Publishing adult/erotic pulp fiction on Amazon KDP?
May 30, 2013 7:53 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for warnings or limitations for publishing adult/mature erotic fiction through Kindle Direct Publishing, and I'm worried about pitfalls and I haven't yet found any direct language about content or rated content or the like.

My content is not out of line with what could be found in any given novel (say, 50 shades of whatever), but the focus of my content is obviously fetish-oriented pulp fiction smut. But to be clear I'm writing text porn wrapped loosely around a basic plot.

And this is obviously the fine gray line that has troubled librarians and Edwin Meeses of the world.

Can anyone help me figure out where their particular fine gray line is? They don't seem to put it out there beyond "If we don't like it, we'll pull it and keep your royalties."

Advice about royalty and payment issues is also welcome, but I'm particularly interested in their pro or anti smut policies.

Also this is not fan or slash fiction, but wholly invented characters, so copyright shouldn't be an issue.

(And apologies, I have no internet at home. My followups to this question may take 24 or more hours, which would explain why I've apparently written nearly a megabyte of plaintext of pulp fiction books in the space of two weeks.)

(And, ah, to be clear this is NOT a call for action or sales from MeFi friends or members. I'll be publishing under a pseudonym and I'm frankly embarrassed enough just posting this question without using the anonymous question function. If you're a close friend I may share direct copies in the future or something if/when I establish some record.)
posted by loquacious to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

I don't know anything official, but lately I've been editing very hot and smutty novels that are being sold through kindle direct with no problems.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:04 PM on May 30, 2013

I used to work for a publisher of erotic novels, and know many authors who've chosen to self-pub their erotic works on Amazon.

If you're talking about 50 Shades of Whatever level stuff, you have, in my opinion, nothing at all to worry about. I think--and emphasis on think--that Amazon have started cracking down on things like daddy-daughter smut, but outside of that, pretty much anything goes, in my experience. Off the top of my head, I can think of smutty novels on Amazon that feature borderline bestiality, rape, brother-brother incest, heavy BDSM, sex slaves, etc--and those are just things that I worked on. I cannot imagine anything that could be described as anywhere close to 50 Shades crossing any lines that Amazon may or may not have.

If you have a specific scenario you're worried about and you'd like me to be more reassuring about it, feel free to memail me the gist and I can probably point you to at least a couple of books that are deal with similar subject matter.

Also, re: royalties/payments: I've never heard anyone say a bad word about Amazon's payments, etc. As long as you've made enough to trigger a check/eft transfer (the EFT limit is something like $10; it's not prohibitive) the payments show up when Amazon says that they will, and sales are easily tracked through their sales tracker.

Good luck!
posted by MeghanC at 9:09 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

I recommend Selena Kitt's blog--she's been very successful in the ebook erotica field and writes frequently about the love (because it's sold a lot of Kindles)/hate (because it's embarrassing when your top 100 list is full of smut) relationship Amazon has with the genre.

The 'rules' are changing all the time, and Amazon does not have a clear (public, at least) policy, meaning authors often end up guessing what to do and hoping it works. Kitt talks here (NSFW blog) about what is (supposedly/hopefully) currently acceptable.
posted by lovecrafty at 9:10 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Check your MeMail.
posted by Sternmeyer at 6:59 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

This thread from SomethingAwful is a great resource for anyone starting out as a self-published erotica author. Between the OP and the last few posts, it should give you a sense of Amazon's current unwritten "rules."
posted by Mr. Fig at 11:35 AM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

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