A German Bestseller

Unter der Knute, the German edition of Under the Knout, has edged onto the category bestseller list for German language short fiction at Amazon DE at No. 92.

It probably will only stay there for an hour or so, but meanwhile my little story not just hit a German language category bestseller list (not the first time that’s happened either), it also found itself just above the delightfully titled Fickt Euch Alle (Go fuck yourselves, all of you), a short fiction anthology edited by Susann Klossek.

Luckily for Ms. Klossek and her cowriters, the Amazon bots don’t speak German, for we’ve been receiving reports of late that Amazon is marking any indie title that sounds even remotely risqué is “adult” and filtering it from the general search results. Which is troubling in itself, for while no one has any issues with allowing users to filter adult titles out of their search results if they wish, the way in which Amazon is doing it is highly problematic. Allowing users to toggle an “include adult products” button on and off like Smashwords and Google do would be much more helpful.

As far as I can tell, Fickt Euch Alle is not erotica at all BTW, but an anthology of bizarro fiction. However, the adult filter at Amazon.com has also hit plenty of regular romances alongside genuinely erotic titles.

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5 Responses to A German Bestseller

  1. Pingback: Mother’s Day Linkdump | Cora Buhlert

  2. Daniela says:

    I find the way amazon filters adult content also highly problematic, for exactly the reason you mention.

    It’s so easy to use specific words in a non-erotic/non-adult context. Some people even found their sex-light romance novels in the ‘adult dungeon’ because they used the word boy in their title and someone thought it hinted at underage content. Tentacles could be used in a Fantasy or SF-story. Same with ‘breeding’ and so on.

    Leaving the choice up to the reader if they want to see adult content would be a much better option. Or if Amazon would at least offer some clear rules about what is acceptable and what is not.

    • Cora says:

      I await the day when perfectly harmless non-fiction titles about dog and horse breeding are no longer easily findable at Amazon. Or YA romance without sex, because the title includes the words “boy” or “girl”. Or when book about Cthulhu are gone. And I’d best rethink the title “Virgin Sacrifice to the Tentacled God” that I was going to use for a fantasy story. Never mind that the romance category is now going to be flooded with pure erotica that doesn’t really belong there in an attempt to avoid the filtering, just as the gay and lesbian categories already are.

      As for those people who are afraid that their children will be scarred for life due to accidentally catching a glimpse of an erotica title, I guess they have no idea what kids, even fairly young kids, have already seen on the internet. At the school where I work, many kids had seen hardcore porn by the 7th grade.

      • Daniela says:

        From some of the comments on the kdboard it’s already happening. Compeletely sex-free or sex-light romances are moved by amazon, re-labelled as erotica and send to the dungeon. From a business pov it doesn’t really make much sense. Erotica is a cash-cow.

        Maybe with something that’s clearly fantasy you might get away with the tentacles-title. Woudl be an inteersting experiment to see if the word is banned across the whole of amazon or just in the romance/erotica-field.
        Boy/girl is a good example, especially now that Amazon has openend the New Adult section. Daddy/Mommy is surely often used on kids books. Really, they should all be send to the dungeon as well, just like all this icky books about breeding cats and dogs and cows ;-).

        The hypocrism behind that is really annoying. Not just where 50SoG and other similar books are concerned. I also mean books like the Game of Thrones-series which contain actual incest and probably pedophilia (I’ve only watched the tv-show so far but know that some of the characters have been aged up) yet isn’t in the dungeon. Same btw with the bible (incest, rape, cannibalism, torture, polygamy, adultery).
        Or Lolita which does contain incest, yet is of course viewed as a classic of literature.

        If you search for ‘Bible Black’ the very first hit gets you the hentai-anime which has very explicit scenes of rape by tentacle as well as other sex scenes (het and lesbian) as well as other rape-scenes. Of course, it’s anime, but it’s still contains very explicit images of sexual contact including rape while books are just words and no pictures aside from the cover.

        Of course from a German pov the whole cover-debate is ridiculous. The Spiegel has had more provocative covers than most erotic books have. Not to mention the fact that penthouse/playboy/playgirl&co. are put out openly with their covers visibly in news-agents and bookstores. That’s US-prudery in a nutshell.

        I also agree about what the kids have seen. At least as long as they have unsupervised access to the internet. But I guess nude breasts are more dangerous than loaded guns.

        • Cora says:

          Come to think of it, wasn’t Spiegel or Stern banned by Apple as supposed pronography, because their covers occasionally have a bit of naked skin? Never mind the silliness of covering up bare breasts on historical paintings (I had this issue with two covers), because you never know what will set off the censors.

          And yes, it is typical US prudery, especially since graphically violent content is not sent to the adult dungeon. In fact, I always intended to warn about stronger violence in my blurbs. I only added sex and “bad language’ warnings, because those seemed to upset people (mainly American people) a lot more than graphic torture scenes.

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