If you’re an erotica writer, you might have been wondering where your Amazon sales ranking has disappeared to these last few days. Me too. To be honest, I wasn’t unduly concerned at first; I thought it was an Amazon glitch that would be rectified soon enough.
It seems not. Amazon have stripped erotica, erotic romance and LGBT fiction of their sales rankings. (Update: that’s not just LGBT smut; that’s non-explicit LGBT fiction.) Check out this LJ post from Mark Probst. As Mark reports, Amazon say:
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.
This is utterly scandalous, not to mention farcical. In excluding Amazon’s designated ‘adult material’ from, say, mainstream fiction charts, the non-ranking scheme also excludes adult fiction from, um, the adult fiction charts! Amazon UK currently has 2 (count em!) books in the whole of its Adult Fiction Charts, both out of print (see top image – apols for quality). Amazon UK’s Erotica Charts now features primarily graphic novels and a motley assortment of smut that has clearly just slipped through Amazon’s net.
Asking for Trouble has topped Amazon’s UK erotica charts, an achievement I sometimes use in my marketing. And now I find my erotic novels are disqualified from the erotica charts because they are erotic? Wtf?
It’s shocking that Amazon are treating erotic fiction differently to all other fiction; that they are happy to profit from our sales but would rather brush us under the carpet.
I’m still poking around with this one. If anyone has any more insights, info or rage, please share. I intend to write to Amazon. I’m going to let my publisher, Virgin (Random House) know because I’m damn sure their marketing dept won’t be happy. And I’m not sure what else to do. But you can bet your bottom dollar, I won’t be buying anything else from Amazon until they start treating erotic and LGBT fiction with some respect. In particular, this de-ranking of LGBT fiction is beyond the pale.
UPDATE: Erastes has addresses and a petition going. Please sign and spread the word.
UPDATE 2: Some books that have been de-ranked – lots of LGBT fiction for the chop, not even ‘adult’. Sarah Waters, Jeanette Winterson, ffs! Books on lesbian pregnancy!
UPDATE 3: Amazon Rank (Google bomb!)