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Apr. 13th, 2009

What the full scope of amazonfail became apparent yesterday, I did what probably everyone else did too, go through my bookshelves (or at least as far as I could because my books are piled up everywhere while I'm painting the shelves & preparing for the move) and whatever caused amazonfail, the tags aren't the problem.

E.M.Forster's Maurice has 'gay romance', 'gay interest', 'gay historical novel', 'lgbt'

Mercedes Lackey's Magic's Price (not deranked) has 'gay fantasy', 'gay romance', 'gay', 'gay adventure', 'gay fiction', 'alternative sexualities', 'shounen ai' and 'yaoi', and has been tagged much more often, too.

Or again, Lynn Flewelling's Traitor Moon: 'gay fantasy', 'gay sf', 'gay', 'bisexual', 'slash', 'alternative sexualities', 'gay fiction', 'gay romance', 'queer', 'shounen-ai', 'yaoi', 'yaoi novel' - not deranked.

Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint or The Fall of Kings, Sarah Monette's Melusine (and subsequent volumes), Fiona Patton's The Stone Prince, Diane Duane's Tale of the Five series... they all have these kinds of tags, and all retain their sales ranks.

(What has, however, been deranked, is Jim Grisley's Kirith Kirin (Google cache still shows a sales rank), which I remember being slow-paced and a bit too sappy for my taste, but not more explicit than any of the above books, and has similar tags ('gay fantasy', 'gay', 'gay romance' 'queer speculative fiction').

Mary Reanault's deranked The Charioteer: 'gay romance', 'gay', 'gay literature', 'gay fiction', 'queer historical fiction', 'gay historical fiction realist'. The Last of the Wine: ('gay', 'gay historical', 'bisexual', 'gay romance') or The Persian Boy ('gay romance', 'queer historical fiction', 'gay') still have their sales rank.

Then there's Perihan Magden's Two Girls, which I only checked because I happen to own it, and at first thought maybe had no ratings because it was such an obscure book (but her equally, or even more obscure, but not gay themed The Messenger Boy Murders has a rating, and Google cache showed that Two Girls used to have one, too: 1,317,401, so not exactly a bestseller or something someone likely to be offended would easily stumble across). It has no tag - except, now, 'amazonfail'. Nothing in the keywords, either - in fact I don't think the word 'lesbian' was even mentioned in the book itself. No reviews.

Some of the books by or about Derek Jarman have been deranked (while others haven't), even if the were untagged or barely tagged, and, on the amazon.com page (I suppose that might be slightly different on the uk page), their sales ranks were somewhere in the seven figures.

Offensiveness aside, I'm genuinely curious for someone to figure out the logic behind this.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 13th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
Ok, I have to ask: what is amazonfail? Gee, there used to be a time when I would immediately know about these things; now I'm just a housewife, arguing with her boyfriend about who's turn it is to cook, and if its a good idea to buy fresh cucumbers. I am annafail.
Apr. 13th, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
You're not, never & no kind of fail! *g*

Basically amazon decided to remove sales ranks from gay themed books. Not all of them, and there is no clearly visible pattern which books they picked, or why, but it's happening. The first explanation they gave to authors was that they were removing adult material, but that's blatantly untrue, because while some of the books might be called adult, a lot simply aren't. Now it's supposedly a glitch. What they'll be coming up with when everyone's back from the holidays is anyone's guess.

Assorted links

List of books
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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