Explicit Content

I am sure you have seen the tick box. That's a bit vague is it not?

 

If it means sex. To what degree? If a book contains the word Nipple, would that be explicit? Does it mean porn? Which is often only a matter of opinion as to what is.

Does it mean profanities? Which ones? All or just the F and C word? The F word is an ideal word to use for surprise and shock, but if it is only used once, would that be explicit?

Or does it apply to both? If so then it should not. They are not the same thing.

Books are often published by mainstream publishers in age ranges. children. Young Adult. Adult. And written accordingly. There are rules, not just that vague Explicit Content, which could apply yo anything, and also a matter of opinion of the reader. In the UK it's legal to have sex once the age of 16 is reached. Anyone who has heard teenagers speak, especially if they don't know an 'adult' is listening, also know they use a lot of profanities. And yet books for them do not include such things.

 

I have just published a book and it has a few profanities in it. Even the F word.

 

http://www.lulu.com/shop/kevin-lomas/houze-keeper-vanted/paperback/product-22665444.html

 

I was unsure if I should click Lulu's Explicit Content or not. So I did not. It's not as if it's specifically in the Childrens' section and it contains no sex.

 

I have also published it via KDP and Amazon have two options. Lowest age and max age (the latter seems a bit strange!) I selected 16+ and 18+. It does not ask about content, it simply uses the standard age groups. It passed Amazon's tests.

 

Can Lulu not have the same age options? It would save wondering what Explicit Content actually means. (I am not sure what it means though. Does it simply say on the Spotlights that a book contains Explicit Content, allowing kids to view it anyway? Or does it somehow filter out who is able to look at it? (As per the art site I also use.)

 

But it all depends on what the self-publisher themselves believes what is Explicit Content and what age group should be reading it. Some may not bother selecting an age, but on Amazon one has no choice, because it is actually the law and the KDP publishing tool will not progress until those choices have been used.

 

 

Comments

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Strangely, the age range option does exist on Lulu, but only if you place it in Childrens', but it goes up and stops with 12+

     

    http://connect.lulu.com/t5/Product-Pricing-Information/Age-Range-for-Children-and-Teen-eBooks-FAQ/ta-p/322039

     

    I place all of mine in the Science Fiction/Fantasy group. Do children and YA not read such then? All that group allows is that Explicit Content tick box.

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    You have a valid point.

     

    I think Explicit means over 18. An R rating, say. I would not click on that for mild love scenes or bad words. Also, I think there is a juvenile/YA category -- so you definitely would click on the explicit option if your book is Young Adult and you have those scenes. Even if they are mild.

     A citizen of the world.

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    So...make a suggestion in Suggest. Name exactly what you think would be ideal.

     A citizen of the world.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I doubt they will listen. It would cost money. But that tick box is relatively new, so why, at the same time, did they not set the age range tick boxes options that are only there if one uses the Childrens' category for them all? Would it not have been just as easy to extend it to 16+ and 18+ for all the categories? It's reet strange they did not.

  • I'm still waiting for the new fonts in the cover wizard I asked about over a year ago. Something interesting with effects. And maybe some interesting cover effects would be nice as well.

  • @kevinlomas

    Perhaps you are over thinking the question, sir.

     

    Explicit content is generally considered as pornographic in nature - however one man's porn is another man's light afternoon reading. To paraphrase a famous US Supreme Court justice trying to define pornagrapy - "I know it when I see it."

     

    Hence the reason we leave it up to the author to determine whether they wish to apply this filter. One note, however, application of the explicit content designation may prevent your book from being accepted some distribution outlets.

     

    Peace, Out!

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    To me, "explicit content" means there is at least one passage in which the author graphically describes a sexual intercourse, whatever its type and/or style.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Perhaps you are over thinking the question, sir.

     

    Not in the least. What about the rest I said? About profanities, which can be just as offensively explicit  (because the word does apply to both)  to some people and hence the age categories publishers and retailers use by law. Each having content considered OK for those age groups.

     

    https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/explicit?family=Explicit

     

    Perhaps there should be sub-sections on Lulu then? Science Fiction + Children for example? Then those age related choices will pop up in the Wizards I suspect.

     

     

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    BTW. As the OP, should it not be me who pokes the Solved button?  Smiley Tongue

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    Kevin, any one of a million people might consider it solved. Even those passing by.

     A citizen of the world.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
  • Perhaps in that if one had the same question, one might find the answer in this thread.

  • I admit I would like to know the answer to this one myself.  In my book I use some curse words, not a lot and not F or C but I do refer to gender anatomy also.  There are no specific love scenes that  make it past the kissy stage more because in my case it would detract from the main story line. More intense sexual scenes are refered to but not described.

    The whole reason I am unsure about this was because of an incident that happened when I first got married.  

     

    My wife and I are avid readers of fiction.  We share most tastes with the exceptions that I like Sci Fi and she likes romances. One day she was at work and I realized I had nothing to read so I picked up one of her romances and figured it was better than nothing. Some story about a wagon train bound for Oregon.

     

    Now I am not a prudish man, nor am I unlearned of hard core porn. I am a military veteren that has spent time over seas in some rather interesting areas.

     

    The book embarrassed me.  Without ever using a single vulgar word or phrase, without ever stepping back from standard english, the author managed to make the scenes come to life in ways that left me distinctly uncomfortable.

     

    I have not read a romance novel since then.

     

     We are word smiths (or attempting to be so in my case). We paint the images for the reader to see.  Is it specifically the wording we use that makes for adult novels? Or is it the scene we bring to life?  In my case I am specifically going for an adult audience, but I believe it is more for style and adult situations than any specific wording.

