Sunday, January 31, 2016

Too racy for an erotic book? (Part 2!)

In an unexpected twist, Smashwords bounced back SPU3.1 because the interior caption didn't meet their partner standards. Specifically, the stock email reply said:  

"Some of our retailers are super-sensitive to nudity (even illustrated nudity). Per the Smashwords TOS, we don't allow floppy bits, nipples, nudity, butt cracks, explicit sexual acts or graphic sexual content on cover images or inside material. Please upload a new or altered image at Dashboard > Settings > Upload New Cover."

Which is totally fair, it's their playground, they can dictate how people play in it.  Although I don't think they really meant the cover, which has all the girl bits covered up:

They probably meant the captioned image I usually put around the half-way point in some of my novels, to give readers a little "stroke break".  The SPU3.1 caption was originally this:

She's still got everything covered up too (trust me, I checked!) but in a much more suggestive way than the cover.  (It took a little strategic blurring to make this image safe, which is not noticeable unless you zoom way in, which I know none of my respectable readers would do.)

So I'm going to replace that caption inside the book with this one:

Same text, but a much more wholesome image.  One thing readers should note is that I don't just look for T&A when I choose these pictures, but the expression on the model's face.  That really has to match the tone of the cover or caption, and while there are a lot of nude girls on Shutterstock, only 10% look like they're having any fun!  Why do photographers always discourage their models from smiling?!?

Anyway, the second girl's wholesome look actually makes the caption work better, so I'm actually happy that Smashwords asked for this change.

(Another neat thing about Smashwords is that anyone who bought the first book can download the updated copy for no charge, which allows authors to feel good about being able to correct typos and plot holes when readers find them- all their previous customers can always get the fixed versions for free!)

After fixing a few typos at the same time, I'm going to re-upload the book later this week and will report any  further developments.

(**UPDATE 2/4/16**) Smashwords just accepted the new upload into their Premium catalog , which means it was the above caption which was the only problem.  The book was always selling on Smashwords, but now it will get distributed to Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo, so that Apple can reject it again in a few weeks or so.  (Apple rejects a lot of erotic books for a host of dumb reasons, but that's a whole different blog post.)  So for now... a win?

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