About the Adult Filter and Adults-Only Books

The Adult filter is an experiment in opt-in filtering. When an author publishes a book, we ask them to specify whether or not they believe their book is suitable for readers under the age of 18. This is for the protection of our under-18 users and as a courtesy to adult users who find such material offensive. Anyone who has their adult filter on will not be presented with adults-only books in browsing or search results. The adult filter can be switched off by clicking the link that says "adult filter is ON" in the upper-right corner of the page.

Please note that adults-only can mean many things. When browsing with the adult filter on, you not only filter out books with adult language, scenes, and sex, but you also filter out some books with no sexual content whatsoever.

In 2017, we updated this feature by adding a third option that allows you to browse adult-flagged content, while still filtering out content found in the "Erotica" categories at Smashwords.

The filtering only applies to book listings, including our home page, the various category listings (e.g., "Fiction"), search results, and tag queries.

Apart from being filtered out of book listings, books marked adults-only will continue to be accessible, and a warning will continue to be displayed on the book's info page, below the description/synopsis. Anyone browsing with the adult filter on can still go to a specific book's page if they know its direct link.

As first-time visitors to the site may be children, the the adult filter is on by default for all new users and for anyone who is not logged in. We get inquiries every day from authors wondering why their friend, mom, etc. couldn't find their book on Smashwords by searching for it and always the reason is because their book was marked adults-only. You can give the direct link to your book (copy the URL from your browser's address bar when looking at your book's page) to your friends and this will take them directly to your book, without regard to the adult filter.

Close this window