Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Erotica Readers Rebel over Amazon's Vague Rules

Back in January, I talked about how erotica writers were adapting to the 2013 Pornocalypse.

Part of the problem has always been Amazon's guidelines.


We don't accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts.

Offensive Content

What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect.

Since the guidelines are so vague, the actual criteria changes from month-to-month, leaving writers guessing about what sets off Amazon's version of the Stepford Wives. Erotica writers have banded together to deduce the triggers that send the Wives into a frenzy, and the guidelines put out by Selena Kitt and others erotica writers have been stable for all of three months.

Apparently, Amazon has new criteria that once again, they told no one about.

Yesterday, Red Phoenix's much awaited book, The Keeper Finds Her Mate (Keeper of the Wolves #2) was blocked on Amazon, even though it was already for sale on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. Red posted the e-mail she received on her Facebook page in hopes that someone could figure out what it was that Amazon objected to:

During our review process, we found that your book contains content that is in violation of our content guidelines. Our content guidelines apply to the book interior, as well as cover image, title and/or product descriptions. As a result, we will not be offering this book for sale.

Several experienced erotica authors and readers looked at the public information. No naked boobs or butts on the cover. The wolf refers to the fact that the characters are werewolves, not that the book contains bestiality, exactly the same as the first book in the series.

Layla took on the role as Keeper after her mother’s untimely death. She succeeded in her first Bonding Ritual, but is surprised by the forbidden act she must perform every full moon. A whole new future opens up when she is rescued from certain death by an unknown wolf. Will the strength of her bond with the four Alphas overcome the desire to deny her fate and start a new life with another?

Warning: 18+ This book contains scenes that some readers may find objectionable. 

A couple of folks thought maybe "forbidden," "mate," or "objectionable" might have added to Amazon's No-no List of Naughty Words.

But we'll never know for sure because Red's fans stepped in. And they were pissed!

Facebook statuses flew spreading the word of what Amazon had done to their favorite author. They sent furious e-mails to Amazon, then turned around and bought the book from the other retailers carrying it.

Red still hadn't figured out how to respond to Amazon when The Keeper Finds Her Mate suddenly went live at noon EDT today. While Amazon would never admit it, Red gives full credit to her legions of fans who demanded that her book be made available to them.

As of the writing of this post (it's just after 7PM CDT), Red is climbing the bestseller list:

So what the hell was Amazon thinking by blocking this book? Or was someone in KDP getting a little too power-trippy?

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