Friday, May 24, 2013

Should Books Have Ratings?

Clean Teen has an unusual gimmick, all of their books are rated according to a rating system for "adult" content.  And for just $99 they'll pass judgement on your book too.  Interestingly, despite the name, they seem to accept "unclean" books--they just put a descriptive rating on them. So the idea, I guess, is that consumers and authors will be attracted by this feature.

They call this a "Full Disclosure Rating" and it has a few quirky aspects.  For example making fun of some one's religion is listed as a type of violence, but not making fun (for example) of their race or sexuality. The categories covered have a religious feeling, they are: drugs, sex, cursing and violence. "Use of any heroine [sic]" gets you a 5/5 for drugs--so maybe they are really into M/M ;)

IMHO I would rather have a rating system that gave a full a frank warning of issues like: 'no HEA', 'rampant run on sentences', 'extreme Mary Sue ahead', and 'copy editor asleep at the switch'.  But that's just me.

Which is probably beside the point. Despite the tag line "... because you deserve to now what you are reading" I think this is clearly aimed more that the parents of YA readers rather than the readers themselves. If not a new publisher name might be advisable. I mean what teen wants to be seen with a book emblazoned with a name like "Clean Teen"? And I suspect many teens would be more likely to seek out the books rated with taboo 5's than the ones rated with 0's.

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