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WTF, Amazon?

Happy Easter, GLBT folks and allies, from your friends at Amazon! Your books have been stripped of sales rankings!

markprobst, writer of the now de-ranked THE FILLY, and publisher, is one of the first to post about it here, got some kind of reply/statement from an Amazon official, for what it's worth. LJ community meta_writer is compiling a list of affected books. And the nice people at Dear Author give us some more information.

What does Amazon hope to gain by this? It's not, as one commenter said, to steer people to Kindle, where the GLBT content's rankings stand. Some of the titles aren't even on Kindle, like the socially radical and threatening HEATHER HAS TWO MOMMIES, or the racy, full color sexpurgasm AM I BLUE?, an anthology of short stories with GLBT themes for teens edited by Marion Dane Bauer. [edited to correct the editor's name!]

Maybe other writers are made of sterner stuff, but I live on my online sales rankings. My mood rises and falls on them. And even worse, what a way to further disenfranchise people, to tell them their sales aren't even worth tracking.

I expected this crap during the Bush years, not now.

edited to add:

Here's more information, including Amazon's so-called rationale, from the Denver Internet Examiner.



Apr. 12th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
I'm reserving permanet judgment until tomorrow. Hopefully a higher-up in Amazon's heirarchy will present an explanation as to how this occurred--perhaps a user-based system gone awry, which is more of a lapse in judgment than a malicious act. If there's no reasonable explanation by tomorrow evening, though...=(
Apr. 13th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
-perhaps a user-based system gone awry

I've heard a rumor that they are now citing a computer glitch, but I find it very hard to swallow. It's a very specific glitch.
Apr. 13th, 2009 05:46 am (UTC)
"Yeh, GLITCH! That's the Ticket!"
Ironically, I predicted this to Julie Holderman as I was driving her back to Ithaca tonight - I said they'd either claim a "glitch" on Monday morning, or wait a few days to see how big the blowback was before they claimed something like Amazon always planned a "content opt-out" system for families that might object to Teh Gay...but SOMEHOW it got turned on for everybody instead! Who've thunk it?

Of course, that letter sort of puts Amazon's butt in a crack over that excuse - unless they claim their system got hijacked by some Khrister Rightist Teabaggers who figured this was their way to toss teabags into a lake.... ;)

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