purplerabbit: (Default)
[personal profile] purplerabbit
For those who have (or haven't) been following the Amazon Fail about their blatant censorship not only of "erotic" titles but all LGBT ones, I am chiming in to add that all three of my in print LGBT non-fiction titles are among those stripped of their rankings.

Fail.

More information: Who moved my rank? Sales rank purged from Amazon

For those who don't understand why this matters. This will drastically hurt sales of the books that are marked this way. It means they will not come up in some of the searches, etc. Many sales on Amazon are from people buying books "like" the other ones they ordered. For more information see: Why do Amazon Ranks matter.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-14 03:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damiana-swan.livejournal.com
Don't worry, it's being fixed. And from what I'm told by a friend at Amazon who actually saw the issue report, it really WAS a stupid mistake ... by someone who wasn't even in the US, and who was trying to do something locally and mistakenly doing it globally instead. (Some nations DO censor certain things, and Amazon is required to comply with those laws ... no matter how stupid we think they are here in the US.)

Amazon is working to put safeguards in place to make sure it doesn't happen again--that is, to make sure we are not subject to the censorship other nations impose on their citizens, which is the root of the problem.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-14 04:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purplerabbit.livejournal.com
Yes and no. While the listing of those books as "adult" may have been an accident, the fact that they were censoring erotic books, and plan to continue to do so, is a big issue that will affect the sales of my upcoming fiction book.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-14 04:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damiana-swan.livejournal.com
Sorry, I should have explained further.

What happened was based on several things.

--Amazon operates in lots of countries worldwide, several of whom DO have official censorship ... and Amazon is required to follow those laws.
--Which means that materials must be tagged when they fall into those nations' definitions of banned categories, even when we in the US think that's stupid, or that a given book shouldn't fall into that category.
--Amazon's worldwide infrastructure is linked.
--Sometimes programmers make mistakes.

The result of this is that your books (and books like "Heather has Two Mommies") are and *must be* listed as adult and given a tag so they can be de-listed in countries that have laws censoring them ... and when someone in another country was de-listing a group to comply with the local laws, they goofed and de-listed it globally rather than locally. (I should note that I'm making a few inferences; my friend gave me generalities rather than specifics to comply with his confidentiality agreement, but the implications were obvious.)

And, let's face it--Amazon paid a huge price for this mistake, even if it was actually a glitch in corporate policy. One friend of mine calculated today that Jeff Bezos alone lost over $80 million dollars from the stock price drop, which is sure to . I don't think this is going to be an issue any more.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-14 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damiana-swan.livejournal.com
* which is sure to get their attention.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-14 05:07 am (UTC)
elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Default)
From: [personal profile] elf
Amazon is required to follow those laws.

Says who? Amazon may be forced out of business in those countries, but they're not guilty of crimes for not following laws there. Especially since Amazon has domains in different countries--no reason that .uk and .de rankings should be affected by .com sorting issues. Or vice versa.

They're saying very clearly, "we care about the concerns of bigots over LGBT speech in the US."

Amazon paid a huge price for this mistake, even if it was actually a glitch in corporate policy.

Good. And I hope they pay more.

I'm sick of companies catering to bigots, getting caught, and saying "oops, we didn't think you'd notice will fix that right away!" and trying to pretend they didn't do anything sleazy.

Companies whose business is online need to be aware of PR issues, and that they have, at most 48 hours to release a press report that clearly addresses customer concerns--80's style brush-offs that say "we are sorry for the inconvenience, and are working to correct the problem" will not work.

(Repost to fix html tag.)

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