Amazon Kindle’s Censorship Policies

Amazon Kindle’s Censorship Policies

by David L. Tamarin

With the advent of e-readers like the Amazon Kindle and the ability of individuals to ‘self-publish’, many people have been talking about a ‘revolution’ in publishing. Supposedly, independent authors with difficulties getting published by traditional publishers can now use Amazon Kindle to self-publish their stories or books and sell them directly to the people, without the middleman of a publisher.

Unfortunately, this is not a real revolution because of Amazon Kindle’s policies regarding what they will publish. While they publish a lot of fetish pornography, including incest porn, and even have e-books containing scanned pornographic images. they recently told me that they would not publish my horror short story, “What Did You Do To The Children?” due to content violations- namely that the story is pornographic and/or contains inappropriate content.

I’m a successful non-fiction author, a regular contributor to Girls and Corpses and the website I have also been published in Rue Morgue magazine, Scars, Verbicide,, The Independent, Serial Killer magazine, Six Word Memoirs of Love and Heartbreak anthology, Butcher Knives and Body Counts (essays on slasher films),, Red Scream, and dozens of other magazines, websites and anthologies.

My fiction is potentially offensive, and has caused me problems throughout my career. I’ve been at the center of multiple controversies surrounding the content of his writing. Because of frustration with traditional publishers, I decided to release my stories on Amazon Kindle, but immediately encountered a problem when three consecutive companies that format books for Kindle for a fee decided they would not format my first Kindle book because of the extreme and offensive content. Since then, that particular story was accepted into an anthology, and published, and I learned to format stories for myself. Now I face my newest adversary to being published: Amazon. They have stated it will not publish the my story, nor will it provide the specifics of why it made its opinion. I have appealed to Amazon, asking them to reconsider their decision, and on December 30, 2012, they affirmed their decision that they would not publish the story.

I’m exploring other publishing opportunities.

3 comments on “Amazon Kindle’s Censorship Policies

  1. Pingback: » Extra! LB: Another Good Reason to Embrace e-Books TVWriter.Com

  2. I find Amazon/Kindle’s coyness baffling. I’m writing an adult fiction currently and would be willing to publish the unexpurgated version AND a ‘Kindle Version’ for the less adventurous. BUT… where is the line? I don’t believe that the full version is at all offensive (merely steamy hot) but how can I know? They won’t enter a dialogue with me on their boundaries.
    Have you seen any guidelines on what is/isn’t inside the line?
    Mike G (Sydney, Australia)

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