Author Topic: Amzn have recategorised first one and now the 2nd of my books as erotica - help!  (Read 3192 times)  

Offline catlife

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Hi

I'm not sure if anyone can help but I thought I would ask as I can't think of anything else.

My second book Sawyer which is a sci-fi romance was categorised by amazon as erotica (it has 2 sex scenes in a 65000 word novel.) Not great but I've tried to suck it up and get on with it. The first book in the series was doing ok by prawn standards, Garrick, selling the odd book here and there and I hoped that by having the blurb and chapter 1 of Sawyer in Garrick that it would not be a total disaster.

Garrick was published last September and has just been moved to erotica today. It has one sex scene, 3000 words in another 65000 novel. I just don't know what to do. Erotica readers won't buy the books because they are not just about sex and romance readers won't buy the books because they can't see them anymore.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075ZP6B5D

I'm just so frustrated when I see the blurbs and covers of some of the books in romance and now I'm scared to publish the third book in case it gets categorised as erotica as well.

I should add, I have been chasing Amazon by email to get Sawyers categorisation changed since mid December with no luck.

any suggestions gratefully received, I'm at a total loss :(

Theresa

Offline dianapersaud

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Are any of your keywords something that one would find in erotica?

Not sure if emailing KDP support would help. Several years ago when they moved one of my romances into erotica, an email didn't remove it from erotica but I did get them to add it to romance as well.

Did you update it today? Change anything at all?

Diana Persaud | My Website

Offline catlife

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Hi Diana
Yes, I did update it today with a synopsis for the second book. I have heard that you should not publish at the wekend but i did not think it mattered if you were just adding an extra page. Do they scan books for sexual words whenever you change anything?  :/

I have emailed kdp support, I'm not hopeful, I'm on the 12th email about the first book already.

Does anyone know if this mean they will categorise all my books as erotica now?

Theresa
« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 02:38:15 PM by catlife »

Offline KSRuff

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Hi Theresa,

When I followed your link and looked over the product page for your book, I didn't see anything that categorized or marked your book as erotica. Is this designation communicated to potential readers or does it limit how Amazon promotes your book (ie: for AMS ads)? As far as what may have caused them to apply this designation, I wonder if it wasn't this part of your synopsis:

"Garrick is a full-length post apocalyptic scifi romance novel of 67000 words. It is recommended for readers who enjoy a lot of action (lethal insectoid aliens, explosions, daring escapes), steamy romance and lots of sexy times, all wrapped up in one book."

I'm not sure if that would trigger such a designation, but perhaps "steamy romance" and "lots of sexy times" caused them to think the story qualified as erotica?

Kimberly



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Online C. Gold

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'lots of sexy times' makes it sound more about sex than you mentioned. The only other thing I can think of is if any of your keywords was a trigger. Maybe they are picking on alien sex now; I saw there were a few other alien romance books in the erotica category when I followed the link.


Offline Emilia Winters

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Hi Theresa, I replied the first time you made a post about this a few weeks ago and I'm sorry you haven't had luck getting your book back into SFR.  Keep at it is my advice.  Keep asking to be put in contact with a supervisor or someone higher up in content review in every single email.  Keep listing out similar books in your also-boughts, in the SFR genre, with similar covers/blurbs that aren't in erotica.  Tell them that the change in category provides a poor customer experience for any potential readers.  When my SFR book was put into erotica, I also sent over a dozen emails, back and forth, for over a month, but I never stopped replying and never stopped asking for everything I outlined above.  Eventually, I was put in contact with a supervisor and they immediately changed my book back once they re-read all the emails I had been exchanging with support.  Don't give it, just be persistent and, frankly, a thorn in their side.

Offline katrina46

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It does seem that keywords might play a part. This happened to a lot of writers not too long ago and most of them had some of the same keywords you'd use for erotica.

Offline Becca Mills

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It does seem that keywords might play a part. This happened to a lot of writers not too long ago and most of them had some of the same keywords you'd use for erotica.

