Amazon.com, for example, put my novel BAMBOO PEOPLE in this category: "Books > Teens > History & Historical Fiction > Historical Fiction." Meanwhile, the product description says, "This coming-of-age novel takes place against the political and military backdrop of modern-day Burma."
It's a small but strange mistake.
And the behemoth isn't alone. I've noticed this mis-classification popping up on other sites and in some blog tags. You hate to quibble when you're grateful for the mention, but why are people describing the novel as historical fiction when it's set in contemporary times? Am I missing something?
I posed this question on Twitter yesterday, and here are some of the answers that came in response:
@Suzigurl: Maybe b/c there are so few books like Bamboo People that folks don't know what to call it.So what do you think? Honest mistake? One of the above? Or another reason?
@yoyology: My guess: exotic location + first-world blinders = "historical."
@erin_braincandy: My guess is a lot of people don't realize that child soldiers aren't just a thing of the past...
@SarahRettger: I know w/non-fiction, a lot of current events stuff gets classified (I assume by BISAC code) as history. #petpeeve
Maybe I'll settle down if I hear about other mis-classifications. Authors, has your book been categorized oddly? If so, how?