Amazon.com, Amazon.com – wherefore art thou brains? Thou hast filled them with shit and verily I say unto you, thou hast really fucked up. Again.
Here’s the short story: Amazon.com has a thing called “ranking” that is based on the number of sales. So the higher a book is on that sale, the more likely the books is to show up on various related pages. The lower a book’s sale ranking, the less likely it will show up anywhere, including searches. Sounds reasonable in some realities. The problem now is that Amazon.com has decided to de-rank a bunch of books that they consider “adult”. Again, sounds reasonable in some realities.
However, and this is a big however, their concept of “adult” is very narrow. Almost all GLBTQ books have been de-ranked. Not just the erotica, but romance and non-fiction. Playboy’s books are still up there as are Kuschiel’s Dart (and related books). Why are they not considered “Adult” and have their rankings removed?
I could go on but I won’t. Instead, read more from these fine folks:
Okazu: Amazon De-ranks “Adult” Books
In Protest of Amazon’s new “adult” policy (an online petition site; the information is in the small, scrollable window at the top and you can click the “view whole petition” link on the left)
Mark Probst – Amazon Follies
Booksquare’s “Open Letter to Amazon Regarding Recent Policy Changes”
Kelley Eskridge – Tell Amazon They Are Wrong
And the Smart Bitches have gotten in on it, too. As someone else said, “Heaven help Amazon now!”. With their post “Amazon Rank”, they’ve come up with the perfect solution. A non-violent, non-name calling, mature method based on proven results: a Google bomb. A Google bomb is when folks across the great Internet use similar words that all link to the same thing. This worked well a while back when some of us had trouble from a nasty pseudo-agent. Every time her name was mentioned, a link was used to point to an article proving her lack of ethics. This meant that any search for her name resulted in the article being in the top five or so of the search results. The idea was to warn any newbie writer to stay away from her.
The Smart Bitches have created a new definition to go into the Internet lexicons: Amazon Rank. The idea is that whenever someone uses the term Amazon Rank, they link back to the page they created that has the definition. Try it now. Go to Google and type in Amazon Rank. What pops up first? Other search engines don’t react as quickly to this kind of trend. But they will.
Here is a screenshot of a Harry Potter book set:
Now here is my book:
So, bad example to use mine anyway since it never got very far up the rankings. Here is Lee Lynch’s “The Swashbuckler”. A classic that has been around a long time so it should have a decent rank, right?
Funny thing is, other books that somehow got rankings outside the Lesbian/Gay bits still have rankings showing. Here’s Brenda Adcock’s “The Sea Hawk”.
I was about to make a big purchase from Amazon. I was going to get two music CDs, several books, and an iTouch. The shopping cart total sits at about $600. Not now. There are other places to shop from. Depending on how they handle this, I may never shop there again. If my queer book isn’t good enough to be in the rankings, then my queer money isn’t good enough to line their pockets.