Amazon banning gay content

Aide Fired; Insinuates Corey Booker’s Gay; Amazon Ban Internal Desires

Aide Fired; Insinuates Cory Booker’s Gay

A media consultant for Steve Lonegan was fired recently for insinuating that Lonegan’s opponent, Cory Booker, is gay. I’ve been following this senate race in New Jersey for a while, and I’ve posted a few times about Corey Booker and the questions about his sexuality, including the publicity he received when he started tweeting a female stripper who refers to herself as “stripper model weirdo.” I know this sounds like junior high, but I swear I’m not making any of this up.

This is what the aide, Rick Sheftan, said:

“It’s the way he was talking to her,” said Shaftan explaining Booker’s responses to Lee’s tweets. “It’s just like there was no sexual interest at all. I don’t know. To me, if I was single and you know like some stripper was tweeting me, I might take advantage of the perks of the office, you know?”

Sheftan was fired that same day, and this is how Garden State Equality replied:

Others like Troy Stevenson of Garden State Equality found Shaftan’s comments “homophobic, misogynistic, and pornographic and a disgrace.” Stevenson said that Shaftan needs to apologize to Booker and the people of New Jersey.

Fact: Corey Booker claims he’s not gay. I personally don’t care about whether or not Corey Booker is gay. I only care about what kind of senator he’ll be. His sexuality is his business and I think that’s a private matter. But what I do take issue with is the fact that someone can get fired because they insinuated someone else is gay. In other words, why is it a crime to insinuate that someone is gay? Is there something wrong with being gay? Does Troy Stevenson of the Garden State Equality group think there’s something wrong with being gay, as if Corey Booker should be ashamed to be gay? Personally, I think Stevenson needs to apologize to the gay community. I find Troy Stevenson’s comment to be far more homophobic and gaycist than anything Sheftan said. It sends out all the wrong messages to gay youth, as if there is shame in being gay.

Amazon Ban Internal Desires

Yesterday I posted about an issue I’m having with Amazon for banning one of my books with gay content, Internal Desires. Since that time, I’ve contacted Amazon twice to ask why the book was banned because I can’t see any viable reason. It contains nothing that violates any guidelines. And now I’m wondering if Amazon is banning gay content. It’s been almost twenty-four hours and I have not received a reply from Amazon yet.

 All characters are of legal age, and I followed the standard guidelines all publishers follow with respect to content. The same guidelines I’ve been following for twenty years with all LGBT publishers.

For those who don’t know, almost all publishers follow a set of what is considered basic guidelines with regard to erotica and how far an author can go. Here’s one from Ravenous Romance that most publishers follow. You can’t do this:

Anything with pedophilia, which involves sexual situations between adults and children. We are not interested in “barely legal” situations, either.

Anything with necrophilia, which is sex with a truly dead body. If your vampires and zombies are having sex (with the living or each other), it better be lively.

Anything with bestiality, which is sex with animals. Sentient beings, including shapeshifters, centaurs, and the like must be adequately anthropomorphized.

Rape or incest. If it’s a necessary part of a story, its purpose should not be to arouse.

These are the same guidelines I have followed with my books for Ravenous Romance, and the same guidelines I have followed for over twenty years with other publishers. They are also the same guidelines I follow with my self-published books and stories.

So in order to prove this to readers, I’ll be putting Internal Desires, the book Amazon banned, up for free on Allromanceebooks.com this week. I’ll post more when it’s live on ARe.

Is Amazon Banning Gay Content Now?

Is Amazon Banning Gay Content Now?

I posted about an indie novella I published on Amazon a few months ago, here. It’s titled Internal Desires, it’s gay erotic romance, and it was set in the l960’s. Although this isn’t the first time I’ve had a book banned for tech reasons (search tags, etc…), it is the first time I’ve had a book banned for no specific reason. Below is the e-mail from Amazon, verbatim. As you can see from the cover image above, this doesn’t make sense, because if this is what’s considered going against their content guidelines we’re all in trouble. So this leads me to wonder if Amazon is banning gay content now. All characters are of legal age, and I followed the standard guidelines all publishers follow with respect to content. The same guidelines I’ve been following for twenty years with all LGBT publishers.

This particular book was part of the KDP Select program, where Amazon locks you in for three months. So I can’t give you any other links right now for Internal Desires. I was in favor of doing KDP Select at the time. It seemed like a good idea. But this is one more reason why I won’t be using KDP Select again. And I highly advise any other authors who are self-publishing to avoid this, too. When a book is banned this way (and that’s really what this is: book banning) and you haven’t distributed it to any other web sites where e-books are sold because you’re locked into an exclusive, you’re screwed. And, once again, this is also why authors should seriously start thinking about selling their own e-books on their own web sites like J.K. Rowling did with the Harry Potter e-book.

From my inbox:

Hello,

During our review, we found that the following book(s) is in violation of our content guidelines (see list below for details):

Internal Desires (ASIN: B00DFB7UNQ) – Cover Image

If you wish, you may make changes to your book (images, title, description, and interior content) to comply with the KDP Content Guidelines and re-submit it for publishing.

You can find our content guidelines on the Kindle Direct Publishing website: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A1KT4ANX0RL55I

We’ve set your book to “Draft” status. Upon changing your content, please re-submit your book for publishing in order for your book to be made available for sale in the Kindle Store.

We appreciate your understanding.

Kindle Direct Publishing
I have contacted Amazon to see what’s up with this. I’ll post a follow up on this issue very soon, once it’s resolved. I truly hope it’s not because of gay content.