Publishers/Presses & Their Content Restrictions

This page is a collective effort of Banned Writers members to make quick evaluations of the various erotica presses and publishers. Those who publish erotica, especially stories ‘on the edge’ or of ‘taboo’ themes know all too well that many press doors are closed to them. Ironically, with PayPal’s new content commerce policies, the payment company is more tolerant to ‘icky’ content than many publishers. As well, some publishers, during the PayPal bru-haha, stood by their writers and readers, and fought, and even lead efforts to ensure the freedom of access for erotic fiction. Others did little or nothing. It is probably good to know if the press you are considering submitting to or publishing with has your back when your filth gets banned.

We have 42 Publishers/Presses currently rated.

This page is a call to all Banned Writers members (and other interested parties) to help. We need your input:

Can you help gather data?

A a number of you have done some to a lot of work on this already. This would be a good place to showcase it as a resource for writers, presses, and small publishers.

If you’d like to help, or have data, or have an opinion on format or other information that would be useful for this page (for example,would posting fee policies here be a good idea, or too much info?),  please comment below!

Note: The draft version of this page cited the Erotica Readers and Writers Association (ERWA) as the source of a great majoirty of the names (34 of them!) that populate this list, next to the request for help filling out their content restriction information. When I put the page ‘live’, and deleted the original call for help, I deleted the reference, which was a mistake and unintentional. The effort of creating lists and other resources for writers is significant and deserves gratitude from those who use them. Writers, ERWA’s reference page for authors is something you should all see – and use, yourselves

Very special thanks to Erika L Firanc for a tremendous amount of research work for this effort.


Abbreviations:

nc = non-consensual/rape
inc = incest
best = bstiality
necr = ncrophelia
ped = pedopilia/underage
ws = watersports
bf = bodily functions (ws + scat)

“Big 5″ (B5): rape/non-con(nc), incest, bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia/underage (Note: If a publisher excludes the Big 5 it very likely excludes bodily functions as well, but won’t say so explicitly.)

Note: Most romance/erotic romance publishers that require Happily Ever After (HEA) or Happy For Now (HFN) endings will very likely not accept any of the various “Ick”s either.

