Barnes & Noble Shenanigans

24 May

So B&N is up to their tricks again. Not only have they (allegedly) routinely added 1000+ rankings to sexy romances and erotica to keep them out of the bestseller lists, but now they seem to have (allegedly)  instituted some weird sort of block that keeps romance novels (and maybe only indie published romance novels?) from rising above a 125 rank in their store.

This obviously makes no sense from a reader standpoint. I mean, if I’m cruising the bestseller lists for a good book, I want to see the bestsellers according to other readers–not the bestsellers according to B&N’s marketing department.

Yes, I have noticed that my erotica published as Lolita or Roxie Rivera was routinely “penalized” by being pushed down the bestseller lists any time a book gained momentum. I rolled my eyes and let it go because, like, what can do you? But now Barnes & Noble has yanked ALL but two of my books (traditionally/commercially published and indie published) from their NOOK UK store. I didn’t know it was happening until I started getting emails from readers in the UK asking about Grabbed By Vicious for NOOK or IVAN and DIMITRI from the Her Russian Protector series.

Yo! Vicious! Where you at?

Yo! Vicious! Where you at?

You can imagine my confusion when I did a search on the NOOK UK store and realized that only two of my books (YURI and REFUGE) are available to readers. I don’t know why those two books survived but they’re there. REFUGE was categorized as space opera by the publisher and I categorized YURI as romantic suspense instead of erotic romance because it’s steamy but not super sexy. Maybe they managed to escape an aggressive filter? I really don’t know.

Sexy billionaire Russian playboy = okay. Sexy alpha male in space = not okay?

Sexy billionaire Russian playboy = okay. Sexy alpha male in space = not okay?

So–huge apologies to readers in the UK who want to buy books for their Nooks but can’t. As usual, Barnes & Noble is sending canned responses. If/When these books are available again, I’ll be sure to update with that news. Until then, you can buy epub versions of all of my indie pubbed books via KOBO (Lolita and Roxie,) Smashwords (Lolita and Roxie) and All Romance eBooks (Lolita and Roxie). Most of my traditionally/commercially published books are available through All Romance eBooks, KOBO or Apple in epub. The bookshelf pages on my websites have those links.

If you’d like to read more about this debacle and B&N’s history of (allegedly) manipulating the bestseller lists and rankings, please read Maya Cross’ excellent post on Goodreads and Hugh Howey’s rundown of the situation (and the comments! where bestselling authors like Jamie McGuire and Liliana Hart explain how their books were “hidden” from readers by rank manipulation.)

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One Response to “Barnes & Noble Shenanigans”

  1. Daryl Devore May 25, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    It’s so ridiculous – we write books that readers want to purchase yet the book store won’t sell them – so readers go to pirate groups and get them for free and the writer and the seller loses. Maybe someday someone with out a bug up their butt will be in charge of B7N and Amazon.

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