I have heard rumours that Bookstrand.com are initiating a policy whereby the books of all indie authors, regardless of subject matter, will not be included on the site main page. It could be a book of harmless flower poems, but it would still be shunted off and tucked away on an indie new arrival page. I personally don't think that's fair, it smells of discrimination and it means less "upfront" exposure for indie writers.
I can fully appreciate that some online book stores, particularly those catering to a general and wide age range audience, don't want porno covers and explicit sex titles in their shop window so to speak. However, if an indie book fits in with general romance ebooks and has a non explicit title and cover then I don't see why it should be sidelined.
A lot of indie authors are every bit as professional as those who choose to go through a publisher. In fact some of them are more professional. I have seen books put out by some online publishers that are so badly edited they shouldn't be on sale.
This apparent backlash against indie writers concerns me very much. I suspect it stems from the fact that the subject matter of a lot of indie works deals with what many consider to be taboo subjects, such as incest and rape fantasy. Paypal actively crusades against such subject matter and is leaning on Companies that feature such works, freezing their accounts, as well as the assets of individual writers. It amounts to censorship and this is something that should concern and worry us all. Censorship once started is a hard ball to stop rolling. It gathers momentum and very soon it crushes all in its path.
Where will it stop? Will we have Paypal and credit card companies dictating what subject matter authors can write? Will they perhaps draw up guidelines that we, as writers, will be forced to adhere to at the risk of having our accounts frozen? Who judges what is a suitable subject? I have a phobia about insects. I utterly loathe them. They disgust me. Does that mean that all books dealing with the subject of insects should be banned? Of course not!
I don’t like rape fantasy stories or incest or torture stories and I choose not to read them - choose being the operative word here. Adults have the right to make choices about what they want or don’t want to write and read. We are not children to have those choices made for us. It’s an infringement of personal liberty.
What next? Will the writers of works disapproved of by Paypal and other such Companies be whisked off in the dead of night to some cyber concentration camp to be reprogrammed or even never to be heard of again?
Just my thoughts on a difficult subject.
An excellent article on the subject of censorship:
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