Company Ick Policy Summary Relevant passages TOS Link
 1 Erotica Ebooks best + necr + ped + nc + snuff + bf “You understand that we may accept, reject or remove any work for any reason we in our sole discretion find appropriate, with no prior notice to you. You may use our site to publish content that is obscene, defamatory, violates the rights of privacy or publicity of any third party, or is illegal in nature. You also agree to refrain from publishing material that contains references to pedophilia (sex involving minors or sex involving minors and adults), necrophilia (vampire reference are allowed), bestiality, scatological reference, rape scenes designed to arouse readers, or “snuff,” related murder scenes. Again, we reserve the right to refuse any content for any reason we deem in our sole discretion to be appropriate.”Note: The “you may use our site to publish content that is obscene, defamatory…” is as the TOS is written, and is obviously a typo, because they clearly don’t want to publish those things. FAQ linksAuthor TOS
Adams Media
All romance genres
Consenting adults “Our only rule is everyone has to be a consenting adult.” (Also, “there must be a happily-ever-after,” but that’s not an icky-topic policy.) Submission policy
All Romance eBooks  B5+bf “Works depicting sexual acts involving persons under eighteen years of age (exceptions may be made for certain works of literary fiction involving time periods wherein the age of consent was less than 18 and the purpose of the depiction is not for sexual titillation), Works involving any exploitation of minors, sexual or otherwise, Works which contain incest or pseudo-incest themes for the purpose of titillation, Works that are written for or being marketed to the barely legal market, Works that contain rape  or scenes of non-consensual bondage or non-consensual sado-masochistic practices that are for the purposes of titillation, bestiality with naturally occurring animals, sex with non-animated corpses, snuff or scat play.” TOS
Avon Impulse
All romance genres
anything goes (?)  “all types and tones can be right for Avon.”Note: (Subjectively) I bet they are not big on the ‘Big 5′  Submission Guidelines
BeachWalk Press
Erotic romance
 B5 + bf “We do not accept works that contain pedophilia, incest, bestiality, necrophilia, rape presented in a positive light, or bodily functions as sexual activities.” Submissions
Blushing Books Publications
Spanking & BDSM
B5 + bf, weapon dildos, extreme brutality “We do NOT publish:
Any story that is in any way demeaning to an individual or group of people.
Pedophilia.
Sexual incest ‐ though big brother/father may spank sister/daughter, and we will consider a story in which step siblings (not half siblings) have relationships.
NO aggravated rape for purposes of sexual excitement. Rape may be used as part of the plot action, especially supporting character development. Stories that involve a heroine being forced to accept sexual advances in order to advance the storyline may be acceptable, even if they are described for the purposes of sexual excitement. What we don’t want is stories about rape for the sake of rape. We understand that the line in BDSM material about rape is a fuzzy one and we prefer to err on the side of caution, however if you are unsure, just submit the story and we can always tell you to adjust it as necessary.
NO bodily functions as sexual activity (e.g., “golden showers”).
NO necrophilia.
NO guns, knives or other weapons stuffed in various parts of the female anatomy.
NO extreme brutality presented for purposes of sexual excitement (e.g., it can be mentioned that an evil character tortures people or that a character has been tortured in the past or fears it in the future, but this cannot be described in a graphic way.) We are not interested in very bloody whippings, branding, needle play, asphyxiation, etc.
NO bestiality. This rule refers to common animals indigenous to Earth; this does not apply to shapeshifting protagonists and sentient “otherworldly” humanoid animalsin sci‐fi or fantasy.”Note: Wow
Submissions
Bradley Publishing
Romance & erotica genres
 B5 “HEA or HFN is required.
NO pedophilia, incest, necrophilia, rape as titillation, bestiality, ect.”
Submissions
Breathless Press
Romance & erotica
 B5 + several more  ”a big NO when it comes to story content?
closed door sex; fan fiction; forced seduction, non-con, rape; incest; pedophilia, sexual activities with or between minors, daddy/mommy fantasies; water play; brown play; knife play, or blood play; urethral sounding (i.e.- cock stuffing); erotic asphyxiation, snuff; bestiality; felching; necrophilia”
Submissions
Carina Press
All genres
inc, best “should offer a happily ever after (HEA) or happily for now […] No incest or bestiality.” Guidelines
Changeling Press
Quality erotic adventures
(nothing mentioned) “we do ask for a HEA(Happy Ever After) or, in the case of serials, a HFN(Happy For Now)”No content restrictions mentioned. Submissions
Circlet Press nc violence, rape, castration, murder, necrophilia, or “gross topics” “sex must be enjoyable for the characters–positive, celebrating sex and sexuality! No rape, exploitation, mutilation, suicide, or snuff. Most other manuscripts we reject are because they have a negative attitude toward sex and/or they portray not a sexy, enjoyable scene, but a terrible rape/exploitation. … Don’t send anything centering on nonconsensual violence, rape, castration, murder, necrophilia, or other purposefully gross topics. Don’t send stories with homophobic, racist, or sexist messages.”  Writer’s Guidelines
Coming Together
Doing good while being bad
positive portrayal of illegal acts “If it contains a positive portrayal of an illegal activity, however, Coming Together is not interested.” Submissions
Dreamspinner Press
M/M erotica & romance
inc, nc, “other extreme” “Dreamspinner Press will not publish gratuitous depictions of incest, rape, and other extreme material included for the express purpose of titillating the reader.” Restrictions
Ellora’s Cave
Romantica & erotica
B5 + bf, weapon dildos “• NO pedophilia (and no children involved in sexual situations).
• NO incest.
• NO rape as titillation. Rape may be used as part of the plot action, especially supporting character development, but MAY NOT be presented in a positive light or with the intent to stimulate erotic excitement or pleasure. The hero may not be a rapist.
• NO bodily functions as sexual activity (for example, scat). We may allow “golden showers” only in our Kink, Exotika, and male/male stories.
• NO necrophilia.
• NO guns, knives or other weapons stuffed in various parts of the female anatomy. It’s sad that this even has to be stated, but there it is.
• NO bestiality. This rule refers to common animals indigenous to Earth; this does not apply to shapeshifting protagonists and sentient “otherworldly” humanoid animals in scifi or fantasy.”
Author Info
Ellora’s Cave
Erotica for men
long list  same as Ellora’s Cave Author Info
Eternal Press
Erotic novels & novellas
nc, ped, “other crimes”, religious genre “We are not interested in:
• Religious genre fiction. Elements of spiritual beliefs within a story are welcome; however, we do not publish books aimed for a specific religious group of readers.
• We do not want stories portraying rape, pedophilia or other crimes in a positive light.”
Submissions
Evernight Publishing
Romance & erotic romance
B5 + infidelity + “depraved or illegal acts” “NO pedophilia, bestiality, incest, infidelity, rape as titillation, necrophilia, and no depraved or illegal acts.” Submissions
Excessica
Romance & erotic romance
 ”obsecne”  ”You agree not to:  • Post any content to the Site that is unlawful, racist, hateful, libelous, defamatory, obscene, or that intentionally discriminates against or harasses particular individuals or groups.”Excessica was very active in the fight to get PayPal to change its ways.  Conditions
ForbiddenFiction
Erotic fiction
no content restrictions “Content is only limited by what’s legal and well written.” Submissions
House of Erotica B5 + bf  ”You may have your own specialty category, and we are always looking to expand our range with interesting new genre additions. However, we are currently unable to expect the most extreme taboos within erotic writing, and therefore will decline:

