Ask any author who writes erotica and they will tell you that publishing and promoting can be tricky these days. Case in point, on December 3rd 2018, Tumblr, announced they would no longer allow pornographic content after several reports of child pornography on their site. This scandal caused Apple to ban Tumblr from their app store. In response, Tumblr banned pornography and during their announcement, they said they would only allow certain forms of adult content such as erotica stories. However, as Tumblr deployed their new anti-porn bots, several innocent people got caught up in the net when their content was incorrectly labeled pornography. If that weren’t enough, Youtube, has also long been accused of restricting LGBT vlogs and even demonetizing them. So it’s reasonable to assume that anything with sexual content can be banned on social media. If you write and publish erotica, or even steamy romance, this can be troubling not to mention, annoying as hell.
Unfortunately this isn’t anything new, most authors in these genres will tell you stories of petty people who report their content and even try to get them banned from sites. I’ve seen it with my own eyes in our Facebook group when a religious author, let’s call her Petty LaBelle, for anonymity purposes (I don’t want her reporting me after all!). Anyway, Petty LaBelle kept reporting this erotic author’s posts whenever she saw them in our group. P.S. I was the admin, so every week for about a month, I would see this lady’s report in my inbox. In the ten years of this page’s existence we never had an issue like this before. To make a long story short, we reached out to the author of the erotic novel and apologized then, later featured him on our podcast. It was also explained to Petty LaBelle, that erotica was allowed on the page and she needed to chill out with all the snitching.
Why Is Social Media Clamping Down On Adult Content?
For those of you who have been living under a rock, this past year has been pretty tough for social media. From data breaches, hackings and scandals, none of the major social media sites have gone unscathed from the criticism of consumer groups and even world governments. In fact, sites like Twitter and Instagram, are scrambling to clean up their platforms due to a law that passed in the U.S. called FOSTA/SESTA, which is intended to curb online sex trafficking by punishing websites who foster or are found complicit in sex trafficking. This law has sent social media and most of the internet in a tizzy. It also explains why some social media sites have gone to extremes and are now banning accounts as well as any posts that have adult content and not necessarily, those that are violating any sex trafficking laws.
How Do You Stay On The Right Side Of Social Media?
The most obvious way of staying in the good graces of any social media site is to not violate their community guidelines or terms of service. If you are actively promoting erotica novels or adult products you might want to reacquaint yourself with the rules because they have most likely changed in the past few months. Here are the community guidelines for the top social media sites:
Tip: It would be extremely helpful if all authors would learn about marketing on their chosen social media site. Many of the major sites offer free courses that help guide you through the process from advertising to promoting, I blogged about it last year in a post called: Why Authors Need To Learn Social Media: The New Reality there, I list a lot of free resources.
Remember The Time Amazon Was Caught Deranking Erotica?
Last spring, several authors woke up to find that their books had been delisted or recategorized courtesy of Amazon. Many of these authors were romance and erotica authors who were stunned by the sudden and quiet reshuffling of their books. Authors claimed that their books were relegated to a separate list away from the rest of the population regardless of how well the book was selling. Amazon however, claims mistakes were made and rectified it but it goes to show you how erotica is being treated these days.
Is There A Safe Place For Erotica Writers To Promote Their Work?
There are safe areas online for authors to promote their erotic literature and steamy romances without being harassed. There are newsletters and blogs that still welcome erotica authors with open arms. The best tip to finding these communities is to find an erotica author that you like and stalk them online. Research where they’re being interviewed or where their books are being reviewed and hit those places up. Below, I’ve compiled a small list of places where erotica authors and their books are welcomed:
Passionate Ink is a chapter of the Romance Writers of America, and they have a newsletter as well as a website you can check out that’s free but if you want to take workshops and go to conferences, you’ll have to pay membership dues of $35/yr.
A romance site that welcomes erotica and reviews books, holds live chats, and even offers guest posts as well as author features. They have a thriving community of book worms that love to speak their minds, so it’s worth giving them a look.
This site offers reviews, features as well as articles on relationships and sex.
Under The Covers Book Blog offers traditional book reviews as well as author features, release calendars (where they announce publication of a given book), and Youtube book hauls for their readers.
All of the sites I mentioned also offer advertising which leads me to my next point…
Where To Advertise Erotica?
Fortunately for erotica authors there are still plenty of places that will accept their money below, I list just a few of the major discount book newsletters:
- Book Gorilla
- Kindle Nation Daily
- Fussy Librarian
- Bargain Booksy
- Red Feather Romance
- My Romance Reads
- Totally Bound
- Shameless Book Deals
- Excite Spice
Have A Seat, I’m About To Preach
I’ve said this several times on this blog, but I’ll say it again: You have to find book bloggers, influencers as well as book communities and support them. If someone takes the time to review your book or send you a kind word, you need to remember those people and help them out when you can. Offer to reciprocate any favors and most importantly, keep these people in your network. You don’t need social media or Amazon for that! As time goes on, promotion won’t feel like such a chore and you won’t have to keep starting over with each book launch. Anyway, I hope I this post helps a few of you out there that are overwhelmed by all the drama that the internet is giving you. If you know of any tips that could help authors who publish and promote erotica, let us know in the comments section.