Erotic Authors Strike Back
The title of the article to which I’m linking now is “Self-published Erotica Writers Strike Back,” but once again, that’s not completely true and the article is misleading on several levels. When large retail web sites where e-books are sold started targeting/censoring books for questionable content, they did begin with self-published books. But I know for a fact that e-publishers are now dealing with the fallout, too.
I hesitate to post anything more about that until I have more facts. However, I did receive an interesting e-mail from one of my publishers last week. And as usual, the books in question with the publishers are not books that would violate the concept of what’s considered questionable content…I hate to even go there, but questionable content includes things like underage characters, barely legal, incest, etc… The books I’m talking about have been targeted based on one word. In my case it’s the word virgin, and yet all the characters are legal age. These retail web sites are doing broad sweeps with search engines, and books with normally innocent words like virgin, boy, girl, or anything else that suggests something taboo are being censored and taken down.
This issue has now made the mainstream media, and even though the article isn’t completely accurate, I thought it was interesting that the issue has gone this far.
Daudelin called for Amazon to establish clear guidelines. She also posted Kobo’s new rules, which includes the following guideline: “Users may not publish written, image, audio or video content that promotes pedophilia, incest, bestiality, or sexual violence or force.”
You can read more here.
Frankly, I have no comment on the books with questionable content, for lack of a better phrase. That’s not my fight and I’m not personally willing to go up on a hill and die for books that do contain pedophilia or incest, or whatever. I don’t read them, write them, or want anything to do with them. They disgust me. My issue is this: don’t penalize other erotica authors who aren’t writing books with incest or pedophilia like I’ve been penalized just for one word or a title that gets caught and flagged in a search engine by some clueless idiot who doesn’t know any better.
NYT Sex Issue Sans Romance Authors
The New York Times Book Review did a piece called “Let’s Read About Sex,” and allegedly overlooked romance authors. As a result, author Sarah Maclean, who writes historical romance, replied with a letter to the editor:
Romance holds a huge share of the consumer market, with more than $1.4 billion in sales in 2012, so the omission is surprising. The lack of romance authors is especially glaring when one considers that each week, the mass-market, e-book and combined best-seller lists compiled by The New York Times include dozens of books from this far-reaching genre: historical, contemporary, paranormal, erotic and new adult.
You can read the letter in full here.
I’m not completely surprised they didn’t include romance authors…or gay romance authors. The most elite in the literary world typically don’t include romance authors in anything that even remotely resembles an academic piece. And this is in spite of the fact that if it weren’t for romance authors and romance novels the so-called literistic works the elitists do discuss wouldn’t have a fat chance in hell getting published because in many cases it’s romance that’s keeping many of them afloat these days. Think Fifty Shades of Grey and all the money it made for the publisher.
I’d like to see them try to survive waiting for Jonathan Franzen to write his next bestselling novel, because if all of publishing depended on the speed of the literistic like bird-watching Franzen who puts out a novel every decade or so we’d all be in trouble.