I’m headed to the Washington, DC area this coming weekend. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come to the workshop on Saturday, May 2 at Clarendon Presbyterian Church in Arlington, VA.
- May 4-5, 2009: HRC’s Clergy Call, Washington, DC. I’ll be lobbying Congress for LGBT rights!
- May 2-3, 2009: Clarendon Presbyterian Church, Arlington, Virginia. Workshop on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. – noon, preaching on Sunday at 10 a.m service.
I sent a note yesterday complaining about Amazon’s de-ranking of my book Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians.
The story has been all over the Web: here, here, and here, just to name a few.
The note sent to me from Amazon made this lame excuse:
This is an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error for a company that prides itself on offering complete selection.
It has been misreported that the issue was limited to Gay & Lesbian themed titles – in fact, it impacted 57,310 books in a number of broad categories such as Health, Mind & Body, Reproductive & Sexual Medicine, and Erotica. This problem impacted books not just in the United States but globally. It affected not just sales rank but also had the effect of removing the books from Amazon’s main product search.
Many books have now been fixed and we’re in the process of fixing the remainder as quickly as possible, and we intend to implement new measures to make this kind of accident less likely to occur in the future.
Thanks for contacting us. We hope to see you again soon.
Not bloody likely, but thanks for putting the sales ranking back on my page, Amazon.
Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians has been de-ranked by Amazon.com. Apparently, Amazon has decided that gay and lesbian books are “offensive” and are “adult” material and they don’t want them turning up in searches and offending anyone who might innocently be searching for books and one of our filthy, outrageous, titles should pop up.
Amazon.com has been called on this – and over at Twitter.com the #amazonfail group is alive and calling for Amazon’s head over this – and Amazon has responded by calling it a “glitch” that is going to be fixed.
That “glitch” comment, by the way, came after an admission from an Amazon PR flak that removing the sales rankings from gay and lesbian books was intentional because they were “adult” titles and would be considered offensive.
But, if you search for sex toys on Amazon’s site – these “adult” devices still have their sales rankings:
Remarked all-around swell poet Mark Doty across the disorganized sprawl of Facebook, “If you go on Amazon and type in butt plug in the search window, you’ll see a number of them for sale, with sales ranking attached! So, it’s okay to rank butt plugs but not books?” Alas yes. One only finds erogenous things as butt plugs (and whips too!) when specifically searching them out.
Whosoever has been an Amazon associate for years now – but if this situation is not rectified, and soon, we will be disassociating from them and moving on to another bookstore.
In the meantime, I suggest you head over the Indiebooks.org and check out their selection. It’s time to get serious about supporting our independent bookstores instead of the homophobic box stores and online stores.
Update: Some books have had their sales ranks restored, but Bulletproof Faith is NOT one of them. We haven’t won this battle yet.