For those of you living in a cave with no wireless internet, Amazon.com ranks books according to their sales on the site. Amazon being what it is, its sales rankings have become ... well let's just say "somewhat important," kinda like the NYT bestseller list is "somewhat important," to the prestige of the book and the perception of marketability of the author. And as anyone who knows anything about publishing knows: if an author is not perceived to be marketable, the author does not get published. Plus, if the book isn't ranked, it doesn't show up on bestseller lists ... even if it's a bestseller.
Apparently, when someone noticed that (his and other) LGBT books seemed to have lost their ranking on Amazon, he asked them to correct the (he thought) glitch and was told:
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.
Naturally, everybody and their little brother have been looking up books to see what's been excluded. Excluded books include:
Ellen DeGeneres: A Biography
Outing Yourself: How To Come Out As Lesbian Or Gay To Your Family, Friends, And Co-Workers
Gay Life And Culture: A World History
Homosexuality And Civilization
Heather Has Two Mommies (because of those spicy sex scenes, apparently)
Not excluded books include:
Fear Of Flying
The Complete A**hole's Guide To Handling Chicks
Ron Jeremy: The Hardest Working Man In Showbiz
Traci Lords: Underneath It All
I'm With The Band: Confessions Of A Groupie
The general guess is that LGBT books of ANY stamp contain "adult" material, and straight-up erotica and porn does not. Also, interestingly, feminist titles are getting excluded too.
So naturally, I went and looked up some Asian American titles to see what was what and found that the following titles had been stripped of Amazon ranking:
Q & A: Queer in Asian America
Asian American Sexualities: Dimensions of the Gay and Lesbian Experience
Restoried Selves: Autobiographies of Queer Asian-Pacific-American Activists
Take Out: Queer Writing From Asian Pacific America
Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures
Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire
Asian American Women: The Frontiers Reader
Relationships Among Asian American Women
Type O Negative
Rolling the R's
Talking to the Moon
Exile and the Heart
... and the list keeps rolling along. (I'm out of time, but feel free to post further discoveries in the comments.)
Dude, it's not like it isn't hard enough for Asian American queer and feminist texts to get noticed in the first place. Talk about marginalization!
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