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Messages - X. Aratare

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Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP Issues "Bonus Content" Guidelines
« on: June 01, 2018, 07:20:37 PM »
Assuming it was enforced, do you think the Romance bestseller list would change much? I mean, do you think it would be basically the same sort of books (just without all the bonus content) as before, or would there be substantial changes in what's up there?

Personally, I'm skeptical that it would make much of a difference. There was the one board member on here who does the whole Romance ghost-writers thing, who I recall saying that including the bonus content only made a 10 percent or so difference in page reads. That seemed like a plausible figure to me, assuming an author isn't using click-to-the-back trickery (maybe that's a big assumption, I don't know). I would think that most KU readers are just looking to read the title work and not bonus content, especially if it's old, lower quality, etc., which I take it is often the case for books of this sort.

If that's right, and the bonus content is only marginally increasing revenues for books of this sort, then I doubt that these books would just fall off of the bestseller list without the bonus stuffing. I can't imagine that their profit margins are quite that thin - at least not for the experienced ones.

Anyway, just a curiosity for me. I ended up not doing KU, and that's not going to change. And in any case, I never thought that aiming to hit the Amazon bestseller list as the primary driver of visibility sounded like a very good or sustainable business strategy. (I know that some people - maybe you? don't remember - have expressed doubt that being on Amazon bestseller lists, by itself, actually drives sales.) Not that I'd complain or anything  ;D

How much they make per book is how much they can advertise it.  Meaning that they used to have the value of 3000 page reads to advertise, now they don't.  Visibility will be impacted for them, because it's hard to justify spending likely what they are in ads for 500 page reads, for example.  It makes it a lot less lucrative, too. So some who were only in it for the money, might realize that these aren't as green pastures and move on.

Amazon just updated their TOS with respect to bonus content (emphasis mine):

Bonus Content
If you choose to include bonus content (e.g., other stories, or previews of other books that are not part of your book’s title), it should be relevant to the customer and should not disrupt the reading experience. To meet these guidelines, we require placing additional content at the end of the book, and listing the bonus content in your book's table of contents.

To provide an optimal customer experience, bonus content should make up no more than around 10% of your book. If you would like to include multiple stories within your book, consider creating a collection of works. When selecting your book’s title, always make sure to follow the Metadata Guidelines.

Primary and bonus content must meet all program guidelines (e.g., bonus content in KDP Select titles must be exclusive). Translated content must be high quality and not machine generated. Disruptive links and promises of gifts or rewards are never allowed.

For more information, see our content guidelines and Terms and Conditions.



To improve the shopping and reading experience for customers, we’ve updated our Bonus Content and eBook Metadata Guidelines.

Please ensure that the books you’ve published comply with the new guidelines. Please note that prompt compliance with these new guidelines and policies is required to qualify for programs such as KDP Select All Stars Bonuses for the month of June and future months.

Thank you for choosing to publish with Amazon KDP!

Best Regards,
The Kindle Direct Publishing Team

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Files Suit Against Book Stuffers
« on: April 05, 2018, 02:27:01 PM »
Have you ever tried to get clarification on anything with Amazon? It's nearly impossible.

I'm not using any bonus books at the moment. I'm not a regular bonus book user. (But the veiled threat is really not classy). If I was currently using bonus books, I wouldn't be worried by this. Maybe if they start sending take down notices. But only maybe.

I hope that happens. I hope I look at the romance charts next month and see absolutely no bonus books. But, well... I'm not holding my breath.
I'm not threatening you, veiled or otherwise. And I have no idea why you are suggesting that as nothing I've said could be construed that way.

I'm just saying that the court documents are crystal clear that this is against the TOS and it seems like you keep saying it doesn't matter because they might not enforce it and my point is: you really want to risk that?  Hope that Amazon doesn't enforce it even though they sued this guy?  I guess that's your business. Not what I would choose, but okay, you do you.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Files Suit Against Book Stuffers
« on: April 05, 2018, 02:18:34 PM »
It's in black-and-white in filed court documents that Amazon says stuffing is against the TOS.

Of course, the usual suspects argue otherwise.

