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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.



( 80 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 12th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
Amazon has just lost my business. Obviously books like Heather Has Two Mommies and The Well of Loneliness (with that racy line "And that night they were not divided") will corrupt the children. This is just total and utter bullshit.

Also, I'll use this opportunity to help with the Google bomb of Amazon rank. I hope you don't mind.
Apr. 12th, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC)
I urge people to check http://indiebound.org for a local independent shop
(no subject) - poetic_pixie_13 - Apr. 12th, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Not sure if this helps for you... - dewline - Apr. 12th, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Not sure if this helps for you... - poetic_pixie_13 - Apr. 12th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Not sure if this helps for you... - dewline - Apr. 12th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Not sure if this helps for you... - poetic_pixie_13 - Apr. 13th, 2009 12:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tammy212 - Apr. 13th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 12th, 2009 11:42 pm (UTC)
I've left a politely miffed letter via their customer support. Muwhahaha!
Apr. 13th, 2009 12:16 am (UTC)
*sighs softly* I salute you for being polite.

I'm afraid I ended up using words such as 'censorship', 'homophobia' and 'stupidity'.

I didn't swear, tho!
(no subject) - archangelbeth - Apr. 13th, 2009 12:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tammy212 - Apr. 13th, 2009 04:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 12th, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
Had you seen this petition? Don;t know if it will make a difference but.....
Apr. 13th, 2009 12:03 am (UTC)
My guess is that they will redact the changes shortly. Whoever made this decision clearly wasn't thinking about the shitstorm it would cause, or couldn't fathom that targeting vocal minority groups would actually impact their sales.

Of course, if we believe their stated reasons for the implementation of the change it's still pretty poorly thought out. I mean, I can (sort of) understand wanting to keep adult and non-adult bestseller results separate, but to do it in this fashion was just asking to be smacked down. Sure, another method would have taken more company resources (deciding guidelines for what qualifies as "adult", figuring out a method that achieves separation without potentially hurting the sales of the adult material, etc etc) but in the end it would have avoided branding Amazon as sex-negative and anti-queer.
Apr. 13th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)
I wrote to their customer service, the letter can be found on my blog.
(no subject) - tammy212 - Apr. 13th, 2009 04:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tekanji - Apr. 13th, 2009 12:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 13th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)

And have you noticed Will of the Empress seems to have dropped down the rankings list in the last few days, too? I don't know if that's specifically to do with Daja's romance, but I wouldn't count it out. FCOL! *headdesk*
Apr. 13th, 2009 04:29 am (UTC)
It's probably just normal market fluctuation. I hope. X -- crossed fingers.
(no subject) - trialia - Apr. 13th, 2009 04:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 13th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
This infuriates me. It's the complete hypocriticalness of it.

I've helped Google Bomb it, send a complaint and signed the petition.
Apr. 13th, 2009 01:06 am (UTC)
It's not just LGBT-related books. Books about sexuality and disability have also been pulled from the rankings.
Apr. 13th, 2009 01:14 am (UTC)
Also disturbing.
(no subject) - tammy212 - Apr. 13th, 2009 04:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 13th, 2009 01:20 am (UTC)
My hubby mentions that Harlequin romances apparently retain their ranks... "considering the whole point of those is Let's Get With the Sexin'!"

So, it's all right for soft porn... as long as it's about heterosexual coupling.

Food for thought...
Apr. 13th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)
Also, Amazon has massive fail because:

Brokeback Mountain does not have a rank as a novel; however, it does for the DVD. So, does that mean that sodomy is acceptable to view, but not read about? Just wondering...
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - lunalovegoddess - Apr. 13th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 13th, 2009 02:02 am (UTC)

Just ugh.

See, I saw AM I BLUE in with the books you listed, and honestly laughed. I read the story "Am I Blue" when I was ten and forced to read an anthology for class (Man, am I ever glad that I chose ODDER THAN EVER), and the full anthology AM I BLUE by thirteen. Hell, I became an ally at age ten, before I either knew anyone who was homosexual or those who I did know had recognized it.

The story and the book didn't corrupt me, didn't send me into therapy due to "lewdness" or any such nonsense, didn't turn me lesbian, and didn't turn me into anything but a human being who tries her hardest to make sure she treats everyone equally and without hate.

Literature has power. Literature gives people their voice. Thanks, Amazon, for signing that gag order. I'm sure everyone will thank you for it.
Apr. 13th, 2009 07:21 am (UTC)
I know, right? That actually very nearly triggered my rage buttons--well, worse than before. I read Odder Than Ever in lower school, somewhere between 1st to 4th grade (probably in 2nd, really), and Am I Blue? burned itself into my mind so deeply that I dug it out again in 11th grade and this time archived a copy for all time. I agree, I think I became an ally then, without even knowing what the hell homosexuality was other than that some people are different and It's Okay Too (and then went queer years later, but). Such a beautiful story, so much incoherent rage.
(no subject) - raienna - Apr. 14th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 13th, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)
I know several people who publish their LGBT works on Amazon.This is utterly disrespectful, pointless, and...argh, in general. D: I am disappointed to comehome to this.
Apr. 13th, 2009 02:09 am (UTC)
cleolinda is reporting that Amazon now claims the whole thing is "the result of a glitch", despite their earlier claims of "new policy". She has a screen grab of it here.
Apr. 13th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC)
If anyone has a twitter, link an article and tag it with #amazonfail. Currently this is the #1 most discussed thing on twitter.
Apr. 13th, 2009 03:26 am (UTC)
Thanks for adding your weight to the protest, Tammy. The more voices crying out about this, the better!
Apr. 13th, 2009 04:41 am (UTC)
This is one of those things nobody with a brain should keep shut about. It's a sly, snivelling, dastardly, sneaky little maneuver, and they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. I don't deserve kudos for doing what anyone should do (but thanks anyway).
Apr. 13th, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)
Apr. 13th, 2009 04:39 am (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up--I put it in my glitch post succeeding this one!
(no subject) - dances_withcats - Apr. 13th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
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( 80 comments — Leave a comment )

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