April 23rd, 2009

dripping pen


An Open Letter to Amazon.com
To:  Patricia Smith, Director of Coporate Communication, Amazon.com
From:  Christopher Rice, Board President, Lambda Literary Foundation

Lambda Literary Foundation applauds Amazon.com for their quick and decisive response to an apparent computer glitch that had the effect of marginalizing large numbers of LGBT-focused books. Within forty-eight hours of the problem coming to national attention, most of the writers whose books were affected by this issue reported to us  that their sales rankings had been restored and their books could once again be found through general searches. There is no arguing with the speed and scope of Amazon's technical response to this issue. We are impressed and we are encouraged. But more importantly, we would like to thank you for restoring the visibility of LGBT writers.

It is our conclusion that Amazon is committed to offering the customer the most complete selection of titles available. This is good news to us. Inherent in this business decision is a commitment to inclusion and diversity, and this commitment can be used to serve LGBT writers who are often marginalized or rendered invisible by homophobia and cruel market forces. Prior to the events of Easter Weekend, Amazon had demonstrated business policies that were inclusive of LGBT writers and their work. You  remain a loyal and generous customer to most of our LGBT small presses, and Book Surge, your self-publishing instrument, has been a welcoming home to LGBT writers who have yet to gain access to mainstream publishers.

That said, the Lambda Literary Foundation is excited about this opportunity to open a dialogue with you about the numerous ways in which LGBT visibility is compatible with your highly successful business model. We were very pleased to hear that you are taking steps to prevent a repeat of this problem, and we look forward to being a knowledgeable participant in this process.

5482 Wilshire Blvd, #1595
Los Angeles, CA 90036

And if you haven't already read mine: DEAR MR. BEZOS, I HAVE SOME HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS