In which Amazon quits baby-sitting biz, goes back to retailing

Latest news is that the deranking of all several GLBT/erotic books was a programming glitch. Wow, a programming glitch that writes memos. Methinks said programmer needs to go work for the gov’ment.

From Publisher’s Weekly (crashing on me):

A groundswell of outrage, concern and confusion sprang up over the weekend, largely via Twitter, in response to what authors and others believed was a decision by Amazon to remove adult titles from its sales ranking. On Sunday evening, however, an Amazon spokesperson said that a glitch had occurred in its sales ranking feature that was in the process of being fixed. The spokesperson added that there was no new adult policy.

Glad someone realized over their Easter ham and apple pie that maybe a retailer of books should concentrate on, I don’t know, selling books, and not being the moral arbiter of their customers.

In Which Amazon tries to protect Adults from Adult stuff

Another reason why Amazon is the 500-pound gorilla you should take care with feeding…

A recent development has Amazon “blacklisting” books with erotic content. They quite simply, no longer show up in search results. Think I’m kidding? Go to Amazon.com and do a search for Kensington Aphrodisia. My search yielded two results, both for writer’s market type books. A search of All Departments with the keyword “homosexual” yielded as its first result “Loving Homosexuals as Jesus Would: A Fresh Christian Approach”

For a good idea of what this is about, what it means to authors of adult content, I urge you to read the post over on Dear Author, (and this one) as well as the post made by Mark R Probst. There is even an #amazonfail Twitter list to follow. The LA Times blog has also covered it.

I don’t need television, the government, or a freakin’ retailer to protect me from stuff that might corrupt my mind or send me down a moral slippery slope. As an adult who could drive at 16 and vote and go to war at 18, I should be trusted to manage my own moral compass. I should be able to look at a list of erotic romance, erotica or porn literature of any stripe without my brain imploding or me suddenly.

It’s ironic that we use sex to sell everything, even toothpaste, but we’re so phobic about its practice and forms. Show blood splurting on prime time TV all you want, but two guys kissing? Horrors!

Friday the 13th: My Lucky Day

Well, the writing weekend was supposed to happen next weekend, but the day job hits critical mass next week– which means long days with programming training as we get ready for pilot.  I don’t mind, because this is a really big project for my team and major kudos will be given if when it works.

It does suck hairy donkey balls (TM Karen Scott) because the planned four-day writing submersion had to be scrapped.  This makes me twitchy because I need to get SHADOWBLADE done before I head to NYC for the PASIC conference.  So I just made an executive decision: while the rest of America indulges in crass consumerism love and romance this weekend, I shall be ensconced in a Holiday Inn Express with two laptops, my printed WiP, notebook paper, and a caffeine IV.  Oh, and a large bottle each of Cuervo and Tylenol.

The second half of this book is going to be very interesting indeed.  Will take all candle lightings, crystal charging and prayers you’ve got.

Bad Romance! No Sale for You!

From Publisher’s Weekly (or, as I call it, the W-T-F department):

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) has blasted a new Indiana law that requires bookstores to register with the government if they sell what is considered “sexually explicit materials.” The new law, H.B. 1042, was signed by Governor Mitch Daniels on March 13, and calls for any bookseller that sells sexually explicit materials to register with the Secretary of State and provide a statement detailing the types of books to be sold. The Secretary of State must then identify those stores to local government officials and zoning boards. “Sexually explicit material” is defined as any product that is “harmful to minors” under existing law. There is a $250 registration fee. Failure to register is a misdemeanor.

Given the current heat level of everything but inspirational romance, even the local drugstore will have to register on the sex offender bookseller list.  (After all, it isn’t fair for the Borders to have to register and not Bob’s Drugstore.)  Or perhaps the store buyer will offer a questionnaire to publisher reps and distributors asking if a title has teh sex in it and having them sign a declaration stating that it doesn’t so that it could be sold.

Hhm,  maybe this will finally get all those clinches off the covers.

Going to the Movies

In The Name of the King

Okay, I know this is probably going to be a train wreck of a movie, but I’m going to see it anyway. It’s got a head-scratching cast combination Jason Statham, Will Sanderson, Burt Reynolds, and Kristianna Lokken and a plot you could drive a tank through, but I don’t go to the movies to learn, I go to be entertained.

Oops, now I know why it’s going to suck. Director/Producer Uwe Boll has “attracted worldwide attention in the gaming community for his film adaptations of popular video games.” These include Alone in the Dark (who can believe Tara Reid as a archaeologist?) and BloodRayne (which could have been a good movie, but even Meatloaf in a bad weave surrounded by naked prostitutes–to save on production costs– couldn’t save that trainwreck–and they rewarded Lokken for her open-mouthed performance by giving her a series on Scifi. Or maybe that’s punishment.)

It just goes to show you that a doctorate in literature doesn’t mean you know how to tell (or direct) a story.

Sigh. I think I just typed myself out of going to see this movie.

But I did see I am Legend yesterday, and I’m not really sure what I expected, but I was surprised. There were moments of laughter and moments of tears. It almost had a Pan’s Labyrinth feel in that the tearjerker moments kept on coming. Oh, and Wil Smith doing pull ups shirtless didn’t hurt either.

I Don't Make This Stuff Up

I stole this from the Smart Bitches because they are smart, and they are bitches.

I’m not going to spoil your fun– you have to see this site to actually believe it. I’m not sure, but I think they’re selling wrinkle cream. Or boy toys.