Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Pop Goes the Cherry" Gets BANNED by Amazon

In honor of Banned Books Week, Amazon has decided to bestow the honor upon me of having one of my books banned!

(This isn't like the post I wrote about Cleaning Up Camille getting ADULT filtered. I got an e-mail back from Amazon stating the cover art was the problem, and I decided not to change it because I didn't want to spend the money on new stock, so it was my decision not to pursue getting it unfiltered.)

For those of you following Amazon's witch hunt against erotica writers of all subgenres, we may have another casualty: The word "cherry" may in fact be a bannable offense on
The second book in my Reagan Dubois Duology was banned today after I did nothing more than to update the back matter to include current works and also fix some manuscript errors (I hate to admit this, and I was so disappointed when I found them - I felt really unprofessional). I took an unexpected nap, woke up, checked my books' statuses on KDP, and found to my abject horror that Pop Goes the Cherry was listed as BLOCKED.

I tried bringing up the book's page to see if maybe I was just "blocked" from editing it at the moment. But no. It has been taken off the shelves.

It is no longer even listed on my author page. As far as Amazon is concerned, Pop Goes the Cherry, published way back on September 13th, has never existed.

Pop Goes the Cherry is the second in a sexy pro-LGBT, interracial series. The cover is of a young black woman looking to her right with her eyes closed. Like so:

All characters are over eighteen. The story says so. They are all in college, which should be yet another indicator.

There is no dubious consent (dub con). I am a supporter of "Consent is Sexy." Reagan, the main character, is asked several times if she consents to what is being done to her ("Do you want this?" "Are you sure?" "Are you ready?" "Do you want me to take you?").

The characters are all unrelated. They come from different backgrounds, parents, and cultures. Reagan is black, Toni is Japanese, and Bella is Dominican. Very unlikely that there's some "hidden (pseudo)incest subplot" or agenda in there.

So, what exactly is it that Amazon doesn't like? Do they not like lesbians? Bisexuals? Women of color? Interracial sex? Virgins?

My only clue as an e-mail I received from Amazon stating the following:
We’re contacting you regarding the following book(s) that you submitted for sale in our Kindle Store: 
B00F5GVGWA Pop Goes the Cherry (F/F/F First Time Interracial Erotica) (The Reagan Dubois Duology) 
During our review process, we found that your book contains content that is in violation of our content guidelines. Our content guidelines apply to the book interior, as well as cover image, title and/or product descriptions. As a result, we will not be offering this book for sale. 
Our content guidelines are published on the Kindle Direct Publishing website. To learn more, please see: 
Best regards, Leigh W.
Out of curiosity as to what I may have missed, I clicked the link to their guidelines, which very literally say:
Offensive Content What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect. 
Well, there must be more, right?

Except, no. No, there isn't.

That's all they're going to give me to figure out what's "wrong."

No chance to redeem myself. No chance to fix the title or description. Just outright banned with minimal notification and no telling what precisely the issue is.

I am livid, to say the least. If stuff as tame as this is getting banned, what's next? We already know DubCon and PI have bit the dust - is LGBT stuff on the chopping block now? Or does Amazon just not like characters losing their virginity?

I will continue to update as the situation progresses, but please understand that this should be a sobering note for any erotica author publishing through KDP.

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