Raythe says …
Amazon is supposed to be this book-lover’s paradise, right? With the Kindle, they practically invented the ebook market for the masses, where ebooks were usually only for nerds who wanted to fiddle around with uncooperative technology.
Now, there are so many books to choose from. And there is so much variety because authors don’t have to go through publishers and other gatekeepers, so you get all these amazing niches that can satisfy your tastes… right?
If that’s the case, then why do so many readers complain that they just can’t find what they want to read?
If you’re looking for non-vanilla, non-hetero romance or erotica, chances are that you may not find it on Amazon. Or even if you saw it once and just can’t bring it up in search anymore, there’s a reason for that.
AMAZON HIDES BOOKS
Basically, they place books, at their whim, without any notice to authors, into something called the Adult Dungeon. While “technically” they’re still available, realistically, no one knows that you have to search in a particular way to find them.
Which means that most book-buyers don’t find them. How would they know? Amazon won’t help. Obviously, they don’t want you to find them!
In fact, we just had to deal with it this weekend when, for the SEVENTH TIME, Amazon placed The Dark Earth Yaoi Manga Vol. 1 into the Adult Dungeon.
There is NO sex in Dark Earth 1. There is hardly any romantic content at all. We can only assume it’s because it’s yaoi.
What, exactly, is the Adult Dungeon?
The site Sales Rank Express explains it far better than I can:
Amazon may internally apply the Adult content rating to a book that might be sexually offensive to a general audience. This rating is never shown on Amazon itself, but such books might then be withheld from search results or promotions. So, if the rating has been applied in error, you should try to have it removed.
Other books may be rated Safe to indicate they are not sexually offensive. This rating is meant primarily as a safeguard against a book later being rated Adult incorrectly. (“Safe” is actually S.R.E.’s substitute term for Amazon’s “Not Adult,” which is more likely to be misunderstood.)
Amazon’s application of these content ratings is changeable, inconsistent, and to some extent at the discretion of individual employees. At one point, an Amazon employee in the UK applied the Adult rating to a large number of gay and lesbian books, including children’s books, regardless of whether their content was explicit. Following a public outcry, the books’ ratings were changed. By contrast, a surprising number of Kindle books and Audible audiobooks are blatantly pornographic without being rated Adult.
Nowadays, possibly because of protests against the open sale of obscene books—especially in the UK—nearly all Kindle books and Audible audiobooks receive one content rating or the other. By contrast, printed books on Amazon most often have no content rating at all.
LINK: http://www.salesrankexpress.com/FAQ.html#adult (emphasis mine)
If I just published individual books on Amazon and other third party sellers there would be no Dark Earth Manga Series (some of which we don’t sell on Amazon because they do contain sex), Date A Vampire.com, The Erl-King, The Fell, The Hunt, or Valkyrie and many more.
Because they think what I write — and what you like to read — is “sexually offensive.” They wouldn’t let me publish it at all, or they would continually place it into the Adult Dungeon’s no-man’s land where you wouldn’t be able to find it. Like they keep doing to The Dark Earth #1.
People join Raythe Reign or buy books or art directly from us because they love the material. Many people don’t realize how IMPORTANT such direct sales are to making sure that the type of things you love remain available and are not suppressed.
What does your direct support allow us to do?
- I can pay artists a real wage to create beautiful manga, even if one day Amazon decides to keep our manga in the Adult Dungeon and no one can find it there.
- I can write stories that have sexual kinks that likely this mythical “general audience” would find offensive.
- We’re not dependent on changeable, inconsistent, arbitrary and unfair judgments of nameless, faceless employees who have no guidance and possible prejudices that they refuse to overcome.
So even as I was dealing for the seventh time with Amazon, I kept thinking of you guys and being incredibly grateful. So, seriously, take a bow, and thank you very much!
PS – Kat says, “Hey, want to see something really disturbing?”
Apparently, Googling “Amazon adult dungeon” results in this:
Try it for yourself, tell us what you get. I got actual search results with Bing and Yahoo, though. Well done, Google, supposed archivist of the world’s information! It makes me wonder…