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Author Topic: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)  (Read 12150 times)  

Offline elizabethbarone

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 3, #62)
« Reply #100 on: September 05, 2017, 08:31:00 AM »
Take a look at this garbage response I got from D2D:

Hello,
In the case of the book that was rejected by Playster, Cursed Broken, there is sexual content throughout the file. They do not allow erotic romance or erotica. I found several very graphic scenes portraying two men together in sexual activity.  Any sexual activity, not just penetrative sex,  is not something they will allow. 

This book appears to be to graphic to overturn the decision with Playster, I apologize for the inconvenience.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Best Regards,

Crystal
Draft2Digital

So according to D2D if ANY BOOK has anything more than kissing it's not allowed on Playster.
  Actually I should amend this as Crystal says: NO SEXUAL ACTIVITY so really kissing is out, too ... Is looking across the room at another person considered sexual activity?  Not sure.  Hmmm, maybe we shouldn't even allow people to LIKE one another in the books. That might be misconstrued as sexual activity!  So I guess NO ROMANCE books should be on there? huh

Those of you whose M/F books have more than kissing: were they not allowed?  Somehow I think not ...

This is complete and utter [bullcrap].

I responded to D2D as follows:

I am really disappointed with D2D. There is a distinct difference between erotica/erotic romance and romance.  The fact that a company who is distributing books does not know this shocks me.  Romance CAN AND DOES have sex in it. It is NOT just kissing.  In my 100k book, there is LITTLE sex in it in comparison to most m/f romances.

But if you really are telling me that Playster ONLY accepts kissing: What about all the m/f books with full blown sex on its site?  See kboards: https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,255017.0.html to see how absurd that statement really is.

I'm sorry but this is simply nonsensical.  Either Playster has the absolute worst review system possible which somehow allows all the sexy m/f books in and not the m/m or its prejudiced against gay romance books. 

Also, I'm truly SHOCKED that D2D believes it should be the arbiter of what genre a book should be in.  That's not your role as a distributor.  I am truly tempted to pull my books off your site and spread the word. 

***

As an aside, I don't give a damn about Playster. I hadn't even HEARD of them before I got this original email about not taking my books.  I called and put up a fuss because I see this for what it REALLY is: gay = porn thinking and I fight that with all I can.

I've been writing gay romance for a long time and I've seen it all.  But having D2D evidently SKIM my book to tell me: OMG, YOU HAVE SEX IN YOUR ROMANCE SO WE WON'T HELP YOU! is one of the lowest moments in my career. Is D2D so clueless that it thinks romance books DON'T have sex in them? Or are JUST have kissing? Where they Hell have they been?

I'm really thinking that I'm going to pull my books from them.  In my view they are aiding, a discriminatory practice.


What's most troubling to me is that m/f romances at steamy/spicy heat levels are being accepted. Yet m/m and f/f romances are deemed too graphic.

This makes zero sense.

Do you by chance have any heterosexual romance in D2D/Playster? I'm wondering because we need to push this point across. Romance has various heat levels and there's a huge difference between erotica, ero-romance, and steamy romance. I understand Playster's content guidelines reject any sexual content, but m/f romances with sexual content should also be rejected.

We've got to keep driving this point, as it seems LGBT romance and fiction is getting a special explicit label, whether warranted or not.

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 3, #62)
« Reply #101 on: September 05, 2017, 08:32:03 AM »
We can assure you that Playster is in absolutely no way discriminating against LGBTQ+ content.  We've been receiving books with underage characters, and therefore put a temporary ban on all books labelled 'erotica' that are delivered from self-publishing platforms.  We acknowledge that this is a cautious approach, but we're working diligently towards a long-term resolution.  We're committed to providing authors with an alternative revenue stream but, as a small company, we don't yet have a QA team large enough to go through books at the rate we receive them.

We're taking all of your comments into consideration, and we're investigating the possibility that some books have been mislabeled. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this.


I appreciate your response, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that I did not categorize my title under erotica. There is definitely something amiss here.

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 3, #62)
« Reply #102 on: September 05, 2017, 08:34:04 AM »
We can assure you that Playster is in absolutely no way discriminating against LGBTQ+ content.  We've been receiving books with underage characters, and therefore put a temporary ban on all books labelled 'erotica' that are delivered from self-publishing platforms.  We acknowledge that this is a cautious approach, but we're working diligently towards a long-term resolution.  We're committed to providing authors with an alternative revenue stream but, as a small company, we don't yet have a QA team large enough to go through books at the rate we receive them.

We're taking all of your comments into consideration, and we're investigating the possibility that some books have been mislabeled. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this.


I'd also like to further clarify that none of the characters in my rejected title are minors.

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #103 on: September 05, 2017, 08:36:30 AM »
Here are my current D2D BISAC categories, for reference:


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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #104 on: September 05, 2017, 08:53:03 AM »
I'm glad to see the message from Playster and to know it rejects discrimination and is trying to fix this problem. The difficulty for me comes in figuring out where and how the "mislabel[ing]" could have happened. An author submits Book MM and Book MF to D2D and chooses to distribute both to Playster. These books have similar content, and the author does not give either book an "erotica" label or category. Book MM ends up banned by Playster as erotica and Book MF doesn't. So ... when and how was the "erotica" label placed on Book MM and why wasn't that label placed on the Book MF?
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 01:26:55 PM by Becca Mills »

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #105 on: September 05, 2017, 09:03:30 AM »
We can assure you that Playster is in absolutely no way discriminating against LGBTQ+ content.  We've been receiving books with underage characters, and therefore put a temporary ban on all books labelled 'erotica' that are delivered from self-publishing platforms.  We acknowledge that this is a cautious approach, but we're working diligently towards a long-term resolution.  We're committed to providing authors with an alternative revenue stream but, as a small company, we don't yet have a QA team large enough to go through books at the rate we receive them.

We're taking all of your comments into consideration, and we're investigating the possibility that some books have been mislabeled. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this.


THIS is absolutely APPALLING.  You are suggesting that the authors with books in this thread who have books rejected are because they have MINORS in sexual situations?!

(1) My books do NOT HAVE the erotica tag.  They just have the gay stories and romance tag.

(2) I have NO UNDERAGE CHARACTERS.

So this is the biggest load of BS I have ever seen. 

M/F books are getting through M/M books are NOT. You need to address this.

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #106 on: September 05, 2017, 09:09:03 AM »
What's most troubling to me is that m/f romances at steamy/spicy heat levels are being accepted. Yet m/m and f/f romances are deemed too graphic.

This makes zero sense.

Do you by chance have any heterosexual romance in D2D/Playster? I'm wondering because we need to push this point across. Romance has various heat levels and there's a huge difference between erotica, ero-romance, and steamy romance. I understand Playster's content guidelines reject any sexual content, but m/f romances with sexual content should also be rejected.

We've got to keep driving this point, as it seems LGBT romance and fiction is getting a special explicit label, whether warranted or not.

I only write M/M so I have nothing to compare with. 

I pushed as hard as I could, but D2D actually quoted sections of my book at me (as if I didn't know what was written there) and said: this makes your book erotica/erotic romance and that is the ONLY reason that Playster rejected you (which by the way, it DOESN'T. There's explicit sex in romance, it's if there's a story without it that makes it romance or one of the others). I had to laugh (bitterly). I pointed them to this thread and to the Playster store.  Seeing Playster's incredible unbelievable response which suggests the only reason that they are barring books that are m/m is because of underaged characters (meaning we may be engaged in something deviant, I guess) is just appalling and makes clear that steam level is not why they aren't accepting certain books. It makes it appear they don't even KNOW WHY they aren't.

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #107 on: September 05, 2017, 09:27:11 AM »
THIS is absolutely APPALLING.  You are suggesting that the authors with books in this thread who have books rejected are because they have MINORS in sexual situations?!

(1) My books do NOT HAVE the erotica tag.  They just have the gay stories and romance tag.

(2) I have NO UNDERAGE CHARACTERS.

So this is the biggest load of BS I have ever seen. 

M/F books are getting through M/M books are NOT. You need to address this.
Sorry for the misunderstanding; we were not insinuating that at all.  We were just clarifying that our refusal of 'erotica' was a cautious response to books with underage characters being delivered to Playster in the past.  We were not at all suggesting that your books were refused for this reason.

We're investigating the labeling thoroughly, using some of the examples in this thread, to establish exactly what's happening.  Thanks in advance for your patience with this.
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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #108 on: September 05, 2017, 12:08:13 PM »
Dear Playster:

Um, how about emailing this explanation directly to people whose books are not approved, with some idea of when you will have a system that will detect and approve compliant books.

Because right now you have a system is that in effect discriminatory, whether that was your intent or not.  I would suggest fixing that before a major gay rights organization decides to make your life even more difficult.

I know large systems are not easy to manage, but transparency would sure help.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 12:14:07 PM by veinglory »
 

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #109 on: September 05, 2017, 12:30:11 PM »
This is the kind of shake-out necessary. I've just about given up trying to label my non-erotica books as anything other than erotica, because I often get flagged. Most likely because 90% of my backlist is erotica.

But definitions that turn into policies need to be chewed, chewed over, and chewed again. Once we have a standard - whether we think it's fair or not - at least we know where the limits lie.

On another note, while I have no issues with M/M stories or sex, a publisher with Mormon owners might. We need to be prepared that some might find M/M interaction deviant, no matter how you or anyone else feels about it.

I don't think any of us would expect an Islamic publisher to publish books on bacon recipes.
 

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 3, #62)
« Reply #110 on: September 05, 2017, 12:43:49 PM »
D2D have a track record here in that one of its other Smashwords-doesn't-have-it retailers is 24Symbols, who also provoked a kboards thread when LGBT books were taken down. The kboards search engine failed to bring up that thread (in which Dan of D2D also commented IIRC) and a general internet search only brought me a link to an author complaining about it:

http://www.brianolsenbooks.com/lgbt-discrimination-at-24symbols/

Hey, that's me! I just saw this thread and checked my own books - three of the four books in my wide series are still "Publishing" at Playster, and have been since 6/21, when I submitted them. Book three was published the very next day, 6/22.

Book three is "Mark Park and the Flume of Destiny," which is the only one of the three books that's NOT tagged "Gay and Lesbian." This is the exact same thing that happened at 24Symbols way back when - book three was the only book with an unblurred cover.

None of these books are tagged erotica. They're all sci-fi adventure. They're all in the same series. The only difference is the Gay and Lesbian tag.

I'll watch to see how this plays out, but I expect I'll be pulling my books from Playster.  (I mean, apart from the discrimination, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to only make book three available...)

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #111 on: September 05, 2017, 12:52:20 PM »
I've been keeping tabs on this thread just because I've been considering whether going wide with my eroms/erotica would be a good idea. IF other platforms like D2D is having trouble publishing what I write (ie, even Walmart is starting to have erotica on-line), than maybe it would be a good idea to stay in KU right now. So, this discussion has been interesting.

I mean, if m/m or f/f is considered deviant, what's to stop ffm or mmf as a deviant behavior too? Most erotica has kinks of some sort, and once there are labels assigned to things, that just starts getting way too into the censorship area. At least the Zon right now is allowing erotica because it definitely sells. And let's not forget, it's fantasy really. Made up sexual journeys that take the reader along with it.

So, once lines start to be drawn, you wonder, where will it stop?


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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #112 on: September 05, 2017, 12:55:59 PM »
On another note, while I have no issues with M/M stories or sex, a publisher with Mormon owners might. We need to be prepared that some might find M/M interaction deviant, no matter how you or anyone else feels about it.

I don't think any of us would expect an Islamic publisher to publish books on bacon recipes.

I bet publishing companies/publications with observant Jewish owners have published bacon recipes. Not everyone applies their religious practices/beliefs to their business decisions in a directly prohibitive sort of way; rather, they see themselves as serving a community that includes people who are like them and not like them. But yeah, so far as I know you're correct that a retailer would be legally permitted to exclude LGBT+ books if it wanted to so for religious reasons, at least here in the U.S. I'm sure there are already a number of specialty bookstores around the country that do just that. But I would like retailers who do it to be publicly clear about what they're doing. That way those of us who don't like it can spend our money elsewhere.

Book three is "Mark Park and the Flume of Destiny," which is the only one of the three books that's NOT tagged "Gay and Lesbian." This is the exact same thing that happened at 24Symbols way back when - book three was the only book with an unblurred cover.

None of these books are tagged erotica. They're all sci-fi adventure. They're all in the same series. The only difference is the Gay and Lesbian tag.

See, this is where Playster's explanation strikes me as problematic. If the "erotica" tag is what they're using to filter out submissions in an abundance of caution over that small percentage of erotica with underage stuff, how did Brian's sci-fi adventures end up with an "erotica" tag and get filtered out? EITHER books like Brian's are being caught through some other mechanism than an "erotica" tag OR they're having the "erotica" tag placed on them ... by Playster? ... because they're tagged "gay" or "lesbian"?

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #113 on: September 05, 2017, 01:14:24 PM »
On another note, while I have no issues with M/M stories or sex, a publisher with Mormon owners might. We need to be prepared that some might find M/M interaction deviant, no matter how you or anyone else feels about it.
I don't have a problem with a publisher or distributor who won't handle something based on religious beliefs as long as they're willing to say that's why they're not handling the material. If, for example, the publishing guidelines included a statement that no material that offended the religious values of a particular group would be published, that would be clear.


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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #114 on: September 05, 2017, 01:27:44 PM »
There's explicit sex in romance, it's if there's a story without it that makes it romance or one of the others).
This gets back to the definition point I was making earlier. What do you mean by explicit sex? I have to say that when someone says explicit sex to me, the classification that flashes through my mind is erotica--and I doubt I'm alone in that. As I said earlier, I don't write erotica or romance, so I've thought little about the issue in a practical sense. I tend to think of it as in movie ratings. If a very faithful film adaptation of the book was made, would the resulting movie be NC-17? Then I would have thought it was definitely erotica. If the movie were R but fairly close to NC-17, then it might be erotic romance. (By the way, is there a difference between erotic romance and romantica? How about between clean romance and sweet romance? Part of the problem in the industry is that we don't have universally agreed upon definitions.)

Distributors should have a clear definition of erotica to avoid exactly this kind of problem. I think here the issue is not so much where the line should be drawn as whether LGBT content has the line drawn in a different place than non-LGBT content does. If it is drawn in a different place, that's clearly discriminatory. On that much, I think we can all agree.


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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #115 on: September 05, 2017, 01:30:38 PM »
Just own the stance.  If a company is against publishing gay romances, they should say so.  Make it clear...then everyone can make decisions accordingly.

Implying that a romance is more erotic due to a gay romance tag is ridiculous.  Steam/heat levels are the same, whether it's f/f, m/f or m/m.  Apply the rules evenly, please!

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #116 on: September 05, 2017, 01:39:31 PM »
This gets back to the definition point I was making earlier. What do you mean by explicit sex? I have to say that when someone says explicit sex to me, the classification that flashes through my mind is erotica--and I doubt I'm alone in that. As I said earlier, I don't write erotica or romance, so I've thought little about the issue in a practical sense. I tend to think of it as in movie ratings. If a very faithful film adaptation of the book was made, would the resulting movie be NC-17? Then I would have thought it was definitely erotica. If the movie were R but fairly close to NC-17, then it might be erotic romance. (By the way, is there a difference between erotic romance and romantica? How about between clean romance and sweet romance? Part of the problem in the industry is that we don't have universally agreed upon definitions.)

Distributors should have a clear definition of erotica to avoid exactly this kind of problem. I think here the issue is not so much where the line should be drawn as whether LGBT content has the line drawn in a different place than non-LGBT content does. If it is drawn in a different place, that's clearly discriminatory. On that much, I think we can all agree.

It's very difficult to explain this if you're not a big romance reader (and I may be totally misreading this and you as a non-romance reader, forgive me if I'm wrong). But "normal" romance books would probably to a non-romance reader seem like erotica because of the sex being on the page and not fading to black, but there's an actual difference in the genres between romance, erotica and erotic romance.

Basically, if you strip out the sexy bits and there's an actual story there? That's romance.  If you strip out the sexy bits and there's nothing much left? That's erotica.

It doesn't so much depend on the explicitness of the sex, but how much story to sex ratio there is. 

