Wednesday, April 29, 2009


If you’ve had any contact with me in the last couple of weeks, you know the only thing I’ve been able to talk about lately is Lone. That is because I’ve been hitting the final round of edits, and just today finished looking through the galley (the final version of the novel before its release and hence my last chance to find and fix typos).

Did you know my last book release was in July of 2008? God, my editing stamina leaves something to be desired. Halfway through reading the galley, I had to set the zoom on my word processor to a hundred seventy percent. A hundred seventy. My eyes were straining that bad.

But the good news is…it’s out of my hands. The book is done, and will be released from Amber Allure on May 3rd. This is the part where I’m supposed to take a deep breath but of course I’m in the middle of my traditional pre-release insane author panic. I know it’s a good book. Possibly one of my best. But still, it’s always a harrowing experience and it never seems to get easier.

You can read an excerpt on my site here. I hope you like it. :)

Click the pic to learn more about Lone

If you'd like to learn more about Lone, check out my website at

Monday, April 13, 2009

Amazon Fail update

While it's still not clear exactly *what* happened (and is still happening to varying degrees) with the massive #amazonfail, many books are once again searchable on the front page. Want Me is once again searchable and--I must say--those of you who tagged the novel "amazonfail" absolutely rock socks. The story is still not ranked, however, which does severely limit the chances of people not specifically looking for *me* of finding it.

Below is what I know of the debacle to date. I'm operating on less sleep than usual, so the events listed may be somewhat out of order.

  • Sunday, the only thing Amazon would tell anyone was that it was a "glitch." This led to a new hashtag on Twitter called #glitchmyass

  • A livejournal user comes up with a more plausible explanation than "glitch," but doesn't quite explain the memos some people received days and even months ago regarding the "adult material" policy.

  • Dear Author explains why rankings on Amazon are important.

  • Someone takes responsibility for hacking Amazon. A few more people follow suit. The code posted is apparently debunked.

  • People all over the interwebs hold their breaths as Monday rolls around, waiting for Amazon's official statement. None seems forthcoming, which just adds to the Fail.

  • Erastes compiles an excellent list of #amazonfail articles.

  • Quietly, some de-listed books get returned to the lists, but still no official word.

  • The silence with which the books can come and go makes this article even more scary

  • Not a glitch! from

  • Dear Author finds some interesting patterns in Amazon's metadata

  • Someone says that someone says that someone at Amazon blamed some employee in France for making a programming error. This sparks a #FranceMyAss hashtag on Twitter.

  • Patrick at Making Light proposes another plausible explanation that unfortunately still ends in #amazonfail. After all, why would "gay" & "lesbian" get caught up in such an algorithm but things like "bestiality" slide right on by?

  • Amazon finally speaks up. France is actually mentioned. (So is the word "hamfisted" which surprisingly does not hit the top ten trending topics list on Twitter.) Apparently, in France "adult" translates to "porn" and the changes made over there affected the global system. This sounds somewhat plausible until you start wondering how the hell "porn" OR "adult" would auto-affect "gay," "lesbian," and "transgender" works.

So that's the situation as I know it so far. Hope it helps.

UPDATE 4/14/09, 12:30AM CST -- It seems that Want Me once again has an Amazon ranking. :)

UPDATE 4/15/09 -- Looks like books are finally being re-listed on Amazon UK. As far as I can tell, still no real explanation (or apology) from Amazon, so the situation continues to = #amazonfail.

Dear Author explains that while things might seem normal now, they'll probably never be the same:

Also, there is quite an amusing #amazonfail song on YouTube now:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Amazon Fail

I don't know what the hell is thinking these days. I come home from a very nice Easter service to find all of my portals to the internet on *fire* with their latest insanity. Twitter, in particular. The number one trending topic there is actually called #amazonfail.

A few days ago, people have been noticing that the Amazon sales rankings on certain books were mysteriously missing. Most assumed it was just some sort of tech glitch. Now, as I understand it, YA author Mark Prosbt inquired and got the following response:

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.

Best regards,

Ashlyn D
Member Services Advantage

Which is when everything hit the fan.

The level of wrong in all of this is wicked hard for me to articulate. The idea that I'm being "shielded" from "adult" material when I have no wish to be because I am, after all, an adult. The fact that Amazon has shown NO consistency in choosing which materials fall into that category and which don't. And the awfully convenient sweep of GLBTQ titles underneath the virtual carpet, regardless of whether they contain sexual content or not.

I can no longer find Want Me by searching on Amazon's front page. A friend in Florida could earlier this afternoon, but in my experience this just means the change hasn't filtered through all the servers yet. You can find the book by searching in the Books section, but who knows how long that will last. You might be able to find it by browsing lists and or search terms in the Books section, but I haven't been able to yet.

But, like I said, it's not just sexually explicit material suddenly deemed too adult for the average consumer. A glance at at any given second reveals more stunned people listing books that have essentially been blacklisted. Non-fiction books about lesbian pregancy. A guide for parents on preventing teen suicide. The list gets longer and more bizarre by the hour, and Meta Writer is actually trying to keep track of it here:

The book on preventing teen suicide broke my heart. Then I found out that a parents' guide to preventing teen HOMOSEXUALITY is alive and well in the search/sales rankings and I got physically ill.

I'm still feeling sick to my stomach, so we're moving on to the "what can we do" phase of this blog because I need a way to channel this.

  1. Sign the petition protesting Amazon's new "Adult" policy. It started at out zero this morning and is now clocking in at over 2500 signatures.

  2. If you're in the U.S., call Amazon's customer service number at 1-800-201-7575. They've currently been flooded with so many calls that they've requested email complaints only, but still make a call and then:

  3. Email Amazon customer service. This page ( gives an excellent guide on how to do it if you find yourself daunted, or--like me--you were too pissed to think coherently. Also, you can complain directly through your Amazon account.

  4. The Smart Bitches have set a most excellent Google bomb. All you have to do is LINK TO with “Amazon Rank” as the anchor text. The link should look like this:

    Amazon Rank

If you have more ideas, I'm open to hear them. And if you'd like to learn more about the Fail, check out these sites:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Slight Revisions to the "Feed the Fetish" format

As much as I like the "Feed the Fetish" Friday features I've started out on this blog (really, really like them. Probably like them too much, to tell you the truth) I think I'm going to stop posting them every Friday. I've noticed that because I don't update the blog with other topics that often, "Feed the Fetish" seems to dominate the page, and I'd like the overall feel of the "Rowan's Ramblings" to contain more of me, well, rambling.

So the new plan is to continue "Feed the Fetish," but to only post on the first Friday of every month (just to add even more alliteration into the mix) and work harder to update more often with news and thoughts on my writing life.

What do you think?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Feed the Fetish - Pervy Games

I have a weakness for hot, pervy games, and I can't think of anyone who makes them better than Humbuged. Bright colors, gorgeous men, and a killer sense of humor all combine with raw sensuality to make his games addictive from second one.

Hum's latest has a trailer on youtube, which I'm posting below. If you'd like to check out his games, then definitely visit his site at: