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Amazon Sales Rank: Purged Books

Want to play? Try to search "A Secret Edge by Robin Reardon" on Amazon.com with the search filter set to "All Departments"... the result will be 0 titles! BUT if the filter is "Books" you find the book, one of the most selling Young Adult Gay Novel of 2007 and 2008. The reason is that A Secret Edge by Robin Reardon no more has the Sales Rank on Amazon.

This is my Top 100 Gay Novels List. In bold the books that now haven't anymore the sales rank on Amazon:

1 The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
2 The Master by Colm Toibin
3 Melusine by Sarah Monette
4 Shadows Return by Lynn Flewelling
5 Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman
6 Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
7 Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron
8 At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill
9 How I Paid for College by Marc Acito
10 The Indian Clerk by David Leavitt
11 Liquor by Poppy Z. Brite
12 The Book of Salt by Monique Truong
13 A Density of Souls by Christopher Rice
14 All Through the Night by Suzanne Brockmann
15 Geography Club by Brent Hartinger
16 Freak Show by James St. James
17 Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez
18 Alternatives to Sex by Stephen McCauley
19 Every Visible Thing by Lisa Carey
20 Totally Joe by James Howe
21 Fellow Travelers by Thomas Mallon
22 Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale
23 We Disappear by Scott Heim
24 Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger
25 The Back Passage by James Lear
26 The Married Man by Edmund White
27 Now Is the Hour by Tom Spanbauer
28 Vintage by Steve Berman
29 The Tin Star by J. L. Langley
30 Dark Reflections by Samuel R. Delany
31 Leave Myself Behind by Bart Yates
32 Brethren: Raised By Wolves by W. A. Hoffman
33 The World of Normal Boys by K. M. Soehnlein
34 A Bit of Rough by Laura Baumbach
35 The First Verse by Barry McCrea
36 Saints of Augustine by P.E. Ryan
37 Captain's Surrender by Alex Beecroft
38 A Strong and Sudden Thaw by R. W. Day
39 The Year of Ice by Brian Malloy
40 The Sluts by Dennis Cooper
41 Tale of Two Summers by Brian Sloan
42 Tales from the Town of Widows by James Canon
43 Comfort and Joy by Jim Grimsley
44 Fatal Shadows by Josh Lanyon
45 The God Eaters by Jesse Hajicek
46 The Coming Storm by Paul Russell
47 The Martian Child by David Gerrold
48 The Notorious Dr. August by Christopher Bram
49 Looking For It by Michael Thomas Ford
50 A Secret Edge by Robin Reardon
51 A Son Called Gabriel by Damian McNicholl
52 The Assignment by Evangeline Anderson
53 Standish by Erastes
54 The Abomination by Paul Golding
55 The Straight Road to Kylie by Nico Medina
56 Ransom by Lee Rowan
57 Oleander House by Ally Blue
58 Vampire Vow by Michael Schiefelbein
59 Clay's Way by Blair Mastbaum
60 Breakfast with Scot by Michael Downing
61 Edinburgh by Alexander Chee
62 Bareback by Chris Owen
63 Falling by M. L. Rhodes
64 Avoidance by Michael Lowenthal
65 The Phoenix by Ruth Sims
66 Half-Life by Aaron Krach
67 The Practical Heart by Allan Gurganus
68 Lawnboy by Paul Lisicky
69 Man About Town by Mark Merlis
70 A Young Man's Passage by Julian Clary
71 The Price of Temptation by M. J. Pearson
72 Where The Boys Are by William J. Mann
73 The Trouble Boy by Tom Dolby
74 Mother of Sorrows by Richard Mccann
75 Faith for Beginners by Aaron Hamburger
76 My Best Man by Andy Schell
77 Latter Days by C. Jay Cox
78 He's The One by Timothy James Beck
79 Every Man For Himself by Orland Outland
80 Metes and Bounds by Jay Quinn
81 Bourbon Street Blues by Greg Herren
82 Desert Sons by Mark Kendrick
83 Someone Killed His Boyfriend by David Stukas
84 Common Sons by Ronald L. Donaghe
85 Soul Mates: Bound by Blood by Jourdan Lane
86 Strings Attached by Nick Nolan
87 Can't Buy Me Love by Chris Kenry
88 Tricks of the Trade by Ben Tyler
89 On Fire by Drew Zachary
90 Any Kind Of Luck by William Jack Sibley
91 Letters to Montgomery Clift by Noel Alumit
92 The Haunted Hillbilly by Derek McCormack
93 Suspension by Robert Westfield
94 What We Do Is Secret by Kief Hillsbery
95 Hot Sauce by Scott Pomfret
96 PsyCop: Partners by Jordan Castillo Price
97 Wicked Angels by Eric Jourdan
98 The Master of Seacliff by Max Pierce
99 Daytime Drama by Dave Benbow
100 Three Day Passes by Sean Michael

Should I comment on Andre Aciman, or Steve Kluger? Bart Yates or Robin Reardon? If you search Jamie O'Neill or Edmund White, the first result on the search hasn't the sales rank, but if you click in some other minor edition, some of them have the rank, it seems that if the book was previously released in Hardcover or has a Kindle Edition, you can still find it, but I believe that not having the rank in the most relevant result is not a good thing... All the LGBT books released for the first time as paperback (and only paperback) haven't the sales rank.

Please sign the petition:


Amazon's response to Mark Probst's, author of Gay YA The Filly, complain:

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. Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us

ETA: The reply Amazon sent to my enquiry:



( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 12th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)

Hi, Elisa!

I wanted to tell other people to sign the petition (saying that I found out here, of course ;-)) and it would be nice to have a background article on the topic. Where did you get this information?

And another small question: are your 100 books in order of preference?

Thank you in advance!

Antonella (not planning to post here twice a day from now, don't worry!)
Apr. 12th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
The Top 100 List is a list I'm maintaining since a year more or less; they are all titles of gay interest, both Young Adult than Manstream than Romance, and is ordered by owned copied in LibraryThing with a correction factor for longevity and new titles.

To know what titles have no more the sales rank I "simply" searched all 100 titles and scroll down to where the Amazon sales rank previously was, and now... puff! disappeared!

(Deleted comment)
Apr. 12th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
More I was searching the title, and more I was upsetting myself. It's a shame. Elisa
Apr. 12th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
I signed the petition but I think it's important this issue get a wide audience and thank you for posting this!

The censorship and discrimination is simply appalling and shameful. :/ Sad day for Amazon indeed.
Apr. 12th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
I'm really considering to not post reviews on Amazon, but in a way I think that this is will be of more damage to authors than to Amazon. Elisa
(no subject) - kassa_rvws - Apr. 12th, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elisa_rolle - Apr. 12th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 12th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
I commented at Amazon last night when I saw Erastes' response to the letter, but I signed the petition after I saw this: http://kenazfiction.livejournal.com/95840.html?mode=reply

This turn towards increasing censorship worries me.

Apr. 12th, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
I will no longer give Amazon buy link in my post until this thing doesn't change. Elisa
Apr. 12th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks Elisa. Your list is a really concrete example of what's happening! Now this is all over my friends list and I wrote an email to amazon:

I've become aware that Amazon is stripping GLBT-oriented books of their sales rankings. Amazon, even more than being a bookseller, is a clearinghouse of information for people who love books—the world's greatest library. In that context, ghettoizing material so that its true popularity is obscured is really "disappearing" it. A uniform policy that affected all "adult" material would be more fair (not that scholarly works on homosexuality or coming-of-age novels should fit in that category anyway!). But personally I want free access to everything Amazon sells and profits from. It would be better to create opt-in safe accounts for those who want them than to employ this type of culture war end-around. I hope the company can rise to the challenge of repairing this muddled policy.
Apr. 12th, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC)
Also I wrote to Amazon, as one of their Top Reviewers, and am really curious to know what they will answer. Elisa
Apr. 12th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting about it. I found out about this travesty from another LJ friend, and I posted about it in my own Lj. I'm sending Amazon.Com a snail-mail letter on Monday too.
Apr. 12th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
I'm waiting for my answer from Amazon too. Elisa
Apr. 12th, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC)
I've Signed the Petition
Thank for adding the link to the petiiton, Elisa..

