I’m…having a moment. When I published The Album in March, I was astounded that there was no category for rock star romance on Amazon. I mean, it’s a huge niche. But it had no actual category, which was crazy to me.

As you all know, I went right ahead and published, putting my books in whatever categories seemed most appropriate. But still, it stuck in my craw that we didn’t have a “real” category.

November was a big month for me, my third book was released and just before that, I was asked if I wanted to participate in a rock star romance anthology next year.

Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to add more things to my already full plate…I mean, hook up with other rock star romance authors and write an anthology submission. 😘

I adore the women in the anthology group, they’re all wonderful authors and just so absolutely lovely. Some have been publishing for years, others debuted this year like me. I think you can guess where this is leading…

One day last month, Tylor and I were having a vent about the fact there was no Amazon category for rock star romance. We were saying that we needed some kind of smash hit in our genre to get it added when Kella informed us that part of the reason Amazon had no category was because there was no BISAC category for it.

BISAC is an acronym for Book Industry Standards and Communications. It’s used by most major retailers in the US, as well as some libraries and is how books are categorised. Kella suggested that we lobby the BISG (Book Industry Study Group) to add it as a category.

We all banded together and each submitted a form where we explained what category we wanted, gave ten examples of published books in the genre, as well as a reason for why we were requesting it.

This was the reason I gave:

I write in the rock star romance genre and there is no BISAC code for this. I’ve provided a list of rock star romance novels that show that not only have people been publishing in this genre for years, but we are also currently publishing in it.

It is a HUGE niche. I’ve met readers on Goodreads who read exclusively in this genre. I believe it would be beneficial for there to be a BISAC code for it.

Well, that all happened, then The Baby came out and…just low-key, I became an Amazon Bestselling author, whatevs. *flips hair*

Then, I got stuck into writing Gabriel’s Album, and was slammed in the lead up to Christmas. In short, I forgot all about this, until tonight when Tylor messaged the group. 

She’d just gone to check the BISAC category listing here and saw this:

WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😱😱😱

I’m completely in shock. It’s officially being added to the 2020 edition of the BISAC categories. I was a part of legitimising my entire genre of fiction. We saw something that was missing and sorely needed, and we got it created. I am so in love with writing in this genre, the fact that it’s now a “real” genre is completely amazing.

I remember when I was doing Bryan Cohen’s ad course, in one of the lessons, I asked a question and Bryan made the comment, “Siân writes in rock star romance, which is a huge niche, but doesn’t have its own category.”

So, that’s my next goal. Getting an Amazon category created for us. Rock star romance is a thing, and it’s amazing.

Speaking of amazing, I still love the cover for Gabriel’s Album. I’ve reached chapter 15, well, I’m actually onto Chapter 16 – The Fifteenth Song (Part Two) now. I expect that chapter 15 will actually become three or four chapters. Initially, I’d expected two, but that’s just not going to happen.

I took some time yesterday to actually put all of the voicemails from chapter 15 into a spreadsheet so that I could keep track of where I was up to. I did not realise that there were sixty-six voicemails in the chapter!

Sixty-six fucking voicemails!

My editor did tell me that I should cut some out and only keep the important ones from Gabriel, but all of them together painted a picture of what the band were doing, what stage of grief Gabriel (and Heather, as well) were at, and how Ariana’s absence was affecting them.

A bit like wanting to write from a single POV so we truly get the character’s experience, it was important to me that all of the voicemails they left her were in the book. Ariana listened to all of them, so we listened to all of them, allowing us to get the same experience that she did.

I had this conversation with a friend today about writing the companion novel when she said that reaching the part where the stories split apart must be freeing because I can write whatever I want at this point…

As you can see, I’m a little bit salty at 2019 Siân for writing me into a corner. I mean, it works and…okay, I kind of looooove why they ended up having to have a press conference in the end. But still…I dislike feeling boxed in with what I need to write.

Even though I’ve said categorically that I would never do a companion series again, I’ve decided that if I ever did, I would write the books in tandem before they’re released so I could change anything and wouldn’t be tied to things like I have been with this one.

At the same time, it is fun. Gabriel’s Album is a much better book than The Album. People…are going to hate Ariana. *sigh*

I wrote a review on Goodreads that you can read by clicking this link. I haven’t even reached the worst part of the voicemail chapter, yet, and already writing this is killing me. Gabriel’s pain is just…a lot more than I thought it would be. I also have to have the book finished by the 3rd of January for my editor, and I’m starting to panic.

Not to mention that as soon as it’s finished, I’ll have to launch directly into writing Harrison’s Wedding which I am dreading. I never wanted to write that book in one hit, but now I’ll have to. I’m planning to write the worst chapters first to get them out of the way, but it’s going to be hard, and will take a massive emotional toll on me. I don’t look forward to it.

Anyway, that’s it from me for this blog. I think in the new year, I’m going to try and blog more, then link to those in my newsletter instead of essentially turning my newsletter into a blog. We’ll see how it goes.

I hope you had a brilliant festive season, stayed safe, and go on to have a brilliant new year. Happy reading!

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