Can we say prejudiced?

Amazon has shown its true colors by de-ranking certain types of books. They call them “adult,” but the designation involves a preponderance of gay/lesbian/transexual books amid the erotica. Don’t think that’s so bad?  How about if I tell you that they’re also de-ranking romance novels left and right? How about if I tell you they’ve de-ranked the children’s book Heather has Two Mommies as well as Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain? How about if I tell you that they still happily rank dogfighting books and videos and everything in the Playboy repertoire?  How about if I tell you that Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military was de-ranked and American Psycho was not?

Amazon Rankings don’t really mean anything to customers…but they mean everything to Amazon itself, which uses them to generate things like front page searches, bestseller lists, “If you like x then you’ll like y” recommendations, and everything else that effects the visibility and sales potential of books.  In other words, if your book is de-ranked, it WILL NOT appear on a front page search, even if the reader searches by your name or title. Heaven help you if they search by topic. Here are a couple of more thorough explanations

Dear Author 

Smart Bitches,Trashy Books  (My particular favorite, but as always, be warned if you’re reading at work or have a tendency to swoon at explicit language).

LA Times Book Blog

And for good measure, a here’s a definition of the term  Amazon Rank. (Add this link on your own site and help Google Bomb the term so it comes up #1 on searches. More about this in the Smart Bitches post.)

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