Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Amazon Bigots

I missed the start of this because I was away, but in case you haven't heard yet either...

Amazon has decided - in a quite Stalinesque attempt to make facts fit ideology - to remove all "adult" material from their sales rankings. Not to stop selling them - you can sill buy erotica on Amazon - but to stop them showing up as popular. This means that at the time of writing their "adult fiction bestsellers" list consists of 2 books, both out of print, that somehow escaped the purge.

Of course they fucked it up. Their pogrom deleted all Lesbian and Gay books too, and there was a massive online petition (go go Erastes!!) and they panicked and blamed a computer programming error in France and are trying to restore all the "respectable" adult LGBT/educational books to their postions.

But I see no sign that they intend to acknowledge Erotica.

I'm still really pissed off, even though I'm delighted they're backpeddling on the (rather more important) LBGT issue. They have every intention of making profit from our work, but at the same time they want to pretend we don't exist because it might offend Middle America. Hypocrites. And liars.

It's the offence against truth that really gets me.

UPDATE: As of the morning of the 15th April, the Amazon UK "adult fiction" bestsellers listing has been restored.
Erotica rides again!


Justine Elyot said...

I think they have restored a lot of erotica on the American site - interestingly, no sign of it on amazon.co.uk though. I wonder if it's because of the way it is metatagged as 'adult'. I've emailed them to ask if they realise this is inconsistent at best and am awaiting a reply.

I think they do want to 'bury' us, actually, but this big furore might have worked against them for the time being. *sigh*

kristina lloyd said...

Their 'explanation' strikes me as inadequate, not to mention suspicious. They don't seem to appreciate the severity of their 'mistake' and the widespread offence it's caused. And I still haven't heard the word 'sorry'.

Charlotte Stein aka The Mighty Viper said...

Weirdly, if you go about the search a different way, and use the little drop down thingie to bring up bestselling, the erotica "chart" is almost what it once was. I know because I remember doing it when I first got a book contract, to see what was popular in erotica. Lots of Lora Leigh, and there's still lots of Lora Leigh.

I think it must be something to do with the word "adult", but whether or not they did it on purpose...

I guess we'll see.

kristina lloyd said...

The erotica chart is still bolloxed from what I can work out. No BL, none of the familar titles, mainly graphic novels.

For some reason, there's actually a 'Kristina Lloyd' chart on Amazon UK. It has four books in. I am always no.1! I'm waiting for that to be restored as well.

And in the words of one, um, well-respected editor: Lora Leigh is shit.

Sshh! I never told you that.

Nikki Magennis said...

Oh, fuckity. Yesterday my books were ranked on Amazon uk, today they're not, but they've been reranked on amazon.com.

Fuck them. I've discovered Powell's and I'm not convinced by the explanation either. Too little too late.

Janine Ashbless said...

Looks like Amazon US is getting its act together - slowly - but we need to lean on Amazon UK. Will be follwing your example Justine!

By the way, thanks for giving me the heads-up Kristina.

Charlotte Stein aka The Mighty Viper said...

"Lora Leigh is shit."

Oh Kristina, I like you. I'm practically paralysed with fear of saying I hate anything at the moment, but by God I hate her books.

It depressed me no end that they were so high on the list. All that simpering virgin stuff growing up gorgeous and having to be protected by some big burly guy who's like her brother.

That's all of her books, basically. In one, she uses rape to make the heroine just that bit more simpering, and then the hero heals her through the power of sharing her with his brothers and bum sex.

I was ecstatic.

P.S. Sorry for the sidetrack! Have amassed army of friends to get on Amazon's case.

kristina lloyd said...

I've never read LL but anyone that prolific has got to be lacking in the quality control dept.

And power to your army, Charlotte! It's as if Amazon UK has been forgotten about.

Janine Ashbless said...

Amazon UK has got its "adult fiction" list back again - and it's full of Black Lace!

And having written to them I got this form reply:
This is an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloguing error for a company that prides itself on offering complete selection.

It has been misreported that the issue was limited to Gay & Lesbian themed titles - in fact, it impacted 57,310 books in a number of broad categories such as Health, Mind & Body, Reproductive & Sexual Medicine, and Erotica. This problem impacted books not just in the United States but globally. It affected not just sales rank but also had the effect of removing the books from Amazon's main product search.

Many books have now been fixed and we're in the process of fixing the remainder as quickly as possible, and we intend to implement new measures to make this kind of accident less likely to occur in the future.

Thanks for contacting us. We hope to see you again soon.
So it's looking like it has settled down again. WOW for the power of public protest!