After many conversations with Viewers Like You, I’ve been working hard to revise my erotica to become more “Amazon Friendly,” including changing subheaders on my titles, content inside of the book, and descriptions so that there aren’t any red flags for the title to be removed.
The trouble is that “red flags” are so hither and thither. They are rumors floating upon the wind. They are the stomach ache that one Amazon employee had after lunch, causing them to delete a story.
The second trouble is that I really love Amazon and want to keep writing for it. When I tried to upload shorts on Smashwords using my .docx format, millions of red flashing pop ups appeared on my screen telling me that “YOU HAVE SO MANY FORMATTING ISSUES THAT A REP FROM SMASHWORDS IS COMING TO SPANK YOU.” I tried to look at the formatting “guidelines” and then grew five immediate ulcers. Maybe one day I will be smart enough for that website, but until that day comes, I am bitter and old and going to call 911 on my Jitterbug cellular phone if they keep bothering me.
So, Amazon it is. Here are the things I’ve changed about my stories since looking up what to do and what not to do:
Change #1: Farewell, Incest
All of my brothers and sisters have magically become step-brothers and step-sisters. Even in that surprise twist story which I won’t reveal here. I’m fine with this, I accept that I’m not as popular as authors pulling in 100k a year for The Zon. Maybe one day I can have the gnarly all-in-the-family orgy that I dream of, but today is not the day.
Change #2: Everyone is 18
I hate having to clarify that everyone is 18. It feels so cheesy. I’m also not a porn director, and I’m not casting actual people for my erotica. It’s also clear by the content in my stories that these are of-age, consensual participants. Putting the number into my ““fine art”” makes me so sad, but I did it. On any stories where the characters are in “high school-ish,” I made sure to clarify that they have freshly turned 18.
Change #3: Select Keyword Removal
Everyone in the world knows that the word “brat” stands for “step-daddy stuff.” But there are other triggering words that Amazon won’t put past the filter which I have removed, like “orgy” and “gangbang.” Most of those words were in the sub headers of my titles, so it was an easy fix. The only problem is that the cover images still have the original word, but whatever. I can easily update those and will probably do so this weekend. Or at some point.
I’m not selling more than a few tuppence worth of stories on Amazon right now, so I’m not so worried about them being picky about my stuff at the moment. My erotica friends flatter me with their concern; I am still a tiny fly on The Zon’s pyramid. Until then, it is me: clean, legal, good, pure, and etcetera.