Where to Find Fantasy Romance

(Other than the Fantasy Romance shelf)

Regardless of which retailer you use to acquire new books, do you shop for books via the categories?  Or the search bar?

Often, you know exactly what book you want, and a quick search is good for that.  The title has been recommended, or you read a review.

But when you’ve run out of TBR books, or you’re itching for something new and fresh, do you ever browse the categories?  Or do you put “fantasy romance” in the search bar and look through the results?

BTW, two quick side tracks, here:

I do not like the sobriquet “Romantasy”

I’m trying to get used to it, because everyone seems to be using it.  I don’t hate it, but it makes me cringe every time I hear it.  “Romantasy” sounds demeaning.  It reduces the Fantasy Romance genre down to a cute little name that strips it of dignity.

It’s like calling Robert “Bob”.  Robert could run a country.  Bob runs away from mad kitties.

The nickname “Romantasy” is demeaning.  So I’ll probably hold out, stiff-necked, and continue to call the genre Fantasy Romance, which sounds far more elegant than Romantasy.

There’s a lot of backhistory playing into this, by the way.  I’ve been writing and publishing romance for 25 years, and the disdain and derision that I have seen the publishing industry, the media, men, and not a few non-romance-reading women hand out to romance books, readers and writers, has been astronomical. 

So anything that tries to diminish the genre is not okay, not for me.

And the second sidebar:

The search bar on Amazon doesn’t work

The search bar on Amazon only appears to work. 

The results you get when you do a search will have half a page of “sponsored” results – that is, books that people have paid to have show up in the search results for that phrase you just used. 

Then you’ll get a quarter page of listings in “relevance” order…that is, books that Amazon thinks you should see.  They will put Kindle Unlimited titles ahead of non KU titles.  They will put books that are trending ahead of others…even if that trending book is only tangentially related to what you searched for. 

So the chances of a book exactly matching your search phrase, that isn’t in KU, and isn’t a book that Amazon wants to push today, showing up on the first page of search results  is extremely thin.

And at the bottom of the first page, you get another bunch of paid-for placements.

And every page of search results beneath page 1 are built the same way. 

This is why you can never find anything new and interesting.  It’s not because no one is writing the stuff you like.  It’s just that most of the time the new and interesting titles are buried so deep, you can only find them if you know the exact title and the name of the author.

And even then, you may not find the book with a direct search.   I’ve done direct searches for books with the name of the author included, and the book I was looking for was fifth on the list…underneath the books that Amazon was pushing at me.   

I’ve also done direct searches where the title didn’t show up at all, because I didn’t get the author’s name exactly right, or I mistyped a word in the title, but because I didn’t know either the name or the title very well, I just thought the book wasn’t available and moved on.  I only found out later that I made a typo.

So just searching on “fantasy romance” or “romantasy” will give you the same tired titles you’ve been seeing everywhere for years.

How to mine a bookstore for ALL the books

I suggest that if your search for new books in a genre doesn’t give you decent results, your next tactic is to browse the categories themselves.

But NOT the best-seller lists. 

This is specific to Amazon, by the way.  All the other bookstores will let you browse all the books in a category, and they will let you find the categories without hacks and tricks to get to them.

Amazon has two ways of showing you a category.  The best seller lists are the ones they prefer to show you.  They will give you the best-seller list if you click on a book’s ranking number.   

And there are two different sorts of best-seller lists in their top menu, too. 

But the best-seller lists are limited to 100 books, most of which are Kindle Unlimited titles because Amazon favours and inflates KU titles over non-KU books. 

The hack, here, is to head for the non-best-selling categories; this is the basic catalogue of all books on Amazon, and you can keep clicking for pages and pages, as most categories have hundreds of thousands of books in them.

How to find the browse categories

Head to Amazon. 

Another tip:  Even if you prefer to buy your books on a different retailer, you can still window shop on Amazon, especially if your chosen bookstore has a limited list of categories (Kobo) or a stunted search/browsing function (Apple Books), or otherwise won’t let you drill down into a category.

