Censored? Never by My Own Hand #DarkErotic #BDSM 42 comments


censored

Censored? Never by My Own Hand

 

Recently Amazon and the Powers That Be decided unexpectedly, that my book Elizabeth’s Destiny should be blocked. This is after having a nice run of approximately 18 months, selling well and being well received. My wife wrote a blog post about the headache and the turmoil the blocking of the book has caused as well as adding an email sent to me by Amazon effectively saying I was welcome to censor the book and resubmit it. The book’s storyline is about a missionary woman in India who is kidnapped, so she can be trained as a concubine in a harem of a man who enjoys BDSM. The book has dubious consent but not much. Elizabeth’s trainer, Maxwell, falls for her long before he hands her over, and when they have sex, she is willing. She is not so willing about the spankings, but all in all, she is happy to be with Maxwell.

Anyway, so my wife posted our adventure along with the email from Amazon, and several people put a link to it on their page. I was very shocked and more than a little dismayed when a few fellow erotica authors suggested that I should stop fighting and fussing, and just censor the book and resubmit it. Really? I should rework a book that has been a strong seller and remove parts of the original manuscript to suit Amazon? This is not an option as far as I am concerned.

  1. I write from the heart. My books mean so very much to me, and I write as my creative soul speaks.
  2. This book was just sitting there minding its own business (yes I know a book can’t do that) and suddenly it’s banned? I poured hours and hours of my time into this book. Blood, sweat, and tears is the popular saying and yes, that sums it up. How can another author say just redo it? The book is 230 pages in print not a 10 page novella. That equals time. Time and hard work, not to mention creative energy.
  3. I should redo a book that has sold hundreds of copies? It’s fine as it is. I LIKE it as it is. I will not sanitize my book because some ass at Amazon is narrow minded.
  4. I could page through the listings on Amazon, Blushing, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, etc. and find literally hundreds of book blurbs that speak of forced into marriage, forced into submission, made to do as he pleased, etc. Many of my books that are kinky are historical novels and really, women were treated abominably throughout history. We did not start gaining rights throughout history until fairly recently. Many wedding nights were undergone with dubious consent or no consent at all. Elizabeth is not the first or last woman to be captured for a man’s desires.

So I will not clean up my dubious consent and my kink. I am kinky and proud of it. I am not broken or insane. I spoke with customer service today, about Primal Cravings having the adult tag still attached, and how the customer service rep I spoke to last refused to write a ticket for me because “All that bondage and sadomasochism is classified as adult.” Really? 50 Shades has an adult tag? I think not. E.L. James is simply not an Indie author. I also mentioned that Primal Cravings has light BDSM. The real issue seems to be the anal sex. If the Amazon folks wish to censor my book that contains anal sex then they had better be prepared to tag any gay erotica that has anal sex. That would be discrimination because anal sex is included in the sex lives of many gay men. I pointed that out and the rep today was quick to tell me they were putting that all in the ticket.

My books are what comes from my creative heart and what I spend countless hours writing. I enjoy writing. It frees me from the stress of everyday life. I am transported to another place and time where my real life stress can’t follow. I am aware that Amazon gave me an option for resubmitting Elizabeth’s Destiny and that I refused to take their offer. I am also aware that today’s efforts were handled by the weekend crew and therefore not resolved, but at least I gained some understanding. I am so tired during the week it is next to impossible to fight this battle then.

Elizabeth will move elsewhere. There is a good chance my account would be blocked if I screw around and resubmit it without the proper sanitization. One book being blocked was enough. It has turned my book career on its ear, effecting all my other books that are for sale in a negative manner. That said, I will take another shot at bringing Primal Cravings up from the Amazon Adult Dungeon. It doesn’t belong there. It does not contain anything that should mark it as an adult.

To those who flippantly said rework it or clean it up. I suggest you rework your own erotica books that have been good sellers and “clean them up”. Erotica contains sex. Much erotica has BDSM. It is meant to be steamy, sexy, hot, and sometimes nasty. I write dark romance. My male leads are anti heroes. The heroine is often very upset with the situation she finds herself in. The books are not for those who enjoy rainbows and sunshine. I gear my books for a different type of reader, one who enjoys a struggle to find happiness. I am not going to dissect one of my novels and take out the parts that make it dark. Some may say that then I get what I get. Perhaps, and I would be more agreeable on the subject if Elizabeth’s Destiny was outright denied publication, but it wasn’t. They didn’t make heaps of money off me, but Amazon did profit from Elizabeth for a good long time. I have been faced with discrimination and a double standard most likely because I am an Indie author, and that isn’t right.

I will take the banning of Elizabeth, but I will not go quietly into the background. I will shout my displeasure and bring attention to the unjust treatment given to me by Amazon, and I will say to those who tell me to censor my creative work to go censor one of their own. Cut it up into little pieces after it has been a good seller, feel the aftermath in the form of a blow to the sales of all your books. Go ahead, put my shoe on your foot and see if you don’t squeal.


About JolynnRaymond

Writer of historical paranormal romance, kinky historical romance, and BDSM Mistress and Sex Blogger. I hold the position of being one of Kinkly's Top 100 Sex Bloggers. Two of my books, Taken in Hand A Guide to Domestic Discipline and His Lordship's Wayward Wife, have been nominated as best BDSM Non Fiction and Best BDSM Historical books of the year. The awards ceremony will take place at the BDSM Writers Con in New York City this August.


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