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Full strength smut

My new book's out. It's a Christmas story called I'll Be Cucked For Christmas, and it's about a guy who takes his boyfriend back to his small hometown for family Christmas, only to run into his old high school bully. You know where that's going to lead, right?


I made the decision not to publish this story on Amazon. Which is annoying, because I get about 6 out of 10 sales from Amazon, so there's a good chance this book is going to sell nowhere near as much as it should. I know, sales aren't everything; I write because I want to and because I enjoy it. But I also like people to read my writing, and it's frustrating putting a whole lot of effort into something that not many people will see. Besides, I would really like to make a living as a writer one day, and drop my regular job down to part time so I can spend more time writing. That will only ever happen if people buy my books.


So why pass up my biggest source of sales, then?


Well, it comes down to Amazon's terms and conditions. They're conservative, and they're vague, and they're arbitrary. And if you fall foul of them they can block your book. Or even worse, terminate your account without warning or explanation, with very little you can do about it. Writing career dead (or at least maimed) in an instant.


There is certain content Amazon doesn't allow for good reason: things like incest, bestiality, underaged participants and non-consensual sex. There's also things they prohibit that I'd argue are a little more conservative than necessary, like watersports (as I found out the wrong way a couple of years back). Okay, fair enough. They have the right to choose what they stock, right?


But it's not just this content that can get you banned. It's words that indicate your book might include this kind of content, or something in a grey area that's a little too close to it.


Even if you include some of this stuff your book might slip under the radar - lots of books do. But it might not, and in general it's not worth the risk.


In this latest story there are plenty of mentions of family members (because the protagonist is staying with them), as well as references back to when my protagonist was at high school (because the bull in the story is his high school bully from a decade ago). So even though those references aren't sexual, and there isn't any content in there that crosses into the types of content that's actually against Amazon's terms, those references mean there's a pretty good chance the book will get blocked. And if that happens there's also a chance my whole account will get blocked.


And if that happens there's often not much you can do about it. There are countless stories of people who've had their accounts terminated for infractions they didn't realise they'd committed (and in some cases never found out what they'd done wrong) and spent hours trying to resolve the issue with Amazon only to be ignored and refused any kind of resolution.


So I'm not going to risk it. Not for one short story.


I could have edited out every bit that was possibly a problem so I could be confident of meeting Amazon's guidelines. That's what I did with a recent story, The Guy Next Door Is Nailing My Husband. I changed a key scene - a scene that I loved - into one that I thought was not as hot, because I was concerned about falling foul of the rules. It sucked, and I was disappointed about it, but it wasn't totally central to the story and I think the end result turned out okay anyway. (If you want to read the story as I originally intended it, you'll have to sign up to my Patreon to see the drafts I shared along the way).


But I didn't want to do that this time. It would only require changing some details, but they were all the details that made the story fun and gave it the whole Hallmark Christmas movie parody vibe I was going for. If I took out enough details to keep Amazon happy, it would be a completely different story than the one I wanted to tell. So instead, I decided I wanted to write the story the way I'd intended, even if it means not having the option of selling on Amazon.


So why am I telling you this? It's not just to get you to buy my book (well, maybe there's an element of that, because I do want people to buy my book!).


Mainly though, the reason I'm telling you is because Amazon's almost-monopoly on erotica books means writers like me, in general, are writing with Amazon's guidelines in mind. And that means readers like you are getting fed writing that is more bland than it needs to be. You're missing out on a whole bunch of ideas and details which could be hot, because writers are making choices to err on the cautious side rather than forgoing most of their potential writing income - or writing stories that never see the light of day.


Readers can change that though. Buy your erotica from somewhere else if you have the option. The more authors can see that publishing on other platforms is a viable commercial option for them, the more they'll do it, and the less they'll worry about the catastrophic consequences of getting kicked off the biggest platform in town. And the better, hotter and more risqué stories you'll get.

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