Author Topic: Warning: KDP banning old and new erotica titles en masse from self-publishers  (Read 552980 times)  

Offline Claudia King

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Bah, they finally got around to hitting a couple of my titles.
I got my PI-but-not-really title flagged along with the M/M bundle it was part of. It seems like the title "His Girlfriend's Daddy" is what's causing problems, since the issues with the book itself were described as "Title, Description, Cover Image", while the issues with the bundle were only listed as "Description" (which contains the title and blurb of the flagged book).

Time to retitle that one then, I guess. And cut out all mention of "stepdad" in the blurb. That's going to make it easy for readers to tell what it's about. >.>
There's not even any *actual* pseudo-incest in the book. It's about a guy doing naughty stuff with his girlfriend's stepdad, but I guess the vague implication is enough to set alarm bells ringing.

I really do have to add my concerns to the growing list in this thread. I think censoring titles like this is absolutely archaic and backward. This kind of "sweep sex under the carpet" attitude does nothing more than to hide material that most people take offence to purely out of ignorance.

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Offline swolf

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I really do have to add my concerns to the growing list in this thread. I think censoring titles like this is absolutely archaic and backward. This kind of "sweep sex under the carpet" attitude does nothing more than to hide material that most people take offence to purely out of ignorance.

One of my ones they blocked because of the title was "Peeping in the Camp Shower."  If that's not a mistake, it's absolutely ridiculous.

At the same time, they had no problem (so far) with my title, "I Spy with My Stepbrother's Eye."  The inconsistency is mind-boggling.  (I'm changing it anyway.)
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Offline KMatthew

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I'm at the same point that a lot of you are at, deciding whether or not I'm going to rework some of my books so that they'll fit with these new standards. Thankfully, Amazon put most of my blocked books back in draft, but as I stare at my PI titles, which all need a title, description, and cover re-work, I'm sitting here thinking what's the point? If it's not obvious that it's PI, then someone will probably stumble on it unaware, buy it, and complain anyway. If enough people do that, the title will still end up blocked. So, in that regard, it truly doesn't seem worth the effort. As for other titles that have been blocked, if they're not a part of a series, I'm really looking at the amount of income they bring in before I decide if I want to rework them or not. The vast majority will end up remaining in Draft. As of right now, I can see perhaps 7 more of my titles being blocked. Thankfully, they haven't gotten to blocking my tentacle erotica yet, which is a pretty consistent seller. I think the day they do that, I will officially be livid about this.

Offline KMatthew

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One of my ones they blocked because of the title was "Peeping in the Camp Shower."  If that's not a mistake, it's absolutely ridiculous.

At the same time, they had no problem (so far) with my title, "I Spy with My Stepbrother's Eye."  The inconsistency is mind-boggling.  (I'm changing it anyway.)
It's probably because 'Camp Shower' makes it sound underage. And on the note of your other title, there are several of my titles I'm sure they haven't got to yet. I would prefer if they took things one author at a time, instead of blocking a few books per author every few days. Worrying about the e-mails I'm going to wake up to every morning isn't fun.

Offline RaeC

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I wonder if they'd block a book titled "Carlos F Takes a Tentacle in the Amazon".

I'm also wondering if some of the inconsistency stems from a language issue, with Amazon outsourcing their reviewing and the "Carlos F", "Suzy P", etc monikers being completely fake.

Offline Al Dente

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I won't get into details but I just had 5 titles banned as well. It's not a big deal because I haven't written on that pen name in almost a year, but that's still nuts.

Offline P.C. (Peter) Anders

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Sorry to hear about the unnecessary banning of others' titles. No banning here, and my books are a combination of wordplay and humor combined with erotic episodes. However, a single two-star review of "The Uncensored Massage: Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, China," complaining that the book is about massage (when the description as well as the title emphasizes massage above all else!), has virtually stopped sales of my best-performing book.  (Unless, of course, it's just the government shutdown.)
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Offline Flash Rex

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Anybody tried emailing Bezos directly?  Apparently he can be reached at jeff@amazon.com. According to Bloomberg story I saw today, he sometimes responds to address issues personally. If someone wrote him from a customer perspective (can't find all of an author's titles, some topics available for purchase elsewhere, etc.) maybe they would stop butchering this whole process.