  1. Incest
  2. Underage Sex
  3. Rape
  4. Necrophilia
  5. Bestiality
  6. Scat”
Submission Guidelines
LazyDay Publishing
Various genres
(nothing mentioned) “We love erotica! We are interested in all sub genres, and all types of characters.” SubmissionsFAQ
JMS Books
GLBT erotica & romance
B5 + several more “We also do not accept stories which portray GLBT characters or their sexuality negatively.
We do not publish any stories containing pedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality, incest, rape or nonconsensual sex, extreme fetishes, degradation, snuff, watersports, or scat.”
Info
Liquid Silver Books
Erotic romance
B5 + hate messages + “inappropriate” “Taboo subjects include pedophilia, rape or incest, necrophilia, hate messages to any race, gender, religion, or sexuality, bestiality, main characters under the age of 18, and our definition of pornography. We reserve the right to refuse submissions based on other subjects we deem inappropriate.” Guidelines
Loose Id
Erotica and erotic romance
B5 + bf + snuff “Absolutely no:
* Pedophilia. That is, sex between adults and underage characters.
* Necrophilia. Undead doesn’t count.
* Bestiality. Sentient shifters, aliens and paranormal creatures are OK.
* Scat or golden showers. Territorial marking may be acceptable in extraordinary cases. Inquire before submitting.
* Rape or incest (as defined by the culture in which the story occurs) calculated to arouse the reader. Villains may commit rape or incest to demonstrate malicious intent, but it should occur in a manner that is not arousing, or offstage. Rape or incest can have occurred in a character’s past, but the hero or heroine should never perpetrate rape or incest during the scope of the story. Forced seduction, capture, or dubious consent are acceptable.
* Snuff.
Also, while sex between minors may be depicted offstage or in flashbacks, it should not be described for the purpose of arousing the reader.” 
Submissions
Lulu
Self Publishing
 ”vulgar, obscene, objectionable, deemed offensive or inappropriate”  ”As a User, you agree not to use the Site to:

  • Upload, post or otherwise transmit any Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable; [...]

