The Bookseller – News – Authors welcome new Amazon adult fiction disability category

Disability fiction for adults will now be listed as a separate book category on Amazon, in a move welcomed by authors who campaigned for change.

The move follows a change to Thema, the multilingual subject category scheme used by publishers and retailers. It aims to help merchandising, discoverability and potential sales of books by simplifying the communication of accurate and detailed subject information across international markets.

Earlier this year authors Penny Batchelor and Victoria Scott started a campaign to have the category listed on Amazon after noticing a gap in the system. Their debut novels My Perfect Sister (RedDoor Press) and patience (Head of Zeus), both of which feature disabled characters, were published and not placed in any categories that highlighted their focus on disability. This was despite other niche categories such as “Lad Lit” and “Exploring the Polar Regions” appearing on the site.

Scott started tweeting about the problem, and soon teamed up with Batchelor, who contacted Amazon directly and also blogged about the issue for The Bookseller. Months of campaigning ensued, with no response from the retailer, until Batchelor was able to make contact with Amazon via the Society of Authors (SoA). This week (4th May) Amazon responded via the SoA saying it had decided to introduce the new category.

Amazon explained the move was in line with updated Thema codes, which are used across the industry. A spokesperson said: Amazon has added a Disability Fiction category under (Adult) Fiction. This is in addition to the other disability categories already in place, eg Children’s Physical Disabilities or Young Adult Disabilities. Once publishers use the Thema codes in their books’ metadata, those titles will appear within this new classification.”

scott told The Bookseller: “It’s a small victory. It’s not going to change the world but I feel like it will make a difference just to have that little bit more visibility. We’re not wanting a separate section in bookshops or anything like that. We just want there to be an acknowledgment that there are books that feature this and they’re not actual books either.

“There are lots of mainstream books across history that have had disabled characters and it’s just nice for it to be there… just to have disability mentioned, it’s not in a corner being ignored like disabled people so often are.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.