I know it’s something that’s been raised before, but I really wish Goodreads would listen to their members regarding categories for the Choice Awards. They promote the awards as “The choice is yours! Vote for the best books of the year in the Goodreads Choice Awards, the only major book awards decided by readers.” but they really need to pay more attention to the readers who are members of the site and who are voting.
My concern is lack of recognition for LGBTIQ+ romance (and my thoughts in this post relate purely to romance, not other categories). Firstly, I don’t think any LGBTIQ+ romance books were selected by the Goodreads editors in the initial nominations but I’m happy to be corrected.
I believe there needs to be a specific category for LGBTIQ+ romance. Sure, we could nominate these books under ‘Romance’ but here they are lost. It is important to bring more visibility to those books written about a marginalised group of people, so that they don’t get overshadowed in this popularity contest.
Making this small change would also reflect the interests of Goodreads readers who are members of groups. Out of the thousand+ groups on Goodreads, the M/M Romance Group is #9 in popularity (see the full list of popular groups here).
Let’s look at the top genre-based groups and their memberships…
|#6||Addicted to YA||26,648|
|#12||SciFi and Fantasy Book Club||19,165|
|#14||Paranormal & Urban Fantasy||18,908|
|#19||The Mystery, Crime & Thriller Group||16,601|
Below are the current 20 award categories. It’s interesting to see that YA, Poetry, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Fantasy (as per the other groups above) are on the list. M/M Romance has 22,898 members but no award category. One of the most popular genres isn’t represented in the awards.
This is a potentially contentious issue. I know that there will be people saying that Romance should be further broken down into historical romance, contemporary romance, paranormal romance and so on, or that there should be other categories assessed or added to the awards, including other diverse groups. I’m not saying these other categories shouldn’t be addressed, but that isn’t the focus of the discussion here. Even within an LGBTIQ+ Romance category, I acknowledge that the pairing of M/M will be more popular than other books in this overall category, but at least an overall category would be a step in the right direction.
I would like to see Goodreads review their process and categories, and give consideration to being more inclusive in their awards, in line with their member’s interests.