Nook Press, the indie/self-publishing portion of Barnes and Noble Books released a new policy that would effectively delete all erotica titles from their catalog. As of this writing, many author accounts have been suspended, and erotica book titles are being purged. Most of these titles are in the romance genre, and several are from best-selling authors.
Nook Press has determined that erotica titles are in violation of their publishing policy.
Here are their new policy guidelines:
NOOK Press Content Policy
Publishers using NOOK Press are responsible for complying with the Content Policy. Barnes & Noble may update or alter the Content Policy at any time. You are responsible for checking for updates and your continued use of the service after we post amendments will constitute your acceptance of the changes, as described in the NOOK Press Terms & Conditions.
Barnes & Noble reserves the right to determine, in the exercise of our sole discretion, whether or not your content (including, but not limited to your eBook file, cover image and product data) is compliant with the Content Policy. This includes but is not limited to content we deem illegal, libellous, infringing, offensive, harmful or potentially harmful, threatening, harassing, legally obscene, defamatory or intentionally hateful in any regard.
We also reserve the right to remove from sale your eBook or other content at any time, if we determine, at our sole discretion, that the content in your eBook is not appropriate for sale through Barnes & Noble.
You are responsible for knowing and following all local, national or international laws regarding publishing content that are relevant to you or your business.
Please be advised that submitting or posting any of the following content in your eBook file, cover image or product data may, in the exercise of Barnes & Noble’s sole and unfettered discretion, result in the removal of said content and/or termination of your account. Please be advised that the content listed represent examples only and the following list of content is non-exhaustive. Such content includes but is not limited to:
- Obscene or Pornographic material: This may include content that graphically portrays sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction.
- Libellous Material: False defamatory statements that intentionally harm or have the potential to harm an individual or a third party.
- Infringing Material: Any content to which you do not own the copyright or otherwise control the right to distribute. Additionally, content that may violate any other intellectual property rights, such as trademark and trade dress, and/or content that may infringe upon a party’s proprietary rights, such as the right of privacy or the right of publicity
- Illegal Content or Other Offensive Material: As we may determine in our sole discretion, content that is illegal, content that violates the laws of any jurisdiction, whether or not we sell in such jurisdiction, or other content we deem offensive in the exercise of our sole discretion including but not limited to works portraying or encouraging incest, rape, bestiality, necrophilia, paedophilia or content that encourages hate or violence.
- Material Violating Privacy: Any content that violates an individual’s privacy.
- Advertisements: Content contained within your eBook or other content that primarily seeks to sell a product other than the eBook or content itself.
As stated above, the information that describes your eBook (Product Data) is also subject to our Content Policy. Please note that in addition to the points listed above, Barnes & Noble prohibits the following data points in your Product Data:
- Hyperlinks of any kind, including email addresses.
- Request for action (i.e.: “If you like this book, please write me a review.”).
- Advertisements or promotional material (including author events, seminars etc.).
- Contact information for the author or publisher.
Public Domain Content: Barnes & Noble may, at any time, request validation that any content you designate as public domain content in fact is in the public domain for any jurisdiction in which such content will be sold.
As stated above, Barnes & Noble reserves the right to make changes to the Content Policy at any time without notice or liability. These terms were last revised on 16 August 2017.
Many authors have had erotica titles with Nook Press for years, and this policy has come as a shock. The biggest frustration for authors seems to be that the new policy is left to the determination of Barnes & Noble, without definitive guidelines. Authors can have their indie-publishing account deleted because of a single erotica title.