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Hi,

I'm a mystery writer who's dipped my toe into erotic suspense. I need guidance on how my two erotic legal thrillers should be classified on Amazon. I marked that they should not be read by anyone under 18 and the sales have been abysmal when compared to my 9 legal thrillers (though I know that's apples to oranges).

I read recently that Amazon doesn't promote erotica? Is that correct? I've also read articles about erotic authors whose books have been blocked on Amazon. But I see books with much more graphic sexual content than mine that are heavily promoted as "dangerous" romance, though clearly erotica. 

Did any of you check the "yes" box when asked if your books were appropriate for readers under 18?

Any tips on how to categorize erotica so as not to block promotional opportunities on Amazon would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Sassy Sinclair (AKA Pamela Samuels Young)

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Here's what I advise -- Amazon is notorious with this and effectively if you mark your work as Erotica it will become VERY hard to find and limit discovery. If your work is first a legal thriller and second an erotic romance, classify it by the former. If your cover is extremely sensual, I'd recommend submitting it with an alternate cover to avoid having it categorized in this way. Sexy is ok; Sexual is not. You can mark it as Legal Romance or Thriller Romance -- but the minute you put Erotic on it you encounter trouble. There ARE other publishers out there and you can work outside of Amazon, but the reality obviously is that Amazon is where a lot of people discover new content. 

Here's a helpful source for others' insights: https://www.reddit.com/r/eroticauthors/comments/8ltrps/categorization_question_amazon/

 

 

Note: We don't tend to have a ton of traffic right now on the forums (Board is re-evaluating how to address that), so most of our most active engagement is in the FB Group. If you want a fast response, and a variety of responses, I recommend you post there first! When we figure out how we want to use the forum for 2021 we'll more formally announce our game plan so we can ensure people get the best value out of this platform.

Thank you!

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Mira,

I truly appreciate this advice! I will indeed take a shot at revising the covers and reclassifying. My concern was that readers who aren't expecting erotica, might be offended and post a bad review. Has that not been your experience. Do you add any words in the description to warn readers. I've seen books that are clearly erotica described as "dangerously sexy." Is that enough warning?

Thanks much!

Sassy Sinclair (AKA Pamela Samuels Young)

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Hi Sassy,

If you have already published your book on Amazon using an Erotica category, unfortunately you will not be able to change it without great, extensive, frustrating effort on your part. If you did not utilize Erotica categories, NEVER PUT YOUR BOOK WILLINGLY INTO EROTICA ON AMAZON. NEVER.

Also, never check any box regarding Age and Grade Range. Simply ignore and go on.

Amazon does not comprehend that there is a literary genre out there called "erotica". Amazon treats all items in its "Erotica" category as pornography. Once you get thrust into the Erotica Dungeon you will never be able to advertise your book via Amazon ads.

Yes, use euphemisms in your blurb. Everyone does this. But you still might end up in the Dungeon against your will.

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Hi Regina,

Thanks so much for your response. Wish I had known this two years ago!

Do you think the following would be worth my effort ... Taking the books off sale, changing the covers and changing the titles and making the current titles the subtitles?  The current titles are Unlawful Desires and Unlawful Seduction. For example, I would change to ...  Love in Action: Unlawful Desires and Love in Action: Unlawful Seduction. (I don't have a new title yet, this is just an example.)

Another option is to taking the 2 books off sale and repackaging them as a two book set with a new overall title but still keeping the current titles as subtitles so that folks who've already purchased them don't mistakenly buy it again. Or maybe throw in a third book and make it a 3-book set.

I just hate to shelf them. The few reviews I have received are pretty strong. 

You live and learn.

Thanks for your help!

Pamela Samuels Young (AKA Sassy Sinclair)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like your option for taking them off sale and repackaging with the sub titles visible in the description. Ie, you could title it "The Love in Action Series: Books 1 and 2." Then, in the description, mention "Unlawful Desires" and "Unlawful Seduction" as Books 1 and 2. And then follow Regina's advice above re: categorizing carefully. People will read between the lines (as there are a lot of readers actually trying to find romantic erotica but Amazon, by making everything "porn" makes it hard). Example: I can try to find high quality erotic romance but I'll end up seeing creepy sick stuff about dinosaurs and women, etc, it's all mixed horribly together. So your best bet is to choose Romance and leave it there, and cover the difference between "sweet" and "erotic" romance in your description and hint at it in your visuals. This way you get an audience actually looking for romance first. Then they'll be able to read between the lines re: your heat level. I'd spend some time finding your favorite erotic romance authors with similar levels of heat and replicating their Amazon descriptions.

 

Note: Everyone "knows" romance = sex. And everyone knows sex = over 18. But Amazon treats "age restricted" as porn. So, just mark it "romance" and you're good. :)

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