Today, because of a furor started by one vindictive author over “books with questionable content,” A Silence Kept was removed for sale from Kobo and their outlets. This is the only book I had placed there through D2D, and if they don’t get their shit together, it may well be the last.
“To our Kobo Writing Life and self-publishing partners:
As you may be aware, there has been a significant amount of negative media attention in the UK regarding offensive material that became available across a number of eBook platforms. Kobo was included in the reports from media and we are taking immediate action to resolve an issue that is the direct result of a select few authors and publishers violating Kobo’s content policies.
In order to address the situation Kobo is taking the following steps:
1. We are removing titles in question from the Kobo platform.
2. We are quarantining and reviewing titles to ensure that compliance to our policies is met by all authors and publishers. We will ensure that content meeting the policy is made available online as soon as possible.
3. We are reviewing our policies and procedures to implement safeguards that will ensure this situation does not happen in the future.
We are working hard to get back to business as usual, as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.
Our goal at Kobo is not to censor material; we support freedom of expression. Further, we want to protect the reputation of self-publishing as a whole. You have our promise that we will do all we can to ensure the exceptions that have caused this current situation will not have a lasting effect on what is an exciting new channel that connects Readers to a wealth of books.”
Many many authors today suffered the indignity of having their titles yanked from sale. And guess what? They were all self-published. Yup, trad published books weren’t touched, and likely won’t be, but all indie authors were targeted because of a few trashy titles someone objected to.
I have no interest in reading books about necrophilia, pseudo incest, bestiality, or the like, but these are popular with certain readers and they shouldn’t be denied because conservatives don’t approve. It’s censorship, pure and simple.
It started with erotica and quickly encompassed everything indie! All YA, SF, mainstream, westerns, fantasies… everything! has been pulled from sale at Kobo and those they distribute to until they figure out what to remove permanently.
But what do you wanna bet Lolita is still available at Kobo? The premier pedophile book of the century! But it was trad published so that makes it okay.
Am I pissed right now? Yes, and I’m also scared, because where does it end? First this is deemed unacceptable, then that is, and before you know it, our choices have been whittled down to a very narrow focus. A small, noisy group of people have decided to kid-proof the world, and I’m not having it.
None of us want children getting their hands on adult material. but I am an adult and I don’t want anyone dictating to me what I shall and shall not buy and read.
Amazon, Kobo, et al have to invest in filters that prevent kids from buying books meant for adults. It really is that simple. Then everyone is happy, everyone makes a little money, and the world is proclaimed safe again.
In the meantime, I will write what I want to write and buy what I want to read and hope the world becomes sane again one day soon. As of this moment, you can still find all my titles at Amazon and ARe. I really, really hope I can say that again tomorrow. And next week. And next month.