In a follow-up to my post about Amazon banning books (during banned Books Week), namely 'The Flesh Cartel' by Rachel Haimowitz and Heidi Belleau, I had a reply:

Hello,

Thanks for sending your feedback regarding the ban on the book, "The Flesh Cartel" on our website.

I've forwarded your comments to the appropriate team.

Your comments and suggestions will help us improve our store and offer better service to our customers.

Thanks again for taking time in sending us this information. We look forward to see you again soon.


Well, that was...yeah. I'm not quite sure what that is. A brush-off, I guess. Let's see what 'the appropriate team' have to say.

You can read more about the issue from Heidi here
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janedavitt: (chainsbyme)
( Oct. 3rd, 2012 11:33 am)
Just signal-boosting here.

Rachel Haimowitz and Heidi Belleau have a new m/m work out from Riptide Publishers called The Flesh Cartel. It's being published as a serial.

It's violent and dark, but, as you'd expect from this duo, well-written and compelling.

Amazon have pulled it, calling it pornography.

Because of course, every book they sell could be read aloud to kindergarten children without raising an eyebrow.

I've written to their Customer Support to voice my objections. This is ridiculous. Yes, the book's not going to be for everyone. It's non-con, forced incest, kidnapping, violence. That's not grounds for pulling it. That's a reason for a reader to note the warnings and move on if they so choose.

I have a feeling it's the fact that it's gay fiction that's at the heart of this censorship rather than the content.

ETA

Just looked at their guidelines.

Pornography
We don't accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts.

Offensive Content
What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect.


Jaw is on the floor at that second one. Uh, how is that a guideline? More of a flip comment, content-free.
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Channel 4, a British station, did a three minute section on it and the video can be seen here:

here

And I'm happy to say that Wild Raspberries is now searchable from the main page -- and in the top 100 of gay romance books, so some of the people who stopped by must have bought it.

Thank you!

ETA Amazon have issued a better statement than the glitch one that castigates itself for the situation and promises to fix it.

ETA 2 I got the new stock email sent to me:

Hello,

Thank you for contacting Amazon.com.

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.


Sincerely,

Customer Service Department
Amazon.com
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Wild Raspberries is still not available from the main page as a paperback, but the paperback ranking has been restored.

See here.


It looks as if they're starting to put things back the way they were.
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