Trying to Succeed in an AmazonFail World.


I’ve probably spent too much time worrying about, and too many posts writing about the ongoing “taming of the internet”, the transformation from a wild-west, all-comers good, bad and ugly frontier to a civilized and “safe” place, and whether or not we’ll be able to make a place for ourselves and our films in The New Searchable Era ™ .

Today a reminder that even if algorithms and meta data and academics and film festivals and censorship boards can’t understand what these films are about, the people who actually pay our bills do. From A. Hammonds’ Amazon review posted yesterday:

There are NO words…

“I’m a 23 year-old lesbian, just recently coming to terms with my sexuality. Months ago, I began browsing for DVDs related to the LGBT community. I was over fake, trashy porno a looong time ago, and for once just wanted something REAL. Well with Ashley & Kisha I got it…plus MORE!! I mean my God, I was brought to tears the first time I viewed it!! THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT…IT’S ABOUT TIME!! Ashley & Kisha are what REAL Love is about. Their chemistry and vibe is amazing!! I gave my heterosexual friend a copy and she was blown away at the intimacy (not even sex wise) and just “how deep the rabbit hole goes”. I spent hours answering a whole bunch of questions and I’m glad that she can now look at same-sex relationships for what they really are…TRUE LOVE!!”

Of course because I’m a big mush, reading this review pretty much did me in – eyes brimming with tears, lower lip quivering, the whole nine yards. When I started making these films my hope was that I’d make something that might touch somebody the way that ASHLEY AND KISHA has touched Ms. Hammonds. But you know how it is, when you actually get what you want sometimes you just don’t know what to do with yourself except cry. :-|

How and if we’ll  be able to keep reaching people like A. Hammonds I don’t know. Last month’s “AmazonFail” meta data fuck up is coincident with the worst month of sales we’ve ever had on Amazon – a 40% drop from the previous month; and this month is off to an equally slow start. My suspicion (fear!) is that whatever marketing suppression of sexually oriented titles and merchandise (not showing a Doc Johnson dildo to a person looking for Johnson & Johnson Baby shampoo etc.) that Amazon was trying to get with the Amazon Fail screw-up has been achieved, and that (once again) our films are collateral damage in the endless quest to keep the internet “safe”.

But it’s not over yet. Just like we’ve survived a 70% drop Google-search related revenue, we can take a drop in our Amazon sales, at least for a while; and we’ve still got a few tricks up our sleeve. I still think there are a lot of people like Ms. Hammonds out there, people who would really like to see our films, but don’t even know we exist. And I’ve still got a few more ideas on how we can reach them.

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