Monday, October 14, 2013

Amazon pulls abuse-themed books (and mine)

Before going to church on Sunday, I received an email from my publisher (Limitless Publishing) of The Yearbook Series: Gina and Mike that Amazon had removed it. The only explanation it provided was a link to its Content Guidelines page stating that we were not in compliance.

On Amazon
Looking over the Content Guidelines I couldn't imagine which part of it we weren't in compliance with. The only "rule" I could think of was the one dealing with pornography (We don't accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts), but surely the horrible rape scene in my book wasn't pornographic. Yes, it is brutal. Yes, it is descriptive. But I portray it for the heinous crime that it is. I in no way depict it as a turn on.

I was crushed, not knowing for sure why my book had been removed. I still don't know why for certain. But a friend alerted me that I wasn't the only author whose books were being removed. I searched Google and found articles about Amazon removing abuse-themed books.  Apparently, it came on the heels of a report from The Kernel, a technology news site, that highlighted titles depicting rape, incest and bestiality.

But surely, I thought, there are a ton of books out there that deal with the sensitive topic of rape. And, looking over The Kernel's list, mine was nothing like these titles. Still, it seemed too coincidental.

Could Amazon be applying a scorched Earth approach? I wondered. Instead of looking at each book and determining if it is truly in violation, is it saying, "If it's rape, it's out."

Furthermore, I don't want to shy away from topics such as sexual assault for fear my work will be pulled. I think that writing about such topics, which is incredibly difficult to begin with, is necessary. In Gina and Mike, the reader sees the long-lasting consequences of sexual assault and how it has impacted numerous lives.

Needless to say I tossed and turned last night. I'm still waiting to hear from my publisher (she has contacted Amazon) to find out why the book was removed.

I checked Amazon this morning, though, and saw that the Kindle edition was restored. So that made me happy. But I'm still anxious to learn why it was removed in the first place.

Has anyone else heard of Amazon removing books?

1 comment:

  1. Nightmare...but hooray that it's back!

    I hope you get to the bottom of it to put your mind at rest if nothing else.