Sunday, April 12, 2009

Amazon "Protects" America through Censorship?!

I was going to blog about what the Easter Bunny brought me this morning and how it's sort of fun to eat middling quality milk chocolate for breakfast one day a year, but I have a more disturbing visitation to write about today--news that the weird stuff going on with my book on Amazon.com is actually party of a company-wide campaign to "erase" adult-themed books, including anything having to do with gay and lesbian issues. All sales rankings have disappeared from these books and they no longer show up on general searches. I queried Amazon and received messages that seem to suggest their customer service staff is clueless, or at least was as of late last week. But now it's official.

In other words, Amazon is censoring us, without even giving their customers the chance to request this filter. Apparently Lady Chatterley's Lover and a Playboy retrospective of centerfolds are still okay for general viewing. Amorous Woman and books on gay and lesbian parenting are not.

This feels like such a violation, I'm reeling. I know Amazon is a "red" company on the balance in terms of their political contributions. I didn't like that, but it really was THE place to promote your book in terms of reviews, Amazon Connect and other tools, so I overlooked that. But now I absolutely must boycott them--and I will. I ask you all to do the same--check out this information from Erastes, sign the petition and write Jeff Bezos expressing your objections.

People who read and write GLBT themed books and erotica are smart, literate, book-buyers. We write what we do to protest our society's narrowed minded and unhealthy attitudes sexuality. There was a bookstore up in Point Reyes that refused to carry my book, even after I appeared on a local radio show, because they categorically did not carry "erotica." And yet I saw books on their shelves that I knew had plenty of sensational sex scenes that were far less thought-provoking than mine. Amazon is doing exactly this with their new policy--making "value" decisions based on the most ham-handed criteria. Until last week, I truly considered them the friend of the small author. Now I think they are hypocritical and dangerous and clearly tied in with the "moral majority."

I hope, at least, that Amazon's shame is a chance for Barnes and Noble and our local independent bookstores to celebrate.

6 comments:

Emerald said...

I committed to a boycott of them as soon as I saw and verified Jeremy's blog post about this. I sent them an email alerting them to my intentions as such and why. The confirmation said I would typically receive a response within 12 hours; we'll see.

One of the first things I did after I read about this was search for Amorous Woman under "Books," not just the general Amazon search. When it didn't come up, I seethed at the screen and started searching immediately for a way to email them.

Sigh...

neve black said...

I was screaming mad when I read this earlier, Donna. Thanks for the petition on fb and of course I signed it.

Red/Blue WTF? It urks to no end when someone/business decides to push their opinion onto everyone. If you don't like somemthing, just don't watch, tune it, or purchase it, but for God sake's don't cast a vote for everyone!

Nuff said.

MB (Leah) said...

As soon as I saw this on Dear Author this AM I thought to write you and tell you that what was happening with your book was this issue.

Idiots!!! I wrote a complaint email to them and outside of that I'm participating in the Google Bomb from both my blogs.

Jeremy Edwards said...

Now I think they are hypocritical and dangerous and clearly tied in with the "moral majority."

And just look at the timing! I interpret Amazon's decision (as far as the LGBT stuff) as a clear statement that the company is joining the war against equality that the haters are waging in response to marriage-equality progress.

MB (Leah) said...

Donna-- the link to the Google bomb

http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/comments/amazon-rank/#When:19:22:33Z

Smart Bitches set up a Google bomb and every time it's linked it goes higher in the search under Amazon Rank. So people who will search Amazon Rank in Google with get to the page that SB made up, which snipes at Amazon's current debacle.

EllaRegina said...

I want to hurl.