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Permlink Replies: 9 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jul 8, 2016 4:50 AM Last Post By: crazywriterlady
Lisa Change

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Registered: 12/30/15
Blocked Book? (erotica)
Posted: Jul 7, 2016 1:17 AM
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Hi all!

Does anyone know what the deal with blocked books is? I recently tried to publish the 3rd part of a trilogy I've written, only for Amazon to remove it for 'containing content that is in violation of the content guidelines'. It's original work, I haven't plagarized, the spelling and grammar are up to scratch and I've included a contents table. The only reason I can think of is that it's an erotic novel - but Amazon has a whole section for erotica and there's lots of much more hardcore stuff out there. The book has a storyline and character development, rather than just a bunch of sex scenes strung together, so I don't think it counts as pornographic.

I've since rewritten and resubmitted it twice, only for it to get rejected both times. I'm at the point now where the sex scenes are so vanilla - and so far in between - that it risks losing any erotic element whatsoever. I've eliminated bad language, even stuff said in the 'heat of the moment'. If it was just a one-off novel, I might be tempted to let it go. But it's the concluding part to a trilogy I've spent an age working on. Does anyone have any suggestions? I got an email this morning informing me that Amazon might terminate my account if I keep resubmitting, but I can't help but feel that not publishing it would be insulting to all the readers who downloaded parts 1 & 2. One thought I did have is that maybe Amazon have just flagged the words in the title and aren't bothering to check whether the resubmissions abide by KDP guidelines? Any advice would be welcome, especially from people with experience of submitting erotica to Amazon. Thanks
Oliver

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Registered: 08/22/14
Re: Blocked Book? (erotica)
Posted: Jul 7, 2016 1:25 AM   in response to: Lisa Change in response to: Lisa Change
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It won't be language or level of heat in scenes. Have you got any mention of underage, rape, dubious consent etc etc. If you mention anything like the things I've listed in a book that's categorized as erotica it could be blocked.

Edited by: Oliver on Jul 7, 2016 1:48 AM
Philip Lattimore

Posts: 290
Registered: 06/21/13
Re: Blocked Book? (erotica)
Posted: Jul 7, 2016 1:48 AM   in response to: Lisa Change in response to: Lisa Change
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My advice would be to examine your blurb. A sentence like this, in erotica, will get your book blocked - 'Steven forced Mary to make a decision ...' Unfortunately there are so many examples and its all to do with the credit card companies.

If you find a dubious word then that's not the end of your problem because that title has been blocked several times. You may now be on a last warning. If I found the problem I'd change the title in some way and rewrite the blurb AND design a new cover.
Lisa Change

Posts: 5
Registered: 12/30/15
Re: Blocked Book? (erotica)
Posted: Jul 7, 2016 2:15 AM   in response to: Lisa Change in response to: Lisa Change
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Thanks for the replies, guys. I already tried changing the cover and blurb, but maybe I didn't change the blurb enough? There's definitely no underage stuff, and no mentions of rape, but there are themes of dominance and discipline that I guess could have flagged it? No properly hardcore stuff: about on the same level as 50 Shades.

I'm not really sure what to do. If I am on a last warning, I don't really want to try reposting it and get my entire account blocked or my KDP payments terminated. I don't know if in this circumstance it's best to just forget about it, or maybe wait a month or two and try again with a new blurb/cover/title combo. It's such a shame Amazon don't give you a specific reason why a book was blocked. I'm not particularly precious about my work - I'd happily rewrite a scene or even a whole section if it meant readers could get the chance to read it. Sadly, Amazon don't give you that sort of feedback :(
Pamela Mathey

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Registered: 07/02/16
Re: Blocked Book? (erotica)
Posted: Jul 7, 2016 6:19 AM   in response to: Lisa Change in response to: Lisa Change
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As it doesn't seem you can work out what Amazon's issue is, how about bundling your trilogy into a 'box set', be careful with your cover and your blurb and see how that goes?

I really doubt it's your content. I'm currently reading an Amazon purchase which is massively dark with extreme sexual violence and it got thru unscathed. Fabulously written and intense, sick and fasinating characters. I was honestly amazed it was 'let through' but I'm glad it did as it's truly an excellent read.

Good luck.
crazywriterlady

Posts: 4,231
Registered: 09/18/12
Re: Blocked Book? (erotica)
Posted: Jul 7, 2016 6:49 AM   in response to: Lisa Change in response to: Lisa Change
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I got an email this morning informing me that Amazon might terminate my account if I keep resubmitting

It doesn't matter what you think, do not resubmit this book! Amazon is very serious about this -- and it sounds like you got the "bad" email (there's one less threatening, but still serious).

Without knowing what the book is about, there's really nothing we can do to help. Are there underage characters, bondage, mind control (or drugged/drunk sex), bestiality, scat or the like? Because that will get you blocked.

It could be the cover, or possibly how you wrote the blurb, especially if the subject is pseudo incest. It could be you got a more stringent reviewer, but since you keep trying to publish a book you've been told is against the admittedly vague guidelines you now have a flag on your account. Don't be surprised to find your other books end up blocked as well.