Yes, THIS. Why is everyone on the pro-stuffing side acting like Amazon wasn't crystal about this in the court documents?  It's not just an opinion about book stuffing. It's a FACT. Seriously, book stuffers (and I'm not in KU so I don't have quite the dog in this race) should be freaked out by this ruling. They should be reformating their books NOW to eliminate the stuffed material.  Yes, the guy botted and did other stuff, but there's paragraph after paragraph about how STUFFING in and of itself is harmful to KU, Amazon and other authors in KU who don't stuff. This is Amazon saying this, not just other authors.  It can't get any clearer than this. Waiting to see if Amazon does anything is a bad move.  Because they don't ask you nicely to do something, they simply ban your account, rank strip you, or worse, sue you. 

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Files Suit Against Book Stuffers
« on: April 05, 2018, 02:11:43 PM »
Personally, I'd be happy as a clam if Amazon truly banned stuffing. But I'll bet good money that they won't do anything to actually stop it.

I've never defended the practice as a good thing, only as allowed by the rules, which I know, bc a rep told me "bonus content is allowed." It doesn't get more cut and dry than that. Even if I'd never heard from a rep, I've watched stuffed books soar up the chart for two years now. It's clearly been okay with Amazon, as they've done nothing to stop it.

If Amazon is going to continue to be cool with stuffing, and romance readers are going to continue buying/borrowing stuffed books, authors are going to continue doing it. Many legitimate, bestselling romance authors regularly use bonus books. It's not *just* people publishing gw schlock. I hate stuffing, but if Amazon keeps allowing it, I will use the strategy on occasion. In the current ecosystem, not stuffing puts you at a huge disadvantage.

I read the sections that David highlighted from the court papers. It seems pretty darn clear that book stuffing is against the TOS regardless of what anyone told you from the customer service department before this suit was made public. Relying on what some random person said instead of Amazon's lawyers ... that's sort of crazy to me.  It seems like you're just hoping that Amazon won't come down on everyone who is stuffing and you're willing to roll that dice. I get that its hard out there with a lot of other people stuffing but you're risking being sued by Amazon or having your account banned, etc.  Are you REALLY willing to risk it for more page reads? The quoted material that David has pointed out makes it crystal clear that book stuffing isn't allowed. It's not a matter of opinion anymore, if it ever really was. So you can't say if they come after you: well, random customer service person said it was okay!  They'll say you had notice because of this case that it wasn't.  I'd be very nervous if I was a stuffer. Seriously nervous.

I don't think anybody has heard any bonus info yet. And the word I got from on high is that no, authors will not be allowed to remove any books. Unfortunately.

I'm trying not to have a conniption fit here. Why WHY WHY WHY did I sign up for this?  I got $15 and change from the program!  I'm so disgusted at myself and at ACX. This is unconscionable not to let us out. No one in their right mind would have accepted this rate. 

Writers' Cafe / Re: A Few ACX Questions
« on: December 30, 2017, 11:13:59 AM »
Hmmm. Not quite sure I understand -- why would handing him $100 be worse than handing him nothing at all?

Because it would show you don’t appreciate the time and effort it takes to do this kind of work. I think peoples suggestions about royalty share might be the ticket for both of you.

Writers' Cafe / Re: A Few ACX Questions
« on: December 29, 2017, 11:12:08 PM »
I pay about $225 PFH for m/m paranormal romance and I've made my money back and then some and I'm no big seller.  But your audio books are a fraction of the sales of your ebooks normally, but it pays better!

As to your friend, my understanding is that 1 finished hour takes 6 of his time to do that's why the rate.  Now, he wants to do this for his portfolio so he'll get more work so I don't think you have to give him that kind of rate, but you should know handing him like $100 bucks worse than if you gave him nothing at all.

I wanted to update this, because we often talk about bad customer assistance with Amazon, but I want to tell you about some excellent service.

Just a brief refresher:

Third book in a series paperback was taken off from sale by Createspace because they thought there was a difference between publisher names. I received a content validation notice. I immediately responded to them that I was the owner of the copyright. I contacted Createspace last night. The person confirmed that there was nothing wrong with the book, but she was unable to do anything as she wasn't in that department.  The department opened at 9 am.  Now normally I don't sell enough paperbacks one way or the other, but I'd JUST done a promotion for paperbacks and sent out to my lists about them. So having them not on sale actually MATTERED.

So I called this morning and spoke to another person at Createspace, I'll call her Mary, and explained the whole situation, and asked if my case would be addressed quickly due to the promotion I had going as requested the night before.  Mary agreed that I would be the stupidest thief ever to steal book 3 of a series and the paperback at at that.  So it was clear to both of us that this was a mistake by the IP department.

