Posted on 2013-Oct-15
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2013 – Bangkok, Thailand – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo UK (WH Smith) have removed self-published erotica in the past few days. It was not only erotica titles were pulled from the eBook stores, but many other self-published titles have been removed as well. Their decision may stem from a blog posted by The Kernel that reported the convenient availability of “barely legal” materials. Although this is not the first time erotica has fallen victims to the judgment of online vendors, this time Barnes & Noble and Kobo have put on a united front to remove several self-published titles. David Gaughran, for instance, voiced his opinion in The Digital Reader that all of his books had been removed from Kobo UK despite the fact that his books have nothing to do with erotica. According to The Digital Reader, several self-published titles are also taken down without any instruction what will happen to those. Additionally, it appears that Amazon and Barnes & Noble have apparently begun removing erotica titles based on keywords only for the “offensive content” without providing a proper review. Famous BDSM independent author, Kallypso Masters, has given her comment how an indie author strives to write a book with quality. Ms. Masters defends the honor of her professional status to the very last sentence that she is willing to sell her books directly to her fans on her website.
So far, Kobo has only released one explanatory letter that discusses the removal of books in question. Their UK partner bookstore, WH Smith, took a harsher measure to close down their online store with the official statement citing the cause of the problem as “a number of unacceptable titles.” Taking the steps to remove the titles in question, WH Smith decided to have all of the self-published titles removed and take their site offline temporary to “best protect our customers and the public.”
Due to the fact that many of BB eBooks’ clients are erotica and contemporary romance authors, we would like to unequivocally state that we remain committed of our support toward the independently-published community. When asked about the recent decision by major eBook vendors to remove content from their stores, Managing Director Paul Salvette said, “They are making a very bad business decision and going overboard just because of what one guy wrote on a blog. Erotica is routinely enjoyed by many responsible adults and it has a very large and active fan base. This also raises a lot of ethical questions about who gets to decide ‘What is offensive?’” Salvette then added, “The problem with censorship is you don’t know who they will be coming for next.”
There is a petition on Change.org led by Mistress Renee to appeal to Amazon, B&N, and Kobo executive management to stop removing Erotica and self-published indie authors. The petitioner’s message questions the motivation behind the sudden removal which is jeopardizing freedom of speech. Many commenters have joined in the discussion and express their disagreement against the incident giving the reason that they are capable of making the decision to read or not to read by themselves. BB eBooks management and staff have already signed the petition, and we encourage our clients and friends to consider doing so if they feel passionately about this issue.
For our clients who are independently-published authors, BB eBooks remains committed to supporting your endeavors regardless of what type of material you write. In days to come, we strongly hope that there will be a clearer explanation from the major eBook vendors to declare their selection/punishing criteria, but the trust in the major eBook vendors by indie authors may never be the same. Most importantly, BB eBooks encourages major executives to listen to each and every indie author’s voice right now because they are the creative elements that have helped drive the eBook industry to its prosperity in the first place.
BB eBooks is Thailand-based company providing eBook design services for authors and publishers. Visit BB eBooks at http://bbebooksthailand.com/ to learn about the different services offered for a wide-variety of clients. Please contact Paul Salvette (Managing Director) or Panich Choonhanirunrit (Director of Marketing and Sales) for more information.
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