Studio Smexy for Illustrated Romance posted revised Amazon guidelines to the Great Erotica Cover Whitewash. Many Thanks to Erin Dameron of Hill Graphics for prying the info out of the Mighty River of vague information.
Most of the issues have already been covered by the incredible Selena Kitt, a lady most erotica authors owe a debt to for making erotica mainstream accessible. But a couple of new things have cropped up (pun intended):
- No models can wear handcuffs, but they can be blindfolded. Erin warns that she believes this may also be banned in the future.
- No cleavage, butt or boob.
- No women on their knees before a guy, even if fully clothed.
- No men touching women's boobs in any way, shape or form, clothed or unclothed.
So basically, as Erin says, Amazon wants symbolic covers, i.e. flowers, watches, keys, ties, etc.
Personally, I think the whitewashing is going too far. Erotica authors are starting to have problems with people thinking our books are straight romance, when they aren't. Therefore, we have more dissatisfied customers and more returns. It doesn't help anyone's bottom line, ours or Amazon's.
So what are our alternatives?
There's always Smashwords. Selena Kitt is talking about starting her own taboo erotica store. Contrary to what people think, Amazon doesn't rule the world. Alternatives will pop up. Providing a service people want can be someone's cash cow if they're smart and willing.
So any takers out there?