I was going to post today about some of the pitfalls and benefits of reviewing, including what is apparently a critique of review sites as opposed to a discussion about the differences of opinion regarding the actual books themselves. Not to dismiss healthy debate or anything, but… am I the only one who sees the irony in this??
Instead I saw the below at the MLR Press Authors blog posted by Laura Baumbach:
You may have noticed that rankings and bestseller info has been removed from all a lot of gay romance and gay fiction books in the last few days. It appears that Amazon has decided we are to be hidden from the mainstream readerships. Obviously they don’t understand that a lot of our readers ARE mainstream.
When Amazon was asked about the missing rankings they responded to one author with:
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
This is why the internet is so unbelievably important in today’s world. Simply, it allows inclusivity without any kind of discrimination in order for many voices to be heard and so that review sites, including those with a niche like GLBT fiction, can exist when big corporations pretend they are the moral police and decide, as Wave says, that gay fiction = sexually explicit material.
To add your name to the petition against Amazon’s so-called ‘adult policy’ go here.
If this doesn’t put things into perspective than nothing will. It certainly did for me.
Update: Amazon is trying to now palm this off as a ‘computer glitch’. Interesting how this problem systematically removed the rankings and keywords from ALL of the GLBT fiction and non-fiction, don’t you think?? Not only shouldn’t we be reading such work, but we are apparently stupid too. Nice one, Amazon.
We’re good enough to make money off, but not to be counted, apparently.
It is utter bullshit, Sean. That they had the absolutely gall to try and argue that it was in consideration of their broader customer base when the rankings and reviews of material like Playboy were left untouched?! It’s beyond a fucking joke. They are bigots.
They’re now claiming it was a ‘glitch’:http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6651080.htmlYeah, right.
Sean, I also just found that out and updated my post accordingly. A discriminating discriminatory glitch?? How… convenient.Check this gogglebomb out: http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/amazonrank/
What I love is the guy who left the comment saying that people are being paranoid. OBVIOUSLY THE GAY AGENDA AT WORK. Not at all the fact that people received emails about the policy from Amazon themselves, and it seems like 90% of those censored were GLBT.And funny how the glitch is still operating.
Sean, please dial down your tone, otherwise I might have to amazon rank you!
I’ve been following all this hoo-ha with complete bemusement. Did Amazon really think that they could get away with this; that there wouldn’t be a backlash; that GLBT authors would just roll over and allow their books to be excluded on the grounds that some conservative arsehole doesn’t want to accept that gay people are literate?I buy all my books direct from the publisher or from Books on Board so withdrawing my support of amazon isn’t going to make a right lot of difference, but I hope all the bad publicity makes a HUGE dint in their profits.
Not only are gay people not encouraged to be literate, Jen, but no one else in the ‘mainstream’ apparently wants to read their or others work either. Fuckers.The last time I looked was when Amazon had made a statement saying they were going to ‘fix’ the glitch. In the meantime said glitch appears to have spread to ‘erotica’ as a whole. Perhaps that is what their fix entails?? Increasing the boundaries of their censorship.
I tried to reply this morning but it crashed. We have a Canadian company Chapters.indigo which we can order books from. They don’t ALWAYS have the selection that amazon does, but I’m sure I can find other ways to find a book if necessary. I won’t be3 frequenting amazon for a while. I love how they suddenly decide to blame it on a computer problem once the masses figure out what’s going on and complain. Idiots.
A couple of computer techs commented that such a problem just doesn’t happen these days. I haven’t checked this morning, but I’ve no doubt they must still be scrabbling for spin. How they didn’t think people would notice or be pissed off about it is beyond me.