As some of you may be aware, there has been a bit of a brouhaha in the ebook world. Kobo, an ebook distributor, recently pulled all self-published work in hopes of purging works they deem unsavory. Amazon, as well as Barnes & Noble and practically all other ebook distributors, has done the same thing. Another distributor, WHSmith, took their entire site offline.
About five of my books have been taken off the market by Amazon and I’m not sure they will return. They all skirt the edge of what Amazon and the others are trying to remove, edgy erotica with incest/roleplay and age play themes.
A little bit of my thinking on this. People like to read about all sorts of fantastic things, from violence, to the surreal, to the abstract, to explicitly sexual things that tap into strong emotions, including things that are very very wrong. The beauty of storytelling is that what you create isn’t real and often can’t or shouldn’t be real. We write about these dark fantasies to play out normal desires to their abnormal extremes. “Corruption of innocence” becomes younger/older. “Forbidden” becomes inappropriate or even illegal relationships. “Danger” becomes actual violence.
These symbols and metaphors are similar to the way people roleplay things that they wouldn’t/couldn’t/shouldn’t do in reality. Just like we read about criminals, murderers, ghosts, monsters, and aliens to tap into what all those things represent to us.
Here are some resources about what’s going on with self-publish erotica ebooks:
What started this whole debacle: BBC, WH Smith takes website offline after porn e-book scandal
BBC, Amazon removes abuse-themed e-books from store
LA Times, Self-published pornographic e-books cause trouble for Amazon, Kobo
Gawker has the douche-y and biased story title “Mass of Sick Self-Published Porn Pulled From Amazon, WHSmith and Kobo Book Stores” (Fuck you Gawker)