On Amazon, click on the hamburger icon at the top left, just beneath the Amazon logo:

Then choose Kindle E-readers & Books:

Slide down to the second group of options under the “Kindle Store” heading and choose Kindle Books:

On the page that results, click on the little down arrow beside “Categories” on the sub-menu:

Have a look at the categories available there.  Theses are the major sub-categories of fiction and non-fiction books on Amazon. 

Take note of three of them:

  1. Science Fiction & Fantasy
  2. Literature & Fiction
  3. Romance

We’ll be coming back here in a minute. 

Now click on Romance in that pop-up box.

You’ll get this page:

This is Amazon being deceptive again.  If you click on any of the “Popular Romance Categories” you’ll be taken to the best-seller lists, that Amazon manipulates to show you what they want you to see.

The same with the “Featured” lists.

You have to scroll and scroll down the list of options here, passed all the “Kindle Unlimited”, “Audiobooks” and “New Releases” boxes, to reach the pure browsing categories, which are called “Departments”:


You can click on the Fantasy link and on the right, you’ll get a bunch of books that have “Fantasy Romance” listed in their metadata as one of the categories.

But even here, Amazon tries to choke you off.   There’s only a dozen books and they’re all “best-sellers” or “relevant” titles.  Don’t let “relevent” fool you.  It’s not a way of saying these books match the link you just clicked on.  It’s purely titles Amazon wants to show you.

You have to scroll down a bit to find the “See All Results” link:

When you click on that, you’ll finally have a list of every book in the Fantasy Romance genres:

There are no sponsored books in this list (i.e. advertising).  The list IS sorted from highest rank to lowest, but ranking is essentially meaningless on Amazon because they manipulate the ranks to favor certain books.

But this browse category lets you see every single book in the category.

And there are a lot:

400 pages of results!!

That should keep you busy for a while!

Even more places to find Fantasy Romance

I mentioned that the browse categories include books that have “Fantasy Romance” chosen by their publisher as one of the categories the book fits into.

Publishers and indie authors are permitted to choose three categories where their book will appear. 

So if only one of a book’s categories is “Fantasy Romance”, where else might a fantasy romance novel be shelved?

Other categories where Fantasy Romance could be hiding.

Remember when I said to pay attention to the major categories in the drop down list?

You can head to this list at any time, and browse any category or sub-category, or sub-sub-category you want.

You can also navigate to the major categories by clicking any parent category at the top of the category you’re currently browsing, in the Departments list:

In this case, you could click on “Romance” and get all the major sub-categories in romance, or if you know you’re done looking at romance for now, you could click on the Kindle eBooks link and go back to all the major subcategories of books in the store.

You can also drill down to sub-sub-categories, if a department has them. 

Other categories where Fantasy Romance can be found.

Finally, I’m getting to my point!  LOL!

Because an indie author or publisher can choose three different categories for their books, they will try to find two other categories that might put them in front of entirely different types of readers, if those categories are appropriate for their book.

And sometimes a book that deserves to be a fantasy romance doesn’t use that category at all.

So it pays to check the other categories where Fantasy Romance hangs out. 

Here’s a list of alternative categories.  You can navigate to each of them using the links or the drop down box, that I described a moment ago.

  • Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy
  • Romance-Romantic Comedy
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy•Romantic
  • Romance-Fantasy
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy•Epic
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy•Paranormal & Urban
  • Romance-Paranormal
  • Romance-Paranormal•Werewolves & Shifters
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy•Sword & Sorcery
  • Teen & Young Adult-Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy
  • Literature & Fiction-Horror•Dark Fantasy
  • Romance-Paranormal•Witches & Wizards
  • Romance-Gothic
  • Romance-Paranormal-Vampires
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy•Fairy Tales
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy-New Adult & College
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy•Humorous
  • Literature & Fiction-Erotica•Romantic Erotica
  • Teen & Young Adult-Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy•Epic
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy•Coming of Age
  • Mystery, Thriller & & Shifters
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy-Dragons & Mythical Creatures
  • Romance•Paranormal•Demons & Devils
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy-Metaphysical & Visionary
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy•Myths & Legends-Norse & Viking
  • Teen & Young Adult-Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy•Dark Fantasy
  • Teen & Young Adult-Romance•paranormal & Fantasy
  • Literature & Fiction-Mythology & Folk Tales-Mythology
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy-Fantasy•Myths & Legends-Greek & Roman
  • Romance-Paranormal-Magic

That’s a lot of other places to find Fantasy Romance!

