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.