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Every episode of American Idol ever aired.
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Bea Arthur.
Just incompetance?

Doesn't explain the emails authors received explaining why their books were de-rated.
pepperlandgirl: (1776 LJ Strikethrough)
( Apr. 13th, 2009 01:36 pm)
It appears that Amazon knew what they were doing--they want to be like Wal-Mart. Hiding and derating thousands of books in an effort to be more family friendly? Yeah, I can buy that.

Here's an interesting fact. Amazon got into the POD business by purchasing Booksurge in 2005. In 2008, they had an official policy change: Let Booksurge Publish Your Books...Or Else.

You'd think Amazon's purchase of BookSurge might have made things a bit uncomfortable between the two companies. However, they continued to work together, getting books on demand to Amazon.com's loyal customers. Things appeared to be cruising along just fine, but perhaps not anymore.

Reports have been trickling in from the POD underground that Amazon/BookSurge representatives have been approaching some Lightning Source customers, first by email introduction and then by phone (nobody at BookSurge seems to want to put anything in writing). When Lightning Source customers speak with the BookSurge representative, the reports say, they are basically told they can either have BookSurge start printing their books or the "buy" button on their Amazon.com book pages will be "turned off."

This is Amazon's Official POD policy

Now, I have some personal experience with this. Books that are printed through another distributor are not listed under Amazon regularly. They're listed under "marketplace" which does have an affect on how many of said book you can sell! In other words, if a POD book is listed on Amazon, it's being printed through Booksurge, or produced by Amazon.

None of my books with Amber Quill have been de-rated. In fact, an hour ago Master of Obsidian was the #1 gay best seller--because all of its competition is gone! POD books are not being de-ranked. Create Space books are not being de-ranked. Kindle books are not being de-ranked. Regardless of content or tags. What do all of these books have in common?

They're all produced by Amazon.
pepperlandgirl: (Band of Brothers Subtext Buttsex)
( Apr. 12th, 2009 04:53 pm)
Amazon.com has just implemented a new policy.

"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

Member Services
Amazon.com Advantage

If a book deals with GLBT issues in any way (non-fiction, fiction, erotic, romance, biographies, autobiographies), the books are being stripped of their sales rank. Why does this matter? Well, when you search for a subject or a title, the results are listed based on the sales rank, with the most popular at the top. So, using one of my books as an example, if you search for gay historical romance, A Hidden Beauty won't show up at all because it has no sales rank. In fact, if you search for A Hidden Beauty, the paperback format will not show up on the first page (though the Kindle version still does for now). Not only does it affect search results, but it also affects "Other books you might like" results, as well as the "People who bought this also bought" feature. Basically, it's like if your local bookstore removed all GLBT material from the bookshelves and put it behind the customer service desk. Technically still available, but you have to ask for it specifically. Authors and publishers are hurt by this decision because visibility is absolutely crucial, and Amazon has decided, in its infinite wisdom, to remove that visibility. Because the entire customer base shouldn't be exposed to GLBT material, apparently.

Right now, they are being rather indiscriminate over what gets stripped. Stephen Fry's autobiography Moab Is My Washpot has been stripped. Why? Because it's also listed as "Gay and Lesbian." Here's a compilation of titles affected so far. That list is being updated regularly.


pepperlandgirl: (Default)


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