Monday, April 13, 2009

Amazon in the Naughty Chair...

Remember the show Hee Haw? There was a skit that started out with the intro song:

Despair and agony on me...whoa!
Depression excessive misery...whoa!
If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all...whoat!

That is Amazon's new theme song because if pissing off your customer base was an Olympic sport - Amazon would win the gold by a Big Margin.

So what are they doing now? In a nutshell, when you do a search on Amazon the back end uses the sales ranking to determine which titles are returned in the search results. So in order to find an author's books, they need to have a sales ranking on their book pages.

Amazon (aka, the Evil Empire) has decided to start sectioning off 'adult' content for the protection of our delicate sensibilities. When a publisher sets up a book, they select terms that would apply to the book such as, erotic, erotic romance, sex, love, mystery, violence - you get the picture - this is called Metadata. At Amazon, customers can also select tags for each book so if your book is tagged as erotic - well you end up on the naughty list. Consequently, if the book you are looking for is tagged as erotic, then it won't show up on the search results.

So what have they removed? Erotic romances for one. Go search for Dominique Adair and should have at least 10 books...only one comes up. Heaven forbid if you're looking for GLBT titles because you'll be out of luck. JL Langley's My Fair Captain will only come up if you search for the complete title and there are thousands of others who've had their sales ranking stripped including Maya Banks, Jaci Burton.

But you can still search for sex toys...

According to Publisher's Lunch, Amazon has reported that this is an 'error' on their end and it will be fixed shortly. Uh...right.

Want to sound off? Amazon Customer Service: or via phone: 1-800-201-7575 and there is a petition:


Monica Burns said...

I called yesterday as a reader, not as an author, bitching about it. The gal on the other end acted like she didn't know what hit her.

Then you have the wannabe famous geek types saying they did it, but their code looks bogus (having done a little in my time).

Amazon has now become the new Microsoft. In fact, I hate myself for saying this, but I think I hate Amazon more than Microsoft

J.C. Wilder said...

Wow - that says something. :)