I wish we had a running crowd-sourced list of problematic keywords. Wikikeys, maybe? :-\

Offline veinglory

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Being classified as erotic as well as romance should not cause you any problems unless the book is also adult tagged and removed from search.  Being genre-erotica is not the same as being adult-tagged.  I see no reason why your book should not be considered erotic/erotica.
 

Offline veinglory

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I checked, your book is not adult-tagged.  if you want to ensure it is also listed as romance you should be able to do that from bookshelf.
 

Offline LMareeApps

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Being classified as erotic as well as romance should not cause you any problems unless the book is also adult tagged and removed from search.  Being genre-erotica is not the same as being adult-tagged.  I see no reason why your book should not be considered erotic/erotica.

Erotic and Erotica are not really the same thing.  Erotica is a genre that gives readers expectations that the story is going to be primarily about a character/s sexual experience.  If the story is mainly about a war with an alien race, that's not Erotica and will get panned by readers being misled by it being labelled as such.  Erotic is an adjective, not a genre, and simply means there are graphic sex scenes in a story that follows the expectations of whatever genre it may fall under.

Really, the big issue is that once in the Erotica genre, whether dungeoned or not, you cannot run AMS ads on the title. You can also not link to the Amazon listing from FB ads without risking having your entire FB marketing account closed down.

For the OP - maybe check whether you had the book in both a Romance genre category and a SFF genre category.  Amazon actually state on the page where you choose your categories not to do that.  Perhaps if you did, they've decided you must be trying to hide Erotica in other genres?  That's a total guess.  I suspect it's more likely a keyword issue, or the phrasing in your blurb, or a combination of those two things and the skin on the cover, or simply a weekend worker feeling a little prudish...

I hope you're able to get your book re-instated to the correct genre category.

Offline Simply_J

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Hi

I'm not sure if anyone can help but I thought I would ask as I can't think of anything else.

My second book Sawyer which is a sci-fi romance was categorised by amazon as erotica (it has 2 sex scenes in a 65000 word novel.) Not great but I've tried to suck it up and get on with it. The first book in the series was doing ok by prawn standards, Garrick, selling the odd book here and there and I hoped that by having the blurb and chapter 1 of Sawyer in Garrick that it would not be a total disaster.

Garrick was published last September and has just been moved to erotica today. It has one sex scene, 3000 words in another 65000 novel. I just don't know what to do. Erotica readers won't buy the books because they are not just about sex and romance readers won't buy the books because they can't see them anymore.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075ZP6B5D

I'm just so frustrated when I see the blurbs and covers of some of the books in romance and now I'm scared to publish the third book in case it gets categorised as erotica as well.

I should add, I have been chasing Amazon by email to get Sawyers categorisation changed since mid December with no luck.

any suggestions gratefully received, I'm at a total loss :(

Theresa

Besides what the others had said, I think that the covers are similar to those used on many ghost written, mass produced, sci-fi erotica. But I understand that changing covers it's probably not an option.

But the issue could be the last paragraph at the end of both books blurbs. It's also the type of paragraphs that is included in the books mentioned above. And both read more like a pitch to an editor than for a reader. I would delete them from the descriptions, because the rest of the blurbs are great.

You have a powerful voice until those ending paragraphs. It's like someone else wrote them.

After that, I would manually change the categories myself.

Offline Rinelle Grey

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 Cant see anything obvious in this one! Could be keywords? Could be that his pants sit very low? Could be the Alien invasion in the subtitle? None of those seem obvious to me though. Hope you can get it sorted out, it sounds like a good book.

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Offline Gentleman Zombie

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On the bright side...

Despite having been placed in the Erotica category by Amazon, your book has a very decent ranking. Ranking in the 3k's is nothing to sneeze at these days, especially for something labeled erotica. Pat yourself on the back -- the book must be good as people are reading it!  Your also-boughts are also very strong (mostly in SciFi Romance it seems).