The people at Amazon are acting like they are on drugs.... This is just not on..


Apr. 12th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
Re: I've Signed the Petition
I hope that they will soon realize what they did. Elisa
Re: I've Signed the Petition - ext_173251 - Apr. 12th, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 12th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you for spreading, I'll link to this post!
Apr. 12th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
I also personally wrote to all the authors in the list, and some of them, even if not affected, replied... I believe that at the same time tomorrow, Amazon will realize what it did. Elisa
Apr. 12th, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
It's just appalling, the arrogant way they operate. We sell goods to them at work, too, and it's just the same.

Hopefully if they get enough signatures they'll bow to all those potential lost sales. It just doesn't make commercial sense, otherwise.
Apr. 12th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
Also I hope that they will bow to the Money God, since I really don't believe they have the intelligence to realize their mistake. Elisa
Apr. 13th, 2009 12:56 am (UTC)
How I Paid for College by Marc Acito does have a sales rank. Maybe it's because I'm in the UK. I'm still looking at amazon.com.

Crave: Dyke Erotica by Laura Adele-Marsh definitely comes up in an All Departments search and it has a ranking. I've been led to believe, by the author, that it's pretty explicit. I used to work for Laura many years ago.

I can't find On Fire by Drew Zachary on amazon.co.uk unless I search under books. That's annoying.

I'm off to sign the petition.
Apr. 13th, 2009 08:16 am (UTC)
> How I Paid for College by Marc Acito

some book have the sales rank in an older edition. If I search "How I Paid for College by Marc Acito" the first result, the most relevant, is:


And this result doesn't have the sales rank. It's also the result that probably is considered for the Bestseller List and so on. So in this case, it damages the author.

Thank you for signing.

Apr. 13th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
Not up to anyone to censor
Let the majority not the loud minority determine what sells

I hate censorship and I can't stand small groups of people who determine what I can and can't read

AND I don't even read this stuff

Apr. 13th, 2009 08:27 am (UTC)
Re: Not up to anyone to censor
Well, someone once said (I don't remember who): I will die to let you say what you want to say, even if I don't believe in what you are saying.

Apr. 13th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)
Look at what comes up when you search for homosexuality on amazon:

Apr. 13th, 2009 06:46 am (UTC)
I don't believe this! Who the . . . is in charge of amazon.com?
(no subject) - elisa_rolle - Apr. 13th, 2009 08:29 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 13th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC)
I did a quick check using our friend Marquesate's novel 'Her Majesty's Men'. Both amazon.com and .co.uk do not throw it up under the 'all categories' search and produce it if you look under 'books'. Interestingly amazon.fr or .de both produce the book at the top of the list when you search their 'all categories'. It seems it's a case of American prudery infecting the soggy isles as well while the continent so far remains untouched of such idiocy. The only 'good' thing I can say about this so called policy is that it seems non discriminatory is so far as het romance gets the same treatment. Off grumbling to sign the petition which is already in the seven thousands.
Apr. 13th, 2009 08:37 am (UTC)
> The only 'good' thing I can say about this so called policy is that it seems non discriminatory is so far as het romance gets the same treatment

Unfortunately not all the het romance, but only the "erotic" romance, problem is, it's quite doubtful their parameter for "erotic".

Thank you for signing.

Apr. 13th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks for emailing to give me a heads up on this, Elisa. Seems like it was a glitch, but what caused it is what we need to know.

Apr. 13th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Amazon
Thank you for stopping by Damian; in my following post I analyzed the glitch ipothesis, and what seems to originate it. And the original motivation, Gay & Lesbian Books = Adult Material by default, it's quite appalling. Elisa
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )


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