This is a compilation of information I’ve cribbed from these sites Dear Author – Stephanie Tyler – Larissa Ione - Maya Banks - Smart Bitches – Book Square – Lauren Dane – Melissa Schroeder who can all state the ugly truth of this matter much better than I can:
What’s going on?
For those who don’t know, Amazon has decided to derank and then remove from front page searches books labeled “erotic” and GLBT. For example, books that are about Lesbian parenting have been identified as “adult content” and deranked. Patti O’Shea’s book that is listed “erotic horror” despite having only one sex scene has been deranked and removed from front page search results. Amazon has deranked Annie Proulx, E.M. Forster, but not American Psycho. Mein Kampf and books about dog fighting are ranked and can be searched from the front page, but not books about gay love or books with erotic content.
Why is this is a big deal?
It’s not because customers put any stock into the Amazon Ranking number. It’s that the Amazon Rank affects a books’ visibility on the bestseller list, on the “If you Like ___, you might like __ feature” and so forth. It is akin to the bookstore removing the books from the shelves and requiring you to go to the Customer Service desk and ask for the book or author specifically. Visibility is a huge factor in sales and anyone who doesn’t believe that is kidding themselves.
WHAT TO DO?
Amazon executive customer service email is: firstname.lastname@example.org and the customer service phone number is 1-800-201-7575. The louder the noise you can make collectively, the more likely action will be taken.
There is also a petition you can sign – which I have happily done: The amazon.com protest petition
Please make yourself heard! And until amazon.com changes this policy, I will not be buying any books or anything else from them – hit ‘em where it hurts!