Amazon responds to queries, blames a ‘glitch’


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As readers continue to try to figure out what happened in Amazon’s database so that the sales rankings of certain books and not others disappeared -- which caused some to be omitted from search results on the site -- it seems that Amazon is doing much the same thing.

Responding to our initial post, Amazon Director of Corporate Communications Patty Smith e-mailed Jacket Copy. ‘There was a glitch with our sales rank feature that is in the process of being fixed,’ she wrote. ‘We’re working to correct the problem as quickly as possible.’


We wanted to know more. We asked for further explanation of the glitch, which has removed the rankings of gay-themed books such as Paul Monette’s ‘Becoming A Man,’ Virginia Woolf’s ‘Orlando,’ and others.

And I asked Patty Smith this:

From a layperson’s perspective, this glitch does seem to have affected certain types of books more heavily than others. In fact, only one of the top 10 books in your Gay & Lesbian section continues to have a sales ranking (the Kindle version of ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’). No other section is similarly affected. Can you comment on that?

The reply:

Unfortunately, I’m not able to comment further. We’re working to resolve the issue, but I don’t have any further information.

Perhaps we’ll learn more Monday.

-- Carolyn Kellogg