In your shoes I'd just write the next book and try my best not to include any erotica triggering keywords in the blurb. Also, maybe chill on the keyword stuffing in the title... that's the kind of thing mass produced scammer books do. You don't want Amazon to mistake you for one of them. I bet you'll do fine.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 10:40:37 PM by Gentleman Zombie »

Offline Riddick

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But the issue could be the last paragraph at the end of both books blurbs. It's also the type of paragraphs that is included in the books mentioned above. And both read more like a pitch to an editor than for a reader. I would delete them from the descriptions, because the rest of the blurbs are great.

You have a powerful voice until those ending paragraphs. It's like someone else wrote them.

After that, I would manually change the categories myself.

Yeah I agree. With that cover and then ending the blurb in that manner it's really easy to see how someone could mistake the book as an "Alien erotica" novel. If you're having so much trouble with your books being miscategorized why not at least remove the "and lots of sexy times"  portion from the blurb?

Offline catlife

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Hi everyone,

Thanks for your comments, some of which are very helpful.

I had no idea using a phrase like sexy times might get me categorised as erotica. I've taken that out, although I am not sure it will make a difference now. They are likely to scan the actual book in response to me contacting them and that will flag up some sexual words in the actual text. They have scanned Sawyer four times now and are refusing to move it because it contains sexual words in the actual book. Still it's good to know moving forward.

I have double checked my keywords. As far as I am aware none of them are classed as erotica, unless 'alien' is now what with all the alien sex books on the market now.

I didn't know I couldn't use FB advertising either. Sigh. Thanks for the heads up.

The book was not in romance and sci-fi, I was aware it was not supposed to be in both.

The ranking is misleading as I had run a promo over the weekend. Sawyer has been sitting at 400,000 since launch and only bumped up this weekend. I fully expect him to descend into the pit again and now Garrick will too.

I understand some of the comments about the cover even if they are hard to hear. It's not perhaps what I would choose but I was trying to indicate genre. After all there are plenty of shirtless men in the romance category. It's very hard to work out what is allowed when you can see all these covers on Amz and you think, that must be acceptable and then apparently it's not.

At least I have a better idea of what I should be doing moving forward, it's just been a very hard lesson. It took me 18 months to write these two books and a significant financial investment in editing just to lose them into obscurity.

Many thanks again to everyone for taking the time to answer my post.
Much appreciated
Theresa

Offline Simply_J

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Hi everyone,

Thanks for your comments, some of which are very helpful.

I had no idea using a phrase like sexy times might get me categorised as erotica. I've taken that out, although I am not sure it will make a difference now. They are likely to scan the actual book in response to me contacting them and that will flag up some sexual words in the actual text. They have scanned Sawyer four times now and are refusing to move it because it contains sexual words in the actual book. Still it's good to know moving forward.

I have double checked my keywords. As far as I am aware none of them are classed as erotica, unless 'alien' is now what with all the alien sex books on the market now.

I didn't know I couldn't use FB advertising either. Sigh. Thanks for the heads up.

The book was not in romance and sci-fi, I was aware it was not supposed to be in both.

The ranking is misleading as I had run a promo over the weekend. Sawyer has been sitting at 400,000 since launch and only bumped up this weekend. I fully expect him to descend into the pit again and now Garrick will too.

I understand some of the comments about the cover even if they are hard to hear. It's not perhaps what I would choose but I was trying to indicate genre. After all there are plenty of shirtless men in the romance category. It's very hard to work out what is allowed when you can see all these covers on Amz and you think, that must be acceptable and then apparently it's not.

At least I have a better idea of what I should be doing moving forward, it's just been a very hard lesson. It took me 18 months to write these two books and a significant financial investment in editing just to lose them into obscurity.

Many thanks again to everyone for taking the time to answer my post.
Much appreciated
Theresa

Did you manually change the categories? Because Garrick is no longer in erotica!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075ZP6B5D/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

I apologise if my comments were rude, I was trying to point out the obvious.

