks for your help, I really appreciate the definitions of clean/sweet, I've never had those spelled out that easily before.


message 10: by Cami (new)

Cami Checketts (camichecketts) | 9 comments Rachel wrote: "I agree that a PG category on Amazon is a great idea. However, trying to somehow have them check content or add warnings or police whether the book has a religious message is an unrealistic expecta..."

Great point, Rachel. It has to be the author's responsibility to categorize, which can get tricky as someone told me the other day that my Blog This is pg-13 and I'd never thought of it that way! We all have our own levels of rating something.


message 11: by Cami (new)

Cami Checketts (camichecketts) | 9 comments Kara wrote: "I love your idea, Cami, and I totally agree :) Will contacting them help make this work? Wish EVERY retailer online worked like this! *also loved how you labeled it PG, I prefer every genre to b..."

Thanks, Kara! Amazon is pretty great to take input and try to do something about it, especially if they hear it multiple times. I really appreciate your help :)


message 12: by Cami (new)

Cami Checketts (camichecketts) | 9 comments Lisa wrote: "I sent my comment to Amazon and I also emailed anybody in my address list I thought might be interested. This is something I've wanted for such a long time."

Wow! Thanks for going above and beyond Lisa. Many hugs, Cami


message 13: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Shea (lisashea) | 38 comments Cami -

As an author of non-explicit romance novels, if I put PG or Clean on my novels, does it somehow get marked that way so people can see it? Or does a reader have to somehow know to search on the term "PG"? How would the reader know to do that?

Also, do the two terms have different meanings that are defined?

I definitely would be in favor of having a category, so my novels aren't mixed in with the hard core stuff.

Lisa


message 14: by C. (new)

C. | 289 comments I have been noticing the 'Book Lists with This Book' as I read book reviews here at goodreads and I was wondering...does goodreads even have a 'Book List/Lists' for 'clean/secular books...romance or any genres?

If not,how can we get them?


message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Shea (lisashea) | 38 comments Christine -

I believe anybody can make a list :).

https://www.goodreads.com/list

So you can look through other peoples' lists or make your own!

Lisa


message 16: by C. (last edited Dec 14, 2013 04:43AM) (new)

C. | 289 comments Lisa wrote: "Christine -

I believe anybody can make a list :).

https://www.goodreads.com/list

So you can look through other peoples' lists or make your own!

Lisa"


Thank you Lisa! :]


message 17: by C. (last edited Dec 14, 2013 04:45AM) (new)

C. | 289 comments I did it, so everyone please check out my list,vote on it,and add books that you have read that fit this category. :]

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/4...


message 18: by Darcy (new)

Darcy Flynn (darcyflynn) | 59 comments Cami wrote: "We're trying to convince Amazon to add a category for PG or clean romances. As it now stands an author can include pg or clean as a keyword. As a category it would be much easier to find clean or p..."

What a great idea!


message 19: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Shea (lisashea) | 38 comments Here's another clean romance list, with 1,372 books on it :).

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/3...

Lisa


message 20: by C. (last edited Dec 21, 2013 08:50AM) (new)

C. | 289 comments I just created https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/4....
24 books so far.

Please feel free to add books that are clean/non religious,and be sure to vote for your FAVS! :]

I hope everyone is contacting Amazon! :]


message 21: by Ljb (new)

Ljb | 32 comments it would be nice if goodreads could add a rating. perhaps the same as the 5 star. a basic guideline for what each rating means then average out what everybody rates it to be. that would be more informative than the star rating.


message 22: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Farr (Beverlywrites) | 3 comments I agree. I write clean or PG rated romances and I put "clean" in my tags, but I guess I need to start putting PG in there, too. .

I know some ebook romance sites have a 'steaminess rating' where different ratings let you know the sexual content. I think that is useful, too. I gave up reading many romances years ago because I was tired of the sex scenes.


message 23: by Mary (new)

Mary I agree with your suggestion of a rating. My books were deemed "Clean Reads series " by the publisher of theor second edition, but a Goodreads rating would help.


message 24: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Shea (lisashea) | 38 comments Mary -

A challenge is that different people have different definitions of clean. For some it means nobody can have sex ever. For others it means sex can happen but shouldn't be described. A "fade to black" where they wake up the next morning together.


message 25: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Deckert | 18 comments Lisa wrote: "Mary -

A challenge is that different people have different definitions of clean. For some it means nobody can have sex ever. For others it means sex can happen but shouldn't be described. A "fade..."

