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What category does our book belong in?

 
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I have heard that it is common practise to list a couple of categories on the back of your book so that the good people at libraries and especially bookstores know where to put it on the shelves. I like the idea of making things as easy as possible for shelvers.

I think Raven has been telling me to do this for over a year now. I'm all for it, and yet every time I sit down to think about it, I mysteriously end up doing something else. I can't figure out why. Maybe it's because I have trouble placing our book into a category. But now we're crossing the last things off the to-do list before we print this baby and it needs to get done.

I'm posting here with the hopes that you might help. About 800 people currently have access to the early manuscript. And many others have an idea of what our book is about. So you might know enough to be able to place it in a couple of categories.

The standard seems to be to include 2 categories. Paul and I were chatting yesterday and thought that perhaps "Environment" could be one. What bookshelf categories do you think our book belongs in?
 
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"Self Help"?

 
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I agree with you, Tyler, if we are talking about the greater, outward self that is the globe.

Is there an earth care category? Maybe it should be in with the SAS Survival Guides put out by John "Lofty" Wiseman. Where do they keep those?

-CK
 
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I cast my vote for "Nature & Environment"

Many of the books of this type that I have just happen to have been published by Chelsea Green.  Their website lists many permaculture books, including those by Masanobu Fukuoka, Sepp Holzer and one literally entitled "The Earth Care Manual") under the category "Nature & Environment".  

 
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ha, good luck, Shawn...  I don't know if you're going to get consensus.

I would look for it in the simple living category of books because a theme I read over and over is about how you can live this luxurious, simple life by making some changes... Save money, quit your job, quit weeding, quit bitching about what everyone else is doing, quit being poisoned by expensive cleaners. And oh by the way, all of this makes a better world for everyone. That shelf in the library is where I go to be inspired the way this book did.
 
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If you are going to put categories on your back cover I would not get very creative. The category is only going to help book stores and libraries if it fits easily within one of their fairly broad/general categories.

I found a site talking about categories for back covers and they had a list that might be helpful:



The site is: https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2009/10/self-publishing-basics-why-you-need-a-category-on-the-back-cover-of-your-book/
 
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From a quick glance on Daron's post, these are the categories I thought it would fit:
Behavioral Sciences
Construction
Earth Sciences
Economics
Energy
Environment Studies
Farm Equipment/Tractors
Gardening/Landscaping
Housing/Low Income
How-To
Human Interest
Self Help/Self Improvement


And of course, give it a 500 year it will turn into a religion at some point hence this category:

Religion
 
Chris Kott
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Gurkan, I think it will remain a little more relevant than religion,  and longer.

-CK
 
Shawn Klassen-Koop
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Daron, which would you pick?
 
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Gurkan Yeniceri wrote:And of course, give it a 500 year it will turn into a religion at some point hence this category:

Religion



You forgot Poetry!
 
Gurkan Yeniceri
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Chris Kott wrote:Gurkan, I think it will remain a little more relevant than religion,  and longer.

-CK



I hope it will.
 
Gurkan Yeniceri
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Diane Kistner wrote:

You forgot Poetry!



I sure did
 
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(1)Nature and environment

(2) Economics/ Frugality
 
Daron Williams
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Shawn Klassen-Koop wrote:Daron, which would you pick?



Honestly this is a hard question... The point of these categories is just to help the libraries and bookstores place your book on their shelves. So I think the questions to ask are what type of person is most likely to grab the book based on the cover and what categories is that person likely to be browsing in a bookstore or library?

Some of the categories will technically fit--say economics for example. The book covers this to a degree but is someone browsing an economics section of a bookstore or library likely to pickup a book titled "Building a Better World in Your Backyard"? A few people might but I don't think the title will grab someone who is browsing the economics section.

Now what about the gardening category? Potentially someone browsing the gardening section might be interested but they might also just be looking for a book about how to make a raised bed or plant vegetables.

So back to the title... who would be interested in "building a better world"? And who would be interested in doing that "in your backyard"? To me this speaks to someone who wants to do something to help the world in general terms but doesn't know how or what to do.

Thinking through these types of questions makes me lean towards "inspiration". You could combine it with "nonfiction/(general)". The space these categories go is the line just above the barcode and ISBN so not much space but I think you could fit "inspiration / nonfiction".

I would highly recommend checking out the site goodreads. You can search for the top books by "shelf" which is basically by category. Here is the link to the "inspiration" shelf:

https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/inspiration

To search shelves in general on goodreads use this link:

https://www.goodreads.com/shelf

Looking through these... potentially "human interest" could work. You could do "inspiration / human interest". But my recommendation is to make a list of the top 5 to 10 categories that you are thinking about and then search for each of them on goodreads and see if you think yours and Paul's book would fit sitting on a shelf next to those. And think about this not from your perspective but from someone who is browsing that specific category/shelf.

Hope that helps!
 
Shawn Klassen-Koop
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We have decided on "sustainability" and "environment".
 
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