Porn on the Kindle: A Catch-22 - Noah Berlatsky - The Atlantic
Which seems to have made Amazon somewhat uncomfortable. Back in 2010, Amazon deleted many erotica e-books with incest themes -- not only dropping them from its store, but actually electronically erasing old titles from consumers' digital devices. (It later claimed the erasures were a mistake, though its policy on incest titles remains unclear.) More recently, the company has been filtering some erotic titles, so that they don't appear in the All Departments search. To find them, you need to search directly in Books or in the Kindle store. For example, Santiago's title Accidental Milkmaid 3: Gangbanged by Bulls shows up in the Kindle Store, but not in the All Departments search. On the other hand, high-profile erotica like 50 Shades, or, for that matter, Lady Chatterley's Lover, appears in both kinds of searches.
Fiddling with the search function may seem like a relatively benign step. In practice, though, it has an impact on sales, and can render a title essentially invisible. Selena Kitt, the pen name of a successful erotica author who makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a month by writing porn e-books, has referred to Amazon's filtering as the Pornocalypse. Previous Amazon rejiggerings of their search function have at various points cut her monthly income by a third, she says.
In an essay on her website, Kitt argues that that Amazon's seeming efforts to hide the porn are both hypocritical and a bad case of biting-the-hand.
Erotica, as a genre, has been Amazon's dirty little secret from the beginning, driving sales of the Kindle to astronomical numbers. Does Amazon really believe that it was all the free copies of "Huckleberry Finn" and "Moby Dick" ... that drove readers to buy Kindle devices? Nope, sorry. It was erotica. It was "porn."
Kitt is angry, and you can understand why. She works hard, is successful, and instead of giving her accolades, her business partners keep her product hidden from would-be readers.