Last week, the rankings on about 1/3 of my titles at Amazon.com suddenly disappeared. Since Amazon occasionally has system glitches, I figured it was simply one of those and resolved to check back the following day. Only the ranking was missing that day too.
Today I get online to hear that Amazon.com has instituted a “new policy” to cease ranking books deemed “adult” You see, the absence of ranking will apparently protect people from, um, something. Um, somehow.
This is directly from amazon:
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.
Now essentially, this policy has no direction because, for instance, Laid Bare and Undercover are ranked still, but Relentless has lost its ranking. My Samhain books all still have rankings and one of the Vegas anthologies is ranked while the other isn’t.
A ranking is an indicator of how the book sells. Amazon certainly has no problem SELLING these books that are so dangerous, um, somehow, they just dont’ want anyone to know they’re selling? Or Um, what? What precisely does this do? Other than arbitrarily hide books away from the main page – for instance a search from the front page of Amazon will get you my ranked books, but NOT the ones which aren’t ranked. So my upcoming book, RELENTLESS is NOT a search result from the main page, but UNDERCOVER is. Who is protected by that?
If, for some reason, my books actually SELL enough to be on a best seller list, they still are best sellers, Amazon will still take money for the books, they just don’t acknowledge YOUR CHOICES and my success. As if hiding them away means people aren’t reading erotic romance? Because it’s what? Bad? Sick? Wrong?
Certainly, Amazon is a private company. What they’re doing isn’t illegal. It’s not even censorship based on the first amendment as they’re not the goverment. What it is, is stupid. It’s senseless because it serves no actual purpose. Society is not bettered by this move. They’re not so horrified by adult material that they’re not selling it. No, they’ll take your money, they’ll take my money too. No, they’re just hiding the transaction of ADULT CONSUMERS because you’re all so dirtybadwrong you need to hide your preferences.
That this unfolded over a holiday weekend after a few days of “hmm, what’s going on” by many authors, is interesting to me. Did Amazon not understand the fall out from this issue would bring about a huge firestorm? Do they not know the publishers aren’t all going to be flipping right out tomorrow when they return to work tomorrow and Tuesday?
Other ways to get in touch with them: http://clicheideas.com/amazon.htm
Or write to their CEO:
Jeffrey Bezos: 1200 12th Avenue South, Seattle, Washington 98144-2734, United States Phone: 206-266-1000 Fax: 206-622-2405 or 800-201-7575 – and demand to speak to someonwe who will take your complaint.
Other commentary on this issue: Booksquare
Meta_writer has a list of books that have lost rankings
Smart Bitches google-bomb style
In the meantime, I’d planned to give an Amazon gift certificate in my grand prize for my TOTALLY RELENTLESS CONTEST – but as Amazon has stripped the book of its ranking (a very good ranking, btw), I’m going to give the $50 gift certificate from Barnes and Noble instead. In fact, I’ll be directing all my purchases to Barnes and Noble until this new policy is eradicated.