Happy Thursday, everyone! Well, what an interesting month it's been, eh? Let's get to the publishing news, just in case you haven't seen it. Strap in, grab your coffee, and let's get going!
Over the last month or so, B&N has pulled several Indie erotica titles off their platform. Authors who were hybrid experienced an interesting effect when their Indie titles dropped off, but their publisher titles stayed up. What are they worried about? Well, if you caught my post from a while back that tackled the subject of what content would be allowed in books, you'll know. If you missed it, take a look here.
So, it seems the taboo topics are under fire. Namely: Age play, bestiality, dubious consent, incest or pseudo-incest, non-consensual sexual slavery, rape for titillation, underage, snuff, scat, necrophilia.
Some of those have "never" been allowed.
Or have they?
According to the Smashwords blog, few retailers will take incest or pseudo-incest, and iBooks won't take them at all.
I beg to differ. After a quick search on B&N, I found the time-honored (even made into a movie) Flowers in the Attic series. I read that series. Not only do the children locked in the attic (the elder brother and sister) experience a coming-of-age sexual happening, but their mother slept with her uncle to conceive said children (which is why the grandmother wanted the kiddos to disappear). Sorry for the spoiler for those of you that haven't read it and had planned to.
Once I checked that out, I went over to iBooks. Guess what?
Yeah. There it is, but iBooks doesn't take books with incest in them?
By the way, it's also available on Amazon.
Doesn't it seem an awful lot like it's just Indie published books that are being targeted? Why not yank V. C. Andrews' books from those same platforms? If there's a taboo topic, she covered it. I've read several of her series, and MANY of them have incest happening across all arms of the family.
Guess what else? There are no "warnings" of sensitive material on ANY of those.
But JO! Those are referring to EROTICA titles.
Are they? Now, since the Great Blocking of Indies, if your book is erotica or not, you have to say whether you used one of those taboo topics. Yeah, even for sci-fi or paranormal.
HOW IS THAT OKAY?
Do the publishers get to skirt all that? They do. It's obvious by what I've shown above. I'm positive there are others.
Smashwords is trying to provide a solution for Indies and restore trust with their retailers. Read about it on their latest blog post here, which is where the list of taboo topics above came from.
But, the bottom line is, Smashwords shouldn't have to. It's getting out of hand, and something needs to change.
If you publish fiction with one of the taboo topics listed above, please go update your books on Smashwords. It's now part of their ToS, and if you're caught not labeling them, you'll be banned from using them as a distributor.
Can you name a trad pubbed book with one of the above topics?
Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!