Amazon.com apparently has made a policy decision that will determine what the primary point of view will be of books you will find when you search on certain subjects. They have chosen to de-rank what they are calling “adult” books, regardless of the sales figures for these books. They responded to one author’s complaint with this response: “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.” I just checked on the ranking of this author’s book, The Filly and it has returned to the list of rankings. However, This book does not belong in the category of Literary Criticism. This is another complaint by author’s regarding their works, that they are being placed in irrelevant categories to make them harder to find.
However, obvious adult content with titles like Girls Gone Wild: Girls on Girls have not been deranked. Now Amazon.com claims this is a ‘glitch’ that just happened to target GLBT books and authors. There seems to be a double standard at what is adult content and what is not.
Authors most hit are those that are pro-gay, pro-feminist, pro-disability. Do a search on the subject of Homosexuality and six out of the top ten books are aimed at the prevention of homosexuality. When I did this search the number one book that comes up is A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality. It appears the policy is not whether it has adult content but whether it matches their point of view.
Author Heather Corinna, writes in her blog [which happens to be on Amazon.com about this deranking and policy]: “ My book is intended for young adults, and is GLBT-inclusive, and penned by me, a queer author. It is not salacious, it is not pornography: it is a sexuality, sexual health and relationships reference book. Heather Has Two Mommies is a supportive and classic children’s book about gay families. Hello, Cruel World is a suicide prevention book (which just happens to be written by a transgender author). That’s a short list, but the point is, many of the books that have been deranked are not adult books at all, nor adult or salacious material, but what nearly all of them, so far, do seem to be are tagged or labeled in some way as GLBT, or as books addressing sexuality in a non-heteronormative or gendernormative way.”
Here in the south where bookstores try to cater to the customers in the region, online buying becomes a godsend to sexual minority folks looking for information on a topic that is closeted in the community. Having these topics amazon ranked (see definition here) amounts to being a hate crime.