ADULTed by Amazon

The first two installments of Caves of Passion were published through Amazon’s KDP program without a hitch. Chapter #3 however has been a different case altogether.

I’m not sure exactly why, as the content is not any more explicit than the first two. And it’s not due to language, seeing as none of them contain an F-bomb or the C-word. Actually, none of the chapters do or will contain any of George Carlin’s Seven Dirty Words. Not that I have a prudish aversion to the words, I just find them incongruous with the stone age.

So naturally, I did a web search for Amazon adult tag. And there were certainly people discussing it—to the tune of 230,000 search results. However, the information was all conjecture and anecdotal. There were no details or explanations given officially by Amazon.

A per usual, the social forums and message boards were especially full of theories, examples and complaints. One of the most “official” looking explanations I found was on The Digital Reader, in which they re-posted a list from a book cover designer. I’m pasting the list here (but keep in mind it is purely anecdotal).

 Hey there! Amazon has made a few changes to their rules on accepting covers.

  • No model can be handcuffed (this will instantly flag you), blindfolds are okay for now (but I don’t expect them to be in the future).
  • Handcuffs are allowed if they are separate–not on the models . The model can hold the cuffs.
  • No side boob or big cleavage.
  • No upper butt. (No nudity, obviously).
  • No lower hair patch for men (or women).
  • No sexual positions–no doggie style, missionary (or any position that implies penetration).
  • No hands on boobs or private areas.
  • No women on their knees in front of men (even fully clothed).
  • No men between women’s thighs.
  • No men’s faces on breasts (resting, etc–even fully clothed).

For those of you with erotic, dark erotic, or BDSM romances, I would highly recommend a symbolic cover otherwise your books are likely to be flagged. I hope this has been enlightening.

At the end of the post they evidently later added a rather significant clarification:

Update: Dameron-Hill has since backpedaled, explaining in a follow up comment that the list was her own creation and not an official list from Amazon.

I’ve emailed KDP Customer Support asking the reason for my latest book being “ADULTed”, wondering if it was the cover. We’ll see how it goes. Until then, the cover in question is above.

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