Mary asked me to hold while she spoke to that department. She came back and said, apologetically, "They've asked me to tell you that they have 3 to 5 business days to respond."

I responded, "I do not think it is an appropriate or valid response of this department that has clearly made a major mistake, knows it has, to tell me that its going to wait 3 to 5 days to undo that mistake because some internal rule gives them that right. In the time it took for you to talk to them, they could have unsuppressed the book."

I then proceeded to point out just some of the issues that authors are suffering at Amazon's hands these days as are outlined in these boards from junk books to botting. Clearly, KDP and Createspace are "different" companies under Amazon's banner but this was just more of the same garbage from the company that claims to pride itself on customer service.

Mary agreed that this wasn't right.

She said she would get this sorted.  She then got off the phone with me and sweet talked a person in the IP Department who then sweet talked others to deal with this as it wasn't in his queue.  She called me back three times to update me on the status. She called me just now to say that the book is to be back on Amazon in 24 hours, but she's monitoring it because she wants to make sure it happens.

I told her that she's been really amazing and I couldn't thank her enough. This was what I expected from Amazon, actually I expected less, but this was beyond what I could have hoped for.  She said my "passionate" argument (more like rant but she's kind, what can I say?) moved her and I was not to worry. She'll call me tomorrow, too.

This shouldn't have happened in the first place, and Mary shouldn't have had to "sweet talk" anyone to get them to do their damned job.  However, the fact that she took this so seriously, followed up, continues to follow up and feels clearly that this is wrong just warms the icy cockles of my heart.

Maybe the moral of this story is that there are some people at Amazon who care about us and who will do what they can. So if you've not gotten satisfaction, keep trying and maybe you'll find a Mary there, too.

Writers' Cafe / Re: As if Amazon doesn't have anything better to do ...
« on: October 03, 2017, 08:51:55 PM »
What a bummer. Sending commiseration ... :(

Thank you!

This is hardly as bad as what other people have experienced. I mean losing countdown deals, etc. but it just makes me think that the company must be in chaos over there is they prioritize asking me to respond to a notice on a BOOK 3 PAPERBACK when they have completely bogus books high in their charts right now.  Yet a book 3, paperback, same publisher as all the other books in series on exact same account, linked with same account on kindle, etc.) is somehow so suspicious that they REMOVE THE BOOK FROM SALE. 

But you can bot to the top of the charts and while they still might rank strip you (if you're VERY UNLUCKY) those books are on STILL sale.

You can put up nonsense books that are clearly nonsense and have them take money from KU and they are still on sale.

On it goes.  Just gah! 

And while i appreciated the woman I talked with at Createspace, she can do nothing.  Nothing at all ... but I lose sales and I'm sure when they reinstate the paperback it won't be linked to the kindle version again so it'll be yet MORE TIME wasted. But hey!  Go Amazon, you're really protecting authors and readers with keeping that Book 3 paperback suppressed!

Writers' Cafe / As if Amazon doesn't have anything better to do ...
« on: October 03, 2017, 08:36:17 PM »
Rant ...

Got a Content Validation Request from Createspace for the third book in a series I'm running. This is for the paperback. All other paperbacks are through Createspace on the series under the same publisher name, author name, etc.  But they thought there was something different about the publisher name (there isn't, I called Createspace and they checked and its the same as all the other books in the series) but they pulled from sale the paperback of Book 3 until they have a chance to review my single line response to them which is that I am the author, writing under the penname X. Aratare. 

After receiving this notice about ten minutes ago, I immediately responded to the email and called Createspace. Lovely woman there was like: yeah, this doesn't make sense after I explained to her the situation (I would be the dumbest criminal possible to steal a BOOK 3 PAPERBACK on a series) and after she looked at the submission. But, of course, the department that made this decision (although the email was just sent) isn't available until 9 am CST tomorrow.  So, ironically, the promo I have going regarding the PAPERBACK being available is screwed because they literally took the paperback down.  She, of course, can do nothing but send another email on my behalf explaining that she sees nothing suspicious.

So we have A Boy and his Donkey nonsense books climbing the charts for weeks, sucking out KU cash, cluttering up the bestseller lists botters, stuffers, mis-categorizers, but BOOK 3 PAPERBACKS are what they address!   

