Optimize Discovery to allow for specific reader needs

I played around with discovery today, and I’m unfortunately underwhelmed by it. It has the same flaw as most systems in that it doesn’t allow you to EXCLUDE things you don’t want to see.

I tried searching for no romance (without quotes) and then for “no romance” (with quotes). The first pulled up a bunch of romance books, the second yielded no results. Based on the suggestions in the email we retrieved, I added the no romance tag to several of my stories.

This makes discovery practically useless for me as a reader because everything I search for is inundated with spicy romance stories. This is great for the majority who like to read that, but not for anyone else.

Same is true for people trying to avoid certain triggers. There’s no way to exclude those.

I enjoy reading romance sometimes, although my tastes are very picky about that particular category. I don’t necessarily only like “sweet” romance, but it’s a phrase I sometimes use, so I tried searching for “sweet”.

What do you know, several obviously spicy stories with “sweet” in their title came up. If there was a way to select number of :hot_pepper: or at LEAST a “hide mature content” flag, I would hope the one book practically showing sex on the cover would not be included.

I know this is just 1.0, but I’m frustrated that I can’t use it to find books I’d enjoy. It’s even more frustrating knowing that my potential fans probably won’t be able to “discover” my work.

And that doesn’t even cover the issues with the user dashboard, which I think is out of the scope of this post, but also upsetting.

I’m in no way saying to suppress steamy romance authors!!! I’m asking for it to be easier for readers to find the stories they love without having to dig through a bunch of stories that they’ll clearly hate (at best) or that will turn them off to the platform (at worst).

Things like:
Level of spice
Level of violence
Romance pairings
Diversity designations
Potential triggers/content warnings

Should be selectable AND excludable.

Unless you expect users to put together advanced queries to find what they want, a simple search box just isn’t going to cut it.

Okay, I’ve rambled enough. I know I’m not the only one who will be frustrated by this, and I hope I’ve explained it well enough to get across why this is upsetting.


Hello Gaius! I agree with you completely and it was intended that negative search would already be working on Ream. It was just as much of a surprise to us when we noticed negative search wasn’t working after launching Discovery 1.0. With an update like this, a lot of updates + bugs have to be worked out live since we need lots of stories on the live platform to test and see how it will work. Negative search will be fixed soon with filtering for readers to easily select these things. It was supposed to be working now, but we ran into some kinks with it.