Writers of gay romance noticed, over the past few days, that books in the "Gay Romance" category have disappeared from the best-seller list in that category. Publisher and author Mark Probst, whose book, "The Filly" is a gay young-adult book without explicit content, queried Amazon. This is what they said to him:
<blockquote>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.
The Livejournal community http://community.livejournal.com/meta_writer/11369.html
is tracking this and accumulating data, some of which follows.
At present, amazon.de ist unaffected, and people from Germany who acess .co.uk and .com seem to be unaffected, too.
Collection: Books that had their <a href="http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/amazonrank/">sales ranks</a> removed:
James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room
Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain
Jeanette Winterson's OrangesAre Not The Only Fruit
Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness.
None of which can be called "erotica" by any stretch of the imagination.
(the only "sex scene" in The Well of Loneliness consists in its entirety of the words "And that night they were not divided.")
Alex Beecroft: False Colours, m/m historical romance, just broken through and ranking in top 10 historical novels-- i.e. non-romance, non-gay-- and then it suddenly disappeared entirely from the rankings. The novel is NOT erotica, contains only one non-explicit sex scene, but the central premise features two male characters falling in love.
Erastes Transgressions - similar case to False Colours, screen cap here: http://erastes.livejournal.com/371921.html
Erastes Speak Its Name
Erastes Frost Fair
(on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk)
Storm Grant - GYM DANDY
Level of explicitness/genre: a RomCom with a heat level of 2 out of 5.
GLTB content?: boy meets boy
Censored on which amazon website: .com, .uk, and .ca*
Proof of sales rank: http://pics.livejournal.com/storm_grant/pic/0002ydd8/
Also without sales ranks:
Apparently even autobiographies about being transgender constitute "adult material".
No sales rank, either:
Charlie Cochrane: Lessons in Love
(no sex in the book)
Christopher Isherwood's A Single Man
Gay protagonist. I don't recall any explicit sex.
Edmund White's The Beautiful Room Is Empty
Haven't read, however, it's certainly critically acclaimed (as is A Single Man)
Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story
Both of the Edmund White novels do contain explicit sex scenes, but they're far from not "erotica", and they're acclaimed as literary classics.
The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students
No protagonist, but intended for LGBT college-bound students. Haven't read, but I expect is non-explicit.
Andrew Holleran's Dancer From The Dance
Gay protagonist. Non-explicit, though much is implied. Harold Robbins is steamier and retains his sales rank.
JL Langley's Tin Star (Amazon.ca)
Robert Adrich Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History (amazon.ca)
Louis-Georges Tin (Editor), Marek Redburn (Translator): The Dictionary of Homophobia: A Global History of Gay & Lesbian Experience (Paperback)
James Buchanan: The Good Thief, Twice the Cowboy, Twice the Ride, Cheating Chance
(Only his print editions have had their sales rank stripped) Amazon.com
Screencap for Good Thief here: http://www.james-buchanan.com/GT.pdf
More proof: http://www.james-buchanan.com/amazonfail.pdf
Mark Probst The Filly
http://www.amazon.ca/Filly-Mark-R-Probst/dp/0979777305/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8 &s=books&qid=1239547211&sr=8-1 (amazon.ca)
Sarah Waters Tipping The Velvet now has no sales rank in one of its editions ...
It still does in another edition:
The only difference seems to be that this one doesn't have the word "lesbian" anywhere in its "Look for similar items by subject".
E M Forster - Maurice
(Amazon.com - "Heat level" - neglegible)
Alex Sanchez Rainbow Boys (YA)
Rainbow Road (YA)
Rainbow High (YA)
(None of Alex Sanchez's other books have lost their rankings though they all contain m/m content)