Amazon is at it Again … Maybe

Before I begin, I want to proclaim one statement:

I do not have anything verified from any of my publishers regarding what I’m about to post. This has made the rounds of several author groups I belong to. Whether it’s truth or not is suspect. I can say with certainty that Amazon has been burying adult books into the netherworld. Unless you choose “books” instead of “all”, some of my books–and other authors–will not come up. Even doing the “books” option sometimes doesn’t bring up the book as the first thing on the list even when you type in the exact title. As a writer, it’s frustrating. Amazon is a huge market for books and I can’t get my book to be noticed.

Look, I get that Amazon is easy to shop on. I do it a lot because of the convenience. That one click has made my Kindle explode with books but what gets me to buy a book? It’s a process, sometimes starting with a recommendation. The blurb has a big impact on my buying but the first thing to grab me has always been the cover art.

So what’s allegedly going on with Amazon? Here’s what I’ve seen posted on Facebook:

  • No model can be handcuffed (this will instantly flag you), blindfolds are okay for now (but I don’t expect them to be in the future).
  • Handcuffs are allowed if they are separate–not on the models . The model can hold the cuffs.
  • No side boob or big cleavage.
  • No upper butt. (No nudity, obviously).
  • No lower hair patch for men (or women).
  • No sexual positions–no doggie style, missionary (or any position that implies penetration).
  • No hands on boobs or private areas.
  • No women on their knees in front of men (even fully clothed).
  • No men between women’s thighs.
  • No men’s faces on breasts (resting, etc–even fully clothed).

So, covers like this would be a no-no.

 

Or even my best seller:

TheWolvesofArgonne_M_Front

 

Personally, I don’t find anything wrong with these covers. I loved my cover when I got the proof. It was exactly what I wanted. Everything is tastefully covered. How about the other one?Tthe knots are a form of bondage. Spoiler alert: Most people who are into bondage are consenting adult who fully trust each other in the acts they will perform together. It is not a demeaning act and both parties are willing. I’m friends with a few people who enjoy this lifestyle and they’re in a happy, healthy relationship. Anyone who looks at that cover art and thinks that it’s putting a woman in a bad light or belittles them have insecurities, IMO.

As I said in the beginning, I don’t have any firm evidence to say that what I’ve listed above is the gospel truth. I’ve Googled it and found nothing and I’m extremely good at finding obscure facts. If facts come out that this is the direction that Amazon wishes to go, then writers of erotic romance or BDSM are going to have covers that really don’t show the full scale of what the reader is getting into. To me it might cause problems. Yes, I love tasteful covers but I see the art in the ones I’ve used as an examples too. to me, it’s beauty and elegance all rolled into one. I certainly don’t like the puritan ideals floating around and so long as the naughty bits are covered in some way, what harm does it do?

I don’t want censorship in any fashion to infect where I live. We have laws to dictate right and wrong. A place that sells things like ‘massage tools‘ and whatnot shouldn’t be even considering nixing certain books because of the covers. I’m leery about the whole thing because I’ve seen books yanked–some that are on my Kindle–because they thought they were too racy. If this alleged antics come to fruition, I don’t know what to think.

Publishers will adjust, sure, but at what cost?

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3 responses

  1. Great post! I agree, the world will adjust, but the issue is the impact that adjustment will take. Will we get so fortunate as to have a competitor for Amazon that pops up and says, “I will treat you equally!” Even so, how long will it take before habitual Amazon buyers convert? Because, truth be told, if people really wanted a book, there’s usually more than one place to get it.

    Allromanceebooks
    Barnes and Noble
    Even *le gasp* the publisher’s website (which would actually be more beneficial to the authors, but that might take effort) Okay, I’m kinda jaded on this subject, can you tell?

  2. I have further information. As suspected, it is unconfirmed information and just an assumption of things to come. If you recall, they’ve buried anything labeled adult. So, here’s the new info:

    “As far as I know, there is no official list from Amazon of what is or what is not appropriate. These are examples that have been brought to my attention–instances where Amazon has flagged a book because of what it deemed as “inappropriate” content and those were the reasons given to the authors and to me. This list is based on what people in my field–art directors, cover artists, and authors have told me. My list is to just simply save you the headache of potentially having your book flagged. However, I do believe Amazon needs to have official rules instead of the very broad interpretation of “What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect”. My goal, as a cover artist, is to provide the most eye-catching cover I can provide within safe guidelines. I compiled the list over the past year or two of examples for your benefit.”

    So there you have it.

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