Remember this above all else: Amazon is not kidding around when they send you these emails. They are very strict on what they will and will not allow to be redone and resubmitted.
Emily Veinglory

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Registered: 04/25/13
Re: Blocked Book? (erotica)
Posted: Jul 7, 2016 7:10 AM   in response to: Lisa Change in response to: Lisa Change
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Get some people familiar with kindle guidelines to look at it. As mentioned above, it is almost certainly not he book text that is the problem, but the cover or blurb.

Rather than just making changes all over the place, identify where the problem is. People here or on kboards will be able to spot is 99% of the time.
Lisa Change

Posts: 5
Registered: 12/30/15
Re: Blocked Book? (erotica)
Posted: Jul 7, 2016 9:02 AM   in response to: crazywriterlady in response to: crazywriterlady
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crazywriterlady wrote:
I got an email this morning informing me that Amazon might terminate my account if I keep resubmitting

It doesn't matter what you think, do not resubmit this book! Amazon is very serious about this -- and it sounds like you got the "bad" email (there's one less threatening, but still serious).

Without knowing what the book is about, there's really nothing we can do to help. Are there underage characters, bondage, mind control (or drugged/drunk sex), bestiality, scat or the like? Because that will get you blocked.

It could be the cover, or possibly how you wrote the blurb, especially if the subject is pseudo incest. It could be you got a more stringent reviewer, but since you keep trying to publish a book you've been told is against the admittedly vague guidelines you now have a flag on your account. Don't be surprised to find your other books end up blocked as well.

Well, I definitely don't want to have my account terminated, or any of my other books blocked, so maybe I should just leave this for a while (or even forever). I had one book blocked before (about 3 months ago), but that was for the cover and easily fixed, so this is all new territory for me. It's kinda annoying, really. I'm not trying to get one over on Amazon by resubmitting it again and again, I'm just trying to fix it up so my readers can finally download it :( Shame there appears to be this assumption by the reviewers that you're in some way guilty of trying to game the system, simply by trying to apply their ridiculously vague guidelines. There is some mind-control in my story, but as one of the earlier commenters said, there's some super extreme stuff on KDP already that seems to get a pass - I've read much darker and nastier mind control stories that Amazon doesn't seem to have a problem with. Sigh!

EDIT: Btw, thanks for all the comments, everyone. I appreciate your trying to help :)

Edited by: Lisa Change on Jul 7, 2016 9:03 AM

Diana Persaud

Posts: 2,397
Registered: 10/07/13
Re: Blocked Book? (erotica)
Posted: Jul 7, 2016 9:44 AM   in response to: Lisa Change in response to: Lisa Change
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Lisa Change wrote:
crazywriterlady wrote:
I got an email this morning informing me that Amazon might terminate my account if I keep resubmitting

It doesn't matter what you think, do not resubmit this book! Amazon is very serious about this -- and it sounds like you got the "bad" email (there's one less threatening, but still serious).

Without knowing what the book is about, there's really nothing we can do to help. Are there underage characters, bondage, mind control (or drugged/drunk sex), bestiality, scat or the like? Because that will get you blocked.

It could be the cover, or possibly how you wrote the blurb, especially if the subject is pseudo incest. It could be you got a more stringent reviewer, but since you keep trying to publish a book you've been told is against the admittedly vague guidelines you now have a flag on your account. Don't be surprised to find your other books end up blocked as well.

Well, I definitely don't want to have my account terminated, or any of my other books blocked, so maybe I should just leave this for a while (or even forever). I had one book blocked before (about 3 months ago), but that was for the cover and easily fixed, so this is all new territory for me. It's kinda annoying, really. I'm not trying to get one over on Amazon by resubmitting it again and again, I'm just trying to fix it up so my readers can finally download it :( Shame there appears to be this assumption by the reviewers that you're in some way guilty of trying to game the system, simply by trying to apply their ridiculously vague guidelines. There is some mind-control in my story, but as one of the earlier commenters said, there's some super extreme stuff on KDP already that seems to get a pass - I've read much darker and nastier mind control stories that Amazon doesn't seem to have a problem with. Sigh!

EDIT: Btw, thanks for all the comments, everyone. I appreciate your trying to help :)

Edited by: Lisa Change on Jul 7, 2016 9:03 AM


Mind control is not allowed.

Doesn't matter what OTHERS have gotten away with. At any time the 'Zon can bring down the ban hammer and ban their account.
crazywriterlady

Posts: 4,231
Registered: 09/18/12
Re: Blocked Book? (erotica)
Posted: Jul 8, 2016 4:50 AM   in response to: Lisa Change in response to: Lisa Change
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Mind control? Is that stated in the blurb, or even strongly hinted at? If so, that's your issue, I'd bet. It's a no-no.

And despite what some say, content actually can get you dungeoned, blocked or banned. Go against the guidelines, or continue to publish something you shouldn't, and see what happens.

One thing erotica writers especially need to understand is that it doesn't matter how many others "get away" with stuff. Eventually Amazon catches up. If you don't believe it, hang around where erotica writers do and learn.

As it doesn't seem you can work out what Amazon's issue is, how about bundling your trilogy into a 'box set', be careful with your cover and your blurb and see how that goes?

That's a really good way to get an account terminated. Amazon frowns highly upon people trying to get around their warnings. Anyone who listens to this advice is asking for trouble.

I recommend anyone who is serious about writing erotica -- or even if you're just dabbling -- to pay the five bucks a month to join Dirty Discourse. Your eyes will be opened.
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