I feel I must write about Amazon & censorship.
Please allow me to start by asking you a question: does this book cover glorify or promote illicit drug use?
According to the Zon, it does. Note I have emphasized the words glorify or promote.
Yes, it has images displaying cocaine, a rolled up banknote, and a mirrored surface with the reflection of a man. But it neither glorifies or promotes illicit drug use. It’s a memoir, my memoir, about my undercover cop days. The book does not glorify or promote the use of drugs. But that doesn’t matter to some jobsworth in Seattle.
He looked at the image, scrolled down the guidelines and jumped to the wrong conclusion it contravened Amazon’s advertising policies because he is not thinking. He is not taking any notice of the importance of those three words – glorify or promote.
You guessed right, this is because I had an AMS ad rejected because of my book cover. This is the email correspondence between me and Amazon:
I’m following up on your recent inquiry regarding Ad rejection.
Product type: SP
Campaign Id: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Campaign Name: Undercover SPON 1
The above ad copy was rejected for drugs & Illegal activities for the book cover image and not the content.
The book cover is glorifying or promoting the use of drug hence the ad copy was rejected.
Hence I request you to change the cover image and resubmit your ad campaign.
Thank you for using KDP.
This is the part that really gets to me: The book cover is glorifying or promoting the use of drug,
Note ‘is.’ No debate, or it might be, or it could be construed as. Who is this person? The Amazon censor, that’s who!
If this person is right, how do you explain away book covers in crime fiction depicting a gun or bloodshed? According to Amazon, they would be glorifying or promoting violence!
Surely, the point is that drugs exist. No one can deny that, The cover depicts a drug, Yes, I agree. But it does not per se glorify or promote the use of a drug or drugs.
It’s an utter nonsense!
Please let me know what you think before I write to Mr. Bezos.