Sunday, April 12, 2009

LGBT subjects are "adult," according to Amazon

by Gracie Remington

The blogosphere is abuzz over Amazon’s recent decision to remove sales rank data from their sale pages for many gay and lesbian books. Recategorizing them as “adult” texts, the online company was exposed by Mark R. Probst, a Washington author whose book lost its sales ranking. In addition to the removal of sales information, the recategorization effort also impacts these texts’ ability to be added to lists and searches. When Probst e-mailed Amazon, he received the following response:

"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 Advantage"

The books impacted by this decision are wide-ranging, from young adult books to romance novels, but the multitude of gay and lesbian books whose sales rankings have been removed is fairly mind-boggling. Jezebel, along with many other blogs, is keeping track of the books affected; hopefully Amazon will rectify this issue soon.


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