A Tale of Self-Publishing – How authors slayed the dragon

Valerie Douglas

Valerie Douglas is a prolific writer and genre-crosser, much to the delight of her fans. She reads and writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and as V.J. Devereaux, erotic romance. Who knows what will pop up down the road! Happily married, she’s companion to two dogs, three cats and an African clawed frog named Hopper who delights in tormenting the cats from his tank. Valerie Douglas is the co-founder and one of the administrators of the 12,000+ member Indie Author Group – supporting writers around the world. Visit her blog at Valerie Douglas, Author at Large

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3 Responses

  1. It should be noted that I know of an indie sci-fi writer (name withheld) who wrote an erotic novel just to make some money. She claims Amazon rejected the book as too raunchy. She’s the only author I know of to be rejected by Amazon, but apparently Amazon does do gate-keeping to some extent.

    • Kai says:

      Transgressive (among other things) writer here, and I can flat out tell you that there are criteria to get rejected – it’s not as simple as ‘erotic novel got rejected’. Amazon looks at everything from whether the cover can be shown or if you’re consigned to what people call ‘the dungeon’ (that’s where all the really adult stuff goes, and it’s intentionally hidden. If you don’t go into the ‘dungeon’, then there’s more to jump through, that every book does, and at every step, erotica books could end up in there. Editing and formatting aren’t often rejected unless there’s a ‘fabric’ error – that is, the error destroys part of the book due to dodgy compiling or odd characters (it happens), but if you have more than a set portion of spelling errors, it might lock it till you explain ‘well, that’s the language my characters speak, it’s intentional’ (had that happen once with a traditional book….lol).
      From there, the TOS outlines the only other things that Amazon will auto reject on. I don’t think it’s possible to upload an ‘erotica’ novel that is actually simply erotica and not something else and get rejected, but I’d not bet on that. Amazon is the final arbiter, and we’re playing in their garden. Valerie’s completely correct though, Amazon’s got editorial screening now, and it’s also given readers to report issues – there are more and more badly formatted books showing up from indies and traditionals alike with ‘formatting error’ and a little yellow triangle before you buy. Your book can then be pulled if you’ve bought it before then and complain (I’m not sure if someone that bought it WITH the warning also counts….). Indies have to up their game – Valeire knows her stuff.
      Kai

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