Now is there a bright line between romance and erotic romance?   It's a little fuzzier.  What I would say, is that what's on Playster in the m/f arena IS the same level of heat as my book, but my book is barred.  The only difference?  I'm m/m. 

D2D is claiming (though Playster isn't) that anything beyond KISSING is not allowed on Playster and that simply isn't true. 

Playster is claiming its a BISAC thing with erotica tags and underage people having sex ... but really what's clear is that all Gay and Lesbian tags are considered erotica no matter whether they are or not. 

As to the owners of Playster being Mormon, like I've said before: It's their site and they are allowed to sell or NOT sell anything. I wouldn't want to be on a platform where gay fiction is barred and I wouldn't buy from them.  But that is their right. But they need to say that.  Not hide behind what they feel is "acceptable" to say.  It would save us all a lot of time and angst. 

But Playster has said they have no problem with gay romance so ... There's a problem here and, hopefully, they'll sort it.  But D2D has made clear to me that they won't even submit my work again, because of this misunderstanding about genres, too ... That's why I'm angry with them and feel they've done more harm than good in this situation. I hope that everything does work out for everyone else.  But, ironically, my feelings about D2D may have soured more than on Playster.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 01:41:42 PM by X. Aratare »

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #117 on: September 05, 2017, 01:44:52 PM »
X. Aratare

Totally off topic, but your covers are great!  Especially the bodyguard. :)

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #118 on: September 05, 2017, 02:06:07 PM »
This gets back to the definition point I was making earlier. What do you mean by explicit sex? I have to say that when someone says explicit sex to me, the classification that flashes through my mind is erotica--and I doubt I'm alone in that. As I said earlier, I don't write erotica or romance, so I've thought little about the issue in a practical sense. I tend to think of it as in movie ratings. If a very faithful film adaptation of the book was made, would the resulting movie be NC-17? Then I would have thought it was definitely erotica. If the movie were R but fairly close to NC-17, then it might be erotic romance. (By the way, is there a difference between erotic romance and romantica? How about between clean romance and sweet romance? Part of the problem in the industry is that we don't have universally agreed upon definitions.)

Explicit sex crops up in quite a few genres. It's not uncommon in urban fantasy, for instance. I don't know if there's a clear definition of the phrase everyone would accept. Personally, I think of "explicit sex" as substantial descriptions of sexual activity that include references to specific body parts, rather than relying on generalities. If you replaced the words with filmed images, it'd definitely be NC-17. But that doesn't mean all works containing that kind of material are erotica. In UF, the story isn't about someone's erotic journey. It's about saving the world from the vampire apocalypse (or whatever). There just happens to be sex along the way. So if Playster wanted to expunge explicit sex from its catalog entirely, I don't think there's a quick-and-easy way to do it via genre categories. Just banning erotica wouldn't do the trick at all.

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #119 on: September 05, 2017, 02:26:20 PM »
I'm glad to see the message from Playster and to know it rejects discrimination and is trying to fix this problem. The difficulty for me comes in figuring out where and how the "mislabel[ing]" could have happened. An author submits Book MM and Book MF to D2D and chooses to distribute both to Playster. These books have similar content, and the author does not give either book an "erotica" label or category. Book MM ends up banned by Playster as erotica and Book MF doesn't. So when and how was the "erotica" label placed on Book MM and why wasn't that label placed on the Book MF?

This is what I'm having trouble understanding, too. Somewhere along the line, LGBT books seem to be getting an erotica tag, whether they actually contain sexual content or not.

I only write M/M so I have nothing to compare with. 

I pushed as hard as I could, but D2D actually quoted sections of my book at me (as if I didn't know what was written there) and said: this makes your book erotica/erotic romance and that is the ONLY reason that Playster rejected you (which by the way, it DOESN'T. There's explicit sex in romance, it's if there's a story without it that makes it romance or one of the others). I had to laugh (bitterly). I pointed them to this thread and to the Playster store.  Seeing Playster's incredible unbelievable response which suggests the only reason that they are barring books that are m/m is because of underaged characters (meaning we may be engaged in something deviant, I guess) is just appalling and makes clear that steam level is not why they aren't accepting certain books. It makes it appear they don't even KNOW WHY they aren't.