And for others, the main factor is whether the people involved are married to each other. It can get complicated.


message 26: by Mary (new)

Mary My definition of clean is no graphic sex, no foul language ; just a sweet romance


message 27: by Jodi (new)

Jodi Bowersox (jodibowersox) | 31 comments Mary wrote: "My definition of clean is no graphic sex, no foul language ; just a sweet romance"

I've found that different people have different ideas about foul language, as well. My mother, for instance, didn't like the use of the word "butt." I draw the line at the F word but don't get shook up about too much else. For me, it's all about context.


message 28: by Lisa (new)

Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa) (letsread) | 11 comments Mary wrote: "My definition of clean is no graphic sex, no foul language ; just a sweet romance"

I agree! I also agree with Jodi that foul language is at the interpretation of the reader. I can handle minor swearing, but the F bomb drives me nuts.


message 29: by Lisa (new)

Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa) (letsread) | 11 comments Cindy wrote: "Cami wrote: "We're trying to convince Amazon to add a category for PG or clean romances. As it now stands an author can include pg or clean as a keyword. As a category it would be much easier to fi..."

That doesn't make sense to me. We have ratings for books, tv, and movies. I would love to have a universal rating for books, that way I won't fall in love with a story line and be blindsided by content that I don't want to read. It would help the buyer to make an informed decision, and the publisher/author will be able to find the readership that they are targeting.


message 30: by Ljb (new)

Ljb | 32 comments that is so true. how often have we been engrossed in the story only to turn the page and ... the steamy scenes in many of the popular authors novels are equivalent to pornography. a rating should be mandatory. I saw a pre-teen reading a book one time and wondered if her mom knew what the content was.
as for swearing - my dad, brother, husband don't swear in a ladies company - why should the men we read about act any less a gentleman?


message 31: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Shea (lisashea) | 38 comments Lisa -

Exactly, I think that's a main part of this. Because we're buying things online, we can't necessarily "page through" a book to know that it gets steamy. We can only see that first chapter. So if the first chapter looks safe, and we have no other "warning" in the blurb, we might assume it's safe. Then we get to chapter 2 and all sorts of extreme stuff begins happening :).

I think it's the author's responsibility to make sure potential buyers know what they're going to get. A consistent rating system would help guide them.

Lisa


message 32: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Deluca (darlenedeluca) | 23 comments I would love to see a rating system implemented because I'd love for readers interested in a clean romance to find my book! The thing that surprises me about this thread is that there actually are people who want that kind of read. I'm on a lot of Facebook sites, blogs, author loops, etc., and I have to say I've been discouraged because it seems like people want hot and steamy -- the more sex the better!


message 33: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Shea (lisashea) | 38 comments Darlene -

Look at the huge popularity of Jane Austen. I think that right there indicates the market for clean romance is enormous :).

Lisa


message 34: by Ljb (new)

Ljb | 32 comments it seems that "clean" could be a great selling feature. consider how well the harlequin heartwarming series is doing. I really wish they had historical heartwarming. its nice to have a "go-to" section in the library or book store.


Crystal (Books Are Sanity!!!) | 80 comments I wish there was a clean historical section as well, Ljb, it is so hard to know which ones are okay and which ones have explicit scenes in them!


Crystal (Books Are Sanity!!!) | 80 comments Cami wrote: "We're trying to convince Amazon to add a category for PG or clean romances. As it now stands an author can include pg or clean as a keyword. As a category it would be much easier to find clean or p..."

@Cami I couldn't agree more! BTW, I just finished reading The Colony last week, it was great :) Keep up the great writing!


message 37: by Rula (new)

Rula Sinara (rulasinara) | 8 comments Ljb wrote: "it seems that "clean" could be a great selling feature. consider how well the harlequin heartwarming series is doing. I really wish they had historical heartwarming. its nice to have a "go-to" s..."

Hi Ljb (and everyone :). I LOVE this idea! It's so true that it's hard to find clean historicals. Harlequin has some extraordinary authors for their historical line, like Michelle Willingham, but they're not necessarily rated pg...maybe pg13 and up depending on the author and book. Of course, they have a Love Inspired historical line, but it's a Christian romance line. I grew up addicted to the Little House on the Prairie stories and books like Anne of Green Gables. I'll read across the board now, but I write clean, for Harlequin Heartwarming. My first book just released.

Now, the idea of a Historical Heartwarming really grabbed my attention! I'd try my hand at that! I'm passing this idea on to my editor :). I don't think anything can happen soon if at all because Heartwarming is a young line. It was test run up until this past summer because of the demand for books just like you're talking about here. This summer, they launched new authors and stories (70-75k words). I just heard that they'll be testing print books in brick and mortar stores in the UK/Aus this year bc the line is doing so well. Perhaps once the main line is fully situated, they can consider branching into historical. I'm really going to mention this!


message 38: by C. (new)

C. | 289 comments Yes, besides Regencies, it is so hard to find historical romance,that is not Christian/
Insprational.

I want my cowboys!!!!!!!! PLEEEEEASE!!!!!!!

