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Call me cynical

False Colors - HMS Albion
but the timing of this does not fill me with glee.

False Colors and Transgressions now available in Kindle versions

complete with sales ranks.




Comments

( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
lee_rowan
Apr. 11th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
As other folks have said, if Amazon's becoming a wanker, send 'em to B&N...

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=False+Colors+by+Alex+Beecroft


And all your books come up on author search, including I Do!

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=Alex+Beecroft
alex_beecroft
Apr. 11th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
LOL! I'm ashamed to say I have spent much of the morning changing my buy links on my blog and my website to point at B&N :)

Lisa has got back to us saying Amazon have told her the sales ranks will be restored 'within the next couple of days'. So that's a relief, and when it happens I will post a sort of 'sorry I overreacted' post :)

But I'm still not buying that Kindle now. I've suddenly realized how important it is to get something non-proprietary.
lee_rowan
Apr. 11th, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
When Amazon tried to take down any small-press books not printed on their own Booksurge, I decided it would be absolute zero in Hell before I bought a Kindle.
alex_beecroft
Apr. 11th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
Yes, I was getting lured to the dark side by promises of being able to download books wherever I was. But that doesn't make up for their tendency to abuse their (near) monopoly.
markprobst
Apr. 11th, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
Is Lisa one of your Publishers? Perseus or Samhaiin? I'm crossing my fingers maybe this means Amazon will restore ALL disabled rankings, but it could mean they are only going to restore the ones requested to appease Perseus. This is all so frustrating, isn't it?
alex_beecroft
Apr. 11th, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
Yes, Lisa is my editor at Perseus. I suspect that she was only talking about Transgressions and False Colors, because they will have been the only ones she asked about. I hope that it's a sign of a general move and not just a specific one, but I don't know.

It is horrible, isn't it? It wouldn't have been so bad if they were actually replying to individual authors and saying 'they'll be back in a few days'. All the non-answers and evasion has just made everything worse.
angelabenedetti
Apr. 12th, 2009 12:14 am (UTC)
I've suddenly realized how important it is to get something non-proprietary.

Exactly. [nod] What's so ridiculous is that we've played that game already, with computers. Find someone who used to own an Atari or a Commodore or an Osborne or an Amiga or an Apple or a TRS-80, and ask how much money they spent on software that was useless when their proprietary-OS computer company vanished. (Or like the Apple and the Commodore, upgraded to a new system and left everyone who'd bought their old systems and software for them hanging.) I'll be damned if I'm going through that again with proprietary e-book formats, especially when there's PDF available. And Amazon allowing us to jump through hoops (and pay, what is it, ten cents a book?) to have things converted isn't changing my mind.

I have no idea why the Kindle is so popular; I'm guessing it's either 1) people too young to remember the OS Wars on the computer side, or 2) people who are old enough to know better but weren't into computers back then. :/ Great for Amazon, it's making them a lot of money. They're not getting any of mine, though, on the e-book side.

Angie
lee_rowan
Apr. 12th, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC)
Kindle is popular because Amazon has spent an enormous amount of money publicizing it.

I don't think it's any coincidence that the print versions were taken down but Kindle left up.
angelabenedetti
Apr. 12th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
Well yes, of course it's all the pimping they've done. :/ I guess what I find frustrating is that so many people are falling for their boosterism when there are obvious and practical reasons, and recent-history examples, of why this whole proprietary format thing is a really bad idea, no matter how many bells and whistles the gizmo itself has. [sigh]

Angie
lee_rowan
Apr. 12th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
I know. Particularly when you look up their political track record -- Amazon is a big "red" business--lots of $ to the right-wing candidates. But people love teh SHINY and will spend money that is then used against them. It's hard NOT to deal with Amazon; they are huge. But if everyone were a little more punctilious about putting their money where their values are, corporations wouldn't be able to pull this game.
delaese
Apr. 11th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
Well I know I had to get my editor to go breathe down their necks for me because book 2 of my trilogy came out in August and STILL wasn't up at Amazon. I have no idea what my publisher said to them but they promised that book 2 would be up this weekend. Maybe somebody got his ass kicked as a result?
alex_beecroft
Apr. 11th, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
Yay! Well, that's good news at least! Maybe they've realized that antagonizing your customers doesn't pay? I'm really glad that you've had a good result out of this :) I think that's hopeful for us all too.
delaese
Apr. 11th, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
::Hugs.:: Me too.
haikujaguar
Apr. 11th, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC)
Lord Almighty! Your publisher uses very expensive pricing for e-books. O_O
alex_beecroft
Apr. 11th, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, is it the publisher? I thought it was Amazon, setting the price for the Kindle version that high. Perseus are on a learning curve as far as ebooks go, I think, so maybe they'll reduce it once they get some feedback and discover that people won't buy it when it's that expensive.
moondancerdrake
Apr. 11th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
I will continue to send my readers to thier local indy bookstores and SCP. If folks have to go to Amazon, they can, but I will not link Amazon to my book on the site. I don't like thier ethics among other things.
alex_beecroft
Apr. 11th, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
*g* Yes, I've spent several hours today re-doing all my buy links on my website and blogs so that they now point at Barnes and Noble instead. Even if they restore the ranks to everyone, I don't think I'll be changing the links back again soon.
lee_rowan
Apr. 12th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC)
Most of these books are up at Barnes and Noble I'm taking down any Amazon links I have asap.
angelabenedetti
Apr. 12th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
It'll be interesting to see whether they restore rankings to all the GLBT and erotica books, or only the ones with Kindle versions. :/