Or maybe he'd just scream obscenities at Carlos F___!
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Offline P.C. (Peter) Anders

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Anybody tried emailing Bezos directly?  Apparently he can be reached at jeff@amazon.com.

Or maybe he'd just scream obscenities at Carlos F___!

Thanks for the address. I think I might try.

But . . . sorry, but who's Carlos F?
(sounded very funny).
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Offline Flash Rex

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Thanks for the address. I think I might try.

But . . . sorry, but who's Carlos F?
(sounded very funny).

Carlos F is apparently the signatory on many of the YOUR TITLES ARE BLOCKED emails. What the F stands for is a matter of conjecture...
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Offline TK aka BB

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Was thinking this the other day while perusing the Kobo>Romance>Erotica>Taboo section for the first time.

If Zon is intent on getting out of (or heavily de-prioritizing) their hardcore, taboo erotica business, Kobo (along with the beleaguered B&N) seems more than happy to expand and meet that exploding customer base. Right now their looking for any minuscule chink in the Zon market share armor to drive a spear into. And I would like to think the Seattle tech-gods can appreciate, more than anyone, how FAST online customers can and WILL migrate from one outlet to another to get their dirty fix on.

Maybe it's something Ms. Kitt can mention in a polite and professional manner in her pending correspondence to Zon.


Indeed, I was looking at my New Adult / College E-rom on Kobo, and some of the also-boughts were really, really disturbing. I'm talking crying-in-the-shower disturbing. 'Zon is tame, these days.

OTOH, when I was so trying to get my e-rom on All Romance ebooks (total waste of time, sales-wise,) the guy was very shpelkiss that some of my college characters might appear to be underage. I mentioned that I had noted in the text that they were juniors or older because I was squeamish about showing underage drinking, and suddenly everything was approved.

The 'Zon is getting weird with the banning. Has anyone alerted Selena Kitt? One of her freebies, which I think is on the 'Zon, is real incest, brother-sister stuff, and yet it was as sweet and innocent as anything I've ever read. Love her pivots.

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Offline Anjasa

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Selena had the Babysitting the Baumgartner's removed from sale. She's not pleased, obviously.

6 titles for us removed.

Offline David Adams

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I just had two titles removed today. Going to see if I can get them reinstated; they really don't sell enough to justify new covers.
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Offline Ugg

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As a writer of YA Fantasy I don't have a dog in this fight other than my opposition to censorship. But I'm afraid there may be very little you can do to oppose amazon in this matter. However, erotica writers may consider banning together to offer your "Banned by Amazon" work. Actually, that's kinda catchy. People love the forbidden, as you well know.

Just a thought.

Offline CoraBuhlert

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Anybody tried emailing Bezos directly?  Apparently he can be reached at jeff@amazon.com. According to Bloomberg story I saw today, he sometimes responds to address issues personally. If someone wrote him from a customer perspective (can't find all of an author's titles, some topics available for purchase elsewhere, etc.) maybe they would stop butchering this whole process.

Or maybe he'd just scream obscenities at Carlos F___!

He should be very careful about wording his obscenities or Carlos F. might end up banning Jeff Bezos.  ;)

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Offline Zenferno

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Woke up to 3 of my titles reverted to draft.  Now I'm down to only 2 active ones, neither of which make any sales anyway :'(.  I briefly considered reworking the 'banned' ones but as someone else mentioned, what's the point when they can't be actively promoted via title, blurb or cover image.  Oh well, it was fun while it lasted and the books made a decent profit.  Shame to see the work go to waste though in terms of ongoing sales.  What a huge opportunity for someone with resources to create a place all our outcast books can go.   
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Online thesmallprint

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This is the lead story in the Technology section of the BBC website (extract):

Quote
Retailer Amazon has removed several abuse-themed e-books from its Kindle Store after a report highlighted titles depicting rape, incest and bestiality.

Titles such as Taking My Drunk Daughter had been on sale.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble both say they are removing books found by technology news site The Kernel, but many others still remain, the BBC has found.