I just can't even ... *headdesk*

Writers' Cafe / Re: Audio Out At Same Time As Ebook
« on: October 01, 2017, 10:32:11 AM »
You guys are great!  Thank you so much!  I'm glad at least something nearish can be done!

Writers' Cafe / Audio Out At Same Time As Ebook
« on: September 30, 2017, 02:06:52 PM »
Hope you guys can help me!

I am planning a five-book series for next year.  I already have a narrator lined up and want to get the ebooks and the audio books out at the same time. Now I've done audio, and I've always had to claim my ebook on Amazon then submit the files then ... wait.

Can you submit files on a pre-order so that the audio is reviewed early?

Can you submit files on simply a paperback so that the audio is reviewed early?

Basically, I want to have the ebook and audio out there at the same time.

Thanks so much for the help!

Obviously, something went wrong, but it's not clear to me that it's necessarily a global D2D problem. I think I said this upthread, but when you asked about your book, Crystal looked at your book and guessed at why Playster rejected it. Remember that it was Playster who made the original rejection, not D2D. It sounds as if Crystal was trying to figure out what was up. Asking Playster might have been faster. In any case, Crystal was looking at your book in isolation, not comparing it to steamy M/F books. Nothing in that exchange suggests that D2D necessarily makes a habit of censoring in the absence of really clear guidelines from one of its distribution outlets.

Bill, again you're being quite reasonable, but Crystal was not. 

Her email explicitly stated that one reason for my book's failure to be accepted.  She was way wrong.  When I pointed her to this thread, she doubled down. Then Playster accepted all my books after they realized the issue with LGBT tags.  So under other facts what you're saying is totally legit, but there's an additional problem here.

I don't know what "duties" D2D has when they ship books over to the third party retailers, but I highly doubt that reading the books to make sure they comply with TOS is one of them. If the cover, genre tags and description are in line with the TOS, that's really all that should be looked at, if anything by D2D.  The retailer should then be reviewing the books itself.  If there's a problem THEY make the decision.

In my case and in the other author's place, they aren't allowing Playster to do that review.  Crystal didn't let me speak to Playster (which is what I wished - I spoke to them HERE instead, which was why this thread was so valuable as D2D would never have actually found out about this problem b/c it was too busy reading books and being monitor) nor did she let the other author. It's her judgment she's using.  So D2D is becoming another layer of "review" that is, in my mind, inappropriate. Crystal does NOT understand the genres at all and is making a "gut" reaction.  Most people's "gut" reactions is that anything with gay people in it automatically is more sexual, more risque and more porn-like than anything completely of the same heat level in straight romance.   So they are becoming a gatekeeper that I didn't sign up for.

I don't thinks it's quite as resolved as I thought--though i suspect it might be D2D issue.

My 3rd in series M/M was blocked before it was submitted to Playster for being erotica, which I did not tag it as such. I asked for clarification so I could know in future and was told my the same rep dicussed upthread that:

"I have reviewed the book and feel that the book is not erotica, but erotic romance, (romance category but with sexual scenes).   For that reason I have listed this book with Scribd again since they will accept most erotic romance. Playster will not accept the book as a erotic romance, so it will continue to be blocked at that vendor.   If Scribd reviews the book and feels the scenes are too racy, they may reject it directly. If that happens, we will not be able to overturn their decision."

So this means to me that anything with sex is erotic romance, but only sometimes.
Like Sex Panther cologne.

Since my equally sexy hetero books and my other two M/M books were not flagged, I think part of the problem is who reviews your books on which day. This book never even got sent to Playster. The first email told me they held it Playster didn't reject it. D2D did.

When Playster first rejected my book b/c of the issue with the Gay/Lesbian tag being automatically bonged, Crystal at D2D went through my book and highlighted sections that she thought made them against the Playster TOS. She made a big deal of the fact that the ONLY reason I was being bonged was because I was erotica or erotic romance ...

After Playster fixed the issue, my book was approved and all books have gone through to Playster. 

I really think that D2D is putting itself in the inappropriate role of censor.It's given me a really bad taste in my mouth and I'm thinking of pulling everything from them. A large task.

I would point them to this thread, remind that that books they thought were inappropriate were not, and to not step inbetween the review of Playster and its material. 

Ahem, look at my books in my signature (blushes at self promotion).  Now if you don't want romance as part of your LGBT experience then no, but I have stories where romance is a component.

