Apr. 13th, 2009

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Apr. 13th, 2009 06:29 am
edgarallenfrog: various pics of harvey milk (inspiration)
My friend Carrie made this for me. *squeee*!
edgarallenfrog: various pics of harvey milk (inspiration)
Ok, seriously. Amazon.com is making me stabby lately. I've been hearing rumblings on and off for a few days now, but the information is just too prevalent to ignore it anymore. Besides, [livejournal.com profile] thecherrywench posted about this, too, so if the cool people are doing it, I'm jumping on the bandwagon, too. I spend copious amounts of money on Amazon. I've gone without eating for a week so I could purchase books there ("Without You" by Anthony Rapp...and that should be de-ranked, too, because it's got plenty of gay in it). I am not amused by this recent turn of events.

If you're a twitter user, you may have noticed that #amazonfail is the top trending topic for today. Here's the basic gist of it:

Amazon seems to be stripping the sales figures and accompanying rankings from GLBTQ books, erotica, and romance novels, particularly those with what they term “adult content” thus preventing them from showing up in some bestseller lists and searches (and potentially directly damaging their sales), on the grounds that they are "adult" material.

(This is regardless of whether they contain any explicit sex. Meanwhile, books with explicit heterosexual sex scenes retain their sales rank, as long as they're not overtly marketed as "erotica".)

A quick search reveals that books that have had their sales ranks removed include James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story, Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain, and Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit.

When pressed for a reason, Amazon.com’s customer service department told YA author (and LJ user [livejournal.com profile] markprobst) Mark Probst:

In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.

Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us.

Best regards,

Ashlyn D
Member Services
Amazon.com Advantage

Probst went on to say:

Yes, it is true. Amazon admits they are indeed stripping the sales ranking indicators for what they deem to be “adult” material. Of course they are being hypocritical because there is a multitude of “adult” literature out there that is still being ranked. Harold Robbins, Jackie Collins, come on! They are using using categories THEY set up (gay and lesbian) to now target these books as somehow offensive.

[...] if they are excluding books just on the basis of being “gay” then by all means exclude mine too because I don’t want them just to reinstate just the “nice” gay books, they need to reinstate all the gay books and if they are really going to try and exclude so-called “adult” material, then how come this crap has an Amazon ranking?


Compiled from various sources including here, here, here.

http://community.livejournal.com/meta_writer/11992.html -- a list of books so far that have been removed
http://booksquare.com/open-letter-to-amazon-regarding-recent-policy-changes/ -- an open letter to amazon
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/in-protest-at-amazons-new-adult-policy -- sign the protest
http://stewardess.livejournal.com/296003.html
http://stewardess.livejournal.com/296266.html
http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23amazonfail -- at least 100 tweets every minute
http://wthashtag.com/wiki/Amazonfail -- keep an eye on this too

ETA

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books is running a Google Bomb. They say:

I’ve created a page with the definition for “amazon rank.” LINK TO http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/amazonrank with “Amazon Rank” as the anchor text. The link should look like this:

Amazon Rank


ETA2

A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality is now the top book for amazon searches on "homosexuality"

....oh. Awesome read, guys. Every parent needs this important pile of shit book in their collection.



I copied all this from here in [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political and [livejournal.com profile] harvey_milk and some other sources, but fuck this. I'm pissed. They also stripped "The Mayor of Castro Street" of its ranking. Oh no you didn't just fuck with my Harvey Milk book. Assholes. As [livejournal.com profile] marauderthesn eloquently put it, "I could see taking, say, Totally Herotica 3 out of the rankings and sales figures, but what the effing eff is the deal with taking out everything gay? Even biographies? Oh, whoever was responsible for this, I hope Harvey haunts you. Obnoxiously. With all his dead boyfriends. Having ghost sex on your dinner table. Loud ghost sex on your dinner table. For hours."

ETA3.6

Oh, now you've done it. you've pissed off Christopher Rice. Rice says: "So apparently a "computer glitch" at Amazon has "de-ranked" a large number of LGBT focused books, including my first novel, A DENSITY OF SOULS. There's understandable outrage about this throughout cyberspace. As President of Lambda Literary Foundation, I can tell you we will have a public response very soon. (Other de-ranked titles include ORLANDO by Virgina Woolf and BECOMING A MAN by Paul Monette)."

Way to go, Amazon. Piss off all the authors who write the edgy content that keeps your customers coming back. Piss off all the people with the money; the people who keep your business going. Smooth move there, brain king.

ETA 4.8675309

Oh, sorry, I forgot, Amazon hates disabled people, too.

ETA5 for the 5 that stayed alive

Aaaand the public statement from the Lambda Literary Foundation is up.

"Lambda Literary Foundation applauds the diligent work of writers, bloggers and activists in calling attention to this deeply distressing turn of events. I have seen my first novel stripped of its sale ranking by this apparent computer glitch so I join other writers who are baffled to the point of anger. I take great solace in the quick mobilization of our community in response to this apparent marginalization of LGBT books; the grassroots power of the Internet has been placed on glorious display for all to see. Over the next few days, we at Lambda Literary will be monitoring the situation very closely. Amazon is one our nation's largest general book retailers. In their commitment to creating and sustaining technological advances in the publishing industry, they have laid claim to the future of book distribution. As such, they have a pressing responsibility to create an unfettered exchange of stories and ideas. If a quick and decisive response to this problem is not forthcoming within the next few days, we at Lambda Literary look forward to leading a sustained and impassioned dialogue on this issue, which will seek to harness the energies that have been released by our community's admirable response."


Translation: Amazon u r fukd nao.

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