You are an excellent writer that deserves better because of your hard work, I was trying to explain what to do to distance yourself from the erotica category, which sadly is radioactive these days.

Offline veinglory

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The line between erotic/romantic and erotic romance is pretty gray for the average Amazon customer IMHO.  You only need to avoid being cross listed in erotica if you book is so unerotic it will mislead customers and they will leave bad reviews as a result.

I have erotic romances with sex scenes that are cross-listed and all it got me was extra customers.
 

Offline Becca Mills

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They are likely to scan the actual book in response to me contacting them and that will flag up some sexual words in the actual text. They have scanned Sawyer four times now and are refusing to move it because it contains sexual words in the actual book. Still it's good to know moving forward.

If "sexual words" in the text of the book get you trapped in the erotica categories, a heck of a lot of us are going to be in trouble.  >:(

Offline Crystal_

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The keyword "sexy" got me thrown into erotica. I couldn't get the book out until I talked the keyword (not that KDP ever too me what the problem was).

Offline Bob Stewart

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Just out of curiosity, if the OP's cover was a potential problem, how does someone get by with this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074H6LQCG/

??

Offline TaraCrescent

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As someone who writes SFR - it's not the shirtless guy on the cover. Your book belongs in romance, so absolutely, persist with KDP support. Before you do email them again, scour your blurb. Take out references to steamy scenes and sexy times. Sanitize your keywords. Then be polite and persistent!

Amazon does not, as best I know, look at the *content* of your book when determining if it needs to be categorized into erotica. It's based purely on cover, blurb and keywords. Make those as bland and boring as you can. 

I've had books put there that don't belong. Sometimes they say  they're not going to get it out of erotica, and they move it out anyway. Good luck!

Offline she-la-ti-da

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Remove the part about lust from the blurb. Make sure your keywords don't have any sexual terms in them. Make sure you didn't check Romance>Erotic as a category.

I don't think the cover is an issue, other than possibly it looks like his pants are a lot lower than they are. Amazon is fussy about any potential for sex organs to be seen. The Look Inside starts with some good alien hunting action, so nothing obvious shows there will be sex.

I don't know. Sometimes you get a prudish reviewer, who might think man chest is erotica. Keep pushing the matter up by replying to whatever email you get back, not starting new ones. As a last resort, you can email Jeff Bezos, which will get your issue sent to some sort of commando team that is supposed to fix issues regular customer support can't.
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Offline catlife

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Hi everyone

Garrick is now out of erotica, Sawyer is still there, but I'm so relieved to have only one book in erotica now. One feels manageable and less like my fledging writing career has already hit the skids, lol.

(Moving Sawyer is going to be harder as they have scanned the book for sexual content and told me I have to unpublish, remove all the sex and republish with a new ASIN and only then will they take it out of Erotica - cos there is no sex in books outside erotica catgs, ahem  ::))

Anyways, after emailing Amazon, I have also made most of the changes people suggested and am very grateful for everyones help in overhauling my Amazon page and making it more appropriate and less booby trapped with dubious words.

I'm not sure what bits worked in the whole equation but something did and I am SO relieved.

Feeling much more confident about blurbs and keywords going forward AND I'm feeling less anxious and apprehensive about publishing the third book. This is great and a real shift in my head :)

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to put forward their thoughts to help out a noob prawn, I hope I can return the favour some day  :-*
Theresa x

Offline catlife

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Did you manually change the categories? Because Garrick is no longer in erotica!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075ZP6B5D/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

I apologise if my comments were rude, I was trying to point out the obvious.

You are an excellent writer that deserves better because of your hard work, I was trying to explain what to do to distance yourself from the erotica category, which sadly is radioactive these days.

No offence was taken. I can take constructive criticism and I appreciate anyone who bothers enough to put forward their thoughts :)

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