As Amazon’s war on Japanese content continues to march forward, the corporation has now set its sights on the American light novel and manga publisher Hanashi Media.
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In recent years, Amazon’s has been removing a variety of Japanese content, including light novels, manga and figurines, that they deem “inappropriate” – a label which has now been applied to the corporation’s latest victim, the light novel series Another World Survival: Min Maxing my Support and Summoning Magic.
Written by Tsukasa Yokotsuka with illustrations by Manyako, the series follows Kazuhisa Kaya, a young man who finds his plan to get revenge on his bullies derailed after he finds himself isekai’d into an RPG-like world full of monsters.
Finding himself in a strange new world, Kazuhisa’s goal have now shifted to survival. However, much to his surprise, he isn’t the only one caught up in the chaos.
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On January 22nd, Hanashi Media received a notice from Amazon’s Content Review Team informing them that the first volume of Another World Survival: Min Maxing my Support and Summoning Magic had allegedly violated Amazon Kindle’s content guidelines.
“During our review process, we found that you book Another World Survival: Min Maxing my Support and Summoning Magic Volume 1 violates our content guidelines,” ruled Amazon, as seen in the below communications exclusively shared with Bounding Into Comics by Hanashi Media. “As a result, we are no longer offering your book for sale on Amazon.”
“As a reminder, violations of our content guidelines may negatively impact your account status,” they added. “And you may also lose access to your optimal KDP services.”
Though the publisher attempted to appeal the decision immediately after receiving it, Hanshi Media would ultimately and definitively have their work rejected from the digital marketplace on January 24th, ostensibly for violating Amazon Kindle’s ‘Offensive Content’ guidelines.
“We’ve confirmed that Another World Survival: Min Maxing my Support and Summoning Magic Volume 1 contains content that is in violation of our guidelines and we will not be offering this title for sale on Amazon,” the company explained.
“As stated in our guidelines we reserve the right to determine what’s appropriate, which includes cover images and content within the book,” Amazon continued. “If you wish to republish your book with content that meets our guidelines, it will need to be submitted as an entirely new book and go through our standard review process. Previous customer reviews, tags, and sales rank information are not transferable because the title will be essentially a different product.”
Instead of rectifying the situation, Amazon would instead decide to escalate the dispute, with Hanash Media being informed on January 25th that not only were the publisher’s pre-orders for Volume 2 – due out January 31st – cancelled, but that they had also been barred from offering any pre-orders for a period of one year.
“The pre-order for your book Another World Survival, has been cancelled because your pre-order content did not meet our guidelines to publish books on KDP,” they stated. “You have also lost one year access as a result.”
In response, Hanashi Media took to Twitter on January 26th to regretfully inform their customers “about the cancellation of the pre-sale on Amazon of the second volume of the Another World Survival: Min Maxing my Support and Summoning Magic series, as well as the temporary delisting of the first volume due to censorship demands.”
“On January 23, 2023 we received from Amazon a notice of removal of volume 1 of the series for allegedly violating the platforms content guidelines, which we appealed and definitively rejected, giving us the only option to modify the manuscript to adapt it to the non-offensive content policies and resubmit it as a new product,” the publisher detailed. “Therefore, we will lose the sales and review history that everyone kindly wrote for us.”
“Furthermore, yesterday – January 25, 2023 – we received a new notification,” wrote Hanashi Media. “This time about a unilateral cancellation of the pre-sale of the second volume resulting in more than five hundred customers losing access to the product to the less than a week before delivery.”
“The reported reason: non-compliance with content policies, notwithstanding the fact that no version of the manuscript has been submitted and the original delivery period set for January 27th has not expired,” they revealed. “Therefore, we have also been banned from making new pre-sales on the platform for a period of one year (does not affect The Fruit of Evolution, Vol. 3)”
“We understand this situation may cause inconvenience for our readers who have pre-ordered the Another World Survival, Vol 2, we deeply apologize for this and we assure you that we will do our best to find a solution,” said Hanashi Media. “We are exploring all possible options to ensure that the second volume can still be published, and we will keep you updated as the situation develops.”
Concluding their statement, the publisher assured their audience, “We value our readers and appreciate your continued support. We hope to have Another World Survival back on Amazon soon and thank you for your patience and understanding. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have. We are here to support you and we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that our readers have access to the literature they love.”
The good news for said readers is that Another World Survival Vol.2 will be available to purchase from other retailers including Apple Books, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.
However, according to a January 27th tweet from Hanashi Media, it appears their dispute with Amazon has resulted in the volume’s release date being pushed back roughly two weeks.
“We regret to inform you that due to Amazon’s content policies, we are forced to postpone the release of Another World Survival Vol.2 to February 14th,” wrote the publisher. “The good news is… If you didn’t have anyone for February 14th, now you can spend it in the company of a good novel!”
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