I write erotica for a living. I'm also a mother of four.
And I do not allow my children to search anything on Amazon by themselves.
That's right--a majority of my income is derived from book sales on Amazon, and yet I won't let my own children search for babysitting books or squirt guns on their site.
Why not? Because searching "babysitting" or "babysitter" can turn up 100 titles about babysitters fucking their employers. One of which is my own. And "squirt," in any variation, can turn up all sorts of titles about women "squirting."
Amazon doesn't protect children from those search results. Neither does Barnes and Noble. Both of my kids have Nook Colors--but I buy all their books. They're not allowed to buy a book on their own. And they're tweens (11 and 12) who have plenty of freedom in their day-to-day lives and are quite responsible.
But I can't count on Amazon to protect my children, and I can't count on BN to protect them, so I go out of my way to do so. Because I know exactly what's out there. And that's a parent's job. Ultimately, it should be up to the parent to set those boundaries, and I do so.
Unlike Google though, I can't even let my kids search on Amazon. With Google, I can set up a "safe search" function that blocks most, if not all, of the things I wouldn't want them to see yet. Amazon doesn't have that. Amazon has been making attempts, as we erotica writers know, to keep erotica out of the hands of minors by putting it behind a wall--labeling it with the "ADULT" tag and excluding it from the all-department search. And we all know this is a poor solution to a growing problem. In a post-50-Shades world, the rules have changed. "Mommy porn" has become a huge genre, and many, many new writers have come along to write it, flooding the market with erotica.
Amazon's solution is arbitrary and non-transparent. It doesn't keep children from finding books about babysitters having sex or women squirting, that's for sure. They just have to be looking for a book about babysitting in the Kindle store and voila! There's my book.
That's not good.
I write erotica, but I write erotica for adults.
I never intended my audience to be under the age of eighteen, I make clear disclaimers in the front of my books that the intended audience should be of-age, and I don't want underage children or teens reading my books far before they're ready to handle the material contained within them.
I can protect my own children--but I can't protect yours. Only Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, etc. can do that. And there is an easy fix to this problem. Google has one--parental controls. It's a switch. On or off. Very simple.
So why haven't they done so?
I can guarantee you one thing--their motivation isn't to protect you or your children.
They are protecting their bottom line. Their profit. Period.
Follow the money.
Erotic Fiction You Won't Forget
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