Decrease Risks for Your Book: Full Compliance Guide for Authors by AlphaNovel

Full Compliance Guide for Authors by AlphaNovel

We try to keep AlphaNovel a safe place for both writers and readers. While we understand that some stories may require spicy content to provide readers with a complete reading experience, there are rules that both authors and publishers need to adhere to.

In this article, we will share a guide on ensuring that your book complies with the App Store and Google Play rules to reduce the risk of it being deleted. Furthermore, having a compliant cover, proper annotation and first chapters increases your book’s chances of being promoted. This guide consists of two parts: the first is related to the text itself, and the second is associated with the book covers.

Our team might reach out to you if we find some non-compliant scenes in your book with suggestions on how to improve it🙌

Note: this is a long guide, but don’t feel overwhelmed. In this article, we not only cover restrictions but give you compliance suggestions also. And if you need additional guidance, you can always talk to our editors and ask for advice 🫂

How to Increase the Compliance Level of Your Book

When you’re ready to publish your new novel on AlphaNovel, please, ensure that the text complies with our guidelines, particularly the annotations and free chapters. Adhering to these guidelines will improve the chances of your book being featured on the app’s main screen and receiving promotions.

When editing the annotations and free chapters, consider whether any content might be disturbing. If so, it’s best to save these parts for later chapters.

What content does AlphaNovel find prohibited in free chapters and annotation:

Realistic Depictions of Violence:

  • Physical Harm: Avoid detailed portrayals of bodily injuries, such as wounds, injuries, or dismemberment.
  • Psychological Torture: Do not include scenes that delve into psychological trauma, including prolonged mental anguish or emotional abuse.
  • Animal Cruelty: Refrain from describing animals subjected to violence or suffering.
Illegal Activities Involving Minors:

Underaged Sexual Scenes: Content depicting or describing sexual acts involving characters under 18 is strictly prohibited, regardless of context or intent. Examples include:

  • Underaged Sexual Scenes: Content depicting or describing sexual acts involving characters under 18 is strictly prohibited, regardless of context or intent. Examples include:
    • Stories featuring explicit sexual encounters between adults and minors.
    • Descriptions of underage sexual exploitation.
    • Graphic depictions of child pornography.
  • Child Abuse: Content that depicts or promotes physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse of minors is prohibited. Examples include:
    • Stories featuring scenes of child physical abuse by caregivers or family members.
    • Descriptions of minors being sexually abused by adults.
    • Narratives depicting emotional manipulation of minors that promote such behavior.
Explicit Sex Content:

  • Avoid detailed descriptions of committing crimes such as murder or rape.
  • Non-consensual sex combined with physical abuse, constituting rape, is strictly prohibited.
  • Depicting sex scenes in annotations and free chapters is prohibited.

What content is strictly prohibited in any part of the book:

While in this guide, we’re focusing on the annotation and free chapters, please avoid scenes with illegal activities involving minors and underage characters, as well as non-consensual sex combined with physical abuse, constituting rape throughout the whole book.

How to Choose a Compliant Book Cover

The more your book cover complies with the rules of the App Store and Google Play – the more chances it has to end up on the first screen of the AlphaNovel app.

While choosing the book cover, the most important question you should ask yourself is “Will it attract the reader or not?”. There are a lot of cover styles, designs, and ideas to choose from. However, your ideas must follow the AlphaNovel compliance guidelines (point 6).

Below are some tips that will help you create a great cover. We’ll start with ‘Don’ts’ and after that, we will show you great cover examples you can get inspiration from.

1. Avoid Realistic Threats

Your cover should not contain scenes where people or animals are under direct physical threat, such as being held at gunpoint or facing imminent harm. While a weapon may be featured on a book cover, it should not be aimed at a person or animal. The imagery should not suggest impending violence or harm.

2. No Graphic Suffering

Steer clear of depicting the realistic suffering of victims. This includes avoiding detailed descriptions of pain, anguish, or distress.

3. Avoid any content that promotes or supports illegal activities with underaged minors

It is crucial for legal, ethical, and social reasons. It’s essential to protect minors from harm and uphold positive values.

5. Avoid promoting tobacco and alcohol consumption

Surely, your characters can drink and smoke. You can mention that in the book, but please leave these actions out of the cover.

5. Do not show a sex act scene on the cover

Sex scenes on the book cover violate App Store and Google Play content guidelines. Therefore, your book couldn’t pass their moderation. What should you do if you want to show intimacy on the cover? Scroll below to see our suggestions.

6. Do not use explicit or pornographic nudity

It is prohibited to put a man or woman in underwear on the cover of your book. The App Store and Google Play will also block this cover. Also, such a book couldn’t be promoted. For instance, you should blur nipples if you want to use a picture of a shirtless man.

7. Do not show stripping on the cover

We have already mentioned that women/men wearing underwear are not allowed. It is important to notice that scenes where people are about to take off clothes are also prohibited.

8. Showing illegal sex is prohibited

Pedophilia (sexual attraction to underaged characters), necrophilia (sexual attraction to corpses), zoophilia (sexual attraction to animals), and any non-consensual (rape) or harmful acts are strictly prohibited.

How the good book cover should look like:

Now that we have covered the restrictions, let’s talk about creating great book covers. There are many ways to showcase the dynamics between the characters and reveal the plot on your book cover. Here are some tips to help make your cover captivating!

1. Incorporating interactions between characters can make your cover more dynamic and engaging. However, ensure these interactions are appropriate and compliant.

Example: A hero and heroine standing close together, facing a common threat, or engaging in a conversation. This sets up a narrative and piques readers’ interest without violating any guidelines.

2. Kissing and hugs are allowed: romantic gestures like kissing and hugging are permissible as long as they are portrayed in a romantic context rather than a sexual one.

Example: A gentle kiss on the forehead or a heartfelt embrace can convey romance and deepen the emotional appeal of your cover without crossing into inappropriate territory.

3. Revealing clothes are welcome: characters can wear revealing clothes. Ensure the attire is tasteful and avoid nudity or visible underwear.

Example: A female character in a flowing, low-cut gown, a backless dress, or a man in an unbuttoned shirt can add allure and sophistication. Keep it elegant to maintain the novel’s appeal.

4. Highlight Specific Details from the Book: including unique elements or specific details from your story can make your cover stand out and intrigue potential readers.

Example: If your novel features a magical amulet, a haunted house, or a symbolic object, showcasing it on the cover can draw attention and hint at the plot’s uniqueness.

5. Use Graphic Images Over Real Photos: opting for graphic images instead of real photos can give your cover a distinct style and help it stand out among others.

Example: An illustrated scene of your characters in a significant moment, rendered in a captivating art style, can be more effective and memorable than using stock photos.

This guide is just the outline of what we’re sure will make your book comply with App Store and Google Play policies. We suggest you check each of your new books on compliance with this guide and fix the issues if you find any. Our team might reach out to you to fix some issues proactively.

If you have any questions or want to get advice on the topic of compliance, please get in touch with our support team.

Have more questions?

Advice and answers from the AlphaNovel Team

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