Love Is Dead

I’ve done something petty.

Now, before I get into the details, I will say that nothing about the situation surprises me. When I started my self publishing journey, I did my research. I know all about the struggles of publishing genre fiction, and how some publications/markets prefer literary fiction. I know that some genres are more competitive than others, some are more popular with readers, and some are dominated by a handful of big name authors. But that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to get frustrated from time to time when it comes to genre fiction landscape.

What’s prompting my petty actions is a recent email I received from Kobo Writing Life advertising their annualĀ Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. As I began to read the rules and requirements, I got excited. I’m a new author, and I have published a book during the 2021 calendar year. With a $10,000 prize at stake, I looked forward to entering the contest.

But here’s where things went wrong. There are three submission categories: Literary Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Genre Fiction. So far so good, right? Wrong. Each year, Kobo highlights a different genre, and this year it is not horror or sci-fi; it’s romance. Given how popular the genre is on TikTok and Instagram, this does not surprise me.

If you’re the kind of reader or writer that loves the romance genre, good for you. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, if you quality, maybe you could register for the Emerging Writer Prize. I will even cheer you on. However, as someone who reads and writes horror and sci-fi, I am understandably frustrated by this turn of events.

Here’s where things get petty.

In retaliation against the romance genre and the fast approaching Valentine’s Day, I’m having a “Love Is Dead” sale. From February 12th to 14th, both Please Rate Your Satisfaction and They See Me will be only $0.99 each! Why give your sweetheart flowers when you could give them scares instead? Or are you single, feeling like love truly is dead? Then why not read spooky stories instead?

And don’t forget the most important part about Valentine’s Day: Discounted chocolate on the 15th!

Whether you love mushy romance, unsettling horror, or you’re just in it for the chocolate, I hope you all have a fantastic Valentine’s Day.

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