A few days ago I uploaded “Slither” to Amazon Kindle. I received an email (copied below) saying they would not be offering my book for sale because “the book contains content that is in violation of our content guidelines”.
I thought maybe I was now in the revered company of George Orwell, D.H. Lawrence, John Steinbeck, Toni Morrison, and so on. But, it might just be the cover art – a Gauguin nude – that violates their guidelines. Or the fact that the title says clearly that it is carnal prose. It could even be that someone read the whole book and decided it would be a “poor experience” for other readers – they say in the guidelines “We don’t accept books that provide a poor customer experience. Examples include poorly formatted books and books with misleading titles, cover art or product descriptions. We reserve the right to determine whether content provides a poor customer experience.”
There was no explanation as to what specific content violated their guidelines, but reading through those guidelines made me reluctant to ask. They could fit my book into any of those violations, after all (Copied below).
So, I have had to put the book up for sale on my own website, it’s available for download as a PDFOh and, the print version is available on Amazon.
The email from Amazon:
From: Amazon.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 8:02 PM
Subject: Alert from Amazon KDP To: (my email address) Hello, We’re contacting you regarding the following book that you submitted for sale in our Kindle Store:3018507 Slither ~ carnal prose by Urmilla Deshpande
During our review process, we found that your book contains content that is in violation of our content guidelines. As a result, we will not be offering this book for sale.
Our content guidelines are published on the Kindle Direct Publishing website.
To learn more, please see: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-
publishing/help?topicId=Best Regards, Marigold J. A1KT4ANX0RL55I
Amazon.com Your feedback is helping us build Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.
And here are the content guidelines:
Your books and other content (such as book titles, cover art and product descriptions) must adhere to these content guidelines. We reserve the right to make judgments about whether content is appropriate and to choose not to offer it. We may also terminate your participation in the KDP program if you don’t adhere to these content guidelines.
We don’t accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts.
What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect.
Illegal and Infringing Content
We take violations of laws and proprietary rights very seriously. It is your responsibility to ensure that your content doesn’t violate laws or copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity, or other rights. Just because content is freely available does not mean you are free to copy and sell it.
Public Domain and Other Non-Exclusive Content
Some types of content, such as public domain content, may be free to use by anyone, or may be licensed for use by more than one party. We will not accept content that is freely available on the web unless you are the copyright owner of that content. For example, if you received your book content from a source that allows you and others to re-distribute it, and the content is freely available on the web, we will not accept it for sale on the Kindle store. We do accept public domain content, however we may choose to not sell a public domain book if its content is undifferentiated or barely differentiated from one or more other books.
Poor Customer Experience
We don’t accept books that provide a poor customer experience. Examples include poorly formatted books and books with misleading titles, cover art or product descriptions. We reserve the right to determine whether content provides a poor customer experience.