WHSmith and Kobo, which feature titles with similar themes, are yet to respond to requests for comment.

The BBC found that on Amazon's store, the search function automatically suggested explicit topics to users typing seemingly innocuous keywords - without age verification taking place.

Amazon has not responded to the BBC's request for comment on the issue, except to confirm that the specific books listed by The Kernel had been removed.

Barnes & Noble said in a statement the titles were "in violation" of its policy on content offered in the NOOK Bookstore and were in the process of being removed.

"When there are violations to the content policy that are brought to our attention, either through our internal process or from a customer or external source, we have a rapid response team in place to appropriately categorize or remove the content in accordance with our policy," it said.

Justice Minister Damian Green told the BBC "the government shares the public's concerns about the availability of harmful material."

Offline SunHi Mistwalker

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I'm curious, is Amazon's "policy" having a disparate impact on women writers? If so, women are a protected class in the United States.  Since the vast majority of erotica writers and readers are women, how has Amazon's newest sweep impacted the income of women writers depending on this "women's genre" to feed their families and pay their bills? This is something to think about.
 
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Offline Avis Black

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I'm curious, is Amazon's "policy" having a disparate impact on women writers? If so, women are a protected class in the United States.  Since the vast majority of erotica writers and readers are women, how has Amazon's newest sweep impacted the income of women writers depending on this "women's genre" to feed their families and pay their bills? This is something to think about.

Amazon doesn't like it if women have sexual thoughts.  Not even fictional ones.


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Offline TK aka BB

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Woke up to 3 of my titles reverted to draft.  Now I'm down to only 2 active ones, neither of which make any sales anyway :'(.  I briefly considered reworking the 'banned' ones but as someone else mentioned, what's the point when they can't be actively promoted via title, blurb or cover image.  Oh well, it was fun while it lasted and the books made a decent profit.  Shame to see the work go to waste though in terms of ongoing sales.  What a huge opportunity for someone with resources to create a place all our outcast books can go.   

Selena's site Excessica has a special "Banned by Amazon" section called "Eden:" http://excessica.com/

I hope that this mass-ban is good for her, at least.

TK aka BB

Offline SunHi Mistwalker

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WHSmith has now declared they are blocking all self-publishers. http://www.whsmith.co.uk/ I suspect that they are the first, but won't be the last. How many self-publishers are part of a protected class? Women, racial minorities, disabled, the poor (although I don't believe economic class is protected)? Since traditional publishing has been exclusive, locking out many women and racial minorities (whether they intend to or not), is it true that self-publishing has in fact a disproportionate number of people who are part of a protected class? And if that is true, could such drastic measures (such as blocking self-publishers) be having a heavy impact on these protected classes?  Where is this data? How do we collect it?
 
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Offline Avis Black

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I've just realized that Fifty Shades of Grey would likely have been banned by Amazon under their current jihad.  In its original form it was an indie publication, a POD that came out via The Writers' Coffee Shop, so it wouldn't have had the shield of a trad company.  Considering that erotica has always been a big seller for publishers, Amazon's chalked up another proud triumphant in their long history of losing money because of their ideology. 

Yep, once Amazon has everything all good and banned, everything awful will disappear from the planet, and we'll all be sprouting rainbows and riding unicorns.  Non-sexually, of course.  :P


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Offline RaeC

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Erotica's served its purpose: driving up ebook sales, getting large quantities of "I love the feel of paper" people to buy kindles, providing "instant" success stories to inspire self-pubs from other genres to get in on the fun, and giving Amazon a vicious leg up in the overall market. Now that that's done, whatevs.

Offline Nathalie Hamidi

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Meanwhile, my two tentacle books are still there and not even in the adult dungeon.
I think I'm next, though, I've jinxed myself by writing this!

 ;D ;D ;D

ETA: Since I sell maybe two a year, maybe they haven't spotted them yet!  :P
« Last Edit: October 13, 2013, 08:12:16 AM by Nathalie Hamidi »


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Offline swolf

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Quote
Justice Minister Damian Green told the BBC "the government shares the public's concerns about the availability of harmful material."

Scary.
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