Lulu reserves the right to remove any and all material that we feel is inappropriate or illegal, or offensive, or potentially or actually harmful in any respect”

 TOS
Lyrical Press
Erotica, romance, etc
B5 “Lyrical Press will not consider any work that glorifies, justifies or excuses the following subject matter: Pedophilia, Rape, Incest, Bestiality, Necrophilia” Submissions
Mischief Books
Erotica and Erotic Romance e-Books (Harper Collins)
B5 plus additional WHAT WE DO NOT WANT

- Sex scenes featuring under 18s or flashbacks to childhood ‘experiments’; in fact, we’d rather all characters were over 18
- Sex acts that cause serious physical damage, genuine tragedy or anguish
- Incest
- Sex or sexual intimacy with animals
- Bondage that involves constriction around the neck, or endangers life
- Stories that focus heavily on i) the breakdown of a relationship; ii) self-loathing, or the hatred of one’s body; iii) self-pity; iv) bitter revenge; v) abusive, miserable, traumatic relationships.Here’s a list of the most common reasons why we reject manuscripts:

* Mishandling and misunderstanding of consent
* Tragic/unpleasant events such as illness, death, violence, etc. that detract from the eroticism. The emphasis should always be on pleasure
* The central characters are unsympathetic/unattractive”
Author Guidelines
New Dawning Bookfair
Variety of genres
“No ick;” B5 + more “Any book that glorifies depraved or illegal acts will not be considered. No pedophilia, illegal incest, bestiality, racial intolerance, rape as titillation, necrophilia – no ick factors, whatsoever!” Submission Guidelines
Nocturne Cravings
Harlequin eBooks
(nothing mentioned) “Authors should feel comfortable exploring any and all sexual scenarios and shouldn’t shy away from graphically sensual situations.”Note – this is Harlequin. They probably don’t even deign to mention Ick factors. Submissions
No Boundaries Press
Erotica & subgenres
no “ick” content restrictions “we do NOT accept anything that condones racism. If it is in your story as an integral part, but not glorified, please submit. However, we do not endorse any form of hate.”  Submissions
OC Press
Erotic novels & novellas
 Ped, Best “We allow controversial topics (like incest, pseudo-incest, and violence). We do not allow outright pedophelia or bestiality – although barely-legal themes, and sex with shapeshifters, even in animal form, is okay by us.”“Please indicate whether your book has been BANNED from any other site, and if so, what was the “offending” content?”Special category for erotica banned from other places: http://oceroticbooks.com/ebooks/banned-erotica Submission Guidelines
Phaze
Erotica & sensual romance
B5 + several more “We do not want to see:
* Bestiality (by ‘beast’ we mean any non-intelligent, non-reasoning being)
* Pedophilia. None—Period.
* Necrophilia or anything close
* Bodily waste products
* Incest/Twincest
* Underage characters in sexual situations
* Sex scenes featuring a Catholic priest/nun, or stories that are derogatory to a religion.
* Serious injury, rape, or snuff portrayed in a positive light
* Hate literature and positive portrayal of negative stereotypes”
Submissions
Pink Flamingo Publications
BDSM/Spanking/General
B5 + several more “Maledom BDSM erotica – Storylines must be consensual.
Femdom BDSM erotica – Storylines should be consensual.
DO NOT INCLUDE: characters under 18 having sex or in sexual situations, (even in flashbacks), bestiality, incest, excrement, snuff and necrophilia. Additional content restrictions include storylines featuring rape, abduction, kidnapping, coercion, breeding females, nonconsensual slave worlds, auctions and prostitution, also drugging, water sports (piss play), diapering and extreme violence.”
Submissions (PDF link)
Ravenous Romance
Erotic romance
B5, broadly defined “do not have to end happily-ever-after, we want the fantasy of “happy-for-now”
WE DO NOT PUBLISH:
• Anything with pedophilia, which involves sexual situations between adults and children. We are not interested in “barely legal” situations, either.
