Sunday, October 13, 2013

Is Amazon Banning Gay Content Now?

Is Amazon Banning Gay Content Now?

I posted about an indie novella I published on Amazon a few months ago, here. It's titled Internal Desires, it's gay erotic romance, and it was set in the l960's. Although this isn't the first time I've had a book banned for tech reasons (search tags, etc...), it is the first time I've had a book banned for no specific reason. Below is the e-mail from Amazon, verbatim. As you can see from the cover image above, this doesn't make sense, because if this is what's considered going against their content guidelines we're all in trouble. So this leads me to wonder if Amazon is banning gay content now. All characters are of legal age, and I followed the standard guidelines all publishers follow with respect to content. The same guidelines I've been following for twenty years with all LGBT publishers.

This particular book was part of the KDP Select program, where Amazon locks you in for three months. So I can't give you any other links right now for Internal Desires. I was in favor of doing KDP Select at the time. It seemed like a good idea. But this is one more reason why I won't be using KDP Select again. And I highly advise any other authors who are self-publishing to avoid this, too. When a book is banned this way (and that's really what this is: book banning) and you haven't distributed it to any other web sites where e-books are sold because you're locked into an exclusive, you're screwed. And, once again, this is also why authors should seriously start thinking about selling their own e-books on their own web sites like J.K. Rowling did with the Harry Potter e-book.

From my inbox:


During our review, we found that the following book(s) is in violation of our content guidelines (see list below for details):

Internal Desires (ASIN: B00DFB7UNQ) - Cover Image

If you wish, you may make changes to your book (images, title, description, and interior content) to comply with the KDP Content Guidelines and re-submit it for publishing.

You can find our content guidelines on the Kindle Direct Publishing website:

We’ve set your book to “Draft” status. Upon changing your content, please re-submit your book for publishing in order for your book to be made available for sale in the Kindle Store.

We appreciate your understanding.

Kindle Direct Publishing

I have contacted Amazon to see what's up with this. I'll post a follow up on this issue very soon, once it's resolved. I truly hope it's not because of gay content.


Remembering Grace said...

I just went to Amazon to try and figure out WTH?, and either 1) The title is too big? (ridiculous), or 2) You ended up with a new person (even worse). The third option, banned for having gay content...unthinkable! What else are ebooks for?! LOLOL...

I hope you get this figured out, yes please keep us updated!


David said...

"We reserve the right to make judgements about whether content is appropriate and to choose not to offer it." Chilling words to me. The first step on the road to enslavement is to allow others to decide what we should or should not read, watch, or listen to.

Jay Ross said...

Ryan - Since June of 2910, I've purchased over 1300 books from Amazon. At least 90% of the books are GLBT content mostly m/m romance. I sure many of their costumers have also bought many of the same type books. I hope they aren't becoming censors. With some of the religious attitudes in this country nothing surprises me any more.


ryan field said...

@GRace...I'll keep updating. This book is also very tame by most standards.

@David...I hear you!!

@Jay...I honestly don't know what this is all about. As you can see form the e-mail there's no set reason why the book was banned. And it can't be because of the cover. I purposeply had the cover designed in this case to not look sexy. I wanted him to look happy.

Anonymous said...

That's pretty strange. So they're zeroing in on self-published authors insofar as "questionable content" goes?

Unknown said...

Ridiculous. I hate the thought-police! Do I need to close my Amazon account and buy via other channels? Ryan, are you publishing elsewhere?

ryan field said...

Marc...I try to get my books distributed to as many places as I can. From smashwords to TLC Gay e-books it another place. looks that way.

Beth said...

Cassandre Dayne is one of many authors that have had that happen in the last 24 hours or so. Was just in a chat tonight where she talked about it and several others were mentioned too. It's not just gay material either. Seems to be more the way the books are classed than actual content. Seems under 18s are viewing/buying the books and someone bitched about it instead of trying to control their kids. At least that is the info I've seen boiled down to the basics.

ryan field said...

Since the whole thing happened I figured that out...about gay content. At first I wasn't sure because it was so odd.