Angie
alex_beecroft
Apr. 12th, 2009 09:08 am (UTC)
Yes, I can't help thinking there just might be a link there ;)
asknosecrets
Apr. 12th, 2009 01:25 pm (UTC)
Since the Amazon problem has blown up and people are trying to Get Something Done, I'm collecting links on posts about it. May I have your permission to list this post and the previous one about the vanishing sales rankings? (I know they're unlocked posts, but I'd rather have someone's permission before I link.)
alex_beecroft
Apr. 12th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
Yes, please do! I just wish I hadn't arranged to go away tomorrow! This is not a good time to be unavailable. However, please do use the posts. I also wrote another on my wordpress blog which I didn't post here because I didn't want to be too negative (more fool me!) and that is here:

http://alexbeecroftblog.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/good-newsbad-news/

Thanks for doing this!
asknosecrets
Apr. 12th, 2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks for permission, will get them edited into the master list. It's scary how fast it's growing.
dragonlady7
Apr. 12th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
rm has done a post on the topic of disappearing gay lit sales ranks and is collecting examples; I mentioned you in comments there. Her post on the topic is here. Apparently it's a wide-ranging issue and Amazon has issued a statement about it.
alex_beecroft
Apr. 12th, 2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is an excellent resource! Thank you! I wish now that I wasn't going away tomorrow, but I dare say the problem will still be here when I get back.
veronica_rich
Apr. 12th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
Just wanted you to know this issue is getting around to other LJs not necessarily associated with yours. Slashfairy made a recent post about it, if you want to look at her LJ.
alex_beecroft
Apr. 12th, 2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
Excellent! The more the merrier! :) Thank you! I'm away tomorrow (and packing tonight) but I'll check that out asap!
veronica_rich
Apr. 12th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC)
venusinchains also just made a post, and I copied from her for my own LJ. (I admit I don't quite understand the ins and outs of the business aspect of it - the effects, I mean, not the reasoning; I can guess well enough the REASONING and I don't like it.)
lee_rowan
Apr. 12th, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC)
What this means to an author? It's difficult to measure the exact effect (other than morale) of having a book on the Bestseller list -- but having it there means any reader clicking on the category will see your book. Repeat exposure is a tried-and-true sales technique... so what this means is all the small-press glbt books are going to lose free advertising that we cannot afford to replace.

It also means that when a publisher is considering whether to look at an author's proposal, the author has no sales track record. In the long run, that probably means quite a lot.
veronica_rich
Apr. 14th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
Thanks to you both for explaining it in more detail. I knew it was detrimental to getting more readers (and thus, future contracts, distributors, and general patronage), but I wasn't sure exactly how it worked. I have friends in the traditional romance publishing business and I know they live and die by bestseller lists of all stripes, and just wondered how that worked on Amazon and for this issue.

(Cute dog, BTW. *G*)
alex_beecroft
Apr. 14th, 2009 12:05 am (UTC)
The effects are that the sales rank is a measure of how well a book is selling. A book without a sales rank can never appear in best seller lists, no matter how well it's selling. Since many people who shop at Amazon browse the best seller lists in order to decide what to buy next, this deprives the deranked book of sales. It also means that a de-ranked book can never appear on the best seller list of a non-gay category, so people who are not already looking for gay books by name will remain completely unaware that they exist.

False Colors and Transgressions, before they were de-ranked, had begun to show up in the best seller lists for historical fiction and historical romance (non-gay) - thus competing on equal terms with straight books. De-ranked, even if they outsell all m/f books they will still never show up. Readers of m/f books will never know they exist.

False Colors now has its rank back (and is #27 in the 'historical romance' bestseller list :) ) But Transgressions still has no rank, and is not visible anywhere unless you search for it by name. Which is just censorship, plain and simple.
asknosecrets
Apr. 12th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
*Waves* She's a friend of mine, got it from me. She's cool beans. But yeah, it's all over the net now - have you seen the hashtag on Twitter?
alex_beecroft
Apr. 14th, 2009 12:07 am (UTC)
It's a fantastic response! And seems to have worked :)

http://blog.seattlepi.com/amazon/archives/166329.asp

At least, Amazon might not have apologized but they do seem to be putting the ranks back (I hope!)
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )

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