Confirmed: B&N Terminating Nook Press Accounts for Publishing Erotica

There’s a story breaking this morning which – if confirmed as true – would mark a troubling return to a period where erotica was removed from ebook retailers simply for being risque.

Edit: it’s really happening.

Author Bobbi Holmes reported on her blog yesterday that she had received the following email from Nook Press:

Dear Publisher,

We have determined that many of your titles available for sale are in violation of our Content Policy. Accordingly, the offending titles have been removed from sale and your account is being terminated. We will pay out any and all outstanding royalties during the next payment period. If you attempt to publish similar content under a different account, we will terminate that account as well and withhold royalties from those sales.

The NOOK Press Team

Holmes’s publisher, Roberth, has posted a similar noticed on its site while at the same time denying that it currently published erotica in the Nook Store.

At first glance this reminds me of 2013, when Amazon and other ebook retailers pulled self-published erotica as a response to negative news coverage. (Kobo went even further, pulling all self-published titles of all genres and categories from all of its ebook retail partner sites).

But one key difference between that story and this one is that we have no confirmation that this was an intentional act by Nook Press and not some fool making a mistake.

This might be the start of a purge, but I have not found any sign that is the case. There are no other first-hand reports on KBoards, Twitter, or in Google search results from authors whose titles have been pulled. (I have a second-hand report, but that is not the same thing.)

I can confirm that nearly all Bobbi Holmes titles have been removed from the Nook section of the B&N website. (The print editions remain, however, rendering the ban pointless.) Nothing in the print titles suggest erotica, and I don’t see any erotica titles from Bobbi Holmes in the Kindle Store.

If you find out something new, please let us know in the comments.

Edit: The story has been confirmed by Georgette St Clair, who wrote on her blog that her Nook Press account was closed:

About 5 years ago I had published a few erotic romance books with a higher heat level than my shifter books, and B&N was one of the places that I published those books. These were published under a different pen name. I have never gotten a single warning or complaint from B&N about any of these titles; if I had, I would have taken it down immediately.

All of a sudden I get a notice yesterday that my account is suspended, and none of my books are on sale. I emailed B&N; no response. I started checking author forums and find that this has happened to NUMEROUS other authors of erotic romance, and most of them are getting follow up letters saying their accounts are suspended, forever.

Third Edit: St Clair now says that her account was restored.

PW has a second confirmation from erotica author Selena Kitt:

Selena Kitt, another author who complained publicly about the situation, said B&N acted “without warning” in canceling her account, and the accounts of other authors. She added that B&N’s claims that she and others had violated Nook’s content guidelines rung hollow as those guidelines were “non-existent until August 16 or so. We’ve had the same content published on their site for years.”

So yes, B&N is apparently now purging erotica titles that they were happy to publish last month.

Second Edit: They claim that they changed their policies on 16 August, but from what I can see Nook Press has nearly the same content policy today is it did in February 2017  (Wayback Machine).

The only real change that I can see is that a few words were added here:

 but not limited to works portraying or encouraging incest, rape, bestiality, necrophilia, paedophilia or content that encourages hate or violence.

That’s all the new stuff, which is kinda weird. I was under the impression that content was already banned from most bookstores. Also, it doesn’t explain why Bobbi Holmes’s account was terminated when she wasn’t selling any erotica.

image by paparutz

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Tony23 August, 2017

    Is Mike Pence a buddy of some Barnes & Noble executive? 🙂

    1. gbm23 August, 2017

      You are barking up the wrong tree. The only people carrying around signs and protesting against free speech in the US right now are the Antifa.

      1. BDR23 August, 2017

        Meanwhile Nazis are busy holding torch rallies; screaming about taking back America from Jews. Everyone should be protesting that, and most are.

        Except for you, evidently.

        1. Nate Hoffelder23 August, 2017

          come on, you can criticize the arguments without directly attacking the person.

  2. gbm23 August, 2017

    Nate do you have a link to these so called content guidelines?

    1. Nate Hoffelder23 August, 2017

      yes, and from what I can see they have not actually changed their policy. Here’s an old copy from the Wayback Machine.

      The current rules look identical.

      Edit: No, I was wrong. The new rules specifically mention bestiality, rape, etc.

      1. gbm23 August, 2017

        Thanks, then it is B&N just putting on their bigger stupid hat.

        Advertisements or promotional material (including author events, seminars etc.).
        Contact information for the author or publisher.

        That is, word just do not come, that has been standard information in books longer that I have been alive.

        What do they call this:

        Baen Publishing Enterprises
        P.O. Box 1403
        Riverdale, NY 10471

        ISBN: 978-1-4767-8219-5
        eISBN: 978-1-62579-557-1

        Cover art by Bob Eggleton
        Maps by Charles E. Gannon and Robin Szypulski

        First Baen printing, February 2017

        Distributed by Simon & Schuster
        1230 Avenue of the Americas
        New York, NY 10020

        By that policy every book in the Nook store is forbidden.

  3. Allen F23 August, 2017

    Just more of B&N terminating itself. (They’re best at killing off anything that might be selling.)

  4. Allen F23 August, 2017
    1. Nate Hoffelder23 August, 2017

      Yes, I updated my post to mention that.

  5. gbm23 August, 2017

    Update on Bobbi Holmes she has had her account reactivated.
    Still no word on why, It must be just a big screwup and B&N so not want to admit it.

    1. Nate Hoffelder23 August, 2017


      this is just nuts, isn’t it?

  6. Mackay Bell23 August, 2017

    “… works portraying or encouraging incest, rape, bestiality… ” Have they removed Oedipus, Gone with the Wind and Beauty and the Beast yet?

    1. gbm23 August, 2017

      Loltia by Vladimir Nabokov is in the Nook store.

    2. Scott23 August, 2017

      Well those (and Lolita) have nothing to do with Nook Press. In so far as Nook Press functions as a publishing arm, B&N has a right to choose what to (continue to) publish and what not to (continue to) publish.

      That’s not to say that how B&N has handled this isn’t mind-bogglingly horrible.

      1. Nate Hoffelder23 August, 2017

        Except it still points to a double standard.

        B&&N is allowing one but not the other.

  7. […] this week Barnes & Noble stunned many when it started spontaneously terminating the Nook Press accounts of indie authors. B&N claimed that the accounts had been terminated for […]

  8. […] reports indicate 50,000 titles were taken down. Some of the books had  sold for years on Nook. (More discussion)  Authors have had accounts terminated without warning, although some have been restored.  […]

  9. […] Nate Hoffelder of The Digital Reader confirmed these reports, as did industry journal Publishers Weekly. A pattern emerged. Nook Press objected to some of an author’s titles – but pulled all books by that author. Within a couple of days, many authors reported that Nook Press apologized and reinstated their accounts. As reported by The Digital Reader, apparently it was all a big misunderstanding. Oops? So I guess everything’s okay? Until the next mistake happens. […]


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