Amazon has already created the "adult dungeon" to hide our "dirty" books from showing up on searches.
Now, Amazon is now trying to hide the REVIEWS of romance and erotic books as well.
Here's Amazon's official new policy according to a customer alert: As of December 10, 2015, Amazon says that "all new activity associated with sensitive products will be hidden by default from your public profile. You may have existing sensitive activity that is still visible. You can change this by going to your privacy settings."
And THIS (emphasis mine):
"When checked, any activity related to sensitive products will be automatically hidden on your profile. These products include certain personal care products, jewelry, intimate clothing, self-help, erotic media, and other product that may be controversial in nature, including some products used for personal protection.
This is proactively done in an effort to protect customers from potential embarrassment.
As an Amazon customer, however, the choice to expose reviews on sensitive items within your public Customer Profile page is yours. Should you wish to display all reviews, inclusive of reviews on sensitive products, you can disable the Sensitive Items filter by following the steps in Edit Your Profile."
If you'd like to read the whole policy, you can see it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201893450
Thanks to Amber Lea Easton, Kathy Raymond and Night Owl Reader Romance Reviews for letting me know about this mess.
This policy change is BAD BAD BAD NEWS for anyone that regularly posts reviews on erotic books, as well as us authors who need reviews of our books to be visible in order for our potential readers to see them!
Here's how to see if your reviews are being hidden and change your settings:
- Log into Amazon
- Go to Your Account
- Scroll down to Personalization
- Click on Your Public Profile
- At the bottom of the page you see a box with *New and Privacy Settings
- Click the "Privacy Settings" link
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page
- UNCLICK "Hide Sensitive Activity"
If you are an author, book blogger or just a book fan who writes reviews on Amazon, GO CHANGE YOUR SETTINGS NOW.
It remains to be seen what the implications of this change will be. On Invisible Ink, I haven't noticed any reviews being hidden from my readers...but who knows if Amazon just hasn't gotten around to me yet? The way these standards are applied seem really random and impossible to predict, much like the way Amazon deems what is "adult" content vs. erotic or romantic content.
I don't understand why Amazon continues to create policies that are bad for authors. As one author I read said, Amazon's erotica sales CREATED the market for the Kindle! Why keep creating rules that makes it harder and harder for readers to find our erotic books?