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April 13th, 2009

10:40 AM

AmazonFail

Hmm, went to bed and ended up missing all that drama. Amazon claimed it was a technical glitch but alas, that doesn't stop folks from branding the whole mess, most originally, AmazonFail. (Aside: is "fail" the new "gate"?)

I don't have anything more to add but I have to wonder: why would a business do such a thing, restrict its customers from buying stuff? Amazon is a business, not a lifestyle advocate or a religious establishment, and given that it has no qualms selling adult films and sex toys, why now remove books considered adult? Given that some of the books de-ranked are by bestselling authors, really, this move doesn't make sense. (And no, I don't buy the technical glitch excuse.)

Did Jeff Bezos discover a fundamentalist, intolerant, and rigid type of religion recently that caused Amazon to initiate such move?

Given how Amazon easily caved to the Authors Guild with regards to the ridiculous read-aloud feature on Kindle, did some fundamentalist body protested to Amazon when their kids started buying MM fiction and Amazon caved?

I'm trying to understand why any business, especially one like Amazon, will pull such a stupid counter-productive move like this? If I were Amazon, you bet I'd be stocking and highlighting books that sell, even if such books feature stuff that may offend some vocal portion of society, because let's face it, if we're in the business of selling things, we give the customers what they want. And if they want naughty books, heck, what's the problem here?

Has Amazon pulled anything like this in the past?

3 comment(s).

Posted by meh:

In my March query on *regular* erotic kindle titles, the Amazon rep responded

"The reason that these books aren’t appearing with sales rank is due to their classification as erotica. It is an Amazon policy that adult ASINS are to be filtered from product group sales ranks. This doesn’t affect the sales velocities that are used in search results that contain adult ASINs though, so your book will still be ranked within the search results.

This also is reflected when running a search through the entire Amazon Store – you should see your books appear if you search within the Kindle Store, which can be selected from the drop down menu next to the search field."

Now, apple's app (which is where ebooks are to be found) kicks out ebooks that are "adult" content (which they vaguely define), while still having movies and songs that are similarly explict and while hosting the kindle app through which anyone could get adult content ebooks. This sucks for self-releases because apple's app store gives independents a much better revenue split.
April 13th, 2009 @ 11:36 AM

Posted by meh:

I will also note that the policy has been in place, based on known sales with no related rankings for erotica kindle titles, since at least September of last year. I just finally got annoyed enough to query in March.
April 13th, 2009 @ 11:53 AM

Posted by sallahdog:

I am wondering if it was an idea that wasn't well researched that began snowballing with unintended consequences.. Like a lazy programing decision that began stripping code and causing other issues.. from the sounds of it it keeps getting worse and in nonsensical ways... Such as Ellen Degeneres biography being stripped and yet Playboy titles still being up... It seems to be mainly GLBT stuff that got affected but not all of it..

I hate anything that makes search engines not work worth a damn.. Its like some of the kid safe software that will not let you do a word search on "breast cancer" but will let you look up 'tea bagging'.. When its looking for offensive words,its completely useless..
April 14th, 2009 @ 8:43 AM