These are in descending order of relevence – in this case, “relevence” means exactly what it sounds like.  The higher up on the list the category is, the more Fantasy Romance titles were found in it, compared to categories further down the list. 

While this list is Amazon categories, hunting for a genre in alternative categories works on all book retailers, only they make it much easier to find the browse categories, and they don’t have as many alternative categories. 

If those stories use BISAC categories (Google and Apple, for example), you can also browse and search the categories on the BISAC site, and figure out what alternatives might be, before you get to the store itself.

Or, as I’ve mentioned, you can use Amazon to find potential titles, then buy them at your preferred store.

This works for any other romance genre, too.

Actually, this works for any other genre, period.  There are other places to find a genre you like, beside the main category listing for it.   ALL the bookstores allow publishers to choose multiple categories.  Barnes & Noble lets an author choose six, and their categories are even more labrynthine than Amazon’s.

And perhaps the genre you like doesn’t have a central category at all, like Paranormal Women’s Fiction, which can be found in a dozen different categories. 

Happy hunting!

Scandalous Scions Box Four out soon!

16 thoughts on “Where to Find Fantasy Romance”

  1. This Amazon manipulation of data is one reason why my preferred bookstore is Kobo (I have both KU and Kobo Plus subscriptions, much prefer Kobo Plus’s way of dealing with things). If Kobo is manipulating searches, it is not as blatant as Amazon or as limiting.

    1. Agree on all of this.

      My only beef with Kobo is the extremely limited genres. It’s hard to drill down to niche preferences, there. Although their search IS clean, as far as I can tell.

      Most readers are still shopping at Amazon, though…

      1. The focus on Amazon by “everyone” is really frustrating to me as I have found so much more on other vendors (Although I do admit to going overboard on Kobo Plus with 2188 titles ready to read and to decide if I like enough to add to my 407 bought books, but I am reading Crossroads Magic currently through it – I was wondering which book to read today – I still have $40 entertainment budget left this month so it probably will join the bought titles before May 15th.

        1. You ARE a dedicated reader, aren’t you? Wow!

          As I said earlier, I can’t disagree with you. I also shop on Kobo as often as I can — I’ll look there for books, first.

          The reality is, though, that more than half my fiction revenue comes from Amazon, still, despite working as hard as I can to raise my visibility at the other retail stores. Amazon make it very hard for readers to buy from other stores. The books you add to the Kindle, if they’re not Amazon titles, are stripped of their covers…if you can get them onto the kindle in the first place.

          Plus, they market their nose off, selling Kindle Unlimited to readers (who also can’t find anything BUT kindle Unlimited titles if they do a casual search), so readers are bound by the monthly fee to keep reading on Amazon.

          There is one thing Amazon does very, very well, and that is structure their business so readers are tangled up in the infrastructure and it costs too much in time or effort or loss of books to shop elsewhere.

          1. That is why, when I can I buy from the indie publisher’s site – https://storiesrulepress.com/ for you, and get an epub which is as close as a physical copy you can get in the electronic world. It’s not always available , but my 1214 titles in calibre shows it it is widely available. A book a day help keep the blues away. I have read from multiple authors apologizing for leaving other vendors to focus on Amazon as they make it more profitable to use them exclusively and for some it’s the difference between being able to be a full time writer or not.

          2. Some feedback to storiesrulepress.com/, their search stinks. Although I finally found it – searching for Crossroads Magic to buy it found nothing.

          3. It finds it now searching for crossroads magic, but returned nothing the first time. Put in Cooper-Posey too and no results, had to go through menu. Maybe a temporary glitch.

    1. Oh, I’m quite certain of that! Indie authors are invisible to the media. Without even looking at the report, I can say with a great deal of certainty that the only authors they mentioned were traditionally published.

  2. now I understand why I often can’t find a focussed search on Amazon.
    Thank you for explaining the complex path to find a book!
    Anna O

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