• Anything with necrophilia, which is sex with a truly dead body. If your vampires and zombies are having sex (with the living or each other), it better be lively.
Anything with bestiality, which is sex with animals. Sentient beings, including shapeshifters, centaurs, and the like must be adequately anthropomorphized.
• Rape or incest. If it’s a necessary part of a story, its purpose should not be to arouse.”
Submission Guidelines
Riptide Publishing
Gay fiction, romance & erotica
4 of B5 (incest ok?) + bf + hate “* No pedophilia or necrophilia, please.
* No scat.
* No bestiality, though shifter sex in animal form is welcome.
* No rape as titillation, though dubcon and forced seduction as titillation are welcome, as is rape in non-titillating circumstances.
* No materials that encourage or shine a positive light on hate of any kind. Please note that doesn’t mean your character can’t be a bigot; it just means you-the-author should not be agreeing with him or her.”
FAQ
Samhain Publishing
Erotica & romance genres
B5 + “depraved or illegal in positive light” + racial intolerance “1.8. What plot elements are unacceptable to Samhain?
Anything depraved or illegal presented in a positive light or as titillation: pedophilia, rape, incest, necrophilia, bestiality, racial intolerance. Please note that in our sexually explicit material all characters must be at least eighteen.”
Submissions
Silver Publishing
Hetero & GLBT erotic romance
4 of B5 (incest ok?) + bodily functions + snuff “Absolutely no:
* Pedophilia. Specifically, sexual interaction between adults and under aged characters.
* Necrophilia. Specifically, sexual interaction between characters and corpses. (Undead is fine.)
* Bestiality. Specifically, sexual interaction between characters and animals (not shifters).
* Rape for titillation. That is, rape specifically written to arouse the reader.
Rape is acceptable in the following instances:
If it is not arousing and is used by a character (the non-hero or heroine of the story) to demonstrate malicious intent
If it is referenced in the character’s past
NOTE: Forced seduction, capture, or dubious consent are acceptable.
* Scat
* Snuff”
Submissions
Sizzler Editions
Fiction & nonfiction bondage
4 of B5 (rape ok) + others “The editors will not consider or publish works which include the portrayal of any of the following elements:
* Sexual encounters between adults and minors under the age of 18.
* The exposure of minors under the age of 18 to sexual acts of any kind.
* Sexual activity between minors under the age of 18 – even if consensual.
* Consensual or non-consensual sex of between adults that results in severe or life-threatening physical harm, such as broken bones, etc.
* Strangulation or suffocation even between consenting adults as part of the sex act.
* Incest.
* Bestiality.
* Necrophilia.”
Submissions
Smashwords
All types of books
“Images” + underage “if you publish erotica content, neither the book cover nor the book interior may contain graphic images of nudity (either photographic or illustrated) or persons involved in sex acts, and does not include children or underage minors engaged in sexual acts or situations, witnessing such situations, considering sexual acts, or thinking about sexual acts.  Fine art books of a non-erotic nature that contain nudity may be accepted on a case by case basis at the sole discretion of Smashwords and/or its retail partners”Smashwords was very active in the fight to get PayPal to change its ways. TOS Link
Torquere Press
Gay & lesbian fiction
ped, nc, best, bf, torture “We will not accept stories with underage (below the age of 18) romantic leads, or that contain rape for titillation or other gratuitious violence. We will not accept stories with bestiality (sex with animals occurring in natural life not including shapeshifters). [...] While we appreciate experimental stories and a wide range of sexual practices, please no bodily functions such as scat etc.. Erotic horror is acceptable, but graphic sexual torture will be refused.” Submissions
Torrid Books (Whiskey Creek Press) Erotic Romance B5 (though non-cons is not specifically mentioned) We do still insist on a few taboos:Taboo:

