Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

Watch me talk about my debut as an author, Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays, in this Q&A with my publisher Thought Catalog Books

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The plot thickens

The Amazon (or #amazonfail - click to see what's happening all over Twitter on this issue) issue gets more complex. While Amazon openly admits they are removing "adult" material from searches and bestseller lists, they have no problem selling many versions of the Hitachi Magic Wand.

Rona commented on my last post and clued me in that mine wasn't an isolated incident. Their exact language, according to Ashlyn D. of Associate Member Services:

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.

There is a petition online, which I'm not signing because in light of my heterosexual erotica books like Yes, Ma'am and He's on Top also losing their Amazon sales rankings, I can't agree with this line:

Please tell us, Amazon, why the explicit books with a heterosexual focus are allowed to keep their sales ratings while the non-explicit romances, the histories and the biographies that deal with LGBTQ issues are not.

Although the petition raises some very good points about treatment of GLBTQ topics/issues versus heterosexual ones.

My take: It's not "censorship" ("the institution, system, or practice of censoring b: the actions or practices of censors ; especially : censorial control exercised repressively" according to Mirriam-Webster). I don't use that word lightly. Amazon is not preventing anyone from purchasing my books, and buying a product is not the same as "free speech." They are just making it harder for their own customers to find products they carry; that's what I don't get. It seems like it'd be better for them to just not sell them in the first place than sell them but try to keep them from doing as well as they could.

This is an Amazon business decision, one I happen to see as an extremely poor decision, and one I don't understand from a business perspective. Then again, I'm constantly told Barnes & Noble hates erotica, so maybe it's time for erotica publishers to look into direct sales and alternative distribution?

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At April 12, 2009, Blogger Erobintica said...

Very good points Rachel.

Now I understand why I was having so much trouble searching for the books I was trying to post reviews for. I thought I was just being stupid.

I would think in the current economy businesses wouldn't go making it harder to make sales - but, sometimes they do silly things.

At April 12, 2009, Blogger christin said...

This is why it's not good to have one company dominate book distribution.

-- Christin, The Booksmith

P.S. There are some incredibly ridiculous examples that are being considered "adult" including "Leaving India" by Minal Hajratwala -- no way it could be considered "adult"

At April 12, 2009, Blogger Will Belegon said...

Love this post Rachel!

At April 12, 2009, Blogger figleaf said...

Hi Rachel,

I certainly agree it's not just LGBT authors that are being singled out.

I'm not sure about nowadays but back before the internet... and, for that matter, personal computers at all, Barnes & Noble catalogs were just about the only source of erotic books for people outside of the usual handful of major metropolitan areas. They had these huge catalogs with sometimes dozens and dozens of titles ranging from "anonymous" Victorian porn to racy-for-the-day erotic photography.



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