On censorship, adult tags, and Breeder….

Release Breeder from the dungeon!

Release Breeder from the dungeon!

It’s the proverbial 2 a.m. knock at the door.

You’re dragged out of your bed, hauled away, and thrown into a dungeon never to be seen again. Your crime? You can only guess. No one will tell you.

How do you get out of the dungeon? They don’t tell you that either.

Who knows you’re there? Nobody.

Record of your existence is wiped out. When concerned family members ask about you by name they’re told, “Never heard of her.”

You exist in a no man’s land.

That’s what it’s like to have your book tagged by an “adult filter” on Amazon.  All of a sudden your book disappears from searches. No one–not even with the exact spelling of your author name and exact title–can call it up on Amazon. No one notifies you the author or your publisher that this has occurred. The only way you find out is if you or somebody you know happens search for your book. On your Author Central dashboard everything looks normal. Your book is still listed, and no mention is made of the adult tag that has rendered your book invisible and inaccessible.

When readers can’t see it or buy it, your sales go into a freefall. When you’re an ebook author like I am, 80-90% of one’s sales come from Amazon.

Readers’ choices have been eliminated, and they don’t even know it. The books of their favorite authors are no longer available to them.

The triggers are arbitrary and mercurial. What was acceptable when your book was released suddenly is not. One author’s book is tagged while another with similar material skates by.

Trying to get the tag removed is a stab-in-dark guessing game. Was is the photo on the cover? The title? A trigger word in the blurb?And which word? There is no official list of “bad” words. Authors can only guess.

This scenario happened to me on Tuesday when Breeder, my first sci-fi romance was “adult-filtered” on Amazon. My husband searched for it to check my rankings and said, “Hey Breeder isn’t here.” Nothing looked amiss on my Amazon author dashboard. Only by going to Sales Rank Express did I see the ugly red “adult filtered” tag on Breeder.

This book has been out for nearly a year. It’s a science fiction romance. When it released it, ranked No. 2 in science fiction romance and fantasy romance on Amazon. Its sales ranking has been as high as 1100 (out of millions, that’s pretty good).

Now it has disappeared from the Amazon search engines. Key in “Breeder by Cara Bristol” and the only book that pops up is Terran, the second book of the series.

Loose Id, the publisher, has rewritten the blurb, and is contacting customer service to see if the tag can be removed. Some authors who have experienced this have been successful; many others have not. This has killed some books.

The timing could not have been worse for me. I’m getting ready to release Warrior, the third book of the series next month, and my publisher is getting ready to put out a print version of Breeder, also likely in October.

You can still buy Breeder on Amazon if you have the direct link. And you can access it from my Cara Bristol Amazon Author Page. Also, you can Google it. It’s available on BN, ARe, and through Loose Id.

Save Omra! Release Breeder from the dungeon!

CB_Breeder_coverlgOriginal Breeder blurb

To secure his legacy, Commander Dak, a ruling Alpha of planet Parseon, purchases Omra, a breeder slave. He intends to impregnate her, produce a son, and hand her off to his anointed beta partner. As Dak and Omra discover a sexual bliss banned by law, he begins to question the traditions and ways of his people, causing him to jeopardize his command and endanger the life of the woman he has come to love.

 

 

Coming October 21 – Warrior! The final Breeder book

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00014]A female fighting for freedom. A male armed with determination. Can they save their people?

As a despotic Qalin marches through Parseon intent on conquering every province, Commander Marlix pledges his sister to another Alpha to protect her. Desperate to decide her own fate, Anika flees and finds refuge with the guerilla resistance movement against Qalin. Marlix’s beta Urazi, a male of lesser status, tracks her intending to bring her home to fulfill her duty. But when love blossoms between them, and provinces fall to Qalin, Anika and Urazi realize home has ceased to exist and they alone are all that stand between the people of Parseon and the end of the world?

 

 

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17 Responses to On censorship, adult tags, and Breeder….

  1. PJ Friel says:

    Ugh! I’m so sorry this is happening to you, Carol. I hope that you’re able to get it all straightened out. That’s really terrible that Amazon refuses to give people guidelines on how to stay out of the adult tag dungeon.

  2. I’m sorry this has happened to you. I know what it’s like, as two of my books with my publisher are adult listed, and one of my self-pubbed books is as well. All three covers have been changed, but that doesn’t seem to make a difference. Hopefully, you can figure a way out.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      I guess if an erotic romance author is around long enough, it happens. I had always thought I would have been Unexpected Consequences that got tagged because of the bare butt cheeks on the cover.

  3. Stephanie F. says:

    Is their anything readers can do to help get it removed? Call asking about purchasing or complaining about it?

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you for asking, Stephanie. The best thing readers can do is share the direct link and get the word out that the book is still available. We need to wait and see the process that is in the works can change it. I’ll let people know if additional assistance is necessary. But let’s wait a bit first.

  4. Anne Casey says:

    I love that book! Amazon needs to be reined in. They are acting as if their opinions are law, and we aren’t even sure what their opinions are. I’m in Canada, but I thought there was something in the American constitution about freedom of expression. It doesn’t like like that applies any more.

    I already share links to books I think my friends will love, but if there is anything else I can do please let me know.

  5. Renee says:

    I am sorry that Amazon labeled the book adult. I really am struggling with the idea that one company can arbitrarily decide what I can and cannot read. You know writers create stories about dystopian societies all the time. Ummmm Amazon belongs in them. When did we begin to allow companies to dictate our pleasures and hobbies? I hope you can get around the word dictators and get Breeder back online. It really is one of my favorite books.

  6. Your description is totally accurate about the middle of the night call and not knowing what happened. Two years ago I self published a book that totally tanked. I assumed I had no future as a writer and nearly quit. It wasn’t until a few months…maybe even a year…that someone said they thought it had been adult tagged. I had no idea what that even meant. I got a new cover and changed the title but the book never did much. It’s like being on double secret probation while being blissfully ignorant.

  7. angela says:

    Sorry that Breeder is in the dungeon! I just re read Breeder and Terran back to back. I just love them both. I can’t wait for Warrior and all the rest of your stuff. I’d be willing to just send you money on paypal and have you send me PDF’s. Screw the middleman!
    I’ll send you positive vibes to get the adult tag taken off. I doubt your books have anything in them more “adult” than the 50 Shades series — and that book is everywhere.

  8. Melody Parks says:

    I ended up changing my pen-name because of amazon tagging every book I wrote adult. Long months later and much head scratching it was narrowed down to one single word that was used in nearly every blurb. ‘slave’
    Amazon has this ‘unofficial’ list of borderline words and breeder and slave are both on that list. Since Breeder is on your cover, and slave is used in your blurb, maybe tweaking both the title and the blurb will get Breeder back in the search results where it needs to be.
    Good luck with this Cara, I am sure it will be back out there soon.

  9. Jule Kijek says:

    Sorry this is happening to you. We are all behind you 100%.

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