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Permlink Replies: 11 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Nov 14, 2017 2:33 PM Last Post By: Mrs Julia Evans Threads: [ Previous | Next ]
Christopher Tho...

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Registered: 04/06/15
KDP Contact us response time and more
Posted: Nov 14, 2017 8:16 AM
 
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Hi folks,

Last Wednesday I contacted Amazon concerning the content of my book (it's crime fiction and I wanted to be sure the details of the crime fell within their content guidelines), and I received a response within a couple of hours answering my question. On Friday, I used the 'contact us' button to ask a similar question but with more detail as, upon reviewing my book I realised I needed additional clarification. I haven't received a response yet and I was wondering:

a) how long does it usually take Amazon to answer through contact us? I usually get a response within a day or two - have I just been exceptionally lucky in the past?

b) is there anyway to check that my message actually went through? I have slightly wonky internet and occasionally it cuts out, so I'm concerned that I might've lost connection and my query wasn't actually sent.

c) would I be fine using the contact us again to resend my question with the provision that it may be a duplicate to one already in their system?

Thanks in advance for any help / advice, and I hope you're having a great day.
cdalebrittain

Posts: 11,088
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Re: KDP Contact us response time and more
Posted: Nov 14, 2017 8:46 AM   in response to: Christopher Tho... in response to: Christopher Tho...
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Reply to the email you got the first time you asked, rather than starting a new thread.

Amazon guidelines are pretty broad. They really only crack down in erotica, so unless you have scenes where you hope the reader will get that special thrill from a nasty crime, you're probably OK anyway.
Christopher Tho...

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Re: KDP Contact us response time and more
Posted: Nov 14, 2017 8:52 AM   in response to: cdalebrittain in response to: cdalebrittain
 
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Unfortunately I deleted the email I received, but I'll bear that in mind for any future contact I have with them as I thought I had to use the contact us to respond to them. Would you recommend I just keep waiting for a response?

With regards to the content, I've kept the descriptions very passive as I didn't want to offend anyone as it's something of a sensitive subject, so I was just trying to get a little clarification from Amazon. I've never written a crime fiction book before so I feel a little out of my depth with how much detail readers might want to know about the crimes, so I decided to go down the route of not including more description than might be discussed on a television show as a rough, rough comparison.

Thank you for your response and any further advice you can give.
Mrs Julia Evans

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Re: KDP Contact us response time and more
Posted: Nov 14, 2017 9:15 AM   in response to: Christopher Tho... in response to: Christopher Tho...
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Hi Christopher,

If you have concerns that the content may be too graphic for your readers, make sure you set the age to 18+ and put some sort of warning in the blurb.

My books contain strong language, sex and violence, and I make sure anyone reading the blurb finds that out straight away. Then, if they carry on and buy the books, they can't say they weren't warned.

By all means, check with A*zon to make sure they don't have any 'issues' with your 'sensitive' content, but if in any doubt about what your readers will think, warn them first.

Best wishes. J
Christopher Tho...

Posts: 12
Registered: 04/06/15
Re: KDP Contact us response time and more
Posted: Nov 14, 2017 9:28 AM   in response to: Mrs Julia Evans in response to: Mrs Julia Evans
 
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Hi, thanks for your response. I've decided to go down the route of a disclaimer in the blurb to warn that the book is for mature audiences. My concerns lay in the fact that (*I'm not sure if there's any moderation on these boards, so I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to say*) the victim was kidnapped and assaulted. There's no scene describing said assault, its just sort of acknowledged that it happened. The story itself is a noir / crime thriller with a private investigator attempting to solve the crime, but as I say, it's my first time dipping into these waters so I wanted to double check with Amazon about some of the scenes. While I've never had a problem with publishing at Amazon, I've read some anecdotes on places that talked about people getting banned for such things in their stories, but I'm starting to suspect that's just for erotic books which this very definitely is not.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure whether they even received my second ticket so I don't know if I should poke them again or just leave it a while longer.

Edited by: Christopher Thompson on Nov 14, 2017 9:30 AM
Salamander Mall...

Posts: 294
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: KDP Contact us response time and more
Posted: Nov 14, 2017 9:30 AM   in response to: Christopher Tho... in response to: Christopher Tho...
 
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Christopher Thompson wrote:
Hi, thanks for your response. I've decided to go down the route of a disclaimer in the blurb to warn that the book is for mature audiences. My concerns lay in the fact that (*I'm not sure if there's any moderation on these boards, so I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to say*) the victim was kidnapped and assaulted. There's no scene describing said assault, its just sort of acknowledged that it happened. The story itself is a noir / crime thriller with a private investigator attempting to solve the crime, but as I say, it's my first time dipping into these waters so I wanted to double check with Amazon about some of the scenes. While I've never had a problem with publishing at Amazon, I've read some anecdotes on places that talked about getting banned for such things in their stories, but I'm starting to suspect that's just for erotic books which this very definitely is not.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure whether they even received my second ticket so I don't know if I should poke them again or just leave it a while longer.


A victim was kidnapped and assaulted? You have read a crime book before, right?
Christopher Tho...