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    WWDowd a écrit :

     

    The book embarrassed me.  Without ever using a single vulgar word or phrase, without ever stepping back from standard english, the author managed to make the scenes come to life in ways that left me distinctly uncomfortable.


    Suggestive, but not explicit. So no problem. Smiley Very Happy

  • Self-published author means you have to make some decisions yourself since regional and cultural differences determine what is considered adult or explicit content. Words in common usage in one culture may be more or less offensive in others. Hence the need for authors to know their audience.

     

    So, who is the intended audience for your work? Is the book about sex or does it include sex? Only the author would know the answer to this question.  Therefore, it is still up to the author to decide if they want their work to be tagged as explicit.

  • One compromise is to include in the desciption, (which I wish was longer and allowed formatting), that it contains swear words. That will clarify for the potential reader, at least, the extent of the 'explicit' content.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Perhaps in that if one had the same question, one might find the answer in this thread.

     

    The reply that someone ticked as being the answer simply says that Lulu only thinks that sex is explicit, but explicit can also apply to violence and profanities, and as I said, most publishers have rules. If a story contains the C word it would be in the over 18+ category, for instance. So it does not answer what I said, and it was I who posted the questions.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I admit I would like to know the answer to this one myself.

     

     

    Well I am happy someone does not think the question as been answered  Smiley Very Happy

     

     In my book I use some curse words, not a lot and not F or C but I do refer to gender anatomy also.  There are no specific love scenes that  make it past the kissy stage more because in my case it would detract from the main story line. More intense sexual scenes are refered to but not described.

     

    Most mainstream publishers would place that in the over 18s. There's some famous writer who mostly writes for the 10 to up to 18s, I think it may be Terry Brooks, makes a point of it. His characters actually comment about not being able to swear or chat about sex and that it's mainly a mystery to them, and they call it the Adult Conspiracy

     

    The whole reason I am unsure about this was because of an incident that happened when I first got married.  

     

    My wife and I are avid readers of fiction.  We share most tastes with the exceptions that I like Sci Fi and she likes romances.

     

    So combined you both like Star Wars?  Smiley Happy

     

    One day she was at work and I realized I had nothing to read so I picked up one of her romances and figured it was better than nothing. Some story about a wagon train bound for Oregon.

     

    Now I am not a prudish man, nor am I unlearned of hard core porn. I am a military veteren that has spent time over seas in some rather interesting areas.

     

    The book embarrassed me.  Without ever using a single vulgar word or phrase, without ever stepping back from standard english, the author managed to make the scenes come to life in ways that left me distinctly uncomfortable.

     

    I have not read a romance novel since then.

     

    Gosh, don't pick up 50 Shades then, read by millions of woman. But surely you know your wife's tastes?

     

     We are word smiths (or attempting to be so in my case). We paint the images for the reader to see.  Is it specifically the wording we use that makes for adult novels?

     

    Yes. Apparently the under 18s are not allowed to read profanities.

     

    Or is it the scene we bring to life?

     

    That depends on if it is sexual or not (and very 'graphic' violence) but I am not sure how you and your wife can combine your talents if you are shocked at her reading tastes.

     

     

     In my case I am specifically going for an adult audience, but I believe it is more for style and adult situations than any specific wording.

     

    In all honesty I don't believe that readers actually divide themselves in to age groups, they just read what they fancy, but the publishing world does group them by age, not by some vague Explicit tick box.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Self-published author means you have to make some decisions yourself since regional and cultural differences determine what is considered adult or explicit content. Words in common usage in one culture may be more or less offensive in others. Hence the need for authors to know their audience.

     

    Most publishers are worldwide, though, so they use a blanket rule for everywhere. To be frank, many of these age groups were created by American publishing houses after complaints by powerful parental groups. But a writer still needs to use commonsense though. But one man's explicit is another man's lunch time reading. Even very very explicit.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    One compromise is to include in the desciption, (which I wish was longer and allowed formatting), that it contains swear words. That will clarify for the potential reader, at least, the extent of the 'explicit' content.

     

    Yes, one can do that. One can also put the recommended age group on the cover. The Explicit tick box is relatively new. To be honest, marking something as Explicit could gain more sales.  Smiley Very Happy

  • kevonlomas wrote {So combined you both like Star Wars?  Smiley Happy}

     

    I like it, she thinks it's meh. :smileyhappy:

     

    kevonlomas wrote {Gosh, don't pick up 50 Shades then, read by millions of woman. But surely you know your wife's tastes?}

     

    I read 50 shades, meh, it is okay.  The actions in 50 were less mainstream, but the description in the romance novel was so much mere detailed and drew me in to the point I actually felt kind of dirty even though it was mainstream sex all the way. Admittedly, this may have been because it was from the perspective of the female. And yes, after 35 years my wife is still a mystery, a mystery I enjoy being surprised by.

     

    At the risk of getting booted from the forums I am attaching a section of the book I am working on with Lulu. It is explicit simply because of the scenario. Not because of profanity or vulgarities or even description, but because it refers to genetalia.

     

    - Warning - Attachment can be considered explicit by some readers... I think 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I see nothing explicit about that at all. It would not even be explicit if you had used the word penis, it's just a medical term.

    You are only describing the shock of someone discovering they have been gender-changed, but there's no actual detail. 

     

    BTW. It's reads OK so far. Although at first I thought it was an android. Perhaps he is.

  • Thank you Kevin.  The excerpt is from the center of the book.  I copied and pasted to get the point across.  No clue what it will look like after the editors get hold of it, and yes I will likely take all the advise they can give.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Actually, I am going to put recommended minimum age on my back covers.

     

    BTW. Be careful of spelling. Even in here. Read your posting again. Don't get in to bad habits because they may spread to your books.

     

    PS: Will you not be the Editor?

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