Outcry as Amazon Censors Then Uncensors Erotic Novels, with Little Explanation

If you’re an author who is trying to become the next E.L. James, then the last couple of weeks would have been a whirlwind.


Amazon recently altered the presence of erotic titles available on Kindle, preventing the works of romance authors from having the high visibility they are used to. The abrupt, unexplained change understandably confused and angered authors. Amazon subsequently “fixed” the issue without warning or comment, leading to further confusion amidst relief.


Amazon confirmed the recent changes after one suspicious author contacted the company.


Erotica author Cailee Francis took to Twitter to air her frustrations with Amazon, writing:




Amazon sent her the following response:


I’m following up concerning some of your books missing their best sellers ranking.

After hearing from our technical team, we have confirmed that this is due to a recent update to the filter option for Erotica ebooks.

All adult-themed titles will be filtered from the main category sales rank as part of this update. However, you will still continue to keep all of your category rankings. I know this wasn’t the answer you were looking for but appreciate your understanding on this policy.

Please let us know if you have any further questions.


As their response notes, book ratings would remain in place within their respective categories. However, their ratings and visibility would change in general areas of their website and app. Any works that are tagged “Erotica” would have a low chance of appearing in recommendation channels, posing a huge problem for authors.


Books that are deemed “best-sellers” are typically pushed to the top of the book recommendation lists, offering high visibility to readers. With these recent developments, erotica authors were worried that their titles would draw less readers. 






If you noticed my use of past tense words, it’s because Amazon randomly changed things, once again, in the last twenty-four hours.


After Motherboard wrote about the effect of Amazon’s recent changes, Amazon responded, saying that the issue was, “corrected.”


“A recent Kindle Store change inadvertently affected the display of sales rank for some titles. We have corrected this issue,” Amazon said. Though Amazon refrained from addressing the issue to their followers on social media, their statement suggests that the abrupt change was unintentional.


Without much explanation, it is curious whether or not Amazon’s changes truly spawned unintentional effects, or otherwise. The good news is, erotica authors will be happy to hear that the ratings of their works should be in order. 


Featured Image Via ‘Feministing’