Posts: 12
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Re: KDP Contact us response time and more
Posted: Nov 14, 2017 9:31 AM   in response to: Salamander Mall... in response to: Salamander Mall...
 
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It's mostly because there's a sexual component to the assault that I was concerned. And, yes, I have read a crime book before, but I've not written one and I had some questions concerning content.

Edited by: Christopher Thompson on Nov 14, 2017 9:32 AM
Salamander Mall...

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Re: KDP Contact us response time and more
Posted: Nov 14, 2017 9:50 AM   in response to: Christopher Tho... in response to: Christopher Tho...
 
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Christopher Thompson wrote:
It's mostly because there's a sexual component to the assault that I was concerned. And, yes, I have read a crime book before, but I've not written one and I had some questions concerning content.

Edited by: Christopher Thompson on Nov 14, 2017 9:32 AM

All crime fiction has a "sexual component," but stay clear of graphic child molestation, explicit incest, and don't write about amorous assaults by farm animals -- even Shifter romances have to keep it human. Common sense stuff, buddy. If it's just mentioned in passing, as you suggested, who cares? Really, you should at least read some crime novels, if only so you know what you're up against. Most are extremely violent and sexual. It's a tough genre to succeed in if you don't know what the competition is up to.

Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 586
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: KDP Contact us response time and more
Posted: Nov 14, 2017 10:41 AM   in response to: Christopher Tho... in response to: Christopher Tho...
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Christopher Thompson wrote:
It's mostly because there's a sexual component to the assault that I was concerned. And, yes, I have read a crime book before, but I've not written one and I had some questions concerning content.

Christopher,

Quite a few first-time authors get hung up about writing any sort of sexual content, consensual or otherwise, often because in the back of your mind you know that people who know you are going to read it, and possibly judge you. I blushed so much writing my first book, that my husband knew exactly when I was writing a juicy bit.

These days he says I get a particular look of concentration on my face, when I'm trying to figure out where all the hands and assorted other body parts are going. It's like I'm building something and trying to follow the blueprint! LOL. Not exactly romantic, but he's not wrong.

I've read every sort of romance book imaginable, and I know where my tolerances are for things like violence and sex in a book. I'm fairly open-minded about most things, but the topics Salamander referred to go beyond where I draw the line anyway, regardless of the Zon's rules. And yet a number of my heroines have been victims of torture and rape. I don't write the detail in a titillating way, but it can sometimes be graphic. I've made myself cry just writing it, many times, and I never wear mascara when I'm editing my books! That's a no-no! I'd end up looking like a panda!

What you have to do is divorce yourself from being the 'author' and imagine yourself as the reader. If you were the reader, what would you think? Too much? Not enough? Then you have to look at yourself honestly, and decide whether you're on the 'prudish' end of the spectrum, or the 'anything goes' end. Balance what you're comfortable with, against what you think the reader will want.

If you don't mind my saying so, you sound as though you're towards the 'prudish' end of the scale (I say that with the utmost respect). It may be that you're going to have to push your own boundaries a little, or a lot, if your work is going to appeal to a mainstream readership.

At the end of the day, you need to deliver a book that you are happy with, and whether you're happy because you pushed the boundaries, or because you didn't, is up to you.

Whether it will be a hit with readers, only time will tell.

Whatever you do... good luck. J
Christopher Tho...

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Registered: 04/06/15
Re: KDP Contact us response time and more
Posted: Nov 14, 2017 12:16 PM   in response to: Christopher Tho... in response to: Christopher Tho...
 
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Thanks everyone for your responses, it's certainly given me some new things to think about and some different perspectives, which are always helpful. Have a great evening, and best of luck to you all in your future releases.

Edited by: Christopher Thompson on Nov 14, 2017 12:20 PM
Karl Jacobs

Posts: 194
Registered: 10/03/13
Re: KDP Contact us response time and more
Posted: Nov 14, 2017 1:57 PM   in response to: Christopher Tho... in response to: Christopher Tho...
 
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Julia, do you have ties to Empire State College and Arizona State? You're so knowledgeable and articulate I'd like to ask you a question about romance novels, if you don't mind, but I don't like to intrude on a thread with a different focus.
Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 586
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: KDP Contact us response time and more
Posted: Nov 14, 2017 2:15 PM   in response to: Karl Jacobs in response to: Karl Jacobs
 
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Karl Jacobs wrote:
Julia, do you have ties to Empire State College and Arizona State? You're so knowledgeable and articulate I'd like to ask you a question about romance novels, if you don't mind, but I don't like to intrude on a thread with a different focus.

Hi Karl,

Sorry, but the answers to your first two questions are no, and no. I'm British. Although, I did visit Arizona in 2001 for about a week! :) It was HOT!

I'm not so sure I'm particularly knowledgeable, but I do try to be articulate. (I think I succeed more often than not, but I'm not the best judge.)

Anyway, I'd be happy to answer any questions if I can.

Post a new thread in one of the quieter forums - feedback, maybe? I'll click to follow you, so as soon as you post, I should get an alert.

(Just thought I'd better remind you about the time difference - I'll be hear for about another 90 minutes, then back in the morning. It's already 10.30pm here.)

J
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