I'm sorry, X. I know exactly how frustrated you are!

There's long been a misunderstanding of the differences between romance, erotic romance, and erotica. I think your explanation sums it up perfectly:

It's very difficult to explain this if you're not a big romance reader (and I may be totally misreading this and you as a non-romance reader, forgive me if I'm wrong). But "normal" romance books would probably to a non-romance reader seem like erotica because of the sex being on the page and not fading to black, but there's an actual difference in the genres between romance, erotica and erotic romance.

Basically, if you strip out the sexy bits and there's an actual story there? That's romance.  If you strip out the sexy bits and there's nothing much left? That's erotica.

It doesn't so much depend on the explicitness of the sex, but how much story to sex ratio there is. 

Now is there a bright line between romance and erotic romance?   It's a little fuzzier.  What I would say, is that what's on Playster in the m/f arena IS the same level of heat as my book, but my book is barred.  The only difference?  I'm m/m.

...

I was already considering putting Any Other Love in KU after it'd been wide for a couple of weeks. This issue has made the decision for me. While I appreciate D2D and Playster's efforts to look into things and realize their exclusion may not be intentional, something is still amiss. I have a background in programming and, while I wouldn't call myself an expert, I do know that it is possible to filter out erotica without throwing out the baby (LGBT fiction) with the bathwater (LGBT and other erotica). I would really like for Playster's tagging process to be more transparent and for their content guidelines to be more clear.

If Playster's system is automatically tagging LGBT fiction as erotica, then I believe more finessed functions should be written. The way that BISAC is organized, erotica appears as its own category (http://bisg.org/page/Fiction).

FIC005000    FICTION / Erotica / General
FIC005010    FICTION / Erotica / BDSM
FIC005020    FICTION / Erotica / Collections & Anthologies
FIC005030    FICTION / Erotica / Gay
FIC005040    FICTION / Erotica / Lesbian

FIC005050    FICTION / Erotica / Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror
FIC005060    FICTION / Erotica / Traditional Victorian

LGBT fiction is its own, very separate category:

FIC068000    FICTION / LGBT / General *
FIC011000    FICTION / LGBT / Gay
FIC018000    FICTION / LGBT / Lesbian

Romance has its own erotica and LGBT subcategories, but they are definitely not the same thing:

FIC027000    FICTION / Romance / General
FIC027260    FICTION / Romance / Action & Adventure
FIC049060    FICTION / Romance / African American
FIC027270    FICTION / Romance / Clean & Wholesome
FIC027080    FICTION / Romance / Collections & Anthologies
FIC027020    FICTION / Romance / Contemporary
FIC027010    FICTION / Romance / Erotica
FIC027030    FICTION / Romance / Fantasy
FIC027050    FICTION / Romance / Historical / General
FIC027140    FICTION / Romance / Historical / Ancient World
FIC027150    FICTION / Romance / Historical / Medieval
FIC027070    FICTION / Romance / Historical / Regency
FIC027160    FICTION / Romance / Historical / Scottish
FIC027280    FICTION / Romance / Historical / Tudor
FIC027200    FICTION / Romance / Historical / 20th Century
FIC027170    FICTION / Romance / Historical / Victorian
FIC027180    FICTION / Romance / Historical / Viking
FIC027290    FICTION / Romance / Holiday
FIC027300    FICTION / Romance / LGBT / General
FIC027190    FICTION / Romance / LGBT / Gay
FIC027210    FICTION / Romance / LGBT / Lesbian

FIC027220    FICTION / Romance / Military
FIC027230    FICTION / Romance / Multicultural & Interracial
FIC027240    FICTION / Romance / New Adult
FIC027120    FICTION / Romance / Paranormal / General
FIC027310    FICTION / Romance / Paranormal / Shifters
FIC027320    FICTION / Romance / Paranormal / Vampires
FIC027250    FICTION / Romance / Romantic Comedy
FIC027130    FICTION / Romance / Science Fiction
FIC027330    FICTION / Romance / Sports
FIC027110    FICTION / Romance / Suspense
FIC027090    FICTION / Romance / Time Travel
FIC027100    FICTION / Romance / Western

Now, BISAC's website notes that codes with asterisks were added in 2016. So this may be an issue of category confusion, because they're new. Still, it should be possible for Playster's team to parse erotica from LGBT general fiction and romance.

