Saturday, June 8, 2013

Understanding the Amazon ADULT filter?

I feel like I may - MAY - have come to a sort of understanding with Amazon's ADULT filter, today. I'd always wondered why some titles didn't get filtered since they had pretty risque and filterable keywords like tentacles, breeding, pseudo-incest, but they fly while others got shot down fast for having words in parenthesis like BDSM or... hand-holding. Okay no, but oh hey, now I kind of wonder if it would get filtered.

Seriously though. Why do I think I understand it a bit now? I found this following image on CreateSpace, Amazon's paperback publishing avenue while working on releasing a paperback edition of a recent republish, Hot, Wet and Tied Up. Exciting times, it's been quite fun to work on the paperback book cover. Reminded me of old times working on video covers and performance booklets. The following is the image from CreateSpace.

This is an option you are given to tick, filtering yourself. Why would you do this? Don't ask me. Why isn't it on the KDP page for ebook authors? No idea. Whoever handled the GUI for the ebook version probably forgot it, and they've been too busy rolling around in all the free royalty to notice it wasn't there. Maybe it's too late to fix it for whatever reason, so they just go about doling out some sort of mildly coherent if inconsistent and not at all communicated sense of content judgement?

I don't know. "Transparency" isn't part of Amazon's "customer-driven" ideal in this sense. Yet for whatever reason, the definition they seem to be applying is there. Except you only see it if you had business to be that far through creation of a paperback in the first place. The vast majority of independent ebook  publishers don't, and I don't really blame them. I'm for the moment treating paperback publications as a thing for special releases, too. You might not want to hit up the process every time, and the production cost might not make it a practical endeavour to begin with. 

All the same, I think if people keep both this and all prior considerations in mind, it'll become less of an issue. I'm not going to get into a rant about who or what it's "protecting" again, I'm going to ignore how to understand the "guidelines", we have to discuss them among ourselves through mass trial and error instead of there actually being any information shared openly. 

Yeah, okay, I'm bad at this "not going to" thing, but still. When designing your cover and product detail page in general, keep "not suitable for minors" exaggerated in your mind with a pinch of salt for effect, and put whatever in keywords since they're never publically seen, so not publically offensive. This is as much a rant and sense of comfort for me since I've been getting more nervous and upset over things being filtered than publishing at all. Though considering Hot, Wet & Tied Up republished has sold four copies in one day as opposed to zero in a month, it's for good reason that you'd get upset about it.


  1. Interesting. I've just been tagged with the adult tag for the first time. No explanation other than "cover contains mature content." I'm trying to guess what they mean and adjust it but it's been rejected again. Resubmitting it with only the male back (tattoo) showing. Holding my breath. This is very mysterious.

    1. Glad to see that's been unfiltered for you now, it really can be a mysterious sort of thing where the open dialogue is more between authors than author and people in charge, but at least it's something, and is open to being fixed without unpublishing.

      Feels a bit less like walking on thin ice with them now, which is really nice.