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October 17, 2013

Amazon and Kobo blindly censor thousands of books after UK prudes freak out

This is a huge problem for indie authors right now. Only titles by indie authors are being censored. Apparently having the imprimatur of a publisher forgives any rape, incest, bestiality or other unpleasantness that occurs in fiction. Banning Indie Books | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe
It’s been a wild ride in indie publishing the last few days. A media attack on erotica quickly spun out of control, shutting down book stores and wiping some indie authors off the face of the internet. Below, we recount the sequence of events wreaking havoc across the publishing industry… On Wednesday October 9th, an article in UK ‘news publication’ Kernel Mag triggered a widespread banning and blocking of self-pubbed books. Action was taken across multiple booksellers, and, while the initial focus was on erotica, the problem soon spread to other genres…. The first flaw in Kernel Mag’s anti-porn campaign? The article portrayed the problem as (mostly self-pubbed) erotica and then featured books published primarily by internet marketers, not authors….Internet marketers routinely outsource story production to third world countries and are known to publish hundreds of stories at a time. The quality is low, the covers are in-your-face graphic and the titles are keyword stuffed to the point that even Google gags on all the search terms. It’s not an issue of genre, but a business model used by some marketers to extract profit with no concern for quality…. Other indie books originally targeted by Kernel Mag, ones written by actual authors, were wrongfully accused of bestiality and rape….Dog Gone It by Chelsea Fox was singled out because of a dog on the book cover, not because ‘journalists’ read the content to verify their assumptions. When asked for a quote, Miss Fox said, “This is crazy. There is barely any sex at all in Dog Gone It….” Multiple self-pubbed authors had books blocked because of the word ‘virgin’ in the blurb or title. Books that were unblocked on appeal were immediately blocked again. Covers featuring only faces were deemed to be offensive and blocked. Fully clothed people on covers, alone, not touching anyone, were blocked. Author Alexx Andria resorted to creating ‘brown paper wrapping’ covers for her books, which were eventually reinstated….