As to how it happens, right or wrong, we have a default to "straight" in the categorization of things. Nobody labels romance "straight" or "cis" or whatever, but they do label everything else that's not the default, just like we don't have (in most western countries, in English) "white" or "Caucasian" fiction, but we do have "black" of "African-American" descriptors in some categories.

I'm not saying this is right, but it is how things are currently done--and that gives rise to situations like this, where the Venn diagram of categorization creates some unexpected overlaps and connections--but those will only ever happen when there is a positive (non-absent) descriptor. It's always the difference that is spotted, even by machine algorithms.

I think you're misunderstanding what happened here.

There IS actually an erotica/gay or erotica/lesbian tag, but there is ALSO a romance/gay and romance/lesbian or just a plain fiction/gay.  Playster took these latter ones and treated them like the former SIMPLY because they were gay or lesbian.  They claimed to be evaluating or eliminating erotica altogether because of minors engaged in sex in erotica. What this means is that someone at Playster determined that ANY book that contained gay or lesbian characters, no matter erotica or not, was AT RISK for having underaged sex in them. This is, as Speaker To Animals said an old canard that homosexuals are more likely to be pedophiles.  That Playster looked into this and "fixed" it to not be discriminatory against gay and lesbian fiction is to their credit, but it DID happen.

So this idea that we don't have a STRAIGHT tag is actually wrong.  Romance by itself is considered the "straight" tag and "gay romance" or "lesbian romance" is not.  So the "romance" tag, i.e., straight people, WASN'T barred, but all gay and lesbian romance was.

Writers' Cafe / Re: "I DON'T BUY BOOKS"
« on: September 08, 2017, 09:18:01 AM »
A reader in a review of a book I was looking at actually said she felt "tricked" into reading the book, because it was free, but the rest of the series was not.  She resented the fact she said that she would have to pay for any book and the author was a bad person. Of course, it was a one-star ...

Writers' Cafe / Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« on: September 07, 2017, 04:37:41 PM »
I wanted to let people know that my book was published to Playster without me doing anything. Hopefully others will too.

Thank you to Playster for coming to a thread that wasn't happy with them and fixing things. That couldn't have been easy or comfortable.

I wanted to thank Elizabeth again for this thread. Raising awareness of what was happening confirmed that gay and lesbian books were being excluded based on their tags. I know that some people called this a witch hunt. It wasn't. It was an accident but it was real. Without her bringing this out though it wouldn't have been caught.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« 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. 

Writers' Cafe / Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« 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.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« 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.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« 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.


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.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 3, #62)
« on: September 04, 2017, 12:18:14 PM »
Romance is romance!  I don't care if the main characters are m/m, w/w or m/w....romance is a story about two people, who care about and love each other.  Why is this being banned?

I'm glad I'm in KU. 

Yeah, but Amazon has done crazy stuff too. I had to get one book out of the adult dungeon 12 times. TWELVE.  Finally, I forced them to put a note on the damned thing to say it had been reviewed and approved. It's yaoi manga which we STROVE not to have anything, even kisses in, but that genre was routinely getting dungeoned no matter what was actually in the book, title, description or cover.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 3, #62)
« on: September 04, 2017, 12:14:38 PM »
If they are treating different romances differently based not on the amount or nature of the sex, then that definitely seems discriminatory. Of course, this could be Crystal's mistake rather than the official position of D2D. Dan's earlier email suggested the organization as a whole couldn't look at the issue until after the holiday weekend.

The problem with Crystal may also be a misunderstanding of the boundaries for erotica. I'm not sure everyone on this forum would define the term in the same way. I'd certainly agree with you that a romance could go further than kissing without becoming erotica. For me, the boundary might depend upon how explicit the sex is, but I'm not sure everyone would feel the same way. (I don't write romance or erotica, so I haven't given the boundary issue much thought.)

Bill - while I think yours is a reasoned response. Here's the thing: in no one's definition does romance = just kissing. NO ONE'S. That's why there is "sweet romance" which is a specific genre where there is nothing more than kissing.

Maybe my version of romance is steamier than another's. Fair enough. But I know what I just told you about romance in general is true.

And it is the hypocrisy I'm seeing that m/f books with far more than kissing sail through to Playster, but not gay or lesbian books that is really chapping my hide.   

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