April 13th, 2009

Canadaman

And then I called 911

Because my life isn't exciting enough after inciting #amazonfail, tonight on the way home from work, I found a well-dressed older man lying on the sidewalk. He'd cut his face and hands and didn't remember if he'd fellen or where he lived. He insisted on getting up, but he couldn't walk unaided. I got him inside the nearby apartment lobby and got someone to call an ambulance. (I couldn't support him and dial the phone. Good to know. I'll set up the voice activated dialing tomorrow.) 

He was nice and cooperative but didn't want me to call 911. Reminded me of my dad in the later years. Forgetful and pliant; didn't want to be any trouble.

The fire truck got there first and took over. Asked me a few questions and then said I could go. I remembered my first aid training and kept calm. Wow.

I Do Cover

Lambda Literary Responds to Amazon.com

April 13, 2009--During Easter weekend, Lambda Literary began receiving a stream of emails from LGBT writers who were concerned about a new ranking system at Amazon.com. Books by these writers had been "de-ranked" by Amazon, making them ineligible for the bestseller lists and other seach functions. The new system seemed to affect LGBT books more than any other category of books.

According to Publishers Weekly, one author, Mark Probst, "contacted a customer service representative at Amazon and wrote about the exchange on his blog. Probst wrote that the Amazon rep responded to his inquiry by saying that 'adult' material is being excluded from appearing in 'some searches and best seller lists' as a 'consideration of our entire customer base.' Whatever the cause, titles like James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room and Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain are among the those that have lost their sales ranking."

In response to Amazon's technological "glitch" and its effect on LGBT books, Board President Christopher Rice has released this statement:

"Lambda Literary Foundation applauds the diligent work of writers, bloggers and activists in calling attention to this deeply distressing turn of events. I have seen my first novel stripped of its sale ranking by this apparent computer glitch so I join other writers who are baffled to the point of anger. I take great solace in the quick mobilization of our community in response to this apparent marginalization of LGBT books; the grassroots power of the Internet has been placed on glorious display for all to see. Over the next few days, we at Lambda Literary will be monitoring the situation very closely. Amazon is one of our nation's largest general book retailers. In their commitment to creating and sustaining technological advances in the publishing industry, they have laid claim to the future of book distribution. As such, they have a pressing responsibility to create an unfettered exchange of stories and ideas. If a quick and decisive response to this problem is not forthcoming within the next few days, we at Lambda Literary look forward to leading a sustained and impassioned dialogue on this issue, which will seek to harness the energies that have been released by our community's admirable response."

Lambda Literary will post updates to this developing story on its home page at www.lambdaliterary.org.
 
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