It's worth noting, also, that romance has its own "Clean & Wholesome" category.

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Offline elizabethbarone

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #120 on: September 05, 2017, 02:30:36 PM »
PS: I'm not presuming to tell Playster how to do their jobs or run their company; just offering some suggestions that I think may be helpful for solving the issue. I'm a believer of attempting to be part of the solution rather than just complaining about the problem. I apologize if my post is a bit too forward.

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Offline hjordisa

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #121 on: September 05, 2017, 02:59:27 PM »
Here are my current D2D BISAC categories, for reference:


I might understand if the New Adult category was getting conflated with erotica. It seems to have a reputation for explicit sex, at least in some circles (Deserved or not, I have no idea. I don't read or write it or even think about it much except when it's brought up in a discussion about something else.), and the books in question may be being tagged not "erotica" the genre, but "erotica" as some sort of placeholder for "erotic content: please review."

But I don't think that's what's happening here. Surely some of the many books in question are not labelled New Adult, and even if so, some of the authors have mentioned their books are pretty similar aside from the hetero/homosexual relationship divide and I assume therefore have similar tags other than the LGBT ones.

And LGBT labelled books being flagged for erotic content over heterosexual ones? Even though those heterosexual ones are in the romance category so there's reason to suspect erotic content? Not acceptable.

I don't even know where the pedophilia concerns are supposed to come in. If all books tagged romance were being put under extra scrutiny that's one thing, but that's clearly not the case. Pedophilia isn't inherently associated with same sex relationships, nor is LGBT fiction inherently erotic, so.

As much as I want to think that this is a case of an overzealous automated flagging system, I still can't think of any reason such a system would be singling out mostly LGBT books without some human bias being programmed into it in the first place.

Offline evdarcy

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #122 on: September 05, 2017, 03:22:02 PM »
On another note, while I have no issues with M/M stories or sex, a publisher with Mormon owners might. We need to be prepared that some might find M/M interaction deviant, no matter how you or anyone else feels about it.

I don't think any of us would expect an Islamic publisher to publish books on bacon recipes.

*waves* Mormon Romance writer here, who has STEAM in her comtemp romance novels and also involves same sex couples in her books. While not focused on LGBT, I'm certainly not going to avoid that segment of society.  I like my books to be set in the real world (even if I make places up!) and have a real feel. Same reason I'm not going to ignore POC in my works; just because I'm a straight white Mormon woman, doesn't mean I'm going to write only straight white Mormon people! 

FFS, Steph Meyer can write about sparkly vampires, bonding babies with werewolves, and all that sorta stuff, as a mormon, I think we LDS can be a little open-minded every now and again :) 

The world is diverse, that's what makes it interesting!

ETA:  Is Playster owned by LDS?  Is that why this came up?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 03:26:35 PM by evdarcy »

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Offline X. Aratare

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #123 on: September 05, 2017, 04:12:32 PM »
X. Aratare

Totally off topic, but your covers are great!  Especially the bodyguard. :)

Sylvia Frost made them!  She's making me some slammin vampire covers.  I can't say enough good things about her.

I want to thank Elizabeth again for her bringing this issue to the fore. Really good stuff, because even if it wasn't intentional, the effect has been quite ... definite. 

Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #124 on: September 05, 2017, 04:23:02 PM »
Quote
Sorry for the misunderstanding; we were not insinuating that at all.  We were just clarifying that our refusal of 'erotica' was a cautious response to books with underage characters being delivered to Playster in the past.  We were not at all suggesting that your books were refused for this reason.

I might accept that you did not mean to imply that, but as someone who makes money by writing, I would like to assure you that this is exactly what the statement above implied.

I say "might" because making an implied, if not directly stated, connection between child molestation and LGBT issues is one of the classic old saws of every anti-gay hate group in history. The history behind that implication makes it very hard to believe that it was purely accidental. It also makes any claims that you're not intentionally discriminating against LGBT literature extremely difficult to accept.

Time to stop being nice and get the LGBT media and organizations involved.