Originally posted on One Handed Writers.
Amazon has now quietly made it harder for you to find the taboo kinks you want on its site, without notice to its readers, authors, publishers, or anyone.
They’ve simply quietly slapped a bunch of titles under an adult filter that, until recently, only had pseudo incest and “hand bras” (i.e. bare breasts hidden by hands). Now, readers are unable to find what they’re looking for with the basic search and hard working writers are worried about their livelihood.
Amazon now expects their millions of users to click ‘books’ or ‘kindle’ to search for their erotica, and while that might seem obvious to some, it’s not. Amazon operates in the dark with these moral policing decisions, so instead of doing what most other sites have and allowing a ‘safe search on/off’ option, they’ve just arbitrarily decided to “protect” people from smut.
It’s not right. It’s a company making moral decisions despite how it affects their bottom line.
And unfortunately, it’s nothing new. Hell, even Fifty Shades of Grey, a book I’ve seen everywhere, was suppressed from Amazon’s front page when it hit #1. Yet, FSoG is not adult filtered, despite its dubious consent, BDSM, and erotic content.
Amazon is a huge company, and when it makes large, sweeping changes like this, it threatens a lot of people’s income, which I think is very serious. It’s not just authors getting swept under the rug, either, but people who are spending their hard earned money on the site.
With over 86,000 titles in “Erotica” on Amazon, that means there’s twice as many erotic ebooks as scifi. Almost 3 times as many as Horror. Over 4 times as many as Drama.
However, Erotica gets no subgenres, no way of distinguishing itself. There’s no heat levels, no way of knowing if you’re getting contemporary, fantasy, or taboo. Why shouldn’t erotica have these things? Why should erotica readers be punished by being arbitrarily slapped with a hidden tag that so few know about? Why shouldn’t Amazon make it easier for readers to find what they want to read and purchase?
Romance has 120k titles, and 15 subgenres. Fantasy, with its 56k titles has 10 subgenres. Poetry, 43k titles, 11 subgenres. Sure, some things don’t lend so well to subgenres, but erotica is not one of them. Some people love BDSM erotica but the idea of taboo sex makes them sick. If you gave them a taboo incest breeding story, I’m sure they’d think you were sick. So why not introduce subgenres and let people who want BDSM find it easily? Or people who want spicy, erotic romance can easily search it instead of wondering if it’s hidden under erotica or romance.
Instead, it’s all about morality, and the fact that Amazon doesn’t want to be seen as ‘supporting’ erotica. Even giving the genre sub genre categories, like they do with romance, is seen as supporting the filthy, dirty things we write about.
Amazon is a corporation, and yes, they can make corporate decisions, but they are a business first and foremost. Please, please write to Amazon this week and tell them that you’re unhappy with how they handle erotica. Let them know that as an adult, you should have the right and ability to police your own settings, and your own computer, and that a safesearch filter would be a more transparent option for its customers.
Selena Kitt wrote an excellent blog the other day about how censorship affects her. Corporate censorship by Amazon hurts authors, but it hurts readers as well, and you should be offended that they don’t trust you enough to be able to find erotica easily.
Current list of filtered words:
Anything family related: Daddy, Dad, Father, Sister, Brother, Uncle, Family, Sibling(s)
Breeding Related: Breeding, Bred, Impregnation
Vulgar terms: Cum, Cock, Cunt, Pussy, Tits, Fuck, Clit, Sex,
Rough or Reluctant: Rough, Forced
Lactation related: Lactate, Lactating, Lactation