Incest (between blood relatives)
Underage sex (characters must be 18 or older)
Necrophilia (excluding vampires)
Bestiality (shapeshifters excepted)
Snuff (ack!)”

Submissions
Total-E-Bound
Erotic romance
4 of B5 (incest ok) + bf “* NO paedophilia. Don’t even dare go there!
* NO rape as titillation. We accept that it may sometimes be used as part of a plotline, especially supporting character development, but definitely not for the use of getting your rocks off!
* NO bodily functions – i.e. watersports, toilet play – eeeew!
* NO necrophilia. The dead definitely don’t do it for us – of course, we don’t count the bloodsucking undead variety!
* NO bestiality. This does not apply to shape-shifters and might not apply to certain breeds from a sci-fi perspective.”
Submissions

-

11 Responses to Publishers/Presses & Their Content Restrictions

  1. Shar on March 15, 2012 at 4:38 am

    The link from OC press is wrong–it takes you to the ERWA page that has an OC Press link.

    Here’s the direct link:
    http://www.oystersandchocolate.com/Articles/2246/OCPressNovelNovellaSubmissionGuidelines.aspx

    Some relevant passages:
    “We allow controversial topics (like incest, pseudo-incest, and violence). We do not allow outright pedophelia or bestiality – although barely-legal themes, and sex with shapeshifters, even in animal form, is okay by us.”

    “Please indicate whether your book has been BANNED from any other site, and if so, what was the “offending” content?”

  2. Erika L Firanc on March 19, 2012 at 3:08 am

    I’ve rounded up the relevant info for all the publishers listed here in an excel sheet, but I’m not up to reformatting it for posting. (Besides, it’s probably easier to plug it in from an excel sheet than from html?)

    I haven’t listed the keywords-for-content, because so many of them have so many restrictions. A few have none; a few more have none listed but I strongly suspect they exist. (Harlequin doesn’t deign to acknowledge the existence of topics they don’t publish in their guidelines.) Is there an email I could send the file to?

  3. Raziel Moore on March 20, 2012 at 2:39 am

    Erika, you are a godsend, and you have my and all of our gratitude.

  4. [...] Publishers/Presses and Their Content – And this is good for erotica writers who want to find the right publisher, if they’re having trouble finding a place for their legal fringe erotic fiction. [...]

  5. Erika L Firanc on March 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    1Erotica has what seems to be a typo: “You may use our site to publish content that is obscene, defamatory, violates the rights of privacy or publicity…” (emph. added.) I checked… that’s in the original. Idiots didn’t proofread their own TOS. (I feel comfortable insulting them; anyone who puts in a legal document “you can use our platform to publish illegal material” is an idiot. Saying “but it’s a typo everyone would know what we REALLY meant” will not help them if they get hauled into court because one of their books carried libel and they didn’t notice.)

    The specific TOS for authors is at http://1eroticaebooks.com/content-partner-terms-and-conditions/info_0.html

    Should probably, at some point, sort this into two lists: one for publishers’ submission guidelines, and one for self-publishing sites that allow anything that fits their criteria.

    Self-pub sites include
    1Erotica
    Feedbooks (not sure if entries into their paid store allow self-pub; need to check)
    Lulu
    Smashwords
    Scribd

    The megastores
    Amazon’s Kindle Direct
    B&N’s PubIt
    Apple’s iBookstore
    Kobo (unsure if this allows self-pub or it needs to feed from something like Smashwords)

    Pay-for-processing self-pub stores
    Bookbaby
    AuthorSolutions (never heard of ‘em, but they’re the other feed into the Sony store)
    (Many, many others; not sure we’d want to carry the list of places you have to pay money up-front to edit/format your books. In traditional publishing, those were “vanity presses;” it’s gotten blurrier now, but it’s still a weird category for self-pub.)

    When I’ve got time, I’ll go through Mobileread’s list of ebook publishers and sort out which ones (1) still exist and (2) deal with erotica, and start collecting TOS info. (Or someone else can get started on it.)

    • Raziel Moore on March 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm

      Thanks, Erika. I added a note about the typo. Splitting the list may be a very good idea.

  6. Donna Mixon on March 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    My husband and I laughed so hard I almost peed when I read that typo…

    WHOA !!!

    And the one where it is okay for Archie Bunker to star as long as you aren’t actually Archie Bunker.

    Let’s not even start on removing content that’s “appropriate”

  7. C on May 1, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this list! It is exactly what I was looking for.

  8. Aster Zhen on July 1, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Thanks very much for the resource, it’s extremely helpful. I would love it if you could add in the future another column (or link to a blog post or forum thread) where writers could make comments about their experiences with a certain publisher. E.g. 1 erotica romance bans ‘rape scenes’ but has a category for non-con, describing it as “Ebook erotica stories of fantasy non-consensual capture, nonconsensual bondage and non consensual sex”. If anyone has had their non-con stories banned by this distributor, I would be interested to see where they draw the line.

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