By now you may have heard about the kerfuffle over Amazon's de-ranking of books it tagged as "adult" or inappropriate. If not, here's the shorthand version:
Last week, authors started noticing that books were losing their Amazon "rank", which in and of itself isn't the end of the world. But it had serious implications for these books. See, Amazon "filters" books based on their rankings, so that if you look for one book, they can recommend others that are similar. This also determines placement on bestseller lists, which can be extremely helpful for sales to casual shoppers. (If you've ever browsed the "contemporary romance" list, you know what I mean.)
But all those books that lost their rankings? Off the lists, off the recommends, off the radar. And what's worse, is the majority of those books are either erotic romance or GLBT.
So an autobiography by a porn star? Still ranked. Biography of Ellen DeGeneres? De-ranked. Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds? Ranked. Heather Has Two Mommies? De-ranked.
Anyway, I was skimming Amazon to see how widespread the problem was, and happened to take a peek at one of my titles, Tease Me, Please Me.
I've been de-ranked.
Are you kidding me? On what are they basing this decision? TMPM doesn't even rate as a Red-Hot, as far as Samhain is concerned. But because Amazon thinks my book is too "adult", it's been effectively moved behind the counter, where you can only get your hands on it if you know what to look for.
Sigh. And the week was looking pretty good, up until now.