Would love to read some non religious 'Harvey Girl' romances,too!


message 39: by Ljb (new)

Ljb | 32 comments hi rula,
Im glad to hear that my idea might get passed on somewhere. I tried to find a place to mention it on the harlequin website but I didn't find a place that seemed appropriate. in my opinion - the inspired historicals could easily be "un- inspired" so that a larger group of people could enjoy the same books. to read books that hold with the same values should not offend readers who focused on the inspired series, and removing the religious aspect would appeal to readers who don't want to read books that centre on beliefs that are not in harmony with their own. win/win.
I will be watching for your book! will the name Rula be on it?


message 40: by Ian (new)

Ian Loome (lhthomson) | 5 comments Lisa wrote: "Cindy wrote: "Cami wrote: "We're trying to convince Amazon to add a category for PG or clean romances. As it now stands an author can include pg or clean as a keyword. As a category it would be muc..."

I'm generally for letting people know if something is dirty, so they can avoid it if offended. But it should be done by encouraging authors to label it as such. Letting an outside entity do the censoring has had some awful consequences in the movie industry.


message 41: by Rula (new)

Rula Sinara (rulasinara) | 8 comments Hi Ljb!

I'll definitely pass on the idea of a Heartwarming Historical line :).

And thanks for asking about my book :). I do have an author page on Goodreads as Rula Sinara and my Heartwarming, The Promise of Rain, just released on New Year's Day.

It does have a one-time situation that happened in the past (off the page) that leads to the heroine having a little girl out of wedlock, but in keeping with the line's traditional values, it's explained (clearly regretted) and hopefully dealt with in a sensitive way that shows we're all human, but what matters is making the right choices moving forward. The book is otherwise clean in language and interactions. Just wanted to be upfront since sensibilities differ.


message 42: by Rula (new)

Rula Sinara (rulasinara) | 8 comments I should add that I'm also at the Heartwarming authors group on Goodreads and you can find other clean authors there :).


message 43: by Kaye (new)

Kaye Dennan (clickwriter) | 2 comments I think this is an excellent idea. Why is it censorship? After all you don't buy a book on arts and crafts if you want one on crochet. Why do you have to buy a book on 'romance' if you only want romance and not sex?

It gives you the option to buy what you want. After all you may be buying a book for your teenager or for a friend and not want to send them sexually explicit material.

As the idea of drawing the line would be difficult perhaps Amazon should have a short check list that shows in the description. They turn a lot of material down if it is not to their liking so I am sure they could do a quick word check in just a few minutes.

Hope this goes somewhere Cami.


message 44: by Debbie (new)

Debbie | 6 comments It's so interesting to see everyone's take on this. I work with Entangled Publishing's Bliss line which is the "sweet romance" line. We struggle with many of the issues mentioned here. While all our of books fade to black before the actual sex scenes there are many shades of clean from simple kisses to steamier scenes. Setting expectations is always a struggle as everyone has different expectations. It is really great to hear though that there are so many people excited to find sweet romances!


message 45: by Jannette (new)

Jannette Spann (httpsgoodreadscomjannettespann) | 7 comments I was under the impression that I had written Hidden Hills as an inspirational romance, but when I first started trying to market it to publishers, it didn't fit the guidelines because of some of the dialogue spoken in innocence by the kids in the book. Turns out it fit the category of sweet romance.


message 46: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Shea (lisashea) | 38 comments I keep thinking the books could have a row of little icons indicating what it did and did not have in it, but then my mind goes a bit awry imagining what those icons might look like :).

Lisa


message 47: by Kim (new)

Kim | 63 comments Lisa that is a great idea to have the symbols for different categories as we all have different definitions of clean. The site commonsensemedia.org does that for movies. A lips symbol is sexuality, a bomb for violence, another different symbol for bad language that I can't remember, and so forth and so forth they have different picture symbols for different categories.


message 48: by Jodi (new)

Jodi Bowersox (jodibowersox) | 31 comments But would one "damn" classify it as having bad language? How about two? A lot of peoples' language tolerance is way lower than mine, but I don't appreciate f-bombs.


message 49: by Debbie (new)

Debbie | 6 comments I think the classifying would be hard for all those categories like for some reason "shit" bothers me more than "damn" in regards to language. And for sexuality is a sex scene between a married couple make for a higher or lower sexuality rating than a sex scene between an unmarried couple? For some it doesn't matter and for others it would. Slippery slope.


message 50: by C. (new)

C. | 289 comments Good points, so how about instead of ratings they just use a content advisory,telling if a book does/does not have closed bedroom door/explicit sex scenes,occassional/frequent mild/rough profanity/F-bombs?

